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Protein-Packed Macaroni Sans Cheese-completely plant-based and nutritious!
5 from 2 votes

Macaroni Sans Cheese

A nutritious macaroni and cheese meal that is plant-based and packed with protein! A delicious meal on its own or a healthy side!
Course Meal Recipes, Small Bite Recipes
Cuisine Pasta, Sides, Vegan
Servings 6 - 8 bowls


  • 1 cup yellow split peas cooked
  • 1 cup cauliflower steamed
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil sub olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 2 1/4 cups plant-based milk almond, cashew, or sunflower milk, plus more to thin
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pink salt (<g class="gr_ gr_71 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del" id="71" data-gr-id="71">sub sea</g> salt) plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 box of elbow pasta cooked
  • Fresh parsley chopped (optional)

Sunflower Crumble:

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds raw and unsalted
  • pinch of pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the elbow pasta following the box instructions.
  2. Rinse the split peas with cold water and remove any stones or debris. Place them in a saucepan and cover with water (about 1.5 cups). Bring the water to a boil, turn off heat and cover with a lid. Do not remove the lid until about 20 minutes.
  3. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, until just starting to brown. Turn down heat to low, and add 2 cups of the plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, and arrowroot powder. Whisking with a rubber spatula constantly, until you get a smooth and thick sauce, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sauce, steamed cauliflower, cooked yellow split peas, sweet paprika, salt and pepper, and apple cider vinegar to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy (if the mixture is too thick, add 1/4 cup of plant-based milk at a time, until the desired creaminess).
  5. To a casserole dish, add the cooked, al dente elbow pasta and gently stir in the sauce until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle the sunflower crumble evenly, on top of the pasta. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven, top with fresh, chopped parsley and serve immediately!

Sunflower Crumble:

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until you get a coarse meal.

Recipe Notes

Leftovers stored in a container in the refrigerator. When reheating, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake in a casserole dish for 15 minutes. If the macaroni is too dry, add a tablespoon of plant-based milk at a time while mixing.