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ONE POT VEGAN CHILI MAC

One Pot Vegan Chili Mac features crumbled tempeh, kidney beans, sweet corn, peppers, tomatoes, pasta and blend of flavorful spices, and is an easy vegan dinner the whole family will enjoy! Even better, it’s ready in as little as 30 minutes!

top down view of a serving of vegan chili mac in a white bowl with blue rim.

Welcome chili mac lover’s – you’ve just landed on the best recipe for vegan chili mac ever!

I don’t say that lightly, it’s 100% true and my whole family agrees. We couldn’t get enough and everyone went back for more!

It’s two favorite comfort foods, brought together with tons of veggies and loaded with flavor. Plus, it’s easily customizable, healthy and hearty!

So let’s get to it!

top down view of ingredients needed to make the best one pot vegan chili mac.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe we’ll combining veggies, beans and pasta in a savory sauce creating a warm and comforting main meal. Here is everything you will need:

  • Onion & garlic – Any color onion will work (red, white or yellow), so use your favorite or whatever is on hand.
  • Peppers – Use 1 large bell pepper (any color) or poblano. I had 2 poblanos on hand and used those.
  • Tempeh – When crumbled between your fingers, tempeh makes a great ground meat substitute! I used an 8 oz. block of Lightlife original tempeh which can be found in the vegan section of your grocery store or by the tofu.
  • Beans – Red kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans or cannellini beans will all work well here. If not using tempeh, add another can of beans, mixing and matching or using 2 cans of 1 type.
  • Corn – Use canned, frozen or fresh off the cob.
  • Tomatoes – For chili mac, I love using fire roasted diced tomatoes. Use your favorite or whatever is available.
  • Pasta – Use your favorite small pasta. Gluten free pasta is ok too, but the pasta should be cooked separately and added at the end of cooking, and the liquids reduced as noted in the recipe card.
  • Spices – We’ll be using a mix of chili powder, cumin, oregano and paprika. Adjust the amounts to suit your taste. If you skip the fresh garlic, add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
  • Liquids – I used a combination of vegetable broth an 8oz bottle of Modelo Negra dark beer (it’s vegan). The beer adds depth of flavor, but if making this kid friendly substitute with water or veggie broth.

How To Make Vegan Chili Mac and Cheese

You can make your vegan chili mac and cheese by adding one of these two ingredients at the end of cooking:

  1. Add a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast. This won’t make it creamy cheesy, but it will give you a cheese flavor.
  2. Use shredded vegan cheese. In this recipe I used a block of Daiya chedder cheese and grated it finely using a box grater. You can either add it to the top as garnish when serving (like I did). Or add 1 – 2 cups to the chili pot, stirring it in until melted. I don’t care for their pre-shredded cheeses, it’s stiff with a waxy texture. I highly recommend buying blocks and grating it yourself for a super soft texture that’s delicious!

side by side photos showing the process of sauteeing the onions, peppers, garlic and spices when making vegan chili mac.

How To Make Easy Vegan Chili Mac

This chili mac recipe is so easy to make and only requires a few simple steps:

  • In a large pot, heat oil/waster and saute the onion, garlic, peppers and tempeh for 5 minutes (above left).
  • Add the spices (shown above right) and cook 1 minute, or until nice and fragrant.

side by side photos showing the process of adding remaining ingredients and simmering vegan chili mac in a dutch oven.

  • Next, add the tomatoes, pasta, beans, corn, and pour the liquids over top, give a good stir (shown above).
  • Bring to a boil, cover askew, reduce heat and simmer at a gentle rolling boil for 10 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  • If making chili mac and cheese, add in the optional nutritional yeast or grated cheese and give a good stir.

And that’s it!

Now all you have to do is enjoy a bowl of warm and hearty vegan chili mac!

Serve with optional garnish:

How To Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up 5 – 6 days, in a covered container.
  • Freezer: To freeze chili mac, let cool, then freeze in an airtight freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat: Warm leftover chili mac in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium low heat until steamy, stir well. Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top before serving.

top down view of dutch oven with freshly made vegan chili mac.

This vegan chili mac is…

  • easily customizable so everyone can enjoy it!
  • optionally oil-free, soy-free and gluten-free.
  • easy to make in 30 minutes.
  • perfect for meal prep and freezes well!

We love making this chili mac recipe in the fall and winter. It’s a great way to warm up and fill your belly. This recipe yields plenty of leftovers which will be even better the next day. I hope you love it as much as we do!

More 1-Pot Recipes You’ll Love

top down view of a serving of vegan chili mac in a white bowl with blue rim.

If you try this easy chili mac recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

ONE POT VEGAN CHILI MAC

One Pot Vegan Chili Mac is an easy vegan meal the whole will family love! Even better, it’s ready in 30 minutes.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 - 8 1x
  • Category: Entree, Dinner, Pasta
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, American

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large onion, diced (any color)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 peppers (bell or poblano), seeds removed and diced
  • 1 package (8oz.) tempeh, crumbled
  • 12 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (smoked or regular)
  • 1 can (15oz.) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15oz.) sweet corn, drained or 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen
  • 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes (fire roasted pref.)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 bottle dark beer (Modelo Negra) or 1 1/2 cups water
  • 12 oz. elbow pasta (or other small pasta), about 2 1/2 cups
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Optional garnish

Instructions

Saute: In a large dutch oven or pot, heat the oil/water over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic, peppers and tempeh for 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and salt, cook 1 minute, or until nice and fragrant.

Boil and simmer: Add the tomatoes, pasta, beans, corn, and pour the liquids over top, give a good stir. Bring to a boil, cover askew, reduce heat and simmer at a gentle rolling boil for 10 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add a bit of cayenne powder for extra heat if you like.

Serve warm with optional toppings.

Serves 6

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 – 5 days in an airtight container. It’s also freezer friendly and can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months.

Notes

 

NOTES:

Optional Cheese: If making chili mac and cheese, add in the 1/4 cup nutritional yeast or 1 – 2 cups grated vegan cheese at the end of cooking and give a good stir to combine.

If using gluten free pasta, I recommend cooking the pasta separately and adding it to the chili after 15 minutes of simmering. I’ve found that gluten free pasta does not do well in 1 pot recipes. When cooking GF pasta, the water for gets mucky and needs to be drained. You will also want to reduce the liquids, using 2 1/2 cups.

To make this soy-free, substitute the tempeh for another can of beans.

Keywords: vegan chili mac, one pot chili mac recipe, chili mac & cheese

7 Comments

  1. Simple and easy to make and tasted great! Have used all of your recipes as a guide to eating more vegan meals! Off to a great start! Even my non-vegan/vegetarian friends have loved everything!

  2. This was really good. I used gluten-free pasta and cooked it separately. Should I have cut back on some of the broth/beer that went into this since I didn’t cook the pasta in it?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad it worked well! And yes, the liquids can be cut if cooking the gluten free pasta separate. I’ve updated the recipe to include these instructions in the notes. My apologies for missing that and I hope your chili mac wasn’t too liquidy. It should thicken upon standing.

  3. Shanley pease says:

    Loved this recipe so much!! The modela negra was perfect in it. I think you might have forgotten oregano in the ingredients list, as I saw it mentioned in the instructions. I put in 1 tsp and it did the trick :)

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks Shanley, so glad you loved it! You’re right about the oregano, 1 teaspoon, I’ve added it to the list! Cheers :)

  4. I love this recipe! It is so easy to make and very tasty. Definitely will be in my rotation.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks Pat! So glad you loved it and thanks for sharing your experience! Cheers :)

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