Vegan Chorizo Mac and Cheese

This vegan chorizo mac and cheese has only a few simple ingredients and tastes delicious! 

Vegan Chorizo Mac and Cheese ~ Savory Simple ~

Many of you probably don’t know that I spent a little over a year working as a line cook and pastry chef at a vegan restaurant near Washington DC. It began as my school externship and I stuck around for awhile after graduating because I liked the experience. Several people have asked why I chose to work in a vegan restaurant. There were many reasons. First of all, I was very annoyed by the stuffy attitude at my school where the instructors constantly insisted that a real meal must always include meat. I’m not even a vegetarian and I think that’s a load of crap. They need to get with the times. Secondly, I wanted to try something completely different after 6 months of non-stop heavy French cuisine. I wanted to think outside the box. The contentious side of me enjoyed telling my classmates where I was headed as they stared at me in horror. I was ultimately very glad I did this because I feel like I got a more well rounded education. I bet most of them would turn up their noses at this vegan chorizo macaroni and cheese but that’s their loss. This dish is incredibly comforting and perfect for vegans, vegetarians or anyone who likes to take a break from meat every now and then. You’d never know this was missing the cheese and real sausage aside from the fact that you feel much less heavy after eating it than you would after the real thing.

Vegan Chorizo Mac and Cheese ~ Savory Simple ~

I’ve used some specific brands in the recipe. For the most part I prefer to let you choose the brands but I recommend Daiya here. I cannot promise the same results if you use a different brand. Daiya melts like regular cheese which is why it works very well. I’m not a huge fan of the flavor by itself but when combined with nutritional yeast and soy milk it’s oddly reminiscent of Velveeta. Not elegant but pretty darn tasty. If you’re aware of a good substitute please let me know it in the comments!

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Vegan Chorizo Mac and Cheese

This vegan chorizo mac and cheese has only a few simple ingredients and tastes delicious!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 487
Author Jennifer Farley


  • 1 pound pasta shells
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups soy chorizo, diced small (I recommend Field Roast or Trader Joe's)
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 3 cups Daiya cheddar style shreds
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast


  • Prepare pasta shells according to package directions and set aside.
  • In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil and then pan fry the chorizo. Allow it to caramelize well. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, bring soy milk to a simmer over medium. Whisk in Daiya cheddar and nutritional yeast and continue stirring until the "cheese" has dissolved and the sauce has thickened.
  • Combine the pasta with 3/4 of the "cheese" sauce. Serve in bowls garnished with the chorizo crumbles and some extra sauce drizzled on top.


Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 783mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3.4% | Calcium: 15.6% | Iron: 47.4%

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About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

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  • I love that you chose a vegan restaurant externship!

    have you tried the (newer) Daiya wedge cheese? I have never really been a fan of the shreds either, and find the flavor of the blocks is much better! they have a jalapeno havarti (my favorite!) a jack and a cheddar… all melt wonderfully. I combine them with milk and tahini for an awesome cheese sauce…

    this sounds divine – thanks for sharing!

  • i’m not thoroughly vegan or vegetarian, but we don’t eat much meat. This really appeals to me. I use soy chorizo a lot, but I’m never completely sure where to land on the cheese, so I’m happy to have an actual recipe. Sometimes “winging it” hasn’t worked well. LOL!

  • Nutritional yeast is the best! I eat it almost every day! And with Daiya and soymilk, you hit the jackpot on this one. And love your story of WHY you chose to work in a vegan restaurant. I can only imagine how frowned-upon vegan food would be by some people in the culinary school world (I will never forget what you wrote in the culinary school post of yours that I think about often) and here’s to making some noochy mac ‘n cheeze!

  • Photo is gorgeous! I have never made mac n cheese with soy milk though? I need to try this and I have nutritional yeast! We’ve used it before to make a “fake” cheese and loved it!

  • Ok. So I want you to educate me… I am very new to vegan recipes. It’s something I have just started to play around with. I have been wanting to do a similar style Mac… all the recipes I come across call for nutritional yeast. What does it add to the recipe?

    Also this looks AWESOME. I actually just bought some soy chorizo for a hash recipe …. maybe I should save it for pasta!

  • LOVE this! I was vegetarian for a while and vegan for some of that time (No cheese is HARD! But Daiya is definitely my favorite vegan cheese), and I totally agree that some of the best meals don’t include meat! Definitely going to try this out on my husband and see what he thinks! :)

  • i like daiya too, tho i don’t buy it often. when i make vegan mac n cheese, i usually use a butternut squash puree base or an almond milk + vegan margarine based bechamel.

    in terms of vegan cheeses, i have used tofutti cream cheese, which i recommend, but their ricotta cheese is butt.

  • This is totally inspiring. I love a challenge and I’ve been trying to work out a vegan mac n cheese recipe. Have you ever tried cashew cream as a base? Even though I eat meat, I love Trader Joes Soy Chorizo even more than some brands regular chorizo. I love that you used nutritional yeast, sounds great in this!

    • Trader Joe’s makes an amazing soy chorizo! I almost used it here but the Field Roast crunches up more when you pan fry it and I wanted a good crunch. I’ve never tried using cashew cream but that’s another great idea. I’ve been thinking of using it to make a truffle alfredo sauce, something we did at my old restaurant.

  • Ha! I love what you said about not being a vegetarian and that is a load of crap. I totally agree, and I had a similar experience with the attitudes at my culinary school. [With the exception of two instructors who were vegans, and incorporated vegan cooking into the curriculum. They were so awesome.] Anyway, I also wanted to say I just love your photography. The light is so pretty!!

  • I agree, there’s so many food options available these days that meat and two veg are kinda falling off the ladder. Although there’s a time and place for those also. Daiya “cheese” is so good and probably is the closest to any reg cheese out there in y non-important opinion ;)

  • I loved your story about choosing your externship. Sometime we learn so much more when we break through barriers. I love the idea of vegan chorizo but unfortunately I’ve been allergic to soy ever since I was a child. I do use Daiya which fortunately for me is soy free! Love the stuff.

  • it didn’t happen to be cafe java green that you worked at, did it? i loved that little restaurant on 17th and R st NW — it closed recently i think, but they made awesome vegan dishes! this recipe looks delicious!

  • I don’t know why people are always so judgy. You have to do what works for you. I am not vegan or vegetarian but frequently enjoy meatless meals. This looks so yummy! Can’t even tell it’s vegan!

  • Jen,
    Your photos are really good–coffee table book worthy.
    I need to stock up on some nutritional yeast so I’ll have it when I want to play around.


  • I LOVE this, Jen! I’ve been trying to incorporate a little more vegan cooking into my life this year, and this mac and cheese sounds like the perfect place to start.

  • I’ll confess that this is a little outside of my comfort zone since I never cook with these ingredients, but wow does it ever look amazing!! I’ll have to expand my horizons and try it if I can figure out where to buy everything :)

  • Interesting recipe Jen, and it’s true that looking at vegan/vegetarian cooking can give plenty of inspiration and new ideas.

  • I love a good vegan mac and cheese recipe, I’ll have to try it with pasta shells. Have you ever tried brown rice pasta? I don’t like daiya by itself either and have been hesitant to try melting it for that reason, but I’ll have to try combining it with nutritional yeast like you’ve suggested. Good idea.

  • I remember the first time I ever had vegan mac and cheese and it surprised me because it was seriously some of the best mac and cheese I had ever had!

  • I really enjoy hearing about your experiences at culinary school, especially since I am tempted to go to the very same one for my culinary education. Unfortunately for me, it would be a weird experience because although I love cheese, butter, and cheese I am very allergic to it. French cooking…butter….gluten….oh god would I be a mess while I was there. However, this recipe is RIGHT where I belong.

  • This looks so good! And I think the BF would actually eat it (he refuses to eat chorizo because “OMG DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS IN THAT???”) even though he eats equally as “gross”/mystery-meat including things (i.e., hot dogs?) … I can’t wait to make this!

  • Yum! I’ve sort of decided to cut off dairy for the next couple months and I’m missing cheesy comfort food. This looks like the perfect solution :)

  • Looks great! And today is World Vegetarian Day! BTW I am quite impressed with the quality of Field Roast products! They are great! This recipe is a must-try!