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!!
Servings: 8 (makes about 8 cups)
For the tofu crumbles:
- 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 drained (no need to press it)
For the chili mac:
- 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 4 clove(s) garlic minced or pressed
- 5 cup(s) vegetable broth
- 1 28oz can(s) diced tomato
- 1 19oz can(s) kidney beans (2 cups) drained and rinsed
- 6 tablespoon(s) nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon(s) chilli powder
- 1/2 tablespoon(s) cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) smoked paprika
- 8 oz elbow macaroni (1 1/2 cups) (gluten-free if preferred)
- 1 recipe Homemade Vegan Nacho Cheese (or 1 1/2 cups store-bought vegan cheddar cheese) or 1 1/2 cup(s) store-bought vegan cheese of choice
- 1 handful(s) fresh parsley roughly chopped
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.
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.
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