Raw Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese
I am so excited to share this fabulous mac & cheese recipe with you! I whipped it up one night when I was craving something comforting, creamy and cheesy and boy did it hit the spot! Even more exciting for me is the fact that my husband, who doesn’t take to raw foods too easily, and my good friend Nubia who is new to raw foods, both gobbled it down and quickly asked for more. If that’s not success then I don’t know what is. 🙂
Growing up I absolutely loved mac & cheese so I am so thrilled to have created a raw vegan version of such a delicious, tasty meal. I want to make clear that, this is raw vegan and low in fat, no oils or salt used, so it’s obviously not an exact representation of mac & cheese taste-wise. But, it is a great substitute to give you that feel when you are craving such a dish. In these winter months it’s always nice to have a warm plate of food. So, a little trick that I like to do is to let the zucchini sit in warm water for about a half an hour before using them, this way they actually warm up. If you have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix you can blend the sauce for about two minutes on high and it will be nicely warmed too.
On the raw food diet, there really is so much variety of foods and flavors, you never have to feel deprived. Even better is the fact that you can have delicious food, and feel great after. I remember when I used to eat the cooked non-vegan mac & cheese, my mouth would be loving it but minutes after my stomach was not too happy. This raw vegan version it is gluten-free, low in fat, and made from whole, fresh produce with no added chemicals or preservatives.
Have you ever looked on the back of a mac & cheese box? There are ingredients that you can’t even pronounce, I would say that is a good indicator that you do not want that in your body! We should be fueling our bodies with only the best, fruits and vegetables that are fresh, ripe, whole, and organic as much as possible. Just think how amazing you would feel if you gave your body the highest quality nutrients every day every meal! Just try going raw for one day and you will see the difference immediately. It’s worth it! 🙂
I hope you thoroughly enjoy it as much as we all did!
For the pasta:
4 medium zucchini, peeled
Spiralize the zucchini using a spiralizer, a julienne peeler. A regular peeler is fine too, but the noodles will be thicker. Place the noodles in a large bowl.
For the cheese sauce:
1 small zucchini, peeled
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 6+ hours in water, drained & rinsed
(NOTE: I substitute 1/2 cup of cashew for zucchini to keep it low-fat, but if you prefer it creamier use 1 cup of cashews and skip the zucchini)
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped into chunks
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (add more if you want a more cheezy flavor)
1/2 heaping teaspoon smoked chili chipotle ground powder
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon coconut amino’s
1 lemon, juice of
(Optional) chili flakes
1) Blend the cashews, zucchini, and bell pepper on high until smooth and creamy.
2) Add the water in slowly to it as it blends.
3) Add the rest of the above ingredients and blend until creamy.
Pour sauce over noodles and mix in well, sprinkle on chili flakes for a lil kick.
Serve. Savor every bite!
Posted in Recipes and tagged with gluten free, mac 'n cheese, raw food recipes, vegan, zucchini noodles
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Hi, I’m Christine, thanks for stopping by! As a fibromyalgia thriver (symptom-free for over 10 years now thanks to diet and lifestyle changes), it is my passion to share the healing power of food.
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OMG I think your my nw best friend
Haha I hope you love it!
how many servings does this resepie make?
It makes three servings.:)
Granted, I didn’t have nutritional yeast or coconut aminos, but I doubt they would have made much of a difference.. It wasn’t bad, but far from mac n cheese.. It tasted like raw zucchini with a creamy cashew bell pepper sauce.. I make a badass vegan mac n cheese, I know this is raw, but idk, It was slightly disappointing
Brittani, the nutritional yeast is what provides the cheese flavor so not having that was crucial.
The nutritional yeast is a must. You cannot leave it out, it does make a huge difference. Besides, it should be added to most if not all vegan meals. Read up on it.
Um, the nutritional yeast is what makes it taste cheesy. You really needed that ingredient. So, yes it’s going to taste funny
Nutritional yeast can add a cheesy flavor with health benefits. Without adding it you probably lose you cheese component.
Brittani, curious to know what you use in your cooked vegan mac and cheese recipe, if you don’t use nutritional yeast? I dont eat it because it triggers MSG reactions
Hi Julie, Have you ever tried using miso? That’s used to give a cheese-y flavor so that might work.
Mmmmm! We tried this recipe tonight and it was delish! We tweaked it so it was “vegan” rather than “raw” by using rice pasta rather than zucchini noodles – and it was good! The sauce recipe was enough for the 2 of us with a little left over. We added marinated artichoke hearts, which made it even better! Yum!!
Oh that is wonderful! I am so thrilled to hear that! Thank you so much for your feedback on it, I always appreciate it. The artichokes sound like a lovely addition.
Raw is vegan. Vegan means nothing that comes from a living creature. Raw just means plant based vegan. Just “vegan” means you’ll eat processed foods that are labeled vegan but can also contain chemicals like preservatives and dyes and chemicals to maintain freshness. So in essence, raw plant based vegan is healthier because they don’t consume chemicals that are contained in processed foods.
You can also just be raw and not vegan. I am considering this option.
Yes you’re right Shayla. It’s all about finding what works for you and what’s sustainable for long term results. Being a vegan myself I do fully promote it because I truly believe it’s the most sustainable way of living for the environment, the animals and for health. BUT, if adding more raw fruits and vegetables is what’s doable for you now then that’s an excellent start. It’s not an all or nothing choice by any means. If there’s anything I can help you with as you start your journey please let me know! Xo
This looks delish. Definitely making it this week!
Thank you Colleen, I can’t wait for you to try it! I hope you love it!xo
This wasn’t like Mac and cheese at all. I had all the ingredients I could hardly taste the but ions yeast. If u wanted a creamy bell pepper sauce then this is a good recipe. Not good for Mac and cheese.
Thanks so much for your comment, I always appreciate ALL feedback. I can totally understand you saying that and that’s why I mention in my post that being a raw, oil & salt free recipe it’s meant to satisfy the craving of wanting something creamy and cheesy. It’s not meant to be compared to the cooked non-vegan version. I’m so glad you got a chance to try it though and hopefully you at least enjoyed it as a creamy bell pepper sauce. 🙂
I just finished making this recipe to the letter (using 1 cup raw cashews rather than the extra zucchini) and it was fantastic! I LOVED it! I ate the whole thing myself! Yes, I’m stuffed but I feel great! I think the quality of nutritional yeast makes a difference and it worked perfectly for me. I used my new mandolin to julienne the zucchini and it really reminded me of eating pasta noodles with a rich creamy, cheesy sauce, also similar to Alfredo sauce. Thank you Christine for this simple and delicious recipe. I’ll be making it often. I’m tempted to add some Celtic sea salt next time.
That’s awesome Michael, so happy to hear you enjoyed it so much! Appreciate you sharing. Simple and delicious is my favorite combination lol. Great way to break in your new mandolin ;). Enjoy!
Eating it right now! Will definitely make again, because I love it. I’m not new to cheesy cashew sauce on zoodles, but the addition of a zucchini in the sauce was different. I do like it- it didn’t take away from a ‘creamy’ texture nearly as much as I thought it might. The only downside was that the high water seemed to really neutralize the nutritional yeast (which I am always beyond generous with), so it wasn’t as strong as I would have liked for a mac ‘n’ cheese. But obviously that’s easily fixable, so, all good!
Hi Nicole! I’m so thrilled you loved it. Yes the nutritional yeast definitely makes all the difference in the cheesy flavor, can’t ever go wrong with adding more haha! As I mentioned in the post the zucchini is totally optional simply for those who wish to keep it lower in fat, and of course the cashews really give it even more creaminess if you were to substitute the zucchini. The beauty of raw foods is the flexibility for sure. Thanks so much for sharing your feedback!
I’d like to not eat cashews. Do you have any experience using different nuts in its place?
Hi Janet, I haven’t experimented with this recipe in using other nuts but I have made a raw vegan cheese sauce/dip using almonds and it turned out delicious. The only thing you may need to do, though, is add a little bit of olive oil to make it creamier, sine the cashews are naturally more creamy.
If you’re looking to avoid oil then perhaps you can try a creamy plant milk in its place but I can’t tell you how it’ll come out sine I’ve never tried it. If you don’t use the cashes I do suggest adding more nutritional yeast since the cashews do add a little more cheesy flavor. I hope that gives you some ideas! IF you find something that works for you we’d love for you to share with us for future reference!
I’m considering trying this using raw sunflower seeds instead of cashews. Has anyone tried that?
Recently I tried this using sunflower seeds, (leaving the zucchini out and adding more sunflower seeds instead). The taste was still good, not 100% the same though I do prefer the cashews. The difference was the texture, it wasn’t creamy at all. Perhaps what you could try is the sunflower seed butter I’d imagine that would give it a much creamier texture which is so important in a mac’n cheese. If you try it let us know how it comes out!
In your note were you saying you omitted the cashews and replaced them with zucchini?
Basically instead of one whole cup of cashews, to keep it lower in fat I only use half a cup of cashews and a half of cup of zucchini which still give it a creaminess but with less fat. Otherwise you can simply use one cup of cashews, which of course tastes even better. It’s just an option for those looking for lower fat recipes.
This wouldnt technically be raw vegan because aminos and nootch isn’t raw.
That’s correct they aren’t, but if it’s at least 75% raw it’s still considered a raw recipe.