Gluten Free Vegan Mac n’ Cheese with Roasted Broccoli

mac n' cheese dish

Okay so this is not an orginal recipe of mine so let’s get the credits out there right off the bat. This is the work of the amazing Detoxinista Megan Gilmore from her excellent cookbook Everyday Detox. This recipe has quickly become a favorite of my family especially since we left behind the days of mac n’ cheese six long years ago when three out of four of us were diagnosed with dairy allergies.

This vegan macaroni and cheese is made with cashews and is the simplest thing in the world to make, coming together in the time it takes to boil water and cook gluten free pasta. It calls for soaking the cashews for up to 2 hours, to make them easier to blend and also to digest, advising to not soak them longer than 2 hours though, or they will get slimy. In a crunch, I have skipped this soaking step all together and it blends fine if you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec.

Since it’s made from cashews, this dish has a complete source of protein as well as loads of B vitamins. Her recipe actually uses spaghetti squash for the “pasta” which is even healthier but my kids don’t go for that so we use gluten free macaroni instead. With the delicious addition of the roasted broccoli, this dish is nutritious, rich and creamy and super yummy.


Adapted from Megan Gilmore’s recipe in Everyday Detox


1 box of gluten free elbow macaroni

Roasted Broccoli:
1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
¼ tsp sea salt

Cheese Sauce:
1 and ½ cups whole raw cashews, soaked for up to 2 hours, drained and rinsed well
¾ cups almond milk
¼ cup nutritional yeast (found in the health food section of most grocery stores)
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp Dijon mustard

Toss the broccoli florets with the coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast on a cookie sheet at 400˚F. While the broccoli is roasting, put a large pot of water on to boil. While that’s coming to a boil, make the sauce by putting all remaining ingredients into a high-power blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, bending until smooth and creamy.

When the water is at a boil, your broccoli should be about done, crispy and brown on the edges. Pull that out of the oven and keep to the side. Salt the boiling water and pour in your gluten free macaroni, making sure to stir it a few times to avoid clumping. After 7 minutes check your macaroni and if done, scoop it out with a slotted spoon or spider into a medium serving dish, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water to add to the sauce in the blender. Add the pasta water to your blender ingredients and give the sauce another whirl before pouring it over the pasta. Add the roasted broccoli florets to the pasta and sauce and stir all of it together. Enjoy immediately with a big mixed greens salad on the side.

Please let me know what you think of this dish in the comments below!


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Heidi - May 25, 2016

OMG!! That sounds delicious!! Can’t wait to try this! Just as soon as I find some raw cashews in Mexico, LOL! I wonder if it would work ok with dry-roasted cashews? Thanks Laren! 🙂

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