Mom’s Vegan Baked Mac & Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
My mother used to make a delicious baked macaroni and cheese topped with (accidentally vegan) Ritz cracker crumbs and paprika. The sauce began with a roux to make a rich béchamel and was baked to perfection. Note: The texture of this baked casserole is meant to be firm, not saucy. The optional shredded vegan cheese makes the sauce richer, but it’s delicious without it.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • 16 ounces (454 g) elbow macaroni
  • Olive oil or vegan butter, for preparing the baking dish
  • 4 tablespoons (56 g) dairy-free buttery spread or sticks
  • ¼ cup (31 g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups (1.2 L) plain unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup (20 g) nutritional yeast, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (112 g) shredded dairy-free cheese alternative (optional)
  • 1 cup (72 g) finely crushed Ritz crackers
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) melted dairy-free buttery spread or sticks
  1. To make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente.
  2. Reserve 1 cup (240 ml) of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 9 × 13-inch (23 × 33 cm) baking dish.
  4. To make the sauce: In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the dairy-free butter.
  5. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk beverage. Add the salt. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until thick, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the nutritional yeast, mustard, onion powder, and pepper and whisk until smooth. Cook for 5 minutes until thick. Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the dairy-free cheese (if using) until melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed. If the sauce is too thick, add as much of the 1 cup (240 ml) of reserved cooking water, as desired.
  7. Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce and stir to combine.
  8. In a small bowl, stir together the cracker crumbs, paprika, and melted butter to combine.
  9. To finish: Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish, top with the cracker crumb mixture, and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden on top.
This recipe is reprinted with permissions from Vegan Mac & Cheese by Robin Robertson © 2019 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at