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This vegan buffalo mac and cheese recipe is creamy, satisfying, quick, and also so easy to make! In addition, it's spicy, gluten free, and perfect as a side dish!
This dairy-free buffalo mac n' cheese comes together so fast and also has a lot of flavor. Buffalo sauce really gives that spicy flavor while cashews make this vegetarian dish so creamy.
I already have a vegan macaroni and cheese and vegan baked mac and cheese recipe but this one is a great option for adding different flavors. If you are a fan of buffalo flavor like me, you can also try my buffalo cauliflower sandwich, buffalo chickpea salad, vegan buffalo cauliflower wings, vegan buffalo chicken dip, buffalo hummus, or buffalo cauliflower tacos.
Before we jump into the recipe, let's learn some tips on how to make it.
How to Make Vegan Buffalo Mac and Cheese
I usually use gluten free elbow pasta for this vegan buffalo mac and cheese recipe but you can use regular pasta if you prefer. You can also use a different shape instead of elbows like penne or ribbon.
Cashews and Buffalo Sauce
We will be using soaked raw cashews for the sauce so we can achieve the creamy texture. Make sure to use a good quality buffalo sauce like this one because it will make a difference!
You can add more or less nutritional yeast so play around with it. If you want to have a more cheesy flavor, you can add more.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice gives a tangy flavor but you can sub for lime juice. If you like a more tangy flavor, you can always add more lemon juice.
Garlic Powder and Onion Powder
Garlic and onion powder give flavor without overpowering the sauce. If you find the buffalo sauce has a lot of flavors, you can also add less garlic and onion powder.
I usually use pink Himalayan salt but feel free to use regular sea salt. Also, always adjust to taste, it may need more salt!
Green Onions for garnish (optional)
I highly recommend adding sliced green onions as a garnish because it gives so much flavor. Since green onions have a mild onion taste, it's not overpowering.
How to make it
- First, you will need to soak the cashews by adding them into a small bowl and then pour hot water on them. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse and drain well.
- While cashews are soaking, start cooking the elbow pasta according to the package directions. But don't overcook the pasta.
- While pasta is cooking, add all the sauce ingredients including the soaked cashews to a high-speed blender and then blend it until very smooth and creamy.
- Next, we will be cooking this buffalo sauce in a small pot gently for a couple of minutes until it thickens and also becomes creamy. I feel like this step really makes a difference but you may need to add more water depending on the consistency you want.
- Now pour the sauce into the pot with the cooked pasta and then mix really well. Top with sliced green onions and then serve immediately.
What vegetables to serve vegan buffalo mac and cheese with
- Serve it with steamed broccoli
- Add some steamed or roasted cauliflower florets
- Pair it with celery, cucumber, carrot sticks and vegan ranch dressing!
Tips & Variations
- Make sure to taste the buffalo sauce and adjust as needed. Some store-bought buffalo sauces taste very strong so adjust to taste!
- If the sauce is too thick, you can also add more water. If it's too watery, cook it a little longer.
- Even more cheesy flavor, sprinkle homemade parmesan!
- Always adjust to taste and add more salt if needed!
How to store dairy free buffalo mac and cheese
I find that the sauce can get dry when you store this vegan buffalo mac and cheese so it's best to enjoy it right away. If you have leftovers and you need to reheat, you can add a splash of water so the sauce will not be as dry.
This homemade vegan buffalo mac and cheese recipe comes together quickly and it is very easy to make. It is also:
- Ultra creamy, smooth and spicy
- Satisfying comfort food
- Gluten free and dairy free
- Also so delicious!
More plant based pasta recipes to try
So, did you make this? I’d love for you to leave a comment and rate the recipe. You can also share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest and tag me on Instagram using @avocadocentric or #avocadocentric! xo, SelinPrint
This vegan buffalo mac and cheese recipe is creamy, satisfying, quick and so easy to make! It's spicy, gluten free, and perfect as a side dish!
- 12 ounces gluten free elbow pasta (sub for regular)
- 1 and ¼ cups raw cashews (soaked, rinsed and drained)
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup to ½ cup buffalo sauce (adjust to taste)
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- Soak the cashews by adding them into a small bowl and pour hot water on them. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse and drain well.
- While cashews are soaking, start cooking the elbow pasta according to the package directions. Try not to overcook it.
- While pasta is cooking, add the soaked cashews, 1 cup water, buffalo sauce, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic and onion powder, salt into a high-speed blender and blend it until very smooth and creamy.
- In a small pot over medium-low heat, add the sauce and gently cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it thickens. You may need to add more water depending on the consistency you want.
- Pour the sauce into the pot with the cooked pasta and mix really well. Top with sliced green onions and then serve immediately.
Make sure to taste the buffalo sauce and adjust as needed. Some store-bought buffalo sauces taste very strong so adjust to taste!
If the sauce is too thick, add more water. If it's too watery, cook it a little longer.
Even more cheesy flavor, sprinkle homemade parmesan!
Always adjust to taste and add more salt if needed!
- Serving Size: 4-6
- Calories: 493
- Sugar: 3.7g
- Sodium: 502.4mg
- Fat: 19.6g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 64.5g
- Fiber: 4.3g
- Protein: 16.4g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: vegan buffalo macaroni and cheese, buffalo mac and cheese, vegetarian buffalo mac and cheese