Plant Based Mac n Cheese

I have just recently really started to experiment with vegan and plant based cooking. With being a chef it is very important that food always tastes good. No matter the particular diet anyone might choose for themselves I believe it should look beautiful, colorful, have texture and great flavor.

For those choosing a plant based or vegan diet for what ever reasons, I really think you will enjoy this mac n cheese. The instant pot makes the cheesy sauce so quick and easy to make. The dry seasoning can be used on pasta, risotto dishes, sprinkle on avocado toast. I like the Banza brand of gluten free pasta, but use your favorite. I also really like the Violife vegan parmesan cheese. I purchase the wedge of cheese and use the microplane just like I would regular parmesan.

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Plant Based Mac n Cheese

A nice plant based, dairy free, gluten free, healthy mac n cheese dish.



Cheese Sauce

6 ounces diced butternut squash

1214 ounces peeled and chopped Yukon gold potatoes

1/2 medium onion diced

4 cloves of garlic 

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste

juice of half of a lemon

1 cup canned coconut milk

1 cup vegetable broth

Dry Seasoning Mix

1/2 cup hemp seeds

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons everything but bagel seasoning

1/2 to 1  teaspoon crushed red pepper

Mac n Cheese Assembly

1 package Banza shells cooked

1 Violife Vegan parmesan wedge

gluten free bread crumbs

vegan butter


Cheese Sauce:

Place all of the ingredients in the inner pot of your Instant Pot. Secure the lid and adjust the pressure valve to sealing. Set the pressure to high and set the time or seven minutes. When the time is up allow to release naturally for five minutes. When five minutes is up, carefully turn the pressure valve to venting. There will still be some hot steam releasing, so be careful.

Using pot holders or oven mitts remove the lid. Carefully pour the mixture into a high powered blender. It will probably take two batches. Start blending on a low speed working to the high speed. Blend until creamy and thick.  If the sauce is to thick use some vegetable broth or water to thin. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you like.


Cook your favorite pasta as the sauce is cooking in the instant pot. Drain and rinse under cld water.

Dry Seasoning

In a small bowl mix all the dry seasonings together. Store in an airtight container.

Mac n Cheese Assembly

Pre heat oven to 350*

You can prepare the mac n cheese in individual crocks, ramekins or a larger bake dish.  Choose the amount of cooked pasta you wish to use and place it in an appropriate size bowl, add some cheese sauce. If the mixture looks to thick you may add a little vegetable broth or coconut milk. Give it a good stir to mix up the pasta and sauce. Oil your baking dish with vegan butter, or oil of your choice, olive, avocado, coconut.  Place the pasta in the oiled baking dish, sprinkle with some  gluten free bread crumbs and some dry seasoning. Using a microplane grate some vegan parmesan on top. Drizzle with melted vegan butter or oil of your choice.

Bake in preheated oven until hot through. Small ramekiins bake approximately 20 minutes larger bakeware 30 – 40.


The cheese sauce makes about 4 cups and stores in the refrigerator very well. If it becomes to thick it can always be thinned down with vegetable stock or coconut milk. 

Try using the cheese sauce on vegetables, baked potato, pasta and risotto dished.

Latin & Mexican dishes try adding 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon corriander. Also try 1/4 cup hatch chilis or salsa.

  • Author: Chef Shelly

Place all of the ingredients in the inner pot of your Instant Pot.