The Best Vegan Hamburger Helper

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5 from 3 votes

The Best Vegan Hamburger Helper

Easy to make and uses easy-to-find ingredients that you likely already have on hand. Inspired by the cheeseburger flavor, tofu is seasoned and cooked for a beefy-tasting bite, and the pasta is cooked in a cheesy creamy sauce that everyone will love. You won't believe this is vegan!
My Notes:
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Meal Type: Dinner, Lunch
Special: Gluten-Free, Kid-Friendly, Nut-Free, Oil-Free, Seasonal (Cold Weather)
Tool: Oven, Stove
Ingredient: Pasta, Tofu
Servings: 4
Calories: 373kcal
Ingredients
For the Tofu:
  • 2 tablespoon(s) nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon(s) soy sauce gluten-free if preferred
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 12oz block(s) extra-firm tofu
For the Hamburger Helper:
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 clove(s) garlic minced or pressed
  • 2 1/4 cup(s) vegetable broth divided
  • 1 cup(s) plant-based milk (such as oat or soy)
  • 3 tablespoon(s) nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon(s) ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) uncooked cavatappi pasta (also called scoobi doo) (or other short noodle) (gluten-free if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
Instructions
For the Tofu:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly grease the pan.
  • Mix nutritional yeast, soy sauce, and olive oil together in a large bowl. Open and drain the tofu (no need to press it), then break off chunks and add them to the bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the tofu into crumbles. Stir the tofu crumbles well making sure all of the tofu is evenly coated in the nutritional yeast mix.
  • Spread the tofu mixture evenly over the pan. Bake for about 30 - 35 mins, stopping to stir the tofu every now and then. You want the tofu to be nice and browned. Set aside.
For the Hamburger Helper:
  • In the meantime, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions turn translucent and begin to brown. Add 2 cups vegetable broth, the plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, ketchup, paprika, and salt and mix to combine. Add the pasta and stir again. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook covered until the pasta is al dente, stirring as needed, 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Once the pasta is al dente, add the baked tofu crumbles and stir in.
  • Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch with ¼ cup cold vegetable broth in a small cup. Pour the slurry in with the noodles and tofu and mix. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened slightly about 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Notes
Cavatappi pasta (also called scoobi doo): is a corkscrew-shaped pasta. I think it's fun in this recipe but feel free to swap it for macaroni, shells, penne, orecchiette, or another short pasta shape.
Gluten-free: some gluten-free pasta can be a bit starchier than wheat pasta, so if your sauce is nice and thick, you can skip adding the cornstarch slurry. If your sauce gets too thick, add a splash of vegetable broth or water as needed.
Oil-free: to make oil free, sub the olive oil on the tofu for vegetable broth or aquafaba. Then omit the oil for the onions and garlic and instead do a water or broth sauté.
Nutrition
Serving: 1serving (recipe makes 4 servings) | Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 997mg | Potassium: 546mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 657IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 3mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Tag @itdoesnttastelikechicken on Instagram and Hashtag #easyveganmealplan