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Protein-Packed Macaroni Sans Cheese-completely plant-based and nutritious!

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 Appetizer, sides
Cuisine New American-Inspired
Keyword mac n cheese, split pea recipes, vegan, vegan mac n cheese, vegan macaroni cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 - 8 bowls
Author Tracey Gene


  • 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 ¼ cups plant-based milk almond, cashew, or sunflower milk, plus more to thin
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon pink salt plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ box of elbow pasta cooked
  • Fresh parsley chopped (optional)
  • Sunflower Crumble:1/2 cup sunflower seeds raw and unsalted
  • pinch of pink salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and cook the elbow pasta following the box instructions.
  • Rinse the split peas with cold water and remove any stones or debris.  Add them to a saucepan and cover with water (about 1.5 cups). Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat, and cover with a lid. Do not remove the lid until about 20 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Add the cooked, al dente elbow pasta to a casserole dish 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:Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until you get a coarse meal.


Store leftovers in a container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When reheating, preheat the 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.