Vegan Kimchi Mac’n Cheese by The Korean Vegan


When I interviewed Joanne Lee from The Korean Vegan (Click here to read the interview), she made me her delicious vegan kimchi mac’n cheese and it was so good that I had to make it myself just a few days later. The picture above is my homage to Joanne’s dish, but it really doesn’t do the original justice. If you love mac’n cheese, please do yourself a favor and try this recipe, it’s so good. If you’ve never tried Kimchi, this would be the perfect way to get accustomed to it and if you happen to already love it, then this dish will be a delight for you!

Recipe originally posted on


Vegan Kimchi Mac’n Cheese

  • Author: Joanne Lee
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


Kimchi Cheese Sauce

  • 5 tbsp vegetable shortening (or oil)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 russet potato (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 jalapeno (sliced)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Korean chili powder (or paprika)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup cashews (soaked in water for 4 hours to overnight)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp lactic acid (or lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp pickled jalapeno juice
  • 2 tsp kimchi juice


  • 1 box brown rice pasta


  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tbsp + 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp agave
  • 1/2 tbsp gochujang
  • 1/2 cup kimchi (ripened)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds



  1. In a small pot, melt vegetable shortening and add onions and garlic.  Cook until softened.  Then add potatoes, jalapeño, chipotle, gochujang and seasoning.  Stir until potatoes start to soften and all vegetables are evenly coated.
  2. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with water and bring to boil.  Cook until potatoes are tender.
  3. Empty contents of pot into high powered blender.  Add remaining ingredients and blend on high for a few minutes, until creamy and smooth.
  4. Cook pasta until al dente.  Reserve ~1/4 cup of pasta water before draining.  In the same pot that you cooked the pasta with, add pasta and cheese sauce, as well as a little pasta water in case sauce gets too dry.  Scoop pasta into oven safe container (I used two cast iron pans).
  5. For breadcrumb topping, mix breadcrumbs, salt, and 1/2 tbsp sesame oil until breadcrumbs are nicely coated.  Sprinkle over the top of the pasta.
  6. Place in 450° oven until breadcrumbs are golden brown (15-20 minutes).
  7. In the meantime, heat up 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a small skillet.  Add kimchi, gochujang, and agave and saute until kimchi is caramelized.
  8. Add caramelized kimchi to baked pasta.  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.



Photography: 1 st picture by Joanne Lee Molinaro. 2nd picture by Kim-Julie Hansen.


  1. Good morning, I just saw your kimchi mac and cheese. It looks great. I’m interested in trying out the recipe, but I have a nut allergy. Could you recommend a substitute for the cashews?


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