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Chili Mac n’ Cheese


That was vegan? Chili Mac n' Cheese

After becoming vegan I went for 507 days without eating mac n’ cheese. FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVEN! That’s a lot of days, I know. And I also know that there are plenty of recipes for vegan m-n-c out there, and lots of restaurants that serve it, but somehow the stars just never aligned for me. I kept meaning to try a recipe, and there was even one day that I fully intended to order it for lunch at Udi’s until I got there and realized it was no longer on the menu (note to restaurants: please don’t leave delicious dishes listed on your website if you have no intention of making them!), but it just never happened for me. Not until this Thanksgiving, that is!  Our friends Lauren and Jeremy not only hosted us on Tofurkey Day, but Lauren also made a fabulous baked mac n’ cheese, breaking my dry spell with a BANG!  (The recipe she used is here and I strongly suggest you all give it a try!) It was so good, and all those old mushy feelings came rushing back to me, reminding me how much I missed that ooey-gooey comfort food.

How much did I miss it? Enough that in the 8 days since, I’ve eaten some version of  it 4 times! This improves my Once-every-507-days average to a more acceptable Once-every-103-days, a statistic I’m less embarrassed by.

My most favorite version (so far, at least!) has been this Tex-Mex style, loaded with tomatoes and corn and beans… vegan chili, basically. It’s a little spicy, but you could certainly kick up the chili powder or add some chopped jalapenos if that’s your jam. Jason, my hubby, is from NM and as far as I can tell he was born without the ability to taste heat. He’d put Ghost Pepper Aioli on everything if he could. I, on the other hand, am from NH and growing up considered Taco Bell to be authentic Mexican food, so lets just say that our tolerance for heat is not equal.


Chili Mac n' Cheese
Serves 5
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  1. 1 medium onion, chopped (I used sweet)
  2. 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  3. 15 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  4. 15 oz can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
  5. 2.5 cups frozen corn
  6. 28 oz diced canned tomatoes, with the juice
  7. 1 10oz box elbow macaroni, or pasta of your choice
  8. 1.5 tablespoons cumin
  9. 1 tablespoon chili powder (I used a "New Mexico blend" that was on sale... also, use a little less than a tablespoon if you're worried about the heat!)
  10. 1 bag shredded Pepper Jack Daiya
  11. 4 tablespoons non-dairy milk (if needed)
  12. S&P to taste
  1. Put the macaroni on to boil, but be careful to leave it undercooked otherwise it'll fall apart later on. I cooked mine just until it was "a little too chewy".
  2. In a large soup or stock pot saute the onion until tender, using either oil or water. Stir in beans, corn, tomatoes and macaroni, then add the cumin and chili pepper, tasting as you go.
  3. Stir in the Daiya and let it get all melty and gooey and fantastic, then add your salt and pepper if you'd like. If it's too dry, add a few tablespoons of your non-dairy milk of choice... And enjoy!
  1. This is one of those dishes that gets better after sitting in the fridge for a day or two, so make sure you have leftovers!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/



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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Robert December 2, 2011, 9:09 pm

    Jay is not really from NM. He is from Belen and Clovis. Which are two places that no state would ever lay claim to. Even NM.

    • barbara December 3, 2011, 7:44 am

      … and that’s really saying something 😉

  • Reia December 2, 2011, 11:53 pm

    Yum! I found that when I went veg, I ate a LOT of m-n-c, but that’s obviously not the healthiest choice to make. This sounds healthy, yummy, and Robert even says it looks good, so I definitely will be making it.

  • Lauren December 4, 2011, 11:40 am

    Barb, you should also post your pumpkin bread. Yummy!

  • Bianca-Vegan Crunk December 4, 2011, 10:12 pm

    507 days!! Jesus, how have you survived all this time? 😛 Vegan mac ‘n’ cheese is probably my favorite food (just after ramen noodles, of course). This recipe sounds awesome! I love that it calls for a whole bag of Daiya Pepperjack. I love that shit!

    • barbara December 5, 2011, 7:56 am

      Trust me, I wont be going that long again! Especially since Daiya makes it so easy (and yummy)!

  • Christy December 7, 2011, 5:19 pm

    This looks so yummy. Wish we had access to daiya in our town. Found you on findigvegan.com. Interested in following your blog.

    • Barb December 8, 2011, 7:06 am

      Welcome! I love findingvegan.com too.

      Have you thought about ordering it online? I know veganessentials.com carries it… Just a thought- don’t want you to miss out on the greatest vegan cheese in the universe!

  • Linda Evans December 9, 2011, 12:16 am

    Looks quite yummy!

  • Nneka February 26, 2014, 4:52 am

    Hi Barb! I really love this recipe. I have made it a couple of times. I was going to make it for a pot-luck tonight, but it seems like the recipe is missing now. Just an FYI. Have a great day, and thanks for these amazing vegan recipes.

    • Barb February 26, 2014, 5:18 pm

      Thank you for letting me know, I’m totally freaking out right now!!

  • Katie April 21, 2014, 5:55 pm

    :O This looks sooo yummy, but I don’t see the recipe, and the little link doesn’t look like this chili mac.

  • Briana April 29, 2014, 3:47 pm

    Oh no, Where did the recipe go? I really want to try this!

    • Barb May 5, 2014, 9:59 am

      Technical glitch… it’s there now!

  • Lauren February 25, 2015, 5:02 pm

    The recipe says to add green chili but this is not listed in the ingredients. How much? Also what size box macaroni?

    • Barb March 9, 2015, 10:56 am

      Oops, sorry about that. The ‘green chile’ was a mistake. The box of pasta is just the standard size, 16oz. I’ve updated the recipe to include that. Thanks!

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