Macaroni and Cheese with Cashew Cream


A skillet-toasted bread crumb topper provides buttery crunch to this homemade mac and cheese from Gina Homolka.

Macaroni and Cheese with Cashew Cream
Photo: Carson Downing
Total Time:
25 mins
6 cups


  • ½ cup raw cashews

  • 1 cup water, plus more as necessary

  • Kosher salt

  • 8 ounce whole-grain macaroni elbows or other short pasta

  • 2 ½ cup broccoli florets

  • 1 teaspoon butter*

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese*

  • 1 ½ tablespoon grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast*

  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder

  • Toasted Bread Crumbs (optional; see recipe)


  1. For cashew cream: In a blender combine cashews and 1 cup water. Blend on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes. (If not using a high-speed blender, soak your cashews in boiling water 2 to 4 hours before blending.)

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli for last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

  3. In the same pot, heat butter over low. Add cashew cream, cheddar cheese, Parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk constantly until cheddar is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add pasta to pot and stir, adding enough of the reserved cooking liquid until creamy. Adjust salt as needed. If desired, top with Toasted Bread Crumbs. Serves 4.


This recipe is easy to adjust for food intolerances or diets. Substitute gluten-free macaroni, use dairy-free butter and cheddar (Gina recommends Violife brand), or substitute dairy-free Parmesan (Go Veggie is Gina's go-to) or nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a dairy-free ingredient often used as a substitute for Parmesan.Nutrition analysis: 403 calories, 15 g protein, 56 g carbohydrate, 16 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 9 g total fiber, 4 g total sugar, 7% Vitamin A, 57% Vitamin C, 354 mg sodium, 4% calcium, 32% iron

Toasted Bread Crumbs:

In a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium. Add 1/2 cup panko. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, thyme, rosemary, or basil.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

429 Calories
20g Fat
50g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 429
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 319mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 50.9mg 255%
Calcium 253mg 19%
Iron 5.3mg 29%
Potassium 327mg 7%
Folate, total 48.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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