This Vegan Gnocchi Mac & Cheese is the perfect dish to try out on your next date night in! Creamy cashew sauce meets pillowy soft potato gnocchi! A unique pairing to some but is now my absolute favorite way to shove delicious cheese sauce in to my face. Gnocchi takes a simple dish like Mac & Cheese and makes it a little bit more fancy. I even took in one step further and added toasted breadcrumbs on top for a nice crunch.
I’ve recently become obsessed with gnocchi! What is gnocchi? It’s basically an Italian dumpling made from flour and potato and served with a nice sauce. They are pillowy soft and delicate but still firm enough to chew. I haven’t made my own from scratch yet but that’s mostly because store-bought is so convenient and quick (cooks in 3 minutes!!) and it’s delicious with any sauce. I’ve been enjoying having it stocked in my pantry for nights when I want to spend less than 20 minutes in the kitchen. If you haven’t yet tried gnocchi, it’s a must!
Let’s Break it Down:
This dish comes together incredibly quick and will minimal effort. First, soak or boil the cashews. Either soak the cashews overnight or simply boil them for 15-20 minutes. Sauté some onions and garlic until soft and starting to brown. Add the cashews, onions, garlic, and remaining cheese sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Cook up the gnocchi and add in the cheese sauce. Stir until well mixed. Dry toast some panko breadcrumbs in a pan with a nice amount of seasoning. Serve the Vegan Gnocchi Mac & Cheese and finish the dish off by sprinkling on those toasty breadcrumbs. I like to garnish with fresh oregano and parsley!
What You Will Need For This Vegan Gnocchi Mac & Cheese
The only required kitchen essential is a high speed blender. The cashews are boiled for 15-20 minutes to make them softer but in order to get a smooth sauce you’ll need a good blender. Other than that, nothing fancy!
- Pre-made Gnocchi
- Nutritional Yeast
- Garlic Cloves
- Panko Breadcrumbs
Following the recipe exact will yield better results but here is what I recommend when it comes to substitutions.
- Gnocchi: I used store-bought gnocchi. Most of them are vegan but be sure to check the ingredients. If you’d rather make your own home-made gnocchi, go ahead! If you’re gluten-free, feel free to use cauliflower gnocchi. Trader Joe’s has a good one!
- Cashews: Cashews are what makes the sauce creamy and delicious but I’ve had success using a blend of steamed cauliflower and white potato. The texture will be different but the end result will still taste good.
- Nutritional Yeast: No substitute for this. It’s what makes this vegan sauce taste cheesy.
- White Miso: Highly recommend but if you don’t have it, leave it out. You’ll need to add more salt to taste.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Use normal breadcrumbs or make your own.
How To Make The Best Vegan Gnocchi Mac & Cheese
Soaking the cashews will help create a smooth and creamy sauce. Having a high speed blender will also help achieve this. Once done blending, rub a small amount of sauce in between your thumb and index finger. If you feel any texture, keep blending!
Don’t over cook the gnocchi. Drain as soon as they float so they remain soft and fluffy!
More Cheesy Recipes You Might Like:
If You Make This Recipe:
Tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I would greatly appreciate if you share your review in the comments below. Don’t forget to add if you made any fun substitutions. Thank you!
Vegan Gnocchi Mac & Cheese
- 1 lb Store-bought Gnocchi or home-made
- 3/4 cup Cashews soaked or boiled
- 1/2 of a Medium Yellow Onion
- 3-5 Garlic Cloves
- 3/4 cup Unsweetened Plant Milk
- 2 teaspoon White Vinegar or lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 teaspoon White Miso Paste
- 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- Pinch of Black Pepper
- Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Boil cashews for 15-20 minutes to soften.
- Dice yellow onion and mince garlic cloves. Heat a medium sized pan on medium-high heat with a tiny bit of oil. Cook the onion until soft and starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Add the boiled cashews, cooked onion and garlic, and the remaining sauce ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. Tip: Rub a pinch of the sauce between two fingers and if it has any texture keep blending for a few minutes.
- Mix together the breadcrumbs and seasoning mix. Heat a small pan on medium heat and dry toast the breadcrumbs until golden brown, tossing often. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Set aside.
- Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the gnocchi according to package. Once cooked, drain.
- Add the cheese sauce to a pot on low heat and cook for a few minutes until warmed through. Add the gnocchi and mix to coat. Spoon gnocchi in to bowls and sprinkle on the breadcrumb topping along with some fresh parsley and oregano if desired. Enjoy!