Easiest Mac and Cheese Plus Peas

Gena Hamshaw / The Full Helping

Get ready for a bowl of mac and cheese that’s pea-licious!

A big thanks to our good friend—and vegan food blogger—Gena Hamshaw, who shared this unique and tasty recipe.


Easiest Mac and Cheese Plus Peas

Yields 4-6 servings.


  • ⅔ cup (about 3 oz) raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours (and up to 8), drained
  • ½ cup cooked cannellini, great white northern, or navy beans
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons miso (mellow white miso or chickpea miso)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Dash cayenne
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt
  • 12 oz elbow pasta (for a gluten-free recipe, use brown rice pasta)
  • 1 cup green peas (frozen or fresh)


  1. First, make the pasta sauce. Place the cashews, beans, lemon juice, paprika, turmeric, miso, nutritional yeast, garlic, cayenne, and water into a blender or a food processor and blend/process until totally smooth. The sauce should yield about 1 ½ cups. Set it aside until you’re ready to use it.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add the pasta. Cook the pasta, stirring frequently, until the pasta is tender, using the package instructions to help inform cooking time.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, cook the peas accordingly—this will depend on whether you’re using fresh or frozen.
  4. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the cooked peas. Add the sauce and fold everything together gently, until the pasta dish is creamy and evenly coated. Adjust seasoning to taste. You may not need to use all of the sauce—if you have a few tablespoons left over, you can reserve them as a dip or a dressing for a salad or a grain bowl, or you can use them to top leftovers.
  5. Divide the mac and cheese onto four plates or bowls and serve. Leftovers will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge.

You can get Gena’s original Mac and Cheese recipe here.

10 thoughts on “Easiest Mac and Cheese Plus Peas

  1. I make a somewhat similar mac and cheese, but I use tahini instead of cashews. I think it gives it a richer taste. But thanks for the alternative version.

    1. Hi Jane,

      Thank you for your comment! I love that you mentioned this because I am a huge fan of tahini! What an excellent alternative (and it wouldn’t require any kind of soaking). I am definitely going to try that next time. Thank YOU for your alternative version!

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you for your questions!

      This recipe serves 4-6 people.

      The nutritional information was not listed on Gena’s blog. I’d encourage you to reach out to Gena if you’d like the nutritional information.

      Thanks again!

    1. Hi Marina,

      Thanks for your comment! I’d start out with 1/3 of a cup. If it needs more, adjust to your taste preferences!


  2. Be aware of Pasteurized Cashews: These are not roasted so may be misinterpreted as “raw”…as sold at Cost Co and most large retailers. If you make Cream, Milk or Cheese of any type from these pasteurized nuts it will turn out much sweeter than with their raw counterpart. I made a disgusting sour cream and figured out after the fact that the cashews had been pasteurized.
    On the upside, if you are making a sweet cream, you can use fewer dates to sweeten it if you have pasteurized cashews. Also, a friend who has a cashew sensitivity is able to digest pasteurized cashews just fine.

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