Vegan Nachos Mac and Cheese! We’re combining the deliciousness of a low-fat vegan cheese sauce with the carbolicious goodness of pasta to create a fantastic mac and cheese you won’t want to miss.
Healthy, flavorful, and creamy, this low-fat, nut-free Vegan Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food for Nacho cheese lovers everywhere! It is reminiscent of a delicious nacho cheese sauce mixed with tender elbow macaroni and topped with crushed tortillas, then baked to perfection.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Mom was all over this recipe! One of her favorite combos, Mexican combined with a mac and cheese recipe! This dish is low in fat, nut-free, and tastes absolutely amazing for a low-fat, nut-free dish.
Yasmeen is a mac and cheese lover, and we’ve been having a great time coming up with delicious Whole Food Plant Based variations.
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: The flavor of this macaroni and cheese is reminiscent of a nacho cheese sauce mixed in with elbow macaroni. The nachos comes from the crushed tortillas that are baked on top of the dish.
- Potatoes: The potatoes were measured in ounces after peeling, then we ended up with approximately 2 ¼ cups of peeled and diced potatoes.
- Low-Fat Dish Expectations: This mac and cheese was designed to be low in fat and nut-free. Because it is low in fat, you are not going to experience that endorphin rush associated with eating high-fat foods when eating this dish. We would typically add in cashews to give it richness, but we purposefully wanted to make a nut-free mac and cheese. It is very tasty for what it is, and that is a low-fat, nut-free mac and cheese. We just want to make sure that our Readers recognize this when contemplating making this recipe.
- Tahini: The tahini is optional, but it adds a nice layer of richness and creaminess to the sauce. We recommend not leaving it out.
- Mild Green Chilies: Make sure you select mild green chilies as the 4 oz. cans come in both mild and hot.
- Do not blend the Mild Green Chilies: Make sure you do not blend the mild green chilies in the high-speed blender, just pulse once or twice. If unsure, just mix them in with the cooked macaroni. The sauce will be hot (temperature) from blending the boiled potatoes and carrots and will cook the green chilies.
- Ume Plum Vinegar: We used Eden Ume Plum Vinegar. We get a lot of questions on ume plum vinegar. It is fairly inexpensive and adds amazing flavor. You can find it in most health food grocery stores. You can leave it out if you can’t find it, adjust your flavors accordingly.
- 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 cheezy, 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 macaroni 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.
- Crushed Tortillas/Tortilla Chips: Select oil-free tortillas/tortilla chips, if you can’t find any oil-free tortillas chips at your local store, you can toast a few tortillas in the oven, then crush them by hand. Taste the crushed tortillas after you crush them, 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 topping is optional if you are trying to reduce the fat even further; however, the topping does add a lovely element to this dish.
- Baking the Mac and Cheese casserole: You only need to bake the mac and cheese for a short period of time since the macaroni and sauce are already hot. Or you can skip this altogether and go straight from mixing the macaroni and sauce to individual serving plates and sprinkling the crushed tortillas on top. We liked placing it in the oven and broiling a little just to get the tortillas a little more toasty. If broiling in the oven, use a lower rack setting as to not burn the crushed tortillas.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done in the oven, 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:
- Ume Plum Vinegar: We used Eden Ume Plum Vinegar. Feel free to use your favorite ume plum vinegar.
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Stock pot to cook the pasta
- Stock pot to boil the potatoes and carrot
- High-Speed Blender
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.Print
Healthy and flavorful, this low-fat, nut-free Vegan Nacho Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food for Nacho cheese lovers everywhere!
- 12 oz. Russet potatoes, peeled, small ½ inch dice (about 2 ¼ cups) *
- 1 small carrot, cut into thin coins (about ¼ cup)
- Sprinkle sea salt
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ume plum vinegar *
- ¼ cup + 3 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon tahini *
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dried ground mustard powder
- 1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
- ¼ to 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- 4 oz. can mild green chilies (including liquid from can) *
- 8 to 10 oz. elbow macaroni *
Optional Topping Ingredients:
- 2 Tablespoons to ¼ cup crushed tortilla chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, using the upper center rack.
- Place the diced potatoes, carrots, and a sprinkle of sea salt into a small stock pot, cover with water, place on the stove, bring to a boil. Simmer at a low boil for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are perfectly tender. Drain the liquid, then place the carrots and potatoes into a high-speed blender.
- Add the Sauce Ingredients and Herb/Spice Ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend on high until the sauce is creamy, smooth, and “cheezy”. You may need to use the tamper tool to keep the sauce moving. Taste test for flavor, add more spices to reach the flavor you desire.
- Add the mild green chilies (including the liquid) and pulse a few times just to mix in. Do not blend!
- Place the cooked macaroni into a large bowl, add the nacho cheese sauce into the bowl, mix well. Spoon into a small casserole serving dish and top with the crushed tortilla chips.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then switch to high broil and broil for a few minutes (or less) 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.
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