The Best Vegan Kimchi Mac and Cheese

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Vegan kimchi mac and cheese is easy to make and loaded with flavor! This slightly spicy mac and cheese comes together in just 30 minutes and is the perfect side dish for any lunch or dinner.

The Best Homemade Mac and Cheese

Everyone on the internet makes “the best” mac and cheese, right? Well, I call this the best homemade mac and cheese, because it’s my personal favorite mac and cheese. If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you know I am obsessed with our kimchi. I eat it every single day. So I’m not surprised at all that this is my favorite mac and cheese recipe.

Kimchi Macaroni and Cheese

I like to call this kimchi mac and cheese recipe “kimchi mac” for short. What is kimchi you ask? It’s the best fermented food around! It’s a cabbage-based fermented vegetable product with a lot of spice and heat from Gochugaru pepper. Kimchi usually includes garlic, and onion as well. There are over 200 kinds of kimchi though. You can read more about kimchi in this blog: Cultured Guru Fermented Kimchi: A Fermented Food Inspired by the Kimchi of Korea.

You can buy authentic Korean kimchi at any Asian market, and even at Whole Foods. If you’re looking for our Cultured Guru vegan kimchi, you can buy it here.

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese, with a Vegan Cashew Cheese Recipe

This is a vegan recipe, that’s a little bit healthier than traditional macaroni and cheese. I like to start this recipe by making the cheese sauce first. The trick to the perfect vegan cheese sauce is using raw cashews. Using roasted cashews results in a cheese sauce that’s a little gritty. No one wants that. Also, don’t skimp on the soaking step. I like to soak my cashews for at least an hour, so they get nice soft, which makes the sauce easier to blend.

For this recipe, I adapted the cheese sauce recipe from our Simple and Creamy Vegan Pasta with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce blog and substituted the sauerkraut brine for kimchi brine.

More Recipes with Kimchi

vegan macaroni on a white plate, mixed with a cashew cheese sauce made with kimchi, topped with red chili flakes
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The Best Vegan Kimchi Mac & Cheese

Vegan kimchi mac and cheese is easy to make and loaded with flavor! This slightly spicy mac and cheese comes together in just 30 minutes and is the perfect side dish for lunch or dinner. 

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Cups Raw Cashews, Soaked and Drained
  • 3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 Cup Kimchi Brine
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Cup Plant-Based Milk 

Pasta

  • 12 Ounces Noodles
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Kimchi
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Onion Oil

Instructions

  1. Boil water and cook the noodles according to the directions on the package.
  2. In a high-speed blender combine all of the sauce ingredients, and blend on high until smooth.
  3. In a pot over medium heat, add the oil and garlic. Cook until the garlic starts to brown.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and add the blended sauce to the garlic and oil. Stir continuously until the sauce is heated. (You can add more milk if you feel the sauce is too thick).
  5. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. 
  6. Add in the kimchi and sriracha, and mix to evenly combine.
  7. Serve and enjoy! 

Notes

  • for chili onion oil, I used the “chili onion crunch” from Trader Joe’s 

Keywords: Kimchi, Mac and cheese, vegan

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