Mac ‘n Cashew Cheese with Smoky Tempeh or Tofu


Because what’s better than a delicious AND healthy version of your favorite comfort food? Oh, and  did we mention that it can easily be made gluten-free?! Just sub the soy sauce for liquid aminos (we love this brand) and use a gluten-free pasta (click here for our favorite brand) instead of a regular one!

With the following simple ingredients, you will have the yummiest cashew cheeze sauce that we promise you’ll love:

Raw Cashews, here is an organic kind

Veggie bouillon cubes or vegetable boullion

Nutritonal yeast, we use this brand


Mac ‘n’ Cashew Cheese with Marinated Tempeh

If you love carbs and (healthy) creamy cheese sauce, then this recipe is for you!
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course dinner


  • 3 cups uncooked pasta gluten free if necessary, amount could vary depending on type of pasta

For the cashew cheese:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened, plain rice milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon or 1 1/2 bouillon cubes
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder more if you like spice or omit for no spice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper more if you like spice or omit for no spice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the marinated tempeh or tofu:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce sub liquid aminos for a gluten free option
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 package tempeh or 1/2 block tofu gluten free option: if using tempeh, check ingredients or use tofu

For the topping:

  • A drizzle of Sriracha optional
  • A dash of paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for 3-4 hours.
  • While the cashews are soaking, combine all of the ingredients for the tempeh/tofu marinade in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • Slice tempeh/tofu into about 1/2 inch thick slices and place into marinade (if using tofu, press* it first). Use a tupperware or bowl with a lid so you can shake to completely over the tofu/tempeh. Place in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
  • After 3-4 hours have passed, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat oven to 400°F.
  • Line the tofu/tempeh on the baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway (depending on the firmness of the tofu, you may want to bake a bit longer).
  • Cook pasta (if gluten-free, check out this brand) according to the instructions on the box. Once cooked, strain and rinse.
  • Drain the cashews and put them into a food processor or high speed blender. Add in the rest of the ingredients for the cashew sauce. Blend on high until the sauce is creamy and fully blended (scraping the sides and re-blending if necessary). It will be pretty liquid-y but will thicken once heated.
  • Put cashew cheese sauce in a large skillet or deep pan and heat over low-medium for a few minutes. Stir until it thickens.
  • While the sauce is thickening, chop baked tempeh/tofu into bite-size pieces (if you’d like, you can save a few pieces for sandwiches or salads, as you will have plenty)!
  • Add pasta and tempeh/tofu to the cheese sauce and mix.
  • Serve immediately! Top with paprika, salt & pepper and a little sriracha if you want an extra kick!


To press, lay the tofu on a towel. Place another towel on top of the tofu and lay a heavy cutting board on top. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour to press out the water. This will help the tofu absorb the marinade.

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Six Vegan Sisters
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