For vegans or the lactose intolerant, one of the toughest dairy-based dishes to mimic is mac and cheese. While we question the amount of actual cheese involved in that powdery stuff from the box, we’d much rather DIY. These seven dairy-free mac and cheese recipes use nutritional yeast, nuts, and even cooked vegetables to create special diet-friendly pasta experiences. You're welcome.

no dairy mac: Vegan Bean and Squash Mac and Cheese

This protein-heavy mac’s “cheese” is a mixture of butternut squash for sweetness (and that classic orange color) and rich butter beans for creaminess. Add nutritional yeast to mimic cheese-level saltiness and a nutty sunflower seed crumble topping, because who needs bread crumbs anyway?

no dairy mac: Vegan Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese

So you don’t eat cheese. So what? There are plenty of ways to channel that salty flavor in your baked pasta, like sticky, roasted garlic. Let us be clear: This “cheese” sauce includes an entire head of creamy roasted garlic. If you need us, we’ll be in the kitchen.

no dairy mac: Vegan Butternut Mac and Cheese

This spicy, salty, creamy butternut mac sneaks in some green as well—but you won’t feel like you’re getting cheated out of your comfort food, we swear. Thinly sliced Brussels sprouts make a crispy topping for cream-sauced shell pasta, and we’re still not missing the bread crumbs one bit.

no dairy mac: Vegan Veggie Mac and Cheese

This “cheese” sauce is actually made from vegetables. Purée cooked carrots, onions, and potatoes, and stir into a simple roux of flour and nondairy milk. Top with a paprika and whole-wheat bread crumb mixture, for a crispy bit in every bite.

no dairy mac: Vegan and GF Mac and Cheese

Grab your favorite gluten-free pasta (quinoa! brown rice! corn!) and toss it in :clap: vegan nacho cheese sauce :clap:—also known as liquid gold. The secret to the sauce’s texture comes from soaked, blended cashews, which adds thickness without controlling flavor.

no dairy mac: Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Thanks to the pectin naturally occurring in cauliflower, this baked mac needs no other thickener. Boil the veg until soft, then blend with garlic and onions. Soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and turmeric make it cheesy and orange, like any good mac and cheese should.

no dairy mac: Vegan Carrot Mac and Cheese

This gluten- and dairy-free “cheese” sauce begins as a rice flour and olive oil roux, followed by dairy-free milk, carrot purée, and spices. Since this mac isn’t baked, a simple sprinkle of herbs and nutritional yeast is all that’s needed to finish.

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