The best creamy and gooey cauliflower vegan mac and cheese that is completely dairy free, nut free, and gluten free! It’s the perfect kid-friendly dinner packed with nutrients!

I’m about to change your dinner game with this new vegan mac and cheese that happens to be nut free, gluten free, and paleo (with just the sauce!)! Baked mac and cheese was always my favorite as a kid, so I decided to make a baked vegan mac and cheese for a healthier and maybe a smidge classier dish!

Trust me when I say this dish will quickly sneak its way into your weekly meal prep rotation 🙂 It makes tons of leftovers and is the perfect Sunday night meal!

overhead shot of vegan macaroni and cheese

I love this healthy mac and cheese for a few reasons. The first being that it’s packed with protein. I’m talking at least 25 grams per serving. And all plant based.

Insane right? It’s super filling and satisfying, and makes for a really well rounded meal!

The second reason I love this dish is because it’s packed with veggies! Actually the base of this paleo vegan cheese sauce is similar to my vegan Alfredo sauce.

It’s made with cauliflower!

But don’t worry, this sauce won’t taste like veggies, it will actually taste like a decadent cheese sauce!

macaroni pasta with cheese sauce on top

The third reason I love this cauliflower mac and cheese is much is because it is completely nut free and yeast free! Yep! All of my nut allergy peeps can rejoice because you can absolutely eat this dairy free cheese sauce all day long without any qualms!

I also like to not include any nutritional yeast in my vegan cheese sauces because I find that it’s a rather expensive item and most people don’t have it in their kitchen. Yes, I do call for coconut aminos, which makes this dish paleo as well, but you can easily sub in soy sauce if that’s all you have on hand!

Now the final reason I love this vegan mac and cheese (who am I kidding, there’s way more reasons to love this dish!) is because it is completely kid friendly and if you’re flying solo, it’s perfect for a week night meal when you don’t want to come home and cook! It literally hits all of the bases: fats, proteins, carbs, and veggies all in one swoop!

Add a few greens on the side, and you’re completely set for a well balanced meal!

up close shot of baked vegan macaroni and cheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese Ingredients:

Chickpea Pasta: so this is quite literally my favorite pasta, and this is how you’re going to get all of that protein in! Chickpea, or any bean, pasta has about 20 grams of protein per serving, give or take depending on the brand. I love using either Tolerant for completely organic and no additives, or Banza is great too! You need macaroni pasta for your healthy mac and cheese!

Cauliflower: well you can’t have cauliflower mac and cheese without cauliflower! Cauliflower acts as the base of this vegan cheese sauce to keep it creamy, dairy free, and nut free! No nuts in this sauce!

Herbs: for this vegan mac and cheese, I used rosemary and cumin! I think that these added a really nice flavor to the cauliflower and made for a sophisticated yet very tasty vegan cheese sauce!

Light Coconut Milk: now, I say light not to cut calories and fat, but because full fat coconut milk will add a very coconut-y flavor to the baked vegan mac and cheese, and you don’t want that!

Dijon Mustard: I love dijon mustard!! I think it adds a really nice “cheese” like flavor to this vegan mac and cheese, and since we’re going yeast free, you need some flavor punches!

Coconut Aminos: the power punch that ties in all of the cheese-like flavors together! You can absolutely swap in soy sauce here if you don’t have/want coconut aminos, but this helps to keep the vegan cheese sauce paleo while also being nut free and yeast free! I find that the coconut aminos or soy sauce adds that nice tang that regular cheese has!

Turmeric: I don’t know about you, but I like my vegan mac and cheese to be YELLOW like the ol’ Kraft brands haha! Did you know that in England, the Kraft brand actually uses turmeric to color their cheese? It’s a thing! You can of course leave this out, as many baked vegan mac and cheese recipes are more white than yellow. However, you’d be missing out on some great anti-inflammatory properties!

bowl of vegan macaroni and cheese

Healthy Mac and Cheese Recipe Notes:

Now, I highly recommend using a food processor for this recipe, as you’ll be blending quite a large amount of ingredients! I honestly use my food processor multiple times per week. It is such a lifesaver!

Next, you really want to cook the cauliflower thoroughly. This will ensure that the sauce comes out creamy rather than grainy. No one wants a grainy baked vegan mac and cheese!

For the pasta, one trick that I’ve learned with chickpea/gluten free pastas in general is that you want to seriously let the water boil before adding the pasta in (maybe this is true for all pastas and I’ve just been doing it wrong, in which case this is super embarrassing because my family is Italian). Chickpea/bean pastas are delicate and often dissolve when not cooked properly! However, when you do cook them properly, it tastes just like regular pasta. AMAZING!

I would also definitely add in the turmeric to this healthy mac and cheese because it really looks beautiful when it comes out of the oven! Plus you get those anti-inflammatory benefits, which is great! Honestly, what can’t this baked vegan mac and cheese do?! You won’t taste the turmeric too because all of the other flavors easily overpower it!

cauliflower vegan mac and cheese

I just love making this cauliflower mac and cheese so much, but I totally understand that it is not a last minute decision meal to make during the week! That’s why I highly recommend including it in your meal prep rotation!

Meal prepping honestly saved my life in terms of time. I spend hours less time preparing all of my meals. Instead, I just simply turn to the fridge and plate! Especially when I meal prep actual recipes, like this healthy mac and cheese!

dish of vegan mac and cheese with scoop out of it

This baked vegan mac and cheese is seriously perfect for meal prep because you get about a week’s worth of meals right there- have some for lunch, more for dinner one night, freeze a few portions for when you’re craving something comforting but don’t feel like going through the hassle of making it!

I created a free downloadable guide for you to help you in your quest to understand, practice, and reap the benefits of meal prep! It honestly isn’t as scary as you think it is, definitely not as time consuming either. I spend at most an hour and a half cooking everything for the week. Plus it saves money! So check that out down below and give this healthy vegan mac and cheese a go 🙂

Cannot wait to hear your thoughts!

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The best creamy and gooey cauliflower vegan mac and cheese that is completely dairy free, nut free, and gluten free! It's the perfect kid-friendly dinner packed with nutrients!

The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese

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  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 95 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Course


The best creamy and gooey cauliflower vegan mac and cheese that is completely dairy free, nut free, and gluten free! It’s the perfect kid-friendly dinner packed with nutrients!


  • 2 boxes chickpea pasta (or your favorite GF pasta)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large head cauliflower (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 16 oz can light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 small white onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp mustard or dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sea salt/pepper (to taste)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and coat chopped cauliflower in 1.5 tbsp olive/coconut oil, rosemary, and cumin. 
  2. Roast for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. When the cauliflower is nearing the end of its cook time, heat up 1/2 tbsp cooking oil in a small sauté pan and cook garlic and onion together until translucent. Set aside.
  4. Place cauliflower into a large food processor and pulse until pureed.
  5. Place coconut milk, sautéed onion and garlic, mustard, turmeric, coconut aminos, and sea salt/pepper into the food processor and blend.
  6. Set sauce aside.
  7. In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook pasta according to directions. Preheat oven again to 375F if you turned it off.
  8. Once pasta is done, strain pasta and pour into a large baking dish (about 9X12″). 
  9. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and mix thoroughly until everything is coated.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until it looks crispy.
  11. Remove and serve warm!