Back in the day, when I first became a vegan (going on 8 years yo!), there were very few dairy alternatives that passed my snob taste tests, which makes me so happy writing this post today because not only is there 1 delicious vegan mac and cheese option out in the store, I’m reviewing 5 today! Yes, 5 vegan mac and cheese varieties for you to choose from and more are coming out as I’m writing this post! Of the 5 I’m reviewing today, 2 are even gluten-free! Times are a changing!
I’ve gone ahead and done the really tough work and really tricky research of trying all these different vegan mac and cheese options so that you don’t have to ;), but keep in mind that these are all similar to the boxed varieties that you might’ve had as a kid.
I was able to find all of these different mac and cheese varieties from Whole Foods, despite the Pastario, which you can buy online and apparently they’re in select Sprouts stores now!
I enlisted my vegan boyfriend, Jeff, to help me with this difficult task, not only to help me taste test all the varieties, but also ensure that I’m not ultra biased for this post! Amazingly enough, we agreed on all counts! So, these varieties are not only snob-approved, but they’re boyfriend approved as well ;).
Want more vegan recipes? Love fall? Be sure to download my favorite fall recipes here!
As a full disclaimer before I get into the dirty details, these are all excellent options, seriously. I remember back in ’07, I once had a vegan mac and cheese from the local co-op near my house and it was terrible!! I don’t remember who made it, but I’m just happy that there’s more, improved options out there today! I’m so excited that every time I go to the grocery store I see a new vegan option! I learn about a new vegan product everyday, I swear! My local Whole Foods even has a vegan cheese section now!
So here are the brands we tried:
5. Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Flavor
I was super excited for this option because Earth Balance is not only my go-to vegan butter option (are there even others yet?), but I love their vegan cheeze-its, vegan cheddar popcorn, etc! This variety has 8g of protein per serving, 260 calories, 51g carbohydrates, and 2.5 grams of fat. This particular brand requires you to add your own vegan butter and non-dairy milk, just like the old non-vegan versions.
This option is very similar to the blue boxed Kraft style, so if you like that type of mac and cheese, you’ll like this option! For Jeff and I, we found that this option was good, but we preferred the other flavors and varieties more.
4. Earth Balance Vegan White Cheddar Flavor
I only mentioned this here because apparently these two Earth Balance varieties are different, but in all honesty, neither Jeff nor I could tell the difference between this version and the cheddar version! The nutritional information is completely identical AND so are the ingredients. So whatever is in that “natural flavoring” must be the 1 reason that makes this different from the cheddar flavor. As far as Jeff and I are concerned, we think they’re the same thing in different packages and different coloring! Same review, same rating.
3. Road’s End Organics Mac and Chreese Cheddar Style
So this option is one of the options that is more like the shells option that was my favorite growing up. This option has a pretty great cheesy flavor, although it has 1 major downside for me (but maybe a plus for you!), whole wheat pasta. I get it, whole wheat pasta is healthier I like it, I like that, BUT when I’m opting for a boxed vegan mac and cheese, healthiness isn’t something I’m super concerned with. So for me, if it wasn’t whole wheat pasta, it would be an amazing option, but for me it’s just not what I’m looking for in a vegan mac and cheese. Some bonus points for this one are that this option is organic, which none of the others are, this one is soy-free, this one also boasts an impressive 13 grams of protein per serving. This variety has 330 calories, 66g carbohydrates, and 2 grams of fat. It’s a good option, but the whole wheat pasta dominates the flavor too much for me.
2. Pastariso Mac Uncheddar
This option is another like the traditional Kraft in the blue box variety, but way better! This is our favorite Kraft-style option because not only did it pass our snob taste test, but this option is also gluten-free! Bonus! Not only is this option vegan and gluten-free, but it’s also soy-free! This variety has 258 calories per serving, 50 carbohydrates, 10 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fat! This option is the best Kraft-style in our opinion because it tastes great, and it’s also gluten-free! The only downside to this one is that it’s a little bit more difficult to find, so order it online or check out your local Sprouts store!
1. Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac
Our favorite of the bunch is definitely this Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac not only is it the shells style, but it’s also the most flavorful and gluten-free! This one even comes with a weird little sauce packet, so you don’t need to add any extra vegan butter or non-dairy milk. This variety is gluten-free, soy-free, has 300 calories per serving, 48g of carbohydrates, 5g of protein, and 9 grams of fat. This version is the lowest protein count and the highest fat count, but it does have the best flavor. This option does have 1 downside though, it is more expensive than the other brands, so keep that in mind.
If you don’t want a quick-fix vegan option, then you could also make your own from scratch! Here’s my better than Velveta, vegan mac and cheese! Get the recipe here!
For a lighter, homemade option, check out my delicious, vegan cauliflower mac and cheese recipe here
So, if you want a quick-fix vegan option, be sure to try any of these options! Have you tried any? What are your favorites? Which ones did I miss?
P.S. Be sure to download my fall vegan recipes here if you haven’t yet!
Full Disclosure: I did receive a sample of the Pastario Mac Uncheddar for review; however, I paid for and reviewed all the other samples on my own accord, and the opinions expressed on this site are my own and true.