Total time: 30 minutes || Active time: 15 minutes
Chipotle Mac & Cheese! Okay? I probably don’t need to say anything else, you’re already rummaging through your pantry for a can of chipotles and some cashews to soak. Mac & Cheese is, after all, the ultimate comfort food. A box of macaroni might as well come with sweatpants, a cozy blanket and an entire season of Mad Men DVDs.
This version is creamy, of course, but also spicy and smoky. But what really sets it apart is how EASY it is. That’s ALL CAPS and throw in an italic EASY.
1) Boil some macaroni 2) Throw some stuff into the blender 3) Put it all together. 4) There you go. I roasted some brussel sprouts, too (as I do), but you can add any manner of veggie; steamed kale, grilled asparagus, sauteed zucchini…you get the picture. I do highly recommend the brussels, though, because they roast away effortlessly, and you are free to prepare everything else. Oh, and of course, they’re also super delicious.
The only thing that’s a little fussy is getting the seeds out of the chipotle. But follow my notes below and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Happy macking, everyone!
~ The reason we’re removing the seeds, in case you’re wondering, is that seeds are really spicy. With the seeds removed, you can use more chipotles, thus getting more smoky flavor without all the heat.
~ Update! If you’d like to make this was blanched, slivered or sliced almonds, go for it! People have been reporting back that it works well.
~ For a non-spicy version, try one roasted red pepper (homemade or from a jar) in place of the 4 chipotles.
~ I love a milder miso here. I used chickpea, but mellow white would be nice, too. The kind of miso you use will determine the saltiness, and so I suggest salting to taste before and after adding it to the macaroni.
1 lb brussels, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oilFor the sauce:
1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
4 chipotles, seeded (see note)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons miso (I used chickpea miso)
Salt to taste
To make the sauce: Drain the cashews and place all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend away until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides with a spatula to make sure you get everything. Depending on the strength of your blender this could take from one to five minutes.
When the macaroni is tender, drain it in a colander. Immediately place it back in the pot you boiled it in and stir in the sauce. Place pot on low heat and stir for 3 minutes or so, until the sauce is thickened a bit and everything is deliciously creamy. Taste for salt, toss in the brussel sprouts and serve!
(In the pic I put some extra chipotles in, but that was just for show. Unless you like things REALLY spicy you can skip that.)
I love this recipe and my little 5 year old nephew loves it too! He always requests it when he comes over to my house. This is just crazy delicious!
So I did something last night… I took the cheese sauce recipe and poured it over scalloped sweet and regular potatoes and baked for 40 minutes.
And I was there so can attest — it was DELICIOUS! Can’t remember what oven temp we used. I think it was 375 degrees.
What cookbook is this in? (If it is even in one!) I’m going to buy the book so I can stop looking online for this recipe and all the other fab stuff you prepare.
BTW – thanks for all you teach me!
Hi Isa, any idea on the calories in this? My hubby and I make this at least 2x a month and I’m just curious 🙂 SO GOOD!!
Lucky you Eric, you can find the recipe in The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook. I just got the book from the library and this is the first recipe I made. It is in the Superbowl section. Everyone loved the dish – except for one person who’s shy on the spices. I used 3 chipotle peppers (perfect for me!). It would be easy to split the recipe with different peppers so guests can choose their heat.
I looooove this recipe and I have shared it with friends, however a friend asked is there a substitute for the cashews because of nut allergies. what would you suggest?
I made this, and LOVED IT! and quickly realized if I added honey that it would be SO SO close to the copy-cat recipe for Cheesecake Factory’s spicy chipotle pasta!!! ( I add peas, mushrooms, asparagus, peppers and onions)! This one recipe alone will make being dairy free easy and delicious!
It was delicious ! I used sapporo miso (stronger than chickpeas miso I think) and dried chipotle (only a 1/2) and it worked out perfectly !
omg i’m switching things UP this thanksgiving this sounds so dang good (and i suspect the kids i’ll be dining with will be interested too, if i set aside some chipotle-free portions). i’ll report back.
My family loves this recipe! I substituted raw almonds for cashews and one can of organic diced green chiles instead of chipotles, it was incredible!
The first time I made it I overheated the sauce and it really changed the initial fresh flavor, I’m making it again tonight and will be sure to heat it on low for only a few minutes.
Any chance of getting the recipe available for printing WITHOUT the accompanying photos? That is such an ink-thirsty waste of print! Thanks for such a great, mouth-watering and inspiring recipe!
You could try copy and pasting the recipe into a Word document, then printing that?
One of my favorite PPK recipes. I hadn’t made it in a couple years and yesterday Sprouts had a really good sale on Brussels sprouts. When I went to make it today I realized I didn’t have stock. I wonder how it would be with unsweetened oat milk and a dash of coconut aminos instead, I thought. I’m creating an account now to tell you, fellow macaroni and chz lovers, unsweetened oat milk with a dash of aminos in lieu of veggie stock is my new way now.
We loooooooved it!
You’re my favourite chef in the world thank you for sharing!
I just made this last night and it’s wonderful!! Easily the best vegan mac I’ve ever tasted. 4 chipotle chiles made for a little bit of heat, which was great for us but folks should be aware.
It makes me want to try her pizza mac now! Thank you!
We love this; it’s now a standard meal in our house.
I’m thinking about testing a baked version for Thanksgiving, you know mixing in some different grated veg cheeses and topping it off with breadcrumbs. Hope it will be even more delicious with these additions.
Ideas for a nut free version? I’m dying to try it!
I’m obsessed with this recipe I’ve made this so many times and it’s just SO gooooood! I’ve used both dried and canned chipotle chiles. With the dried chiles you’ll need to rehydrate them before adding them to the sauce mixture. I’ll boil the dried chilies in hot water and then use the hot water as the liquid for extra spicy mac! Another addition that I’ve done is add caramelized onions and red pepper for crunch! Or, if you are feeling EXTRA saucy, baking some shitake mushrooms for that added bacon flavor.
***I also realized I accidently rated another chipotle mac & cheese recipe by accident thinking I was commenting on Isa’s page! whoops!
are the chipotles canned? or fresh? I’ve only ever seen canned chipotles in adobo. I’m assuming fresh…and will probably use jalapeños instead when i try this; thanks!
Hi Isa!!! I just made this and my friend and I loved it and want to make it again. We used a mix of cashews and sunflower seeds since that’s what we had. We loved the smoky flavor from the peppers. It went perfectly with the roasted Brussels sprouts. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.