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This 3-Ingredient Vegan Mac and Cheese is the easiest, fuss-free traditional mac and cheese recipe of all time. All you need is one pot, 30 minutes, and toppings of choice. The whole family will love this spin on the childhood classic.

a shot of vegan mac and cheese in a white pot with a wooden handle

This isn’t just any vegan mac and cheese recipe. It’s the easiest one-pot mac and cheese that requires little to no effort. No homemade vegan cheese sauce recipe, no high-speed blender, immersion blender, food processor or casserole dish required. 

If you’re short on time and ingredients yet still want flavor-packed comfort food, this stovetop version is the recipe for you. 

ingredients for one pot vegan mac and cheese

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Plant milk: We used unsweetened oat milk, but any of the unsweetened non-dairy milks will work. If you prefer homemade milks, try our Vegan Almond Milk (without the added dates!).
  • Pasta: Our favorite is elbow macaroni to keep this mac and cheese as classic as possible. Opt for your favorite shape of pasta. 
  • Vegan cheese: Vegan cheese shreds or sliced cheese will work. We prefer vegan cheddar cheese from brands such as Follow Your HeartMiyoko’s Creamery, or Violife, but a vegan mozzarella will work well, too. If you have a block of vegan cheese, grate it before adding to the pot. 

Add-ins + Variations

  • Seasonings: We seasoned this mac and cheese with classic salt and black pepper, but if you want to take the flavor of your mac and cheese to the next level, season with additional spices such as onion powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, and smoked paprika to taste. 
  • Veggies: Make this mac and cheese heartier and more nutritious with the addition of added veggies. Either add the veggies to the boiling water while the pasta simmers or roast them separately and stir them into the finished pasta before enjoying. We like to add broccoli florets, frozen peas, chopped spinach, or any other veggie that needs to get used up! 
  • Protein: We love adding proteins such as Crispy Tofu, vegan sausage, Carrot Hot DogsTofu Bacon, or even chopped up Sweet & Smoky Chickpea Burgers or Vegan Chicken Nuggets tossed in buffalo sauce.
  • Cheesy flavor: If you’re a cheese lover, add additional cheesiness and top with Vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast for an ultra cheesy taste.
  • Fresh herbs: ​To make this vegan macaroni taste fresh and light, top with your favorite fresh herbs such as flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, or fresh chives. 

Equipment Needed

hands holding a white bowl of vegan mac and cheese with a fork

How to Make 3-Ingredient Vegan Mac and Cheese

  1. Bring the milk to a boil. Pour the oat milk or milk of choice into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Cook the pasta. Once boiling, add in the macaroni noodles and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, often stirring, until the noodles are al dente, and the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the milk and cheese. Once the pasta has cooked through, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of oat milk along with the vegan cheese. Mix the cooked pasta until the cheese has fully melted and has a creamy texture. 
  4. Serve. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, then serve immediately while hot. 

Recipe FAQs

is there a gluten-free option?

Yes! If you are gluten-free, replace the regular wheat pasta with a gluten-free pasta of choice. Note that gluten-free pasta is often more fragile than wheat pasta. For best results, use brown rice pasta from brands like Jovial. 

can this mac and cheese be baked?

If you love baked mac and cheese, follow the recipe according to the instructions. Once prepared, transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons of melted vegan butter or olive oil. Mix until well combined, then sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over top. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.

is it better to make mac and cheese with milk or water?

We find milk to make a more creamy, flavorful mac and cheese. If you’re in a pinch, you can substitute the plant milk with water, but add additional seasonings to compensate for flavor. 

Serving Suggestions 

There’s nothing better than a classic bowl of vegan mac and cheese as an easy lunch, snack, or weeknight dinner. 

If you want to make this mac and cheese a complete meal, here are a few of our favorite ways to serve it: 

BBQ Side Dishes

Weeknight Dinner Recommendations

Storage Instructions

Leftover mac and cheese will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store in an airtight container to retain its moisture. 

Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of extra milk or vegetable stock to make it creamy and saucy again. 

We haven’t tested freezing this vegan mac and cheese, but we’re not sure if it would work well. Cook pasta is difficult to freeze as it typically degrades in texture and becomes mushy upon reheating. 

a close up of vegan mac and cheese in a white bowl

More Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipes You May Enjoy:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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a shot of vegan mac and cheese in a white pot with a wooden handle

3-Ingredient Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This 3-Ingredient Vegan Mac and Cheese is the easiest, fuss-free traditional mac and cheese recipe of all time. All you need is one pot, 30 minutes, and toppings of choice. The whole family will love this spin on the childhood classic.


Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cup unsweetened oat milk (or plant-based milk of choice)
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) elbow noodles (or noodles of chocie)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded vegan cheese of choice (we used Violife Cheddar)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Spruce it up with

  • Garlic powder
  • Mustard powder
  • Onion powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Paprika

Instructions

  1. Add the oat milk to a pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat. 
  2. Once boiling, add in the pasta and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the noodles are cooked through and absorb all of the liquid, about 10 minutes, stirring often so the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, remove it from heat and add in the remaining 1/4 cup of oat milk along with the vegan cheese. Mix until the cheese has fully melted.
  4. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Add additional seasonings as desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • This recipe is meant to be a 3-ingredient base for you to build off of! We suggest adding some of the optional seasonings to give it that extra oomph. 
  • This recipe was adapted from Budget Bytes
  • We like to use elbow macaroni for this mac and cheese to keep things classic. You can use any shape of pasta that you prefer, or have available. If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, just opt for GF pasta and boom!
  • Shreds, block cheese, or even slices will work for this recipe. We like to use cheddar-style cheese, but mozzarella works well also. If you are using a block or slices, you will need to grate the cheese beforehand. We recommend using Follow Your Heart, Miyoko’s, or Violife. 
  • As long as the milk is unsweetened, you can use oat, soy, almond, or any other dairy-free milk that you prefer. 
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Entree, Pasta
  • Method: One Pot

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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5 Comments

  1. Great recipe! Quick meal to throw together at the last minute. Took your suggestion for options and added some Italian seasoning. Delicious!






  2. Incredibly easy and super delicious. Only took about 25 minutes and that was including the time it took to fix-up some veggies to go in it.






  3. Already made this twice in two weeks! Once was while camping. The perfect camping meal!! Made it with chickpea pasta for protein and broccoli for veg 🙂 love you guys!






  4. We’re running the deadline and haven’t got enough time to prepare breakfast. This recipe is ideal for busy periods. Perhaps I can’t find any simple dish like this recipe. But it still provides enough energy for the morning. Thank you!