Vegan “Cheddar Cheesy” Sauce & Pasta

-If you are having a house full of guests this weekend, this can be a GREAT dish to have around for the kids and adults alike to snack on as a light lunch or easy meal.  Make the cheese sauce in advance and you’ll have a super simple throw together meal.-

“My son has been begging me to make him vegan-style mac and cheese for the last few weeks and I finally broke down and decided to do it.  I’ve been resisting it because when I think of mac-and-cheese I think of high fat, highly processed, eat-it-because-it’s-convenient food.  Or on the other end of the spectrum we have that homemade, super cheesy, loaded with fat comfort food that grandma used to make.  Neither are truly good for you even though both are typically vegetarian.  So I have been promising my son I would find a vegan “cheese” sauce that has a nutritional yeast base and make him a healthy mac-and-cheese.  I had my eye on the “Cheddar Cheesy Sauce” in Lindsay S. Nixon‘s Happy Herbivore book for a while now.   She said this particular sauce was her favorite cheese sauce so I decided I’d try this one out.  The miso in this recipe really makes this sauce so don’t leave it out.  I also added some fresh minced garlic and cayenne for added bite.  This is a great sauce that would go well with any pasta or potato au gratin.  I like to add a little tomato and green onion and bell pepper if I have some around.  You can actually load this up with veggies if you want and make a full meal deal out of it. Also, if you use rice milk instead of soy milk and chickpea miso instead of regular miso, you’ll have a soy-free, gluten free meal as well!  Serve with brown rice pasta for a nutritionally packed dish.”

Cheddar cheesy sauce and pasta


-adapted from Happy Herbivore

Cheddar Cheesy Sauce

  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like rice milk)
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 tbsp chickpea or regular miso paste – do not use light as it’s too sweet
  • 8 tsp arrowroot powder (or 4 tbsp cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp granulated onion powder
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • Pinch or two of cayenne (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • 10-12 oz box of brown rice pasta (such as rotini or shells)

I like to use brown rice pasta as it’s not as chewy as wheat pasta plus it’s gluten free. This is enough sauce to serve over 1 box of 10-12 oz box of pasta and you’ll probably have some left over sauce.  

Veggies To Add

For this recipe I used the below propositions.  However, you can add bell pepper, zucchini, peas, finely diced, cooked carrots or whatever you fancy.

  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced
  • 3-4 green onions, white and green parts, finely diced
  • cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, remove tomato seeds and finely dice your veggies. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, pour nondairy milk in small heavy bottomed saucepan.  Turn heat to medium low.  Whisk in all other ingredients, except cayenne and garlic, being careful to mix out any lumps.
  4. Whisk in cayenne, if using, then add in garlic.
  5. Heat sauce to a slight boil, stirring frequently, then reduce to low and simmer a few minutes until thickened.  Make sure to keep stirring once it’s simmering so sauce does not burn on bottom.  Remove from heat.  Taste for salt and cayenne and add as needed.
  6. Put drained pasta in a large bowl.  Slowly pour sauce over pasta in increments, stirring the sauce in until you have the desired consistency (you may not need all the sauce).
  7. Toss in the diced veggies and garnish with a little cilantro or parsley if desired.

Cheddar cheesy sauce and pasta

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Categories: Pasta, Recipes, Vegan


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