November 17, 2014

Vegan Chili Mac

Meet one of our new favorite go-to dinners! We all love it, including our toddler who gets super excited and usually asks for seconds. Although she has trouble pronouncing "chili" so it comes out more like "gooey mac" 😉 That name is just as great because it actually describes it pretty well. I love this recipe so much because it's amazing comfort food with 8 simple ingredients yet tons of flavor. It's healthy, filling, and slightly creamy/cheesy from the nutritional yeast... YUM! What brings it over the top is that it only takes 30 minutes to prepare, is super easy to make, and is full of pantry staples that I usually have on hand (beans, pasta, onion, tomato sauce). It's not spicy when using a mild chili powder, so add smoky chipotle powder if you'd like to kick it up. It's a perfect family-friendly meal loved by kids and adults alike. Gooey mac for the win!

Vegan, gluten-free (with gf pasta)
Adapted from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen
Makes about 5 servings

8 oz. elbow pasta (about 2 heaping cups uncooked)
1 onion
15 oz. can tomato sauce
15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups corn (I use frozen)
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
3-4 tsp. mild chili powder*
1/2 cup water
3-4 oz. spinach
Salt to taste
Optional: garlic, chipotle powder

Cook pasta, leaving al dente. Drain when finished.
While pasta is cooking, dice onion.
In a large pan over medium heat, saute onion about 8 minutes or until translucent.
When onion is soft, add pasta and all other ingredients except spinach.
Reduce heat and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if it becomes too dry.
Meanwhile, roughly chop spinach.
Add spinach and cook 3 minutes. Salt to taste.

*If you're worried about the spiciness in chili powder, try a blend of 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. cumin, and 1 tsp. smoked paprika - I love these delicious flavors!

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  1. Winter has really hit, and I've been craving warming dishes like this. It looks so good, and I love the vibrant color of the spinach.

    1. Thanks so much Cadry! Always fun to add some pretty color :)

  2. I made this for dinner tonight and it was great...comforting, but not too heavy...definitely worthy of a repeat...even the omnivore hubby had seconds

    1. Hi Terri! Yay - wonderful to hear! So glad you (and the hubby!!) enjoyed it :) One of our faves!

  3. Mmmm! Delicious. I've been vegan about 6 months now and this is real comfort food! It's a good thing I love it because I made a whole batch and it's just me. Sounds good for breakfast tomorrow :)

    1. Hi Kim! Haha - awesome :) So glad you're enjoying it! I eat leftovers for breakfast all the time and this is definitely no exception ;) Have a great week!

  4. Thank you the recipe. I made your recipe two weeks ago and we loved it. I made it again today with a few additions/modifications; I used 2oz of spinach and 2 oz of collard greens. I added a birds-eye chili pepper, an orange bell pepper, and a pasilla pepper. Then I added a cajun spice blend. I suppose I had a craving for the spices today. All peppers are deseeded.

    1. NICE! I love your additions - I bet that added tons of awesome flavor. It's such a great recipe to play around with! Thanks for the message!

  5. hi Kaitlin was wondering if it still works with frozen spinach as that's all I have right now thankyou

    1. Hey Christine!! I've never tried it with frozen spinach but I bet that'd work great! Hope you enjoy it and wishing you a very happy new year! :)

  6. How much does this make ? Family of 6 here! :-)

    1. Hi Sari! If you have younger kiddos, I bet you could stretch this one batch to feed all 6. Otherwise you may want to double it (or estimate a batch and a half). If you double it, you'll most likely have leftovers, but we love 'em heated up the next day! :) Hope you guys enjoy!