Have vegan guests coming for Thanksgiving? Make Tabitha Brown's mac and cheese

When we go down our list of favorite Thanksgiving sides, mac and cheese ranks high. Plus, it’s a personal belief that everyone should have the option to enjoy a delicious cheesy pasta on any holiday if they so desire.

And if you’re vegan, Tabitha Brown has you covered.

Her recipe for vegan mac and cheese comes from the actress and author’s debut cookbook, “Cooking from the Spirit: Easy, Delicious, and Joyful Plant-Based Inspirations” which hit shelves in October.

According to her recipe, her vegan mac and cheese tastes as good as the real deal.

You won’t find ingredient measurements in Brown’s recipe because she wants to encourage readers to trust themselves in the kitchen and to cook from the spirit, as the cookbook’s name relays.

Forget dinner rolls for Thanksgiving: Serve Ina Garten’s brown butter skillet cornbread instead

Vegan Mac & Cheese


  • Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes (the more you use, the sweeter the taste)
  • Russet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • Salt-free garlic and herb seasoning (I like McCormick)
  • Uncooked macaroni noodles
  • Sea salt
  • Vegan butter
  • Unsweetened plain cashew or almond milk yogurt
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Vegan cheddar cheese shreds
  • Vegan mozzarella cheese shreds
  • Garlic powder
  • Vegetable broth

For serving:

  • Sweet paprika (optional)
  • Sliced avocado (optional)
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • Everything bagel seasoning* (I like McCormick) (optional)

*Remember—when using any seasoning that contains salt, don’t be heavy-handed!


  1. Put the butternut squash and potato in a pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add some seasoning to the boiling water (as much as you want, because that’s your business). Boil until the squash and potatoes are very tender. Drain (a little moisture is fine), and sit to the side.
  2. If you’re going to bake the mac and cheese, preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a casserole or baking dish (a 9 x 13–inch pan is good if you’re making a full pound of pasta).
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add your macaroni noodles. Add a little sea salt and seasoning to the boiling water. If you’re going to serve these straight from the pot, cook until they’re done like you like to eat them. If you’re going to bake the mac and cheese, undercook them slightly (they’ll cook a little more in the oven). Drain the noodles and set aside.
  4. In a large saute pan, melt some butter over medium heat with the squash and potatoes. Add the yogurt, nutritional yeast, cheddar and mozzarella shreds, and some garlic powder. Cook, stirring, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is real creamy.
  5. Stir in a little broth to loosen the sauce.
  6. Add the drained noodles to the cheese mixture and mix it all up well.
  7. You can serve the mac and cheese now, and people, especially kids, will love it! But if you’re baking it, transfer the noodles and sauce to the prepared casserole and scatter some more cheese on top, if you’d like. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the mac and cheese gets a little crispness on top. That’s the Southern way.
  8. Top with paprika, if you’d like to. And if you’re feeling fancy, serve it up on plates with sliced avocado, sriracha, and everything bagel seasoning. That’s a little California spin I do sometimes. Enjoy!

From Cooking from the Spirit by Tabitha Brown. Copyright 2022 by Tabitha Brown. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Have vegan guests coming for Thanksgiving? Make Tabitha Brown’s mac and cheese

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