This simple nut free Nacho Mac and Cheese is rich, creamy, and spicy. Made on the stovetop, it is an easy meal. The nacho cheese sauce can be used on nachos and veggie burgers as well.
This Nacho Mac and Cheese is rich and creamy, making it a perfect comfort food in my book.
The creamy sauce clings nicely to elbow noodles. Made in about 20 minutes, it is a quick and easy meal.
Since I love spicy foods, I like this spicy mac and cheese even better than my previous mac and cheese recipe.
Speaking of spicy foods, a similar recipe is my Vegan Chili Cheese Dip. It is practically a meal in itself.
What Does It Taste Like?
This Mexican mac and cheese is rich, creamy, and spicy. It has all the flavors of nacho cheese sauce, but it is dairy free.
This is an overview of the ingredients. To see the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Pasta: I used elbow pasta, but you could use straight macaroni, penne, rotini or another short pasta. I used brown rice elbow noodles to make it gluten-free. Use your favorite pasta.
- Silken tofu: Adds the creamy texture. I used silken tofu found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
- Nutritional yeast: Adds a cheesy taste. If you leave it out it won't taste as cheesy. You try use store-bought vegan parmesan, although I cannot speak to the results.
- Tapioca flour or cornstarch: When I originally posted this recipe I used cornstarch, but found since then that I am intolerant to corn. You can use either, just note that you'll need twice as much tapioca flour.
- Green chiles: Adds spice. You could leave them out.
- Salsa: I used a medium chunky salsa. Use your favorite or make some homemade Restaurant Style Salsa.
- Turmeric: Adds color. You can leave it out.
- Chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper: Adds spice and nacho flavor. You could also use taco seaosning.
- Vegan butter: Adds a rich buttery flavor.
- Salt and pepper: Enhances flavors and adds flavor.
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If you are using white or brown rice noodles, like I did, you may want to boil your noodles in a larger amount of water than you normally would for other types of pasta, and don't cook it in water that's high in arsenic. There are growing concerns about arsenic levels in rice.
Stir the noodles as soon as the noodles hit the pot of water. You'll want to stir as they cook so that they don't stick together. You can add a little olive oil as well so that they don't stick. I do that sometimes, but didn't for this recipe.
Boil noodles as per directions, but cook about 3-4 minutes less since you'll be cooking the noodles in the sauce a little later. Add a lot of salt. It should be salty like the sea.
Reserve about ¼ cup of the pasta water. It is starchy, which will help the sauce to stick better to the noodles. Again, if you're concerned about arsenic levels, you may not want to do this for rice based pastas.
Check your pasta! Taste it to see when it's ready. Again, you want it cooked for less time since it will cook some more in the sauce.
Mix silken tofu, nutritional yeast, tapioca flour (or corn starch), half the green chiles, and spice in a food processor. Taste the mixture to see if you want more spices.
Keep in mind raw tapioca flour (or corn starch) doesn't taste as good as cooked. By tasting the mixture you'll at least have an idea of how spicy it will be, but remember there's still salsa and the other half of green chiles that will be added later.
Pour the nacho cheese sauce mixture into a pan, along with salsa, the other half of green chiles, and Earth Balance. Heat on medium heat. Cook until the Earth Balance melts.
Add the pasta and pasta water. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until heated through.
Serve with chopped green onions, sliced jalapeño or diced green chiles. This recipe doesn't call for a whole can of green chiles, so you'll have a little extra.
Vegan macaroni and cheese with nacho cheese sauce, what could be better? This spicy comfort food is the stuff dreams are made of!
*Don't forget to come back and leave your feedback and star rating.
Nacho Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces white or brown rice elbow noodles
- 14 ounces silken tofu
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 5 tablespoons green chiles divided
- ¼ cup tapioca flour (or 2 tablespoons corn starch)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup salsa
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread
- Salt and pepper
- Cook noodles as per directions, but 3-4 minutes less than cooking time, since you'll be cooking noodles in the sauce later. Drain pasta, reserving a ¼ cup of the pasta water.
- Mix silken tofu, nutritional yeast, half the green chiles, tapioca flour, turmeric, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in food processor.
- Pour the sauce into a pan. Add salsa, the other half of green chiles, and Earth Balance. Cook on medium heat until the Earth Balance melts. Add pasta and pasta water. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
*Note: Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only. Different nutrition calculators give you different results.