Vegan Enchilada Mac and Cheese! It’s hard to beat the warm comfort food that macaroni and cheese brings!
Creamy, spicy, and oh-so-flavorful, this oil-free Vegan Enchilada Mac and Cheese if full of delicious plant-based goodness. Filled with tender macaroni, hearty black beans, and zesty green chilies, coated in a luscious sauce, and then topped with crushed tortilla chips, this easy to make dish will have the whole family wanting more.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
This recipe almost didn’t happen, we accidentally lost the recipe when our printer failed last year. We keep a spiral notebook filled with recipes tests. We typically type up and print the recipes so we can schedule them for release on our blog for the upcoming months.
Once we realized that this one never got scheduled, we hustled to get it shot and scheduled because it was soooo delicious!
Mom, Yasmeen, and I devoured it. If you love enchiladas and mac and cheese, this awesome mash-up is a must try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: The flavor profile is a spicy enchilada mac and cheese dish. If you love enchiladas, then you will love this spicy mac and cheese. The dish has a little kick of heat from the enchilada sauce and chili powder. The enchilada flavor dominates the dish. It is mildly “cheesy”. If you are concerned about the heat, then top with vegan sour cream and avocados to balance out the heat.
- Optional Mild Green Chilies: If adding in the green chilies, make sure you select mild green chilies as the 4 oz. cans come in both mild and hot. Make sure you drain off the liquid. Also, do not add to the high-speed blender. Stir in when mixing with the macaroni.
- Enchilada Sauce: We used 20 oz. of our Enchilada Sauce recipe, this recipe makes approximately 3 cups of enchilada sauce. You will need 2 ½ cups of sauce for this recipe. Feel free to use your favorite enchilada sauce.
- Sauciness: The sauce will appear loose, but one you add in the cornmeal and mix in the pasta, beans, and chilies and it will also thicken in the oven. It is not a thick sauce, but it perfectly coats the macaroni, beans, and chilies.
- Pan Size: We used a 7×11 casserole baking dish. You can also use a round baking dish, etc. Just keep in mind that the larger the pan (ex. 9 x 13), the more surface area for broiling, which can create a less saucy mac and cheese.
- Cashew Substitutes: You can try the typical cashew substitutes: silken tofu, white beans, other nuts or seeds with the understanding that the flavor and texture will change accordingly. You may need to adjust/add ingredients to compensate. We have not tested any substitutions.
- Amount of Pasta: While it is always tempting to use more pasta than the amount indicated in the recipe; however, resist the temptation as the amount of pasta indicated is the perfection sauce to pasta ratio. 8 oz. for ultra saucy, 10 oz. for a nice sauce coating.
- Cooking the Pasta: Do not overcook the pasta, cook it to al dente, then drain thoroughly.
- Drain the Pasta: Make sure you take a few extra moments to thoroughly drain the pasta to avoid a watered-down sauce.
- Elbow Macaroni: We loved using elbow macaroni, you can use pretty much any small-cut pasta you wish.
- Gluten Free Macaroni/Pasta: Gluten free pasta is typically very starchy. Because of this, we suggest that you quickly rinse with cold tap water in a colander just to stop the cooking process and to get rid of excess starches, then switch to hot tap water to heat it up again. Shake off the excess water before placing in a bowl to mix with the sauce.
- Optional Crushed Tortilla Chips: Select oil-free tortilla chips, if you can’t find any oil-free tortilla chips at your local store, you can toast a few oil-free tortillas in the oven, then crush them by hand. Taste the crushed tortillas, you may need to add a sprinkle of sea salt to liven up the flavor before topping the mac and cheese casserole. The crushed tortilla chips adds beautiful dimension to this dish.
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
This dish can be frozen; however, it is best if served immediately after making or after refrigerating leftovers. Pasta does tend to get a little mushy after freezing.
Pantry Products Used:
- Chili Powder: We used Penzeys Regular Chili Powder. It has great flavor, with a tiny kick that is not overwhelming. Feel free to use your favorite chili powder, just be sure to select a mild one and not one that has a lot of heat to it.
- Enchilada Sauce: We used our Enchilada Sauce. Feel free to use your favorite enchilada sauce recipe or store-bought enchilada sauce. If purchasing from the store, be sure to select a mild enchilada sauce.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Casserole dish (we used a 7×11)
- High-speed blender
- Stock pot to cook the macaroni
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.Print
Creamy, spicy, and oh-so-flavorful, this oil-free Vegan Enchilada Mac and Cheese if full of delicious plant-based goodness.
- ½ cup [raw] cashews
- 2 – [ 10 oz. cans ] or 2 ½ cups mild enchilada sauce
- 2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon chili powder *
- 2 Tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 – [ 15.5 oz. can ] black beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 to 12 oz. elbow macaroni *
- 4 oz. can mild green chilies, drained
Optional Topping Ingredients:
- ¼ cup crushed tortilla chips (+/-)
- Avocado, chunked
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, using the upper center rack.
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water, set aside to drain.
- Place the cashews into a small bowl, cover with boiling water, soak for 15 minutes, then drain off the liquid and discard. Then place the soaked cashews into a high-speed blender.
- Then add all the Sauce Ingredients (except the cornmeal) into the high-speed blender, along with the soaked cashews. Blend on high until the sauce is creamy, smooth.
- Add the cornmeal and pulse a few times, just to mix in thoroughly. Do not blend.
- Place the cooked macaroni into a large bowl, add the enchilada sauce mixture, black beans, and mild green chiles into the bowl, mix well. Spoon into a small casserole serving dish and top with the crushed tortilla chips.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then switch to high broil and broil for a few minutes until the topping is lightly toasted. Serve and enjoy!
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 4 to 6
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