Vegan Buffalo Veggie Mac and Cheese

March 11, 2013

Photos updated on 3/11/2014. Brussels sprouts are one of those things that I’ve heard so many awful things about, I never bothered to try them.  Recently, they’ve been popping up on pretty much every blog I read, so I figured I’d finally give them a try.  I saw a recipe for Buffalo Veggie Pasta bake over on Coffee and Quinoa that was full of Brussels sprouts.  Given my not-so-secret new love of Buffalo sauce, I just had to try it out.  Erica goes on about her love of cheese, so I felt a little bad veganizing this recipe.  But, sorry I’m not sorry– the vegan version is AMAZING! Vegan Buffalo Veggie Mac and Cheese Because this was my first time with Brussels sprouts, I didn’t want to put too many in.  Once I tasted them, I was so upset I didn’t add more!  They soaked in flavor from the cheese sauce so well and played nicely with the spicy hot sauce.  I also mashed up an avocado to include in the cheese sauce, which gave it an insanely creamy texture for a vegan sauce.  If you don’t like any of the veggies in this, feel free to sub them out but I really liked the combo. Vegan Buffalo Veggie Mac and Cheese I know bleu cheese is the thing to mix with Buffalo sauce, but I have a Penicillin allergy, so it’s not safe for me to eat unless I want to be covered in hives (beautiful picture, right?  Your welcome).  Josh is Ranch-obsessed, so he drizzled his with Ranch dressing, while I’m sour cream obsessed, so that’s the route I took.  Both options were tasty ones and helped tame the spiciness.  Be sure to adjust the hot sauce to taste!  If you add too much, no amount of creamy dressing is going to make it edible for you.

Vegan Buffalo Veggie Mac and Cheese


Author: Kelly Hutchinson

Serves: 8


  • 8 oz whole wheat shell pasta or GF pasta

  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

  • ½ yellow onion, minced

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced

  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, rough chopped

  • ½ pound Brussels sprouts, sliced into circles

  • 3 c unsweetened almond milk (or other milk)

  • 1 ½ c nutritional yeast

  • 4 tbsp cornstarch

  • ½ tsp liquid smoke

  • 1 avocado (Optional)

  • ¼ – ½ c Franks RedHot (I used ½ c)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and grease a casserole dish.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.

  3. While the pasta is cooking, begin sauteing veggies in a large pan (I used a thin layer of water, but you could use oil or butter). Start with the garlic, onion, and carrots. Add the mushrooms and Brussels once the carrots have begun to soften. Continue until veggies are your desired texture: they will not soften any more while baking.

  4. Mix together the milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, liquid smoke, and hot sauce. Mash the avocado, adding a little water as necessary to form a paste. Stir into the hot sauce mixture.

  5. Pour the sauce over the veggie saute and allow to thicken slightly.

  6. Mix the veggies with sauce with the noodles. Pour into prepared pan.

  7. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until the sauce is nice and creamy, stirring about halfway through if the top starts to look a little dry.

  8. Top with bleu cheese, Ranch dressing, sour cream, or anything you want and serve.

Serving size: 1/8 recipe Calories: 270 Fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 46g Fiber: 13g Protein: 19g


I originally wrote the recipe using avocado — I’ve since tried without and it is just as rich and creamy. Nutritional estimate does not include avocado. [br]This casserole gets better with age. On day 2, the sauce looks and feels even more like real cheese.


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    stephanie Apr 02, 2013

    OMG I am new to your blog…this looks amazing! I have a vegan mac n cheese recipe that I usually use and is amazing, but didn’t know how adding hot sauce to it would be so I searched for one and came across yours! I am definitely making it this week:)

      Kelly Apr 02, 2013

      Let me know how it turns out!

    Reeni Mar 13, 2013

    I love adding veggies to mac and cheese! Never did it with brussels sprouts! Or avocado. Love it!

    Ashley Mar 13, 2013

    I’ve never had brussels sprouts! I always hear bad things about them so I never bothered…. but you may have convinced me : ) This looks great! I love the idea of topping with some sour cream

      Kelly Mar 13, 2013

      This was my first time trying them. At least if you don’t like them, there’s plenty of noodles and carrots to eat instead plus the hot sauce dilutes the flavor a little 😉 Perfect way to try them, I think.

    Ashley Bee Mar 12, 2013

    I need to try this, the only vegan cheese I ever made was terrible. I’m not vegan, but it’d be nice to shave off some calories with a vegan version.

      Kelly Mar 12, 2013

      Id super recommend this mac and cheese or the cheese sauce…or the bbq veggie enchiladas. It honestly took me 2 tries eating the exact same thing before I came around to nutritional yeast, but these are some of the best tasting ways to have it. The cheese sauce would be the least time intensive, so if you don’t like it you didn’t waste an hour making dinner– use it quick nachos, yum!

    crazyforcrust Mar 11, 2013

    I’ve never had brussels sprouts! I’m scared of them. But I bet I’d like this…

      Kelly Mar 11, 2013

      I was scared, too! I think this was the perfect way to try them. They had enough flavor from the sauce that the brussels sprouts flavor was very subtle.

    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} Mar 11, 2013

    Thanks for the shout-out! Love that you veganized it – I will have to try your vegan version! 🙂

    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry Mar 11, 2013

    Brussel sprouts are still not my favorite vegetable but I think drowned in cheese would it tolerable. And this recipe as whole sounds knock your socks off good!

    Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen Mar 11, 2013

    I’m a new brussel sprouts convert too. This recipe looks great. I’m constantly looking for more vegetable heavy recipes with fewer grains. Mac n cheese is always a win!

    makingthymeforhealth Mar 11, 2013

    This sounds delicious. I would love some for lunch right about now! 🙂

      Kelly Mar 11, 2013

      I had some left overs for lunch today, soo tasty!

    Sally Mar 11, 2013

    I jsut about died and gone to heaven here. 🙂 I’ve never made a vegan mac and cheese before! And the liquid smoke you added- I love it! And I adore brussels sprouts! And mushrooms. So many insanely delicious things in this Kelly!! I can’t wait to make it. Pinned!

      Kelly Mar 11, 2013

      It seems like most people haven’t tried a vegan mac and cheese before, I love them and make them all the time. Thanks for pinning– let me know if you try it!

    marcie@flavorthemoments Mar 11, 2013

    What a great idea….veggie mac & cheese! I’m in love with brussels sprouts. I was probably the only kid on the planet that ate them AND liked them. I love them roasted, sauteed, etc, but have seen them in salads a lot. The leaves basically take the place of lettuce. I had one brussels sprout salad with egg and marcona almond in a nice vinaigrette. Sky’s the limit!

    rebacox- Not So Perfect Life Mar 11, 2013

    Brussel sprouts are my favorite vegetable. BUT they are only good roasted, grilled or fried. This looks awesome!

      Kelly Mar 11, 2013

      Do you have any good recipes? I have half a pound of them left and I’m willing to be a little more adventurous now.

    cleaneatingveggiegirl Mar 11, 2013

    And….yet another recipe that I had to bookmark immediately! This sounds SO good. Plus, that fact that it is vegan is awesome. Keep the great recipes coming :).

      Kelly Mar 11, 2013

      Thanks! I know you like spicy, so I figured you’d like this one 🙂

        cleaneatingveggiegirl Mar 11, 2013

        I sure do! Sometimes a little too isn’t so great for my acid reflux! :/

          Kelly Mar 11, 2013

          I get awful heartburn, too 🙁 Usually just smelling something spicy will do it to me, so I might as well eat it.