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Vegan Mac and Cheese served in a white bowl
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5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Vegan Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Vegan Mac and Cheese is healthy , flavorful ,super creamy, cheesy and is ready under 30 minutes with your electric pressure cooker
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword instant pot, instant pot pasta, mac and cheese, pasta recipes, pressure cooker recipes, vegan, vegan pasta
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 425kcal
Author Bhavana Patil

Ingredients

Measuring cup used 1 cup = 250 ml

    For Cooking Pasta:

    • 8 oz dry macaroni i used drum wheat pasta (about 2 cups) or any pasta
    • 2 cups water
    • salt to taste

    For Vegan Cheese Sauce:

    • 2 medium potatoes diced into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 medium carrot diced into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 small onion chopped
    • 2 cups water for cooking the vegetables
    • ½ cup cashews soaked for at least 15 minutes in hot water (65 gm)
    • ½ cup water for making cheese sauce
    • ¼ cup almond milk(60 ml) or coconut milk
    • 4 tablespoon nutritional yeast
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
    • salt to taste

    For serving:

    • steamed broccoli or green peas (optional)
    • a dash of paprika

    Instructions

    • Soak the cashews in hot water for at least 15-30 minutes before using them.

    Instant Pot Method:

    • I have used Pot-in-Pot (PIP) method to prepare this pasta dish.
    • Add macaroni pasta to the inner pot. Add water/broth, salt stir well to combine.
    • Meanwhile in an oven-safe bowl or stackable steamer insert pans add diced potatoes, carrot, onion, and 2 cups of water. Make sure veggies should be submerged in liquid.
    • Then place the trivet and then the veggies bowl with water. This way they will both cook together.
    • Close the Instant pot lid and turn the pressure valve to the SEALING position. Set on MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) for 4 minutes (or half the time on the macaroni cooking directions minus 1 minute).
    • When Instant pot beeps, do a QUICK RELEASE.
      Open the lid and see that the vegetables should be tender and cooked well along with the pasta.
    • Now, place all of the ingredients for the vegan cheese sauce ie soaked cashews, boiled veggies, seasoning ingredients, milk, water, lemon juice into a high-speed blender jar.
    • Blend the mixture until smooth. Don't worry if the sauce is runny. It will thicken on mixing with pasta.
      If the sauce is thick you can add some more milk or water for right consistency.
    • Pour vegan cheese sauce over your cooked macaroni pasta. Adjust salt and seasoning at this stage.
    • If mac and cheese haven’t thickened completely, turn the pot to SAUTE mode and cook for a few minutes while stirring.
    • Sprinkle a dash of paprika and serve the Instant Pot Pressure cooker Vegan Mac and Cheese warm!
      OR
      place macaroni mixture in a baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until crumbs are turning golden brown.

    Stovetop Pot Method:

    • Cook macaroni al dente according to the package instructions.
    • In a large pot pour 2-3 cups of water and bring it to boil and add diced potatoes, carrot, onions and cook till they are tender and soft. It roughly takes about 10 minutes.
      Cooking time will vary slightly, based on how big or small you have chopped your vegetables. Reserve some boiled water for making the vegan cheese sauce.
    • Now, place all of the ingredients for the vegan cheese sauce ie, soaked cashews, boiled veggies, seasoning ingredients, milk, water, lemon juice into a high-speed blender jar.
      Blend the mixture until smooth. Don't worry if the sauce is runny. It will thicken on mixing with pasta. If the sauce is thick you can add some more milk or water for the right consistency.
    • Add cheese sauce to the cooked pasta and give it a mix. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes to warm through.
    • Sprinkle a dash of paprika and serve the Vegan Mac and Cheese warm!

    Notes

    I have prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT.
     

    Tips & Variations

    Pasta cooking time: The time to cook pasta in an Instant pot is usually half of the suggested time on the pasta box minus 1 minute for al-dente pasta (if you like your pasta firm and are just done).
    For example, I made this recipe using dry macaroni which called for 10 minutes of cooking time. That makes it 4 minutes going by the rule of thumb.
    Keep pasta submerged: You have to make sure that all the pasta is submerged in the liquid before pressure cooking. If it is less, then add some more water or broth
    Pressure Release: Quick Release is very important for cooking pasta in the Instant Pot. So don’t forget else it will result in very soft pasta.
    You can also add steamed broccoli florets or green peas to this pasta, in the end, to make it more healthy and delicious.
    If you want this dish to be low-calorie and more weight-loss friendly, you can skip the cashews entirely. If you are allergic to nuts then use seed-based butter instead.
     
    Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 986mg | Sugar: 6g