LUNCH

The Best Vegan Chili Mac and Cheese • It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

What do you get when you combine my vegan chili recipe with my vegan mac and cheese recipe? I think you guessed it, you get The Best Vegan Chili Mac and Cheese!!!! If you’ve never had vegan chili mac and cheese before, I can tell you that you are missing out on this irresistible comfort food. The (vegan) meatiness of chili combined with the (vegan) cheesiness of mac and cheese. The perfect combo? I think so. Bonus points: this recipe can also be made gluten-free and/or oil-free.

The Best Vegan Chili Mac and Cheese! Hearty, vegan meaty, vegan cheesy, total comfort food bliss! Easy to make and can be made ahead of time. You won't even know it's vegan!! #itdoesnttastelikechicken #veganrecipes

There are 3 secret ingredients that make this vegan mac and cheese completely epic.

  1. Tofu crumbles: if you’ve been a fan of my recipes for a while you know I’m obsessed with tofu crumbles. The tofu crumbles are seasoned and then dried out in the oven. Then when they are stirred into the chili mac, they absorb some liquid and become the meatiest chewy amazing texture.
  2. Nutritional yeast: a staple seasoning for vegans, this flaky yellow stuff adds SO much cheesy flavour. These days many grocery stores carry it, but you can also find it at health food stores or online.
  3. White miso paste: miso paste isn’t just for soup. This umami-packed fermented paste adds so much depth, and really gives that tang that makes cheese taste like cheese. It’s one of my favourite ingredients to make vegan cheeses. Most grocery stores should carry it, but if not you can find it at health food stores or online.

The Best Vegan Chili Mac and Cheese! Hearty, vegan meaty, vegan cheesy, total comfort food bliss! Easy to make and can be made ahead of time. You won't even know it's vegan!! #itdoesnttastelikechicken #veganrecipes

This vegan chili mac and cheese has quickly become my new favourite winter meal. It takes a bit of time to prepare, but every step is super easy, and the end results are epic. Hearty meaty, cheesy, tomatoey vegan comfort food. Everything you could want for a warming meal. Chili mac can also be prepared ahead of time and even frozen (see recipe notes for instructions).

How to Make the Best Vegan Chili Mac and Cheese:

To make the tofu crumbles: in a medium bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Crumble the block of tofu with your fingers into the bowl along with the seasoning. You can alternatively use a potato masher in the bowl to mash up the tofu. Mix the crumbled tofu with the seasoning to make sure it is evenly coated.

Spread the crumbles evenly over the pan. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, stopping to stir the tofu every now and then. Keep a close eye on it towards the end so that it doesn’t burn. You want the tofu to be nice and browned. The smaller crumbles will be darker than the larger crumbles, and that’s ok because it will provide a variety of texture.

To make the vegan chili mac and cheese: heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot. When hot add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions turn translucent and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, kidney beans, 6 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, the miso paste, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring every now and then, for 15 minutes.

Add the macaroni noodles, and cook for another 8 minutes, stirring often so the macaroni doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Lastly, add the prepared tofu and cook for about 5 more minutes until the macaroni is al dente. As soon as the macaroni is al dente remove the pot from the heat so that it doesn’t get overcooked. If the chili mac is a bit watery, just let it rest, the macaroni and tofu will continue to absorb the liquid. If the chili mac is too dry, simply add a splash more of vegetable broth or water to reach desired consistency. The Best Vegan Chili Mac and Cheese! Hearty, vegan meaty, vegan cheesy, total comfort food bliss! Easy to make and can be made ahead of time. You won't even know it's vegan!! #itdoesnttastelikechicken #veganrecipes

Serve hot with dollops of vegan nacho cheese if desired, and a sprinkle of parsley. The nacho cheese is a lovely addition, but this vegan chili mac and cheese is also super delish all on its own, so only add the cheese if you want extra cheesiness!

Bon appetegan!

Sam Turnbull.

Print Recipe

The Best Vegan Chili Mac and Cheese!

Hearty, vegan meaty, vegan cheesy, total comfort food bliss! Easy to make and can be made ahead of time. You won’t even know it’s vegan!!

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time45 mins

Total Time50 mins

Course: Main Course, Pasta

Cuisine: American

Servings: 8 (makes about 8 cups)

Calories: 342kcal

Ingredients

For the tofu crumbles:

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, (gluten-free if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 12oz block extra-firm tofu, drained (no need to press it)

For the chili mac:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 28oz can diced tomato
  • 1 19oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni noodles (1 ½ cups), (gluten-free if preferred)

Instructions

To prepare the tofu crumbles:

  • Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Line with parchment paper or lightly grease a large baking sheet. 350 for 35 minutes

  • In a medium bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Crumble the block of tofu with your fingers into the bowl along with the seasoning. You can alternatively use a potato masher in the bowl to mash up the tofu. Mix the crumbled tofu with the seasoning to make sure it is evenly coated.
  • Spread the crumbles evenly over the pan. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, stopping to stir the tofu every now and then. Keep a close eye on it towards the end so that it doesn’t burn. You want the tofu to be nice and browned. The smaller crumbles will be darker than the larger crumbles, and that’s ok because it will provide a variety of textures.

To make the chili mac:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot. When hot add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions turn translucent and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

  • Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, kidney beans, 6 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, the miso paste, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then.

  • Add the macaroni noodles, and cook for another 8 minutes, stirring often so the macaroni doesn’t stick to the bottom. Lastly, add the prepared tofu and cook for about 5 more minutes until the macaroni is al dente. As soon as the macaroni is al dente remove the pot from the heat so that it doesn’t get overcooked. If the chili mac is a bit watery, just let it rest, the macaroni and tofu will continue to absorb the liquid. If the chili mac is too dry, simply add a splash more of vegetable broth or water to reach desired consistency. Serve hot with dollops of vegan nacho cheese if desired, and a sprinkle of parsley.

Notes

Salt: the vegetable broth I used was salty enough so I didn’t feel the need to add any salt. But of course, just taste the finished dish and add salt to taste if preferred. 
Oil-free: to make oil-free simply sub the oil in the tofu marinate with vegetable broth. Then when sautéing the onions and garlic, do a water or broth sauté.
Make-ahead/freeze: vegan chili mac and cheese can be prepared fully and served later. Make sure to cook your noodles al dente (do not overcook or it can get mushy) then immediately remove the pot from the heat and let it cool completely. Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge or freeze. When reheating, if it has gotten too thick, just add a splash or two of water to thin it out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving without added nacho cheese (recipe makes 8 servings) | Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 856mg | Potassium: 626mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 679IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 4mg


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