Greeny Mac’n Beany


I don’t think I could have come up with a cheesier name for this super easy, super pleasy dish. But the cheese is only in my wording, this Mac’n Cheese knockoff gets its rich creamy sauce from cashews and coconut milk.

I altered this dish from a recipe from The Great Vegan Bean Book. I bought this cookbook on a whim when Amazon suggested that I might like it when I was purchasing another book. Damn their marketing practices!

I’m not disappointed, however; I think I’m going to like this book. I love the allergy modifications. Most of the recipes can be altered for nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free and no oil diets. I can’t imagine anyone not being able to use these recipes.

And not only is this book perfect for those on special diets, but the first recipe I made was a success. For me to call a recipe successful, it has to meet five criteria:

The Honking Vegan’s 5 Recipe Musts

  1. It must be vegan. I don’t do animal products, period!
  2. It must be fast. I refuse to slave for hours in the kitchen to get dinner on the table.
  3. It must be easy. If a recipe is complex, forget it!
  4. It must be healthy. I’m not going to feed my family anything that’s going to give them cancer or heart disease.
  5. It must be delicious. Although nutrition is important, that doesn’t mean I’m going to sacrifice taste.

Since this recipe met all my criteria, I’m sharing it with you!

Greeny Mac’n Beany

Serves 3 to 4


1 can white beans, rinsed and drained

1 large carrot, cut into large chunks and cooked until tender

1 cup coconut milk (may use other non dairy milk)

½ cup cashews (may omit)

2 teaspoons nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic

1 shallot

½ to 1 teaspoon turmeric

Salt and pepper, to taste

16 ounces whole wheat or gluten-free elbow pasta

1 pound of spinach (yes, a whole pound!)


Add everything except the pasta, salt, and pepper to a high-speed blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, add three tablespoons of water to a sauté pan and sauté the spinach a little at a time until wilted. Add more water as needed while doing this.

Drain pasta and combine with spinach. Add a generous amount of sauce to pasta mixture and combine well. Enjoy!

About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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49 Responses to Greeny Mac’n Beany

  1. Virginia Elliott says:

    This look,s good! Thanks for all you do in your patient, persistent, and gentle way to help sentient beings all over the world. I might not be there completely yet, but your blog and you reading my blog have made a real difference.

  2. emmavoberry1 says:

    Shared this link on FB!

  3. “The Honking Vegan” — love it! And yes, Amazon’s got my number, too!

    • Now that I’m not buying leather shoes anymore, it fits. Still, it felt cheesy calling myself ‘The Honking Vegan’, but it was such a cheesy post anyway! Hope you’re having an awesome week cowgirl. Oh, and by the way, my husband and I are thinking about going to Crossroads for our anniversary. Have you been yet? Celeste 🙂

  4. Love this! Fantastic criteria too, Celeste! 🙂 And the name – so cute! I’d like to make this sometime but we don’t get nutritional yeast in Bangalore, India.. Any substitutes? Cheese, for us non-vegans, I suppose? 😛

    • Thanks for your lovely comment! I’ll be honest with you, I don’t care for the flavor of nutritional yeast. The recipe I altered this dish from called for 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast, which I thought was way too much so I cut it down to two teaspoons. I bet the recipe would be fine without it at all. Maybe you could add more spices, but I don’t think the recipe would suffer. Let me know how it turns out if you try it. Celeste 🙂

      • Thanks, Celeste! I think it’s high time I start a list of stuff I want to try and actually make them! List item No.1: Greeny Mac’n Beany! 🙂

    • Yea! I hope you like it. Celeste 🙂

  5. Amazing ! Cashew and coconut milk sounds great:)

  6. The Vegan Green says:

    Lovely and delicious sounding – yum!

  7. Ok, I am going to have to try this one. I love mac & cheese–so miss it.


    • Hi Ivonne! I was just thinking about you. I was kicking myself for not asking if you wanted to meet my hubby and me for lunch when we went to LA last weekend. Oh well, we’ll get together when we get back from our Seattle/Vancouver trip for sure. Anyway, I hope you try this recipe – it’s delish! Celeste 🙂

  8. Shannon says:

    Ahhh…the wonderful magical cashew cheese! It literally saved our first vegan Thanksgiving. This looks astounding, even better than our go-to mac-no-cheese recipe. Totally doing this!!

    PS – anything that has “1 pound” of the green stuff has got my attention. We are huge leaf eaters in this house, in any variation. They’re cheap, abundant, delicious, compasionate, and so. Very. Good for you.

    • Hey Shannon! I’m always happy to see your lovely comments chica (I think I’m going to call you chica from now on – haha!). And I totally agree with you that cashew cheese is wonderful and magical. It’s so delish, but the coconut milk and turmeric take it over-the-top! And I don’t mess around when it comes to my greens either. Cheers to the leaf eaters! Celeste 🙂

  9. Celeste this looks delicious and very healthy too!


  10. It’s a fantastic cookbook! Kathy’s recipes are always delicious and YES – usually very easy and quick to put together. What is more comforting that mac-n-cheez??

    • You must have a million cookbooks Annie! I’m glad this one gets two thumbs up from you. That makes me more excited about the 20 or so other recipes I want to try from this book. Hope you’re having a fab week! Celeste 🙂

  11. Ally says:

    I like your criteria! It looks fabulous too. I bet it tastes delicious.

  12. Love this! Would love to share…Can’t wait to try! 🙂

  13. sophiazerg says:

    Rich, creamy, healthy, comforting – love it!
    Must try,
    Sophia 🙂

    • Hey there Sophia! This recipe definitely qualifies as vegan “comfort food.” I think the coconut milk makes it especially good. I know coconut milk is fatty, but you don’t need a lot of this sauce to make the pasta rich and creamy. Hope you’re having a fab week! Celeste 🙂

      • sophiazerg says:

        I love coconut milk – and rarely have it, so you’re right, as a comfort food, I wouldn’t hesitate!
        Having a great week, thanks! Will be going on a mini vacay, camping and to Quebec City next week – so I’ll be off the radar for a bit!
        When is your Vancouver trip?

    • Have fun on your vacation Sophia! I’ll be leaving for my trip a week from tomorrow. I guess we’ll connect when we both get back. Celeste 🙂

  14. This sounds delicious! Did you use the coconut milk found in the milk section, or the canned variety found on the ethnic food aisle?

    • Great question Anetta! I actually got my coconut milk this time from an Asian grocery store. The brand is Aroy-D. It comes in a box that looks like a kids juice box. It’s 100% coconut milk with no preservatives. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s not organic. I’ve noticed that you really have to read labels with coconut milk because not all of them are 100% coconut milk. So I suppose in answer to your question, use the cans in the ethnic food isle, but read the labels. Celeste 🙂

  15. Anna says:

    I bet this tastes wonderful. Thank you Celeste.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Anna! We missed you at coffee yesterday. It was really good, I guess their weekday barista is better than their weekend barista. See you soon! Celeste 🙂

  16. Linda says:

    Mmmmmm, looks delish Celeste! What a great way to eat your greens, I’m going to have to try this great recipe out soon! 🙂

  17. lucylox says:

    Love the use of beans. Yum! 🙂

  18. Lisa says:

    Gimme, gimme, gimme!!

  19. I definitely can agree with you on your recipe musts. Though I sometimes waver on #4 (I like vegan sweets so much!) and #2/#3 because sometimes being in the kitchen is therapeutic for me 🙂

  20. I have to admit that I sometimes waver on #4 too. I still make desserts and such, but I make them healthier than I used to make them so I figure that’s good enough (maybe that’s a stretch). I rarely waver on 2 and 3, however. I’ve never been much of a chef. I cook because I want to be healthy and I like to eat, not because I like to cook. My ex-boyfriend used to tell me, “you don’t cook with love.” Oh well. Celeste 🙂

  21. Reblogged this on Life, Love & Lima Beans and commented:
    This looks so yummy!

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