For me, there’s hardly any food that screams deliciousness and comfort, like a warm bowl of freshly-cooked mac and cheese. And while the homemade versions taste the best, it’s unfair to call the boxed varieties a sacrilege.
Boxed mac and cheese can be good, too, i.e., if you choose the right brand.
Keep reading to learn about some of the best vegan mac and cheese brands I have discovered over the years.
But first, let’s discuss some basic things for those who may not know.
Is Pasta Vegan?
Most types of packaged pasta are vegan. However, it’s always recommended to check the ingredients list for eggs, as some might have it.
Eggs are typically found in fresh pasta varieties. But it’s better to always check. If there’s one thing I have learned over the years as a vegan, it’s to never just rely on hearsay and confirm every bit of information yourself.
What is Vegan Cheese Made Of?
Unlike pasta, there are no two views about the non-vegan-friendliness of classic cheese. However, as we all know, there are many dairy-free cheese options available on the market these days, and they are made using a variety of ingredients.
Vegan cheeses are usually made from nuts, like almonds, cashews, macadamias, soy, and vegetable oils. However, some might be prepared using arrowroot, tapioca, peas, tofu, coconut, and seeds, like pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds.
Top 10 Vegan Mac and Cheese Brands
Now that we’ve discussed the basics let’s discuss what this article is specifically written for – the best vegan boxed mac and cheese brands. While there are plenty of great options out there, here are some of my top picks:
1. Annie’s (LINK)
Annie’s is known for making natural and organic foods and catering to its consumers’ different dietary needs. Vegans are no exception.
Annie’s not only offers healthier varieties of vegan mac and cheese – with organic ingredients and no artificial colors and flavors – but it also has one of its largest (if not the largest) varieties.
Annie’s vegan mac ‘n cheese options include:
- Organic Vegan Microwaveable Cheddar Flavor Mac Cup
- Organic Vegan Shells & Creamy Sauce
- Organic Vegan Cheddar Flavor Mac
- Deluxe Rich & Creamy Shells & Vegan Cheddar
- Vegan Mac Gluten-Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar
- Vegan Red Lentil Spirals with Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Sauce
- Vegan Mac Shells & Sweet Potato Pumpkin Sauce
Go for the classic varieties if you’re craving the authentic flavor; according to user reviews, their vegan cheddar sauce tastes quite similar to the original one. But if you’re up for a little twist or want healthier vegan pasta options, try the ones with pumpkin and sweet potato sauce. You may find a new favorite.
The microwavable cup is a great option for days when you’re in a rush and looking for a quick, convenient, and hassle-free meal or want food on the go. Choose the Deluxe variety if you want a rich and creamier pasta dish.
In addition to being USDA-certified organic and vegan, Annie’s is also a Climate Pledge Friendly brand (another reason to buy from them).
Since Annie’s offer sa variety of healthy mac and cheese options, the names can sometimes be confusing. Just because a pasta dish is organic, gluten-free, or made with rice or lentil pasta doesn’t necessarily mean it’s vegan-friendly.
So, always look for the term ‘vegan’ in the name. You should pay attention to that while shopping for vegan mac and cheese from Annie’s.
2. Daiya (LINK)
Whether you’re on the hunt for a good vegan mac ‘n cheese that you can always go back to or on a spree trying out the various varieties of plant-based pasta available on the market, you can’t miss out on Daiya. After all, it’s a leading name in the plant-based cheese industry.
The brand offers dairy-free mac and cheese in six different flavors, ranging from the classic cheddar style to more interesting, spicier, and creamier varieties. The options include:
- White Cheddar
- Cheddar Jalapeno
- Four Cheeze with Herbs
- Meatless Bac’n & Cheddar
If this impressive lineup of flavors isn’t a good enough reason for you to stock your pantry with Daiya vegan mac and cheese, what I am going to tell you now will surely make you run to the nearest grocery store. The brand uses gluten-free brown rice pasta (brownie points for it)
Besides, you don’t need to run the grocery store; Daiya mac and cheese is available on Amazon, so you can order from your bed while dreaming about cheesy pasta.
3. Pastabilities (LINK)
Pastabilities may primarily be characterized by its punny name and fun pasta shapes, but its classic Italian manufacturing methods truly define and characterize this brand. The brand has been around since 1994 and makes an amazing variety of organic durum wheat pasta in small batches.
For a brand that makes just pasta, it only makes sense to offer mac and cheese, too. And Pastabilities offer quite a few varieties.
An important thing to note here is that all of the pastabilities’ pastas varieties are vegan, but not mac and cheese’s. This could be confusing, so it was important to clarify.
Look for the word ‘vegan’ when picking pastabilities mac and cheese to try; the plant-based varieties are clearly labeled.
Pastabilities vegan mac and cheese tastes great, but the brand doesn’t offer varieties in flavor. The primary difference between the various options is the type of pasta used.
This may not be a strong selling point for adults (unless you’re specifically looking for the classic flavor, which, as many say, the brand has nailed), but kids would love them.
If you have little ones at home, you would want to stock up on this plant-based mac and cheese. They are all organic and non-GMO certified, too.
4. Upton’s Naturals (LINK)
Upton’s Naturals is a comparatively new player in the food world (it opened up in 2006 only). But the Chicago-based vegan food company, which is an offshoot of a café of the same name in the windy city, has carved out a space for itself in a shorter period.
While the company’s primary focus is on vegan meat alternatives, it also offers a limited variety of vegan soup and mac and cheese.
Mac and cheese flavors, prepared using the time-tested recipe they use at their café, include the Original and Ch’eesy Bacon (with seitan bacon).
What makes Upton’s Naturals’ mac and cheese different from other brands is that these come with pre-cooked noodles. All you have to do is to mix the pasta and sauce and warm it up, and you have a hearty, comforting, delicious meal ready in two to three minutes.
Upton’s Naturals’ vegan mac is ideal for those busy weekdays when you have had a long day at work and have nothing to eat at home or surprise guests over for dinner.
In case you’re concerned about pre-cooked pasta (I was, too), there aren’t any negative reviews about it, so I am assuming they have cracked the code for making cooked noodles shelf-stable without ruining their taste and texture.
The sauce is made with nutritional yeast. It may not have the best color (muted yellow), but reviewers say it reminded them of real cheese sauce with a slight tanginess to it (coming from mustard).
There are many reasons to like Upton’s Naturals’ plant-based mac and cheese, but it surely takes the cake on time.
5. Goodles (LINK)
Goodless is a one-of-a-kind brand with a truly unique lineup of products. The brand makes food, clothing, shoes, and accessories. Within the food category, Goodles only makes mac and cheese. Weirdly interesting.
Although the company makes a few different varieties of mac and cheese, there is only one vegan option. Called Vegan Is Believin’, it’s the plant-based version of your good ol’ white cheddar mac.
Goodles vegan mac and cheese are not only delicious, but it’s also healthier. The pasta is made with wheat, chickpeas, and various organic vegetables. Here’s the full list of ingredients:
The cheese, on the other hand, is made from cashews and nutritional yeast.
Wondering why I have included a brand that only offers one option for plant-eaters in the list of best vegan mac and cheese brands. Because that’s how good they say it is.
According to some, it offered a good dose of nostalgia, taking them back to childhood with its classic, authentic flavor, while others say it reminded them of the Kraft Classic mac and cheese.
It has a subtle flavor, so if you like a kick of spice in your pasta, amp it up with some hot sauce.
6. Howl (LINK)
Howl, or Eat Howl, is a new kid on the block who got everyone’s attention. It defines itself as a brand that offers vegan food made by chefs, not scientists. However, at present, they only offer plant-based mac ‘n cheese (it’s the only product listed on their website).
Howl makes it vegan mac with house-made cashew cheese in three flavors:
- Sharp Cheddar
- Spicy Chipotle
- Roasted Garlic & Herb
7. Chickapea (LINK)
As a brand that specializes in making pasta from chickpeas and lentils, Chickapea is one of the top choices of health enthusiasts, vegan or not.
While the brand specializes in making organic chickpea pasta, it also offers vegan mac made with its signature chickpea lentil elbow macaroni and a rich and creamy pumpkin and sweet potato sauce. It’s not just plant-based but healthy, too.
8. Amy’s Kitchen (LINK)
Amy’s Kitchen needs no introduction. Having been around for about 25 years, Amy’s is a household name for convenience organic, vegetarian food. We all have had our refrigerators and pantries stocked with Amy’s foods at some point.
The brand also has a line of vegan foods, including mac and cheese. Its options include:
- Rice Mac & Cheeze – made with organic rice pasta
- Vegan Broccoli & Cheeze Bake – veganized version of classic Broccoli & Cheddar Bake made with rice pasta.
- Vegan Chili Mac & Cheeze – organic rice pasta with beans smothered in delicious tomato sauce.
Amy’s vegan mac and cheese are great, but these aren’t the only pasta options. The brand also offers a few other vegan pasta varieties, like lasagna and ravioli (is your mouth watering yet?), making it a go-to brand for vegan pasta lovers.
Another factor that makes Amy’s a cult favorite is that it offers ready-to-eat foods. The mac and cheese also come pre-cooked. All you have to do is to heat the vegan instant mac and cheese and dig in.
9. Road’s End Organics (LINK)
Road’s End Organics is a subsidiary of Edward & Sons, a big family of brands with about ten labels. Road’s End was established in 1998 to make ready-to-eat mac & cheese dinners for vegans.
The brand offers two varieties of plant-based, organic mac and vegan mac and cheese sauce. No more stressing over perfecting the sauce even when making mac and cheese at home; you can now whip up a delicious plant-based mac and cheese meal in minutes.
Road’s End organic vegan mac and cheese varieties include:
- Cheddar Style Mac & Chreese
- Gluten-Free Cheddar-Style Penne & Chreese
According to some online sources, the brand also offers vegan Alfredo; however, I couldn’t find it on the brand’s website or any other online store. So, it’s either out of stock or has been discontinued.
10. Field Roast
Field Roast is a brand that primarily makes plant-based meats and cheeses. But its product line also includes two pasta dishes – Creamy Mac’n Chao and Chili Mac’n Chao.
The creamy version offers the authentic flavor, whereas the chili one comes with a kick of spice and tanginess from the chef’s special mix and the brand’s own tomato cayenne cheese. It also has beans in it.
Both varieties come ready to eat. All you have to do is to defrost and heat them up to enjoy mouthwatering pasta meals anytime, any day.
For some reason beyond my comprehension, Field Roast mac and cheese isn’t available on Amazon, which is strange because the brand’s cheeses are there. You can get it easily from any other grocery or retail store, though. I have got a link for you as well.
Conclusion –Which is the Best Vegan Mac and Cheese Brand?
While the answer can vary depending on personal preferences, I would rate Annie’s as the best vegan mac ‘n cheese brand from the ones we have discussed.
Not only does the brand offers the largest variety of vegan mac and cheese, but it also provides alternatives to traditional wheat pasta for those who may want to avoid it for any reason. There are healthier sauce options, too.
Lastly, Annie’s is also certified organic, gluten-free, and Climate Pledge Friendly.
Tired of eating boxed mac and cheese and want to make your own at home this time? Check out the following video for a simple vegan mac and cheese recipe…
If you have decided to make vegan mac and cheese from scratch, check out my article Best Vegan Cheese Brands to make sure you buy the best quality cheese because, as we all know, it can make or break your dish.