Instant Pot Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)


Can’t tolerate dairy? Are you vegan or making dinner for vegan friends? Well this pumpkin mac and cheese is allergy-friendly and sure to please everyone!

Instant Pot Vegan Mac and Cheese (gluten-free and dairy-free) by ashley of

I can’t believe that I’m about to say this but I like this vegan mac and “cheese” better than my recipe for mac and cheese which calls for actual cheese. Honestly, I do. It’s so “cheesy!” And creamy and delicious! The pumpkin adds color and a bit of sweetness and the nutritional yeast is what gives the dish its cheesy flavor.

I had my one-year-old, Tony, “taste test” this for me and he just loves it! I love having an adorable taste-tester who actually eats what I make without asking me twenty questions first. My (also adorable) husband always wants to know what “funny” things I’ve put into recipes (heh, like nutritional yeast) but Tony doesn’t question me. That kid just gobbles up whatever I give him. Except avocado. He has a strong aversion to avocado, which only makes me a little sad considering it was his first food. I think I over did it back in the day (you know, like 4-5 months ago) but I guess that’s neither here nor there considering there’s no avocado in this recipe…

Getting back on track now… this pumpkin mac and cheese is a winner you guys. Sometimes I even surprise myself with how well my recipe ideas turn out (cue: eye roll).

Look at the creamy sauce coating these little noodles – can you believe that there’s no cheese in this? It’s true, I’m basically a food genius.

Instant Pot Vegan Mac and Cheese (gluten-free and dairy-free) by ashley of

I used canned pumpkin in this recipe but you can use mashed sweet potato or butternut squash or basically any variety of potato/squash. I’m just riding the pumpkin train because it’s fall (see my pumpkin recipes here).

This recipe calls for gluten-free elbow macaroni – I’ve tried several different brands of gluten-free noodles and this brand is the only one that works for me every single time.

Instant Pot Vegan Mac and Cheese (gluten-free and dairy-free) by ashley of

Try this once and I’m sure you’ll be mackin’ on this mac. I’m sure I used the phrase incorrectly. That’s probably not a thing people even say anymore (did anyone say it ever?).

I wonder if Tony will read my blog one day and be like “omg my mom was so uncool.” Or maybe he’ll always think I’m the greatest (ha. yes, yes wishful thinking, I know).

Make this pumpkin’ mac y’all. It only takes 4 minutes, so make it then come back and tell me how much you liked it!

Instant Pot Vegan Mac and Cheese (gluten-free and dairy-free) by ashley of

Instant Pot Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)

Instant Pot Vegan Mac and Cheese (gluten-free and dairy-free) by ashley of

Instant Pot Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)

4.7 from 13 reviews
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  • Add the macaroni, water, palm shortening, and salt to the Instant Pot.
  • Secure lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 4 minutes at high pressure.
  • Quick release pressure as soon as the time is up, then immediately stir in the coconut milk, pumpkin puree and nutritional yeast.


  • Make sure to quick release pressure as soon as the time is up. If you wait too long, the noodles will overcook.
  • I use Barilla gluten-free elbow macaroni
  • Please let me know if you try another brand of gluten-free pasta and if it works for you
  • Brands that work (will update this as I try more brands): Barilla gluten-free elbow macaroni; Ann from the UK says that Garofalo gluten-free penne pasta worked for her
  • Brands that do not work: Trader Joe’s Brown Rice and Quinoa Pasta; Trader Joe’s Black Bean Pasta (these will turn to mush)
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Jessica says

    We’re new to the gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free life (16 month old is intolerant). Did you use canned coconut milk or the coconut milk in the dairy cooler? Will be trying this recipe in the near future.

  2. Jennifer says

    This was tasty, the best GF/DF mac n cheese I’ve found so far. I followed the recipe except first I cooked a few slices of bacon in the Instant Pot, then removed the bacon and all but 1T of the remaining oil. I used some of the water to scrape the brown stuff off the bottom. While the pasta was cooking I sliced the bacon, and added it with the rest of the ingredients. It was a bit sweet, so I added some miso, and that helped. I can’t tell if the sweet is from the coconut milk or the pumpkin. I might try some soy or fish sauce next time. Thanks!

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