Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free and Soy-Free Mac and Cheese

This creamy, gluten-free and dairy-free Macaroni & Cheese recipe is first from the YumUniverse video series, YU REMIX—where my favorite and your favorite recipes get REMIXed into impossibly delicious plant-based options. Bring on your cheesy lasagnas and egg-dipped french toasts. My goal is to transform the ingredients into the taste that you love with the nutrition that your body craves.

No Frankenfoods will be used in the REMIX series—you won’t find processed meat substitutes or vegan junk food either—I am going to work harder than that. I am going to share with you more of my secrets for nutritious whole food egg replacements, non-dairy milks, cheeses and more. This Mac & Cheese recipe seems to be a perfect start—we all love Mac & Cheese, right? I kinda grew up on the stuff.

Have a family favorite that you want REMIXed? Need some more options in your plant-based diet? Let me know with comments, afterall, this series is for YU.


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approx. 4-5 cups
Preparation Time: 30mins
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Silicone spatula or large spoon
High-powered blender OR food processor
Large saucepan
Steamer or a double boiler with steamer

2 cups gluten-free macaroni noodles
1-2 cups organic broccoli florets

For sauce
3 tbsp fresh, organic lemon juice
1 cup pure water
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp organic tahini
1 cup organic cashews, soaked
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Let’s Get Started:
Prepare your gluten-free macaroni noodles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Rinse and set aside.

While macaroni is boiling, steam your broccoli. Don’t over steam. Vibrant broccoli means nutrients are intact.

Place all sauce ingredients in the blender and pulse until creamy.

Place sauce, cooked noodles and steamed broccoli in a saucepan to warm for about 5 minutes. This will thicken the sauce and blend all the flavors in a pretty magical way.

Yum! Store extra in an airtight jar in the fridge. Warm over the stove or eat cold when you want more.

1. Try tossing a chipotle pepper into your cheese sauce and blend for a spicy version.
2. Add organic red pepper to the cheese sauce when blending for an orangish cheese sauce.
3. Add 1 tsp of Liquid Smoke (Colgin is gluten-free) to the cheese sauce for a smoked cheese flavor.
4. Make it baked! Prepare recipe as you see here, but put in a glass casserole dish. In a separate bowl, toss some organic chopped kale leaves with olive oil, a pinch of salt and gluten-free flour. Sprinkle on top of your Mac & Cheese and bake in the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes. The kale tastes just like a breadcrumb topping.
5. Mix in some toasted sunflower seeds for crunch.
6. Try using sprouted grain pasta or gluten-free spirals instead of macaroni noodles.
7. Add some chopped sundried tomatoes.


Read the comments or add yours.

Comment Rules

  1. Thank god, a “cheese” recipe that didn’t ask me to use fake cheese! I’m all over this recipe, like white on rice…I mean, mac on cheese: ) Thanks Heather!

  2. Had to give a tremendous shout out for this recipe! I am in Mac N Cheese heaven!

  3. Lola

    What can I substitute for coconut oil? I can;t wait to try this recipe!

    • Lola~
      You can try making it without the coconut oil. You can also try 1-2 Tbsp olive, sesame, grapeseed or walnut oil, too. They will have a different flavor than the buttery coconut oil (which tastes most like mac and cheese in the end), but I’m sure it would still be delicious. Let me know how it turns out!

  4. Lola

    Thank you so much Heather! I will let you know how it turns out…

  5. Thank you!!!! This is a dream come true. Can’t wait to make it.

  6. Here’s a challenge – can YU think of a way to make the sauce sans nuts? I want my niece to try this but she’s only 18 months – too young for nuts (because of the allergy fear). If YU have any thoughts let me know….maybe soaking sesame seeds instead of cashews and 1/2ing the tahini amount????

    • Beth~
      I would say skip the cashews, keep the tahini as is, and maybe add a thickening agent, like agar agar flakes/powder, or a slurry of arrowroot and water. To make an arrowroot slurry simply combine 2tbsp arrowroot powder with 4 tbsp water. Whisk together before adding to sauce. It will thicken as it heats up. Both arrowroot and agar agar seem to be safe for munchkins, but be sure to run it by the doc first. Let me know how it works out!

  7. Lola

    Just wanted to say I actually made it with the coconut oil and it came out amazing!!! Yummy!!! Thanks Heather!

    • Wonderful. I’m so glad you enjoy it, Lola. It’s such a satisfying replacement for those times you are craving comfort foods from the S.A.D (Standard American Diet) days!

  8. Lola

    I also want to add that it is AWESOME served cold… I sat down with it and could not stop eating it!!!

  9. CayVeg

    Made this for my kids and they loved it. Said it “was better than regular mac & cheese” and have asked for it a few times since. Olive oil tasted great but next time will try coconut oil.

  10. Vani

    Can I substitute anything else for the tahini or leave it out? I have a sensitivity to sesame seeds.

  11. amy

    I’ve used sunflower butter in place of tahini and soy free earth balance in place of the coconut oil, if I’ve been short on the original ingredients. It all tastes great. And I always double the batch and use the extra sauce on nachos, tacos, soups, etc. My fiend who keeps kosher likes it too: now she can put “cheese” on her meat chili!

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