A simple, creamy and delicious Instant Pot vegan mac and cheese that you and your picky eaters will love! It’s cheesy, it’s EASY and comes together in no time at all!
If you haven’t hopped on the Instant Pot train yet, this vegan mac and cheese is just one more great reason why you should! Just like my sweet potato mac and cheese, this version is creamy, luxurious and an absolute crowd pleaser.
This simply delicious and filling pasta dish is one that will satisfy the entire family. Guaranteed to be a complaint-free and peaceful dinner. If that’s not reason enough to try this…
here’s more reasons why you’ll love it!
- It’s ready in LESS than 25 minutes, including the time you’ll need to gather your ingredients and for your Instant Pot to reach pressure.
- While pasta alone is not necessarily a wholesome choice, this cheese sauce is nutrient dense, using cashews to provide a protein boost with heart healthy fats.
- Plus, there are no processed ingredients in this cheese sauce, unlike most boxed mac and cheese you can purchase at the supermarket.
- So much flavour is jam packed into just 8 ingredients, and that includes the salt and water!
How to make it
(This is a summary with step-by-step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
First, gather your ingredients.
Then add ALL the cheese sauce ingredients with only 2 cups of the water to a blender and process until smooth and creamy. (photos 1-3)
NOTE: If you do not have a high speed blender, like a Vitamix, be sure to soak your cashews first, then drain before blending. (see notes below)
Transfer the sauce to your pot and add the remaining 3.5 cups of water. Add your dry pasta and give it a quick stir before sealing the lid. (photos 4-5)
Make sure your valve is in the sealing position, and then set to high pressure for 4 minutes. Quick release once the timer completes and remove the lid once safe to do so. (photo 6)
Notice the pasta will appear extra saucy when you first open the lid, but just give everything a few good stirs, and the pasta will quickly absorb the extra sauce. (photo 7)
Serve as is, or garnish your bowls with fresh chives, parsley or cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!
Can I make it on stove top?
Yes, of course!
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook your pasta on stove top, according to package directions.
Then make the sauce, as directed, using two cups of water. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, return to the pot and pour the sauce on top. Mix well and serve.
How long does it keep?
Leftovers keep refrigerated in a sealed container for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing, as it alters the texture of the pasta.
The pasta will continue to absorb the sauce as it cools. So, when reheating, make sure to add some plant milk or broth to your pan.
Can I make any substitutions or variations?
If you want to amp up the nutrients, add 2 cups of frozen peas or mixed frozen veggies to the pot before pressure cooking. Or serve it along some air fried broccoli.
Although I haven’t tested it this way, you can probably substitute the cashews for sunflower seeds or pepitas if you need a nut free option.
Use your favourite type of noodle, it doesn’t have to be macaroni. Penne or rotini also make great choices.
Tips for Success
- If you do not have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, soak your cashews in boiling hot water for at least 30 minutes. Then drain and use as directed. This will help soften your cashews, making them easier to process into a smooth vegan cheese sauce.
- Note that your mac and cheese might appear a bit watery upon removing the lid. However, a few stirs and that extra sauce will quickly absorb.
More Instant Pot recipes you’ll love
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes No Drain!
- Vegan Pumpkin Risotto
- Thai Peanut Chickpea Soup
- Instant Pot Unstuffed Peppers
- Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles
If you tried this recipe, please let me know about it in the comments below. I always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to Subscribe to This Healthy Kitchen to be among the first to get my new recipes! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to see more delicious food and get all the latest updates.
Instant Pot Directions
- Add all the ingredients (EXCEPT the pasta AND using ONLY 2 cups of the water) to a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to your Instant Pot and add the remaining 3.5 cups of water and stir. Then place the pasta on top and gently push it down into the sauce.
- Close the lid and ensure the valve is set to the sealing position. Then cook on high pressure for 4 minutes (it will take about 10 minutes to reach pressure) and quick release immediately once the timer is complete. Open the lid once safe to do so, give everything a good stir, and serve.
Stove Top Directions
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook your pasta according to package directions. Then drain and return to the pot.
- Meanwhile, add the cheese sauce ingredients (using ONLY 2 cups of the water) to your blender and process until smooth. Pour the sauce over your drained pasta, mix well, and serve.