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Fiesta Mac ‘n’ Cheese

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raw vegan Fiesta Mac 'n' Cheese served in a white bowl

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free nut-free ~

I loved macaroni and cheese growing up.  I ate it in any shape or form.  Out of a box, in a box, brand name, generic name, but oooooh Great Grandma’s!  Now that was the best of the best.  Great Grandma’s mac ‘n’ cheese.  Ummm, Ummm!  It makes me lick my lips as I type this.

Spending the summers with my great grandparents was always a treat.  They lived in a very tiny town so I had the free reign to roam the streets for endless hours….because IF I ever did anything that resembled mischief (MEEE? I think not :) Myrtle, Phyllis, Gertrude, Mr. George…were always there with peering eyes, ready to call Great Grandma letting her know my status.

Anyway, back to her Mac ‘n’ Cheese…. Every day I woke up to the 8 o’clock town whistle.  Yep, this town blew a large horn indicating when it was 8 a.m., 12 noon and 6 p.m.  After having my breakfast, dancing in place while I placed my dishes in the sink, Grandma would ask me what Bonita and I would like for lunch (Bonita, was my dear friend) and every day I answered, “Mac ‘n’ Cheese Grandma, Mac ‘n’ Cheese!”  I don’t know why she even asked, it was my daily request.  She then told me to go outside and play and play is just what I did!  I was a tomboy at heart, and it was common to find me up a tree or sitting in a mud puddle.

Come to the 12-noon whistle; we were ready for lunch.  Bonita and I would come a’ running through the doors and hastily swing ourselves onto the dining room chairs, giddy, chattering about our adventures and ready for our favorite dish.  Grandma made her Mac ‘n’ Cheese from scratch, and it always had extra cheese sauce remaining in the bottom of the bowl when all the noodles were gone.  After slurping up that last noodle, we raised our bowls as if toasting one another and licked our bowls clean.  Wiped our chins and we were off running!

Goodness, I got a bit carried away in my story there, sorry about that.  I was transported back in time. :)  So as I was making this recipe, I was flooded with these wonderful memories.  This sauce doesn’t quite taste like Great Grandma’s did but the process of creating this cheesy sauce was enough to remind of those good ole’ days.  It would be awesome as a dip too, just omit the water.

For my noodles I used zucchini.  I have two different spiralizers that I use, but you don’t have to own one to make zucchini noodles.  You can simply just use your potato peeler.  Below, you will see some of the different types of noodles that you can make.

a close up of raw vegan Fiesta Mac 'n' Cheese served in a white bowlIngredients:

Yields 2 cups sauce



  1. After spiralizing the noodles, place them in a shallow baking dish, spreading them out.  Sprinkle with a liberal amount of salt and set aside.
    • The salting process will help draw the liquid out of the noodles, making them limp-like.  You will start to see them sweat and then release puddles of liquid.
    • Once done soaking, place them in a colander and rinse them with hot water.
    • You can warm the noodles before serving by placing them in the dehydrator at 115 degrees (F) for about 15 minutes or until it reaches the level of warmth that you desire.


  1. In the blender combine tamari, lemon juice, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, bell pepper, and spices.  Blend until creamy.
    • Only add water if needed or if you desire a thin sauce.
    • Instead of tamari, you can also use coconut aminos, Braggs aminos or any other soy sauce substitute that you use.
    • If you don’t care for hemp seeds, you can replace them with soaked cashews.  This will make the sauce even more creamy.
  2. Once ready spoon some sauce onto the noodles, coating them.  I enjoyed garnishing this dish with fresh thyme.

an over view of raw vegan Fiesta Mac 'n' Cheese served in a white bowl

48 thoughts on “Fiesta Mac ‘n’ Cheese

  1. Amanda says:

    That’s a great recipe. Thanks so much. The photographs are so inspirational. They will really help people who haven’t seen a spiralizer in action. This was one of the best pieces of equipment I bought when I went raw. I highly recommend buying one.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Amanda. My goal on this site is to share my knowledge and experience with others. We are all on this journey together. My main hope for this site as well is that I can help to encourage others to bring healthier food choices into their diet. The spiralizer is an amazing tool to have for sure… whether a person is just starting out or already 100% raw… I too highly recommend this to everyone! :) Have a wonderful week and thank you for your encouraging words this Monday morning. :)

  2. Chris says:

    This looks awesome! I have been craving “KRAFT” macaroni and cheese though. How would you suggest adjusting the seasonings?
    Also, I LOVE that this recipe uses hempseeds. Please develop more recipes with hemp rather than cashew nuts (my tummy does much better with digesting the hempseeds!).

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Chris,
      I love hemp seeds too, I will work on that for you :) You asked if I could suggest adjust the seasonings… adjust them for what? To taste like “KRAFT”? If that is what you are indicating…hmmm, it has been YEARS since I have eaten KRAFT Mac ‘n’ Cheese and to be honest it’s not in my forecast to eat in the future, actually I can’t due to the ingredients that it is made from so it would be hard to mimic their exact flavor at this point. Know what I mean. :) Consider this the new “KRAFT”? hehe Blessings to you! amie sue

    • Maggie says:

      Try using “sharp” seasonings such as MSG, mustard, chili powder, onion & garlic to achieve a flavor similar to the simulated flavor of aged cheddar in KD. Experiment until you get what you’re after (A good excuse to make this recipe over and over and over…)

      • amie-sue says:

        Good morning Maggie, I appreciate the idea. I don’t use MSG though. I just love Mac n’ Cheese… so that reason alone is a good enough for making it over and over. hehe Have a blessed day, amie sue

  3. Chris says:

    I guess, just a mild cheddar flavor. Think traditional mac n’ cheese, not spicy or zesty.

  4. Jana says:

    My dear Amie-Sue

    The sauce sounds really nice! I have a huge bag of hemp seeds in my pantry, one of the bags who just doesn’t seem to get empty. ;) So I’ll get my hands on these dish very soon!
    Had a cooking class yesterday, it was amazing! Everybody loved your Seafood spread, and I’m sure my students will be taking a look on your other recipes.

    love, Jana X

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Jana! I hope you make and share it :) Your amazing. I am inspired that you are sharing your talents with others. hugs!

  5. Katy says:

    Thanks for the dinner idea for tonight. My one son won’t eat zuc so I will use rice pasta instead or perhaps spaghetti squash. How do you use the one spiralizer without getting the seeds in it? I have one but the way you need to put it in you end up getting seeds. Unless, you put it in sideways but don’t you end up wasting more of the product? Just wondering because I don’t like mine.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Katy,

      Can you send me a link as to the one that you use. I have one too that allows the seeds to get ground down, I don’t have any issues with that. I also have one that feeds sideways which leaves behind the core of the zucchini. I either just eat it, or chop it up in a salad, throw it in a smooth or flax crackers. No need to waste :)

    • katy says:

      I have the same as you, pictured above on the right side.
      I made the sauce tonight for the kids. My picky eater didn’t like it but only because I put in to much cayenne. I will skip that for the next time. My husband and other son loved it. Thanks for the ideas!

  6. Amie Sue, I would like to try your recipe as I was also a macaroni and cheese lover but now I’m grain-free and can’t tolerate cheese. I ordered some nutritional yeast – have never used it before – so I am all ready to try your recipe and then I saw the first ingredient, hemp seeds! Oops! I was wondering if you could tell me what purpose the hemp seeds serve in the recipe? I have never used hemp seeds either. Is it to thicken the recipe? Do you know if I could substitute flax seed? I have those on hand. :-) Or could I just eliminate it? Thanks for your help. I can’t wait to try this.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Starlene,
      Hemp seeds are little power-house seeds that offer tons of great nutrition. Here is a small post that I did on them some time ago. https://nouveauraw.com/special-raw-ingredients/hemp-seeds/. The other role that they play is in texture. They help to create creamy blend for the sauce. Often times people will use cashews at the main nut to blend to get that creamy consistency, but I have been trying to find other alternatives to nuts since many people (me included) don’t always do so well digestion them. I wouldn’t recommend subbing out with just flax seeds. Flax seeds are wonderful but they are not a complete cross over ingredients. They would congeal to much and effect the flavor. If you can’t get hemp seeds, can you find cashews? If so, use the same measured amount but soak them for about two hours to help soften them for blending purposes. I hope this helped. Have a great weekend, amie sue

      • Nancy Alcorn says:

        Hi love your blog, eye candy for sure. Re cashews. Soaked mine for a good long time, made a cashew cream dessert, ate it at night and became more than aware that I can not digest them. Decided to ferment them after I soaked them with coconut yogurt. Then when I made the dessert with the fermented cashews, no problem at all. Same with sprouted lintels. Really I ferment all my protein sources. Makes for a much happier stomach and the real sense that I can eat and thrive on a raw diet. Love the pictures and your generous spirit that you share your knowledge with. Thank you Nancy

        • amie-sue says:

          Thank you for sharing your experience that you have with fermenting the proteins that you eat. All of our bodies respond so differently to food and I am thankful that you found a way to ease your digestion. This can help others who come along and read the comments. Have a blessed day, amie sue

  7. Shelly says:

    I just discovered your site and all I can say is THANK YOU! Im a huge Mac N’ Cheese fan and have been missing it after going raw a month ago. This is my new favorite recipe! (And so easy!!) I couldn’t get over just how much it tasted like real Mac! Thank you Amie-Sue! I look forward to exploring your site some more and trying some more of your recipes!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Shelly,

      You are welcome. Thank you for sharing this with me. Sometimes it is good to have foods that really “Warm” our soul… that can be just as healthy mentally as these foods are physically. Have a blessed day and keep in touch. amie sue

  8. Evette says:

    Hello Amie, I just wanted to share my experience of the recipe. I wasn’t really fond of the hemp seed flavor but what I think I will do next time is use your Queso Mexican cheese recipe which was awesome! My husband just couldn’t get over how it really taste like nachos. I also wanted to ask if you could do a bread stuffed cheezy jalapeno they were my favorite about 10 year ago before my family and I became vegan. Ooooh, I love your website , it is a wonderful site to help people transition from cooked to raw vegan.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Evette,
      A bread stuffed cheezy jalapeno? Do you mean a breaded jalapeno stuffed with cheese? I would love to see if I could come up with something but need a bit of information. Do you have a favorite recipe for these? Thank you for sharing your experience with the Fiesta Mac “n” cheese. We all have such different pallets but it’s great that you thought up an alternative. :) Have a great day and I look forward in hearing back from you. amie sue

  9. Evette says:

    Yes, Amie-Sue that is what i meant and the only thought that i have about the making of this would be breading them like your breaded zucchini then maybe stuffing them with your mexican nacho cheese and dehydrating them until the liking.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Evette…

      The breading part would work but I think the nacho cheese would be to soft. I have an idea for making cheese sticks, let me give it a try soon and I will let you know…cause I think it might work for your recipe. I shall keep you posted. If nothing else in the meantime, I would maybe use a thicker raw cheese recipe.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I was so excited about this dish, but a little skeptical. It came out tasting like the BEST cheese sauce I have ever had!! I did half/half zucchini and carrot noodles and tossed in a handful of spinach to wilt a little bit at the end and added the tomatoes and green onion because that is how I make my homemade mac and cheese…….it so good!! Thank you Thank you! (P.S. Do you have a raw SPAM recipe) j/k

  11. Shawnap says:

    I really like your website and your recipes. That being said I did not like this recipe at all. I thought it tasted to much like yeast. Maybe next time I’ll start with half as much nutritional yeast and go from there. :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh sorry to here that Shawnap…. everyone likes spices and flavors to their specified tastes. It is always best to add a little and increase to your flavoring. I LOVE nutritional yeast so for me it was spot on. I appreciate you sharing! Have a grand evening, amie sue

  12. Teri says:

    Miss Amie-Sue, this has just become my new favorite comfort food! This was my first time using nutritional yeast and hemp seeds. What a great alternative the hemp seeds are to cashews for a creamy texture. Thank You so much for your efforts in the kitchen and sharing your adventures with us!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Teri. :) It is so great to have so many wonderful people to share my passion with! It was good to hear from you, many blessings. amie sue

  13. Mags says:

    Hi! Does anyone know if Hemp seeds when you are drug tested will cause you to test positive? I am not trying to be funny. I would love to try this recipe with this (if not maybe will try with cashews like you also suggested). Just always hoping that I will finally be feeling better and get to go back to work and for any job I would go for..they drug test and do NOT want a false positive.

  14. Vicki says:

    tried this the other night. was pretty good thank you. I even got hubby to have some. great way to use up the zucchinis

  15. Lyn :] says:

    Hi Amie Sue, This is a keeper – so YUMMY, we all loved it!!! Thank you for keeping us all happy with great meal choices!!! :] Lyn

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh wonderful Lyn! SO happy that you are finding more and more recipes to fill up your weekly menu. Can you believe that it is the weekend again. Where did the week go! Have a blessed weekend and get some rest. :) amie sue

  16. aliyah says:

    i am so stupid….I have a spiral vegetable slicer and until i came to your site i didnt realize i could make different size noodles with it. Well i am making the mac n cheese as i type ill let you know how it turns out.

    • amie-sue says:

      Your not stupid Aliyah. :) Sometimes we just too excited over something that we overlook things. :) Now it is like you got a whole new kitchen gadget. hehe Enjoy and please do keep me posted. amie sue

  17. aliyah says:

    The mac n cheese was a hit.Hubby says that is a keeper.I was able to eat the sauce,but not the noodles as they were to raw for my mouth. I was tasting it as I was making it and I almost didn’t have to wash the blender cause I licked it clean lol.Now I have cheese left over and red pesto left over from night before what to do, what to do.I know, find a recipe for raw nacho chips. I hope im not being annoying by writing so much but this is such an exciting time for me.I will be going to my first raw potluck next month and I haven’t decided which one of your recipes to make everyone ive made so far is so darn good.I am off for next 3 days so ill be uncooking up a storm.Since ive found your site ive neglected my other sites I used to go to because yours is a one stop shop.Keep up good work.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Aliyah,

      Happy to hear that you have a recipe that goes in the “keeper” file. :) For an idea… you could coat some kale with the left over sauce and make cheesy kale chips. :)

      Thank you for the words of encouragement. And have a blessed, fun time in the kitchen. Keep in touch! amie sue

  18. Anne says:

    Hi, Amie-Sue,

    This recipe looks really tasty. I don’t do well digesting red bell peppers (or green, orange, red or yellow). Any ideas for a substitute?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Anne,

      You can maybe just add in some zucchini to help create the sauce. I would add maybe 1/2 of a medium one (remove the peel first). Red peppers add a tinge of sweetness and color to the recipe so if you want to hold true to those things as well… add maybe 1 tsp agave (or sweetener of choice) and 1 tsp paprika.

      Hope this helps, amie sue

  19. Ashley says:

    Dear Amie Sue,

    Your recipes have blown me away– so much so, I have been a bit intimidated to try one yet! I am really liking the sound of the mac and cheese, though. The only thing I am worried about is my sensitivity to textures. For some reason, every time I have attempted to make zucchini noodles, I am nauseated at the crunchy-ness. I have tried to salt and dehydrate before, but it makes the noodles so thin they are literally like hair, lol. Am I doing something wrong? Thank you again for being amazing and so generous by sharing recipes!

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh Ashely, don’t be intimidated… jump in and give a recipe a try. :) You won’t know if you like any of them unless you do.

      It sounds like you soak and dry the “noodles” quite a bit.. not sure I would take them that far but then everyone has their own “tastes”. I don’t know if you eat 100% raw or not, but you can always blanch them a little in boiling water to help soften them. Maybe that will help you get passed your hurdle. Does that make sense? Or if you want to remain raw with the “noodles”, try making them a different shape. Instead of the thin skinny noodles shape, use a potato peeler and make fettuccine shape. Do your same process to help soften then, but since there is more flesh to the “noodle” it might hold up better.

      I hope some of these ideas help. Blessings, amie sue

  20. Dear Amie Sue,

    I have been natural as far as what I put on my body for a while but not so much when it came to what I put in my body. I learned that I have a gluten intolerance and decided that I would go raw vegan. I felt so much better but I was grieving the loss of my favorite foods such as breads, pastas and most of all cheese. That is until I found your website! You have changed my journey to raw veganism and in one week of following these recipes on a healthy meal plan I have lost 10 lbs already! Thank you so much for sharing your gift and making it fun to be vegan. Oh by the way this is one of the yummiest things I have ever tasted!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Kawonia,

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. What an encourage to everyone. :) I am so thankful that you are finding inspiration throughout my site, I hope I can support you in your journey. Have a blessed and wonderful day. amie sue

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