Vegan Pumpkin and Kale Mac and Cheese

This recipe is a new favorite for sure! The “cheese” sauce has a cashew base and is flavored with nutritional yeast and spices. It tastes downright cheesy and is 100% vegan and gluten-free, and the sauce is paleo friendly!

I used gluten-free brown rice and quinoa noodles from Trader Joes, but any type of pasta or pasta alternative can work in this recipe. For a low-carb and totally paleo version, use spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash.

Seriously, folks. This was amazing. I made it for the first time last night and was super impressed with out how it turned out. My boyfriend, who can eat “real” mac and cheese even went back for seconds!


  • Pasta noodles of choice
  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for at least 3-4 hours)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (for color)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 half onion, diced


  1. Prepare pasta as directed on the package
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients, except kale and onions, in a high powered blender and blend until smooth (about 1 minute)
  3. Reduce heat to low, add sauce to drained noodle and mix until coated
  4. Add onions and kale and stir until kale becomes soft
  5. Optional: Top with green onions and hot sauce of choice


2 thoughts on “Vegan Pumpkin and Kale Mac and Cheese

  1. Why do you drink animal bones but not eat cheese? Cheddar cheeses and other popular mac and cheese varieties do not contain lactose, if that’s you’re reasoning.

    1. That’s a really good question! I am lactose intolerant, and have avoided lactose containing dairy products for a long time. About a year ago, I began dealing with eczema that would not go away with remedies that have worked for me before. After quite a bit of experimentation, I figured out that ALL dairy is a trigger for my eczema. I do not know what molecule I am reacting to specifically (it may be casein), but whenever I include dairy, even yogurt and aged cheeses, I experience a flare up.

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