Baked Penne & "Cheese" (Vegan+GF)

If you have made my vegan mac & cheese recipe before, then this recipe will seem somewhat familiar to you.

When I have a busy week, I like to prepare a large dish. This way, I get to keep the leftover and have it for the next day, without worrying not having time to cook.

I call this recipe penne & cheese, because I could not find any gluten-free macaroni, so penne it is! The penne that I used is made out of buckwheat. Did you know that despite its name, buckwheat is actually not a wheat? Buckwheat is actually a seed. I know, confusing right? Anyway, that makes buckwheat a good source of protein.

And the cheese sauce? This cheese sauce is hidden with vegetables, which makes it great to serve to your kids or anyone that finds it difficult to eat vegetables!

#vegan #glutenfree #vegetarian #flexitarian #plantbased


Serves: 4


250 g of gluten-free penne (I used buckwheat penne)

1 cup of frozen green peas

"Cheese" Sauce:

1/2 cup of soaked cashews (soak overnight or soak in boiled water for 15-30 mins)

1 large potato

2 medium-sized carrots

1 medium onion or 2 shallots

3 cloves of garlic

"Cheese" Sauce Seasonings:

1 tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp of onion powder

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper powder

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

Pink Himalayan salt (to taste) - (I used about 1 1/2 tsp to get that salty-cheesy taste)

Ground black pepper (to taste)

Breadcrumb topping:

1/2 cup of gluten-free bread crumbs

1/2 tbsp of melted vegan butter or ghee, if not vegan.

1/4 tsp of Pink Himalayan salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (about 350F).

  2. In a medium saucepan, boil the potato, carrots, onion/shallots, and garlic, until the potato and carrots are soft.

  3. Take 1 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock (from the boiled potato, carrots, onion & garlic) and put it in a blender.

  4. In the blender, add the soaked cashews, boiled potato, carrots, onion and the seasonings, to create the "cheese" sauce. Blend until creamy texture.

  5. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the penne pasta and cook until al dente (the time it takes to ook this depends on the type and brand of pasta used). Once the pasta is cooked, strain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

  6. In a small bowl, mix the gluten-free bread crumbs, melted vegan butter/ghee and salt using a fork.

  7. Place the green peas in a clean strainer and run it under hot water for about 20-30 seconds.

  8. Transfer the peas and cooked pasta in a medium pot. Then, pour the "cheese" sauce into the pot and mix until the sauce is well combined with the peas and pasta.

  9. Pour in to a 20cm x 20cm (8inch x 8inch) glass baking dish (or similar) and top with breadcrumb topping.

  10. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the topping is golden brown.


If you have any questions or comments, please write in the comment below or send me an email at

If you have made this dish, you may also tag me on Instagram @bitetoroots or use the hashtags #bitetoroots #akkuholistichealth, so I can find you!


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Disclaimer: Please kindly keep in mind that Nathasya Martinez  from AKKU does not hold any kind of responsibility for any physical, mental or emotional consequences that could occur from using the information of this website. The sole purpose of the content of this website is for potential holistic health therapy clients and/or readers interested in the matters mentioned. Please pay extra attention to the information you read and interpret from the site. This site has been prepared with care based on the knowledge, opinions and experiences of the author, Nathasya.  Nathasya Martinez  is not a medical practitioner. She does not diagnose, prescribe or treat others, and the information on this website is not to be used as a substitute for a diagnosis, treatment or prescription. Please always consult with your licensed medical practitioner before discontinuing or altering your current medications or treatment, and before changing your diet or exercise. 

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