Vegan Mac n Cheese Casserole on a silver plate with a white casserole dish in the background

Gluten-Free Plant-Based Kale Mac & “Cheese”

Crunchy on top, creamy throughout, this Plant-Based Kale Mac & “Cheese” is so satisfying! Seriously, is there any dish more comforting on a chilly fall afternoon than warm mac and cheese? I’d eat this any day for lunch with a side salad for extra veggies!

This dish is plant-based thanks to the use of Loca Plant-Based Queso. It’s made with veggies and potatoes, not nuts or soy like other plant-based cheeses often are. It’s probably the best vegan cheese I’ve had. To make sure this stays vegan/plant-based, be sure to use gluten-free vegan croutons. Some croutons might be seasoned with cheese or other non-vegan ingredients, but there’s Olivia’s Croutons and Carrington Farms Crounons that are both GF and vegan. Trust me when I say that the crushed croutons are necessary for the true experience of this dish!

This is a great way to jam-pack some kale into your diet or to get your kids to eat their greens. I don’t think they will say “no” to this mac and cheese!

Overhead view of Vegan Mac n Cheese Casserole in a white casserole dish with silver plates on the side

5 from 2 votes
Vegan Mac n Cheese Casserole on a silver plate with a white casserole dish in the background
Print Recipe

Plant-Based Kale Mac & “Cheese”

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • 8 cups chopped kale , stems removed
  • 12 ounces short cut gluten-free pasta
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar Mild Loca Plant-Based Queso
  • 4-5 dashes hot sauce , or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups gluten-free vegan croutons


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9 by 9-inch (or similar) baking dish.
  • Blach the kale in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon into a large mixing bowl. When the water returns to a boil, add the pasta and cook 2 minutes short of what the cooking directions tell you. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the kale along with the queso and hot sauce. Add enough pasta cooking water, a little at a time, to thin the sauce out. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
  • Put the croutons in a food storage bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Spread over the top of the casserole and bake for 10-15 minutes or until hot and the croutons are browned.
Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Croutons houseparty Kale Kid Friendly Loca Macaroni and Cheese Vegan Cheese
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  1. satish
    October 20, 2021

    Good information about healthy food is given. thank you for this nice and knowledgeable post.

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