Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

Cranberry Mac and Cheese Bites

Meat Free Monday
  • Serves: 20-25 bites
  • Preparation: 10
  • Cooking: 25
  • Ready: 45

Yummy little bites of mac and cheese stuffed with festive cranberry sauce!


  • 450 g (1 lb) macaroni (or other small pasta shapes)
  • 35 g (¼ cup) plain flour
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) sunflower oil (or olive oil)
  • 500 ml (2 cups) plant milk (unsweetened oat or soya is best)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 100 g grated plant-based cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons smooth cranberry sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour or potato flour
  • 6 tablespoons water (more if needed)
  • 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


Cook the macaroni according to packet instructions, then drain and set aside ready to use.

To make the cheesy béchamel sauce

In a saucepan, gently heat the sunflower oil and add the flour. Stir the flour until it starts to turn a soft brown colour. This prevents the sauce from tasting ‘floury’. Add the plant milk bit by bit, whisking all the time to prevent lumps forming.

Once a smooth sauce is achieved, add in the nutritional yeast and mustard, then season with salt and pepper. Add the plant-based cheese and stir until it is completely melted in. Taste and add more cheese or nutritional yeast if you want a stronger cheesy taste. Pour the macaroni into the cheesy béchamel sauce and mix well. Spread it out onto a pan and put it in the fridge to cool completely.

To assemble and cook

Preheat your air fryer to 180°C/350°F or your oven to 200°C/390°F/gas mark 6.

Mix the cornflour/potato flour with water in a bowl to create a slurry. Place the breadcrumbs in another bowl.

Using a soup spoon or tablespoon, scoop out the cold macaroni and form it into a cup shape. Put a teaspoon of cranberry sauce in the centre. Add some extra macaroni over the top and roll into a ball about the size of a large walnut (3 cm diameter).

Roll the mac and cheese bites in the cornflour slurry. Once coated, roll them in the breadcrumbs and spray or wash with a little olive oil to cover.

Place in the air fryer and cook for 8 minutes or until crispy and golden. Alternatively, place on a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until crispy and golden.

To serve

Serve fresh from the oven or air fryer and provide napkins. Be careful, the insides can be very hot.

Additonal notes

Recipe and video created for Meat Free Monday by Louise-Claire Cayzer at The Vegan Larder

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