Protein [Vegan] Macaroni and Cheese

I think I still have paint on my hands. Alex and I spent a portion of the weekend painting bookcases, a dresser, and a nightstand. The finish products came out quite well, even if I’m a super messy painter. We also managed to squeeze in a trip to Don’t Look Back, Carytown Burgers & Fries, and Urban Farmhouse. Plus Lindsay and I made it to happy hour with Sydney and her lovely friend Jennifer. Oh, and I got all dressed up with Kevin for the Equality Virginia dinner. Yes, busy weekend. weekend equality virginia

I’ve been kind of protein obsessed lately. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it’s good for you, or maybe because I’ve been running more, or maybe because I’m constantly being asked “how do you get enough protein?”…

But whatever the reason, it’s been on my mind. So when I had a craving for macaroni and cheese, I started thinking about how I could make a protein-packed dinner worth blogging about. I’ve made a vegan macaroni and cheese recipe before (here) but I wanted to make something a bit fancier. Something you’d want to serve for dinner. So armed with an idea, some nutritional yeast, and an adorable set of measuring spoons, I embarked on a quest for aΒ protein macaroni and cheese.


High Protein [Vegan] Macaroni and Cheese

3.0 from 1 reviews
Protein [Vegan] Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1 cup soymilk (or almond milk)
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance vegan margarine (or butter)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 8 oz whole wheat macaroni
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  1. Start by combining the first 5 ingredients in a sauce pan, and whisk over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the margarine is completely melted.
  2. Slowly whisk in the whole wheat flour, and continue to cook over low heat for 3 minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken.
  3. In a separate pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  4. Add in 8oz of macaroni and cook until the pasta is still just a tiny bit firm.
  5. Drain the pasta, and pour into an 8x8 baking dish or 4 large ramekins.
  6. Cover with cheese sauce and breadcrumbs and bake for 5 minutes at 350.
  7. Note: If your cheese sauce sets while your pasta is cooking, just whisk in a little extra soymilk to thin it out. Same thing for reheating. You may need to add a little soymilk into the dish and stir it around.

high protein vegan macaroni and cheese

I added up the ingredients, and 1/4 of this recipe (shown above) is about 300 calories and 32g of protein. Not bad for a comfort food.

Note: Alex and I decided this would be even better with a little bit of “real” cheese thrown into the mix. I was trying to keep the calories down, but if you’re not concerned with that (or keeping things vegan) you could certainly stir in a 1/2 cup of your favorite cheese, to get a little bit more of that ooey, gooey, macaroni texture.Β 

So maybe next time someone asks how I get protein… I’ll answer: Macaroni and cheese.

How do you get protein?


  1. I LOVE nutritional yeast and have yet to try making a cheese sauce with it. Considering Mac and Cheese is one of my favorite ‘comfort meals’ I’m saving this recipe to try next time I need some comforting!

  2. Yum this looks incredible! I love using nutritional yeast as a cheese sauce, I’ve done it before drizzled over pizza but never thought to do mac n cheese!

    To get protein I like tofu, nuts and seeds, dairy and I do eat some meat but probably every couple of days not every day.

  3. Ohhh delicious!!! Though I’ve never had nutritional yeast haha. But I love that picture with the measuring spoons!

  4. I haven’t had macaroni cheese in so long, this looks awesome!

  5. This looks so good! Red pepper flakes make everything better πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  6. So good! I made my own, just subbing the flour for a scoop of protein powder but this is awesome! If I am low for the day, I grab Greek yogurt πŸ™‚

  7. Mmm… I love Mac and Cheese! Such a comfort food! I haven’t made anything with nutritional yeast, but I’ve been dying to try it sometime!

  8. Oh my gosh! This sounds amazing!!! I am definitely saving this for when I get my hands on some nutritional yeast — thanks Liz!! πŸ˜€

  9. Mmmmmm cheese :):) I personal have never been able to use nooch in a good way. I mean I’ve mixed it with almond milk before to try to get a cheesy sauce, but I think I would have to throw some real cheese into the mix to really quench my cheese craving. I am after all, part mouse πŸ™‚

  10. Hahah oh you know- it’s impossible to get protein on a vegetarian diet ;)…GAH! My favorite way to get in extra protein is with eggs. If I feel like my meal could do with a protein boost, I chuck in a side of a few egg whites to do the trick!

  11. Mmmmm mac n cheese. I think it’s awesome that you’ve been into protein lately! haha

  12. Being pretty active, I do pay attention to how much protein I eat. I have found that I feel better when I make sure to have a good amount of it in my diet. My favorite vegetarian resources are lentils, tempeh, and Sunwarrior protein powder. πŸ™‚

  13. This recipe sounds fabulous! I love mac and cheese, and I have forever been looking for a great vegan version.

    One of the biggest misconceptions about a vegan diet is that you cannot get enough protein. It has begun driving me nuts when people constantly ask me about this. I kindly (try to ;)) tell them that I get my protein from tofu, tempeh, seitan, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, lentils, beans, etc., etc., etc.!!

  14. That looks really good for a Mac-n-Yeast! I might have to make this dish when I go to my vegan friend’s housewarming.

  15. It must have been the weekend for painting I did that some too!

  16. Oh yum – mac ‘n cheese is one of my favorite meals ever, and I’m a big fan of the mac ‘n yeast versions too.

    Favorite way to get protein? Definitely Greek yogurt. I could probably eat some kind of version of a yogurt bowl for every meal and be perfectly content.

  17. I was craving cheesy creaminess this weekend—because of that renewed love for pizza I mentioned in a previous comment–and had my first experiment with making a vegan cheese sauce. It turned out wonderfully, although it has more of an herbed gravy-like quality that I think I could overcome with perhaps a bit higher nutritional yeast ratio…if I wanted to. πŸ™‚ It worked for cooking into a cheesy rice bake AND it thickened up enough to almost be fondue when I heated it on the stove.

    This really has nothing to do with anything except to say that I was doing similar experimenting…

  18. I was excited to see this post. I put protein in like everything!! I get a lot of my protein from eggs and protein powder! I cook and bake with protein powder a lot. The mac n cheese looks pretty darn great!

  19. I’ve never tried nutritional yeast, mostly because I have no clue whatsoever to use it in, but no one can turn down mac ‘n cheese – this would be a great first timer recipe to try πŸ™‚

  20. I have been wanting to use my nutritional yeast- I am so going to make this with half nutritional yeast and half cheese- ooeey gooeey proteiney mac and cheese!

  21. Just pinned this and I can’t wait to make it. I’ve been experimenting with a vegan diet over the weekend and want to try making meals with nutritional yeast. Looks great!

  22. Nice creative recipe! Although I think I’m a classic mac & cheese girl with good old fashioned cheese, milk, & butter πŸ™‚

  23. Mmmm mac and cheese sounds so good right now! I am in an eating mood today. I just want to munch even though I am not actually hungry. Maybe a dish like this could take the urge to eat away!!

  24. Yowza that’s a lot of nutritional yeast. But it is so yummy and cheese-like so I totally understand the enthusiasm for the stuff πŸ™‚ Macaroni and Cheese is such a classic. However, I’ve never been a fan of the breadcrumb topping. I know so many people who won’t eat it any other way but I guess I just prefer things plain.

    Not to down your recipe though because it sounds fantastic! I’ve been trying to find a good cheeze sauce recipe to experiment on my unsuspecting parents πŸ™‚ I’ll definitely take a cue from your book- The more nutritional yeast the better!

  25. 32 grams of protein…woo hoo! That’s awesome! I’ve made a cheezy vegan sauce before and it turned out great. I love the nuttiness of nutritional yeast – tastes good on/incorporated into anything.

  26. Love it! A brilliant idea. πŸ™‚

  27. I don’t think many of us associate protein with mac and cheese at all. This looks so good though!!

  28. Homemade macaroni and cheese is one of the best casserole dishes out there! I’m not vegan but it is always great to have the occasional dairy free meal seeing as I get so much of it!

  29. I haven’t looked in some time… is the nutritional yeast what pumped up the protein? Pretty impressive stats!

  30. I have been meaning to purchase some nutritional yeast for recipes just like this but alway seem to forget. Totally wish I had some right about now =(

  31. Noooch! πŸ˜‰ I’m making some mac n’ cheese tonight, part with nutritional yeast and part with a bit of low-ish fat cheddar. I’m pretty excited…

  32. That is an incredibly inventive recipe! Unfortunately I cannot eat it (due to intestinal issues and allergies) but it does look stunningly delicious! πŸ™‚

    I get my protein from…. animals! I love salmon (obsession) and I also adore grass-fed red meats like beef, elk, ostrich, venison and bison πŸ™‚

  33. This sounds delicious, Liz! I have to try it. Of course, I’m not likely to get Ralph to try it…but maybe if I don’t tell him what it is!

  34. I got this website from my friend who told me about
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  35. Try using unflavored pea protein powder. Probably the best way to get alot of protein as a vegan. Perfect for athletes and even body builders. You can use it for the cheese sauce.

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