This is the Best Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese with Broccoli Recipe that is ready in under 30-minutes! It’s a delicious broccoli macaroni pasta bake with dairy-free easy vegan cheese sauce and healthy veggies that can easily be made nut-free & gluten-free! No matter if you’re vegan, vegetarian or non-vegan – this simple cheesy pasta casserole makes the perfect quick lunch or dinner for anyone!
Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe
There is often nothing better than a big bowl of creamy cheesy vegan pasta straight out of one pot, pan or skillet. Honestly, I prepare my all-time favorite easy vegan cheese sauce at least once a week because it’s so easy to make, so delicious, and always eaten super fast, haha! Since I love to enjoy it with pasta but also with vegetables like broccoli, I often combine both and bake it up in a skillet for a quick 10-Minute casserole!
I actually shared this vegan macaroni and cheese recipe ages ago but since it’s so popular here on the blog, I wanted to share another version with a tasty twist! So if you love my classic dairy-free vegan mac and cheese cooked on the stove, you’ll love this broccoli pasta bake, too!
There are so many dairy-free cheese sauce recipes on google but I have never tried one that is as delicious as my version. For me, it is honestly just the best and most amazing easy vegan cheese sauce! It is creamy, thick, flavorful and rich but also healthy thanks to the dairy-free ingredients and hidden veggies. So what is not to love?!
Pasta Bake with Best Vegan Cheese Sauce
For the “creamy” base I use potatoes, carrots, and cashews because they’re rich, thick and neutral in taste. However, feel free to use other nuts, such as slivered almonds or macadamia. Just take note that using other ingredients may change the taste.
If you need the recipe to be nut-free, you can substitute sunflower seeds, tahini, pepitas or vegan cream cheese made of soy.
So, as well as being nut-free this vegan pasta bake can easily be made gluten-free too by using gluten-free pasta. You can absolutely use your favorite pasta variety, such as macaroni elbows, farfalle, penne, fusilli, etc. Or make your own spaghetti or fettuccine pasta with this simple homemade pasta dough recipe.
Crispy Vegan Cheese Topping
When it comes to pasta bake, potato gratin or any casserole I like to sprinkle shredded vegan cheese over the top for a crispy golden broiled topping. However, that is just optional because this baked broccoli vegan mac and cheese tastes delicious as it is! There are plenty of ingredients that bring flavor and a creamy cheesy bite to this pasta bake. So I’m pretty sure, you won’t miss the real cheese!
If you want to add a crispy topping without using store-bought vegan cheese, you can sprinkle over some bread crumbs or crushed crunchy crackers before baking the pasta casserole. For the best crispy texture and the most delicious result, I suggest tossing the crumbs in a little oil with seasonings and yeast flakes or vegan parmesan cheese.
Nutritional yeast is the key for a cheesy flavor so I suggest not skipping it. But also the garlic, onion, salt, and mustard add much flavor to this best vegan mac and cheese recipe.
This Baked Vegan Broccoli Mac and Cheese Recipe is
- Dairy-free (Lactose-free)
- Can be made gluten-free & nut-free
- Quick & Easy to make
- Loaded with veggies
- So delicious!
- The perfect comfort food
Use any veggies you like!
If you’re not into broccoli, you can omit it or replace it with other vegetables, such as cauliflower, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, sautéed spinach, peas (about 1-2 cups) or whatever vegetables you like. I bet this vegan Mac and cheese will be also delicious with baked tomatoes, zucchini or grilled corn. Just be creative!
Versatile Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce
As mentioned before, the cheese sauce is perfect to use in other recipes too, like vegan grilled cheese sandwiches, crunchwrap supreme, lasagna, pizza, or anywhere else you need a cheese sauce or topping. Since the sauce keeps well in the fridge for up to one week, I suggest making a big batch ahead.
Can I reheat leftovers?
Since this Baked Vegan Mac and cheese tastes best when it just comes out from the oven, I suggest serving it immediately. However, if you have any leftovers, feel free to store it covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. To serve, gently reheat covered in the oven or microwave. You may need adding a tiny splash of non-dairy milk or more vegan cheese sauce if it’s too dry.
Looking for more quick and easy vegan Pasta Recipes? Make sure to check out the following:
- Creamy Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta
- Sweet Potato Pasta
- Spinach and Mushroom Pasta
- Vegan Carbonara
- Lentil Zucchini Lasagna
- Vegan Lentil Bolognese
- Tomato Pasta Napoli
If you try this Baked Vegan Broccoli Mac and Cheese Recipe be sure to leave a comment and rating! Your feedback is always super helpful for me and other readers who are planning to try the recipe. And if you take a photo of your vegan broccoli pasta bake, please make sure to tag me on Instagram @biancazapatka #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Happy cooking!
Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese with Broccoli
- 9 oz macaroni elbows or (gluten-free) pasta of your choice (250g)
- 1 head of broccoli cut into 2 cups small florets, *see recipe notes for options
Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 1 medium russet potato 4 oz, peeled and cubed
- 1 small carrot peeled and halved
- ⅔ cup raw cashews 100g, *see notes for nut-free option
- 1 cup water or more as needed
- 1 tbsp olive oil or canola oil
- 1 onion chopped, or sub 2 tsp onion powder
- 3 cloves garlic minced, or sub 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp mustard or 2 tsp white miso paste
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar
Cook Pasta & Broccoli
- In a large pot of salted water cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente, adding the broccoli florets to the pot in the last 2-3 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C).
Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Add the potatoes, carrots, cashews and 1 cups of water in a pot. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft enough to blend.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Once the potatoes are done, carefully pour the whole mixture (+ carrots, cashews and cooking water) into a blender along with the sautéed onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, mustard, salt, and lemon juice. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides. (Add more water to desired consistency as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings.)
- Once the pasta is al dente, drain the cooking water. Add cooked pasta and broccoli to the skillet (which you used to cook the onion so you don't need to rinse it). Pour the vegan cheese sauce over the pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle with dairy-free cheese or crumb topping* as desired and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. (If you skip the cheese or crumb topping, bake covered to prevent the pasta from drying out).
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with vegan parmesan and fresh herbs. Serve immediately!
- Gluten-free: Simply use your favorite gluten-free noodles.
- Nut-free: You can substitute the cashews with sunflower seeds, pepitas, tahini or dairy-free cream cheese.
- Broccoli: You can skip the broccoli or replace it with other vegetables, such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, sautéed spinach, zucchini grilled corn or peas (about 1-2 cups) or whatever you like.
- Cashews: You don’t need to soak the cashews in advance because they’re boiled along with the potatoes to make them softer and easier to blend. You could also use slivered almonds or macadamia nuts instead.
- Vegan Cheese Sauce: You can make the sauce ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to one week or freeze for the future.
- Crumb Topping: Process two pieces of toasted bread into crumbs or use 1 cup of panko bread crumbs. Mix with 1 tbsp of olive or canola oil, then sprinkle over the mac and cheese before baking.
- Please read my blog post for additional information about this recipe.
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