Almost Vegan Chili Mac & Cheese

almost vegan chili Mac and cheese

Almost Vegan Chili Mac & Cheese

Here’s my thing with vegan cheese sauces. If I am looking for that real mac and cheese flavor that brings me back to when I was a kid (or college) the vegan version just doesn’t quite get me there. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about cutting down on as much dairy as possible in my diet. However, when it comes to the few random times I eat Mac & Cheese, I want that cheddar.

I’ve made this recipe a few times a few different ways. My idea for this Almost Vegan Chili Mac & Cheese is that it follows a vegan cheese sauce recipe, with the addition of some (not very much!) real cheddar to give it the authentic flavor. This sauce is still WAY healthier, as it has no butter, cream, or cream cheese thrown in there. It also doesn’t involve soaking cashews! 

Also feel free to customize! Add less cheddar and more nutritional yeast or visa versa until you hit that exact flavor you are looking for. 🙂


almost vegan chili Mac and cheesealmost vegan chili Mac and cheese


Almost Vegan Chili Mac & Cheese
Serves 3
  1. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoon of gluten free all purpose flour (or regular all purpose flour)
  3. 1 1/4 cups of unsweetened almond milk (or other nut milk)
  4. 1/2 cup of organic grated cheddar cheese (*or vegan cheddar for a fully vegan version)
  5. 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  6. 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  8. dash of salt and pepper to taste
  9. 1 head of kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  10. Red pepper flakes
  11. Pasta of choice
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, add the two tablespoons of olive oil to a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the flour and whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes until combined.
  4. Slowly* pour in the almond milk, whisking to combine.
  5. Add in the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, pepper and cheddar cheese and whisk until the cheese is melted.
  6. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 8 minutes until the sauce thickens (continue to stir frequently).
  7. In a separate pan add a little olive oil and then add a desired amount of kale and a dash of salt and pepper and sauté until tender.
  8. Drain pasta and add back to the pot or to a large bowl.
  9. Pour in the sauce and mix through.
  10. Add in the kale and gently mix in.
  11. Taste test for more salt or pepper needed.
  12. Top with red pepper flakes if desired.
  13. Serve immediately.
  1. You can make this completely vegan by using a vegan cheese substitute.
  2. I used an all purpose flour by Jessica's Natural Foods. Other brands many alter the consistency depending on the ingredients.
Adapted from Our Best Vegan Recipes
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