Easy Vegan Kale Mac & “Cheese” (AIP)

Easy Vegan Kale Mac & “Cheese” (AIP)

Made with a dairy-free “cheese” sauce, this easy vegan and AIP Kale Mac & “Cheese” is a satisfying allergy-friendly take on classic comfort food.

Filled with butternut squash and coconut cream, the sauce is creamy and delicious (all without the dairy or nuts) with chopped kale mixed in. Plus, it can be made grain-free or gluten-free with your choice of preferred pasta. If you are still searching for an allergy-friendly pasta to enjoy, I have provided my favorite recommendations below.

This Kale Mac & “Cheese” is definitely part of my meal rotation and even dairy-lovers thoroughly enjoy the dish! Let’s just say leftovers don’t last.

Ingredients for Easy Vegan / AIP Mac & “Cheese”:

  • Kale (curly or lacinato)
  • Butternut squash puree
  • Coconut cream (full-fat coconut milk in fridge overnight)
  • Vegetable stock (for vegan option) or chicken broth
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Turmeric
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Sea salt
  • Grain-free or gluten-free pasta (macaroni, shells, fusilli, penne)

AIP & Gluten-free pasta recommendations:

If I am not vegan/vegetarian, can I add in protein?

Absolutely! I have added in one pound of ground beef or bison and it is a delicious combination. You could also try crumbling some bacon on top.


  • For the coconut cream, place a can of full–fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. This separates the coconut cream from the coconut water. Be sure to save the remaining coconut water for smoothies!
  • As a time-saving trick, I use canned 100% Butternut Squash Puree for the sauce. I love stocking up since it is so handy for creating sauces and stews. However, you can absolutely make your own from scratch and prepare beforehand.
  • The nutritional yeast is completely optional but does add a “cheesy” flavor. I am actually unable to eat yeast and thoroughly enjoy the sauce all the same!
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

AIP Butternut Squash recipes to give a try:

Easy Vegan Kale Mac & 'Cheese' (AIP)

: 4-5
: 5 min
: 20 min
: 25 min
5 from 1 review

Made with a dairy-free “cheese” sauce, this easy vegan and AIP Kale Mac & “Cheese” is a satisfying allergy-friendly take on classic comfort food.


  • 3/4 cup coconut cream (place can of full-fat coconut milk in fridge overnight)
  • 1 1/2 cup butternut squash, pureed (canned or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 4 large kale leaves (curly or lacinato), chopped
  • 8 oz preferred grain-free or gluten-free pasta (cooked according to box instructions)
  • Step 1 First step – remember to place the can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight! This separates the coconut cream from the liquid.
  • Step 2 When ready to start the sauce, in a saucepan set to medium heat, mix together the coconut cream, pureed butternut squash, broth, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, nutritional yeast (optional) and sea salt. Stir and mix until well combined. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Step 3 In a small cup, mix together the arrowroot powder with 1 tbsp of water and stir until dissolved. Slowly add the arrowroot slurry to the saucepan and stir well. The arrowroot slurry will help thicken the sauce.
  • Step 4 In a large pot, boil water and cook pasta to package instructions.
  • Step 5 While the pasta is cooking, add the chopped kale into the sauce. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Step 6 Once the pasta is complete, return to the large pot and add the kale / sauce. Stir until sauce, kale, and pasta are fully combined over low heat. Serve warm and enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Easy Vegan Kale Mac & “Cheese” (AIP)”

  • This recipe is SUPER simple and doesn’t require a lot of groceries ahead of time. I make it at least once weekly to go along with my new recipes. It’s a tasty and creamy dish I can just make quickly to grab throughout the week. It’s filling and nutrient-dense. I am so grateful Stephanie created it!

    • Hi Annie, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. I am thrilled to hear how much you enjoy the recipe – what an honor to be included in your meal rotation!

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