This vegan jalapeno popper mac and cheese is the ultimate creamy & delicious mac and cheese recipe. Made with a creamy cashew sauce and filled with bits of jalapeno pepper for an extra kick!

vegan jalapeno popper mac and cheese

This post is in partnership with Carrington Farms.

Today is a special day. Because today is the day for vegan jalapeno popper mac and cheese. That’s right. We’re doing creamy cheesy cashew sauce loaded up with garlic, onion, jalapenos, tossed together with macaroni, topped off with coutrons and then broiled to perfection.

Drooling yet? 

Vegan Mac and Cheese – Comfort and Health Food?

This is one of those recipes that falls under the category of ultimate comfort food. I’m talking bundle up in a big sweater, sit by the fireplace (or if you don’t have one like me, lighting a candle totally counts.) and eat a big bowl of mac and cheese. (Then when you’re done why not make a big bowl of vegan pumpkin alfredo? #carblife)

Although this is comfort food, this is one of those ‘sneaky’ comfort food recipes that is secretly still pretty healthy. The base of the sauce is made from raw cashews (healthy) and gets tossed up with garlic, onions and jalapenos. (healthy, healthy, healthy.) Then it all gets mixed up with pasta of your choice, (I opt for whole-grain to keep it extra healthy) and topped gluten-free croutons!

A few notes on this recipe: 

This vegan jalapeno popper mac and cheese starts off with a creamy cashew sauce and vegan cream cheese. If you can’t find vegan cream cheese at your local grocery shop, you can just omit it from the recipe entirely.

The sauce will be partially prepared in the blender, and then gets finished up in a pan. The sauce will be quite liquid after blending-don’t worry! It will thicken up a lot in the pan and become rich & creamy. 

One of my favourite tricks to making any pasta recipe extra creamy is to reserve some pasta water to add back to the sauce. For this recipe, set aside 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta. (Trust me on this one!) 

This mac and cheese gets finished up in the oven on broil. DO NOT leave it in the oven for too long. 1-2 minutes is all you’ll need. Make sure to keep an eye on it so you don’t end up with burnt mac and cheese!

vegan jalapeno popper mac and cheese

This vegan jalapeno popper mac and cheese is: 

  • Made with naturally & healthy ingredients 
  • Can be made gluten-free or whole-grain (whatever pasta you like!)
  • Makes the ultimate healthy comfort food! 
vegan jalapeno popper mac and cheese

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vegan jalapeno popper mac and cheese

Vegan jalapeno popper mac and cheese

  • Author: Jess
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American


Say hello to the ultimate comfort food! This mac and cheese is the best!


  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight then drained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegan cream cheese
  • 250 grams pasta of choice (I used gluten-free cavatappi)
  • 1/2 cup of crounons or gluten-free croutons, crushed 


  1. Add the cashews, water, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, salt and pepper to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  3. Heat the avocado oil in a pan on medium-high heat, then add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Next, add the garlic and jalapenos and cook for another minute.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add the cream cheese and cashew sauce to the pan, stirring until everything is well incorporated.
  6. Add the pasta and 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pan and mix everything together, letting cook for 2-3 minutes until thick and creamy.
  7. Transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish and top with the crushed croutons.
  8. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes (keep a close eye on it!) until browned.
  9. Remove and serve.


Salt your pasta water to give your pasta some extra flavour! If you can’t find vegan cream cheese you can just omit it from this recipe.


  • Calories: 395
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 13g

Keywords: dairy-free mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese, healthy mac and cheese

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