Have you ever been to a vegan mac n cheese contest?
If the answer is no, ohhhh my friend, you have been missing out!
These events seem to be popping up all over these days, and I don’t think we need to expand upon how abso-freaking-lutely excited we are about it.
All over, vegans are conquering the mac n cheese world and reclaiming this classic comfort dish in the name of compassion. And we are kicking some serious ass doing it. Because really, once you know mac n cheese can be made vegan, what is there holding you back?!
We have been lucky enough to participate in two of these events over the last year and are gearing up for the SECOND Philly Mac-Down THIS Sunday April 30th where we will be defending our title of People’s Choice for Best Vegan Mac n Cheese in the city which we won for our beloved Boozy Bacon Mac n Cheese!
My initial intention for this year’s entry was to keep things relatively the same with our recipe. Why mess with such awesomeness, right?
I did see where things could be improved though – I really wanted to rely less on the store-bought Daiya cheese but wasn’t sure how to do that without compromising how well that base seemed to hold up after many hours serving it at the event.
Would a cashew sauce do the trick? Silken tofu? A mixture of the two?!?!
I wouldn’t know until I got in the kitchen. And as with most things… I may have gotten a LITTLE carried away.
Okay, I’ll be honest: I got totally carried away. Although, I doubt that will shock anyone lol.
In fact, I got so carried away that I couldn’t even title this post “Updated Boozy Bac’n Mac n Cheeze” like I originally planned. No, this needed a different name. A different presentation.
And then I realized if I added beer to the cheese sauce rather than white wine, this recipe was looking pretty damn close to our beloved Beer Cheese Soup recipe – one of my all-time favorites. Yes! That was it! Bacon Mac n Beer Cheese – YES!
I was so excited about this that I texted it to T RIGHT AWAY, and although auto-correct tried to seriously F with this excitement, the response I got from T confirmed I had landed on a winning idea.
Bacon and beer – always a winning combo (when it’s vegan, at least).
This Vegan Mac & Beer Cheese recipe combines three of our favorite things: booze, bacon, and mac and cheese – all veganized! The creamy cheese sauce is made with a potato carrot base, much like our Vegan Beer Cheese Soup recipe. This ooey gooey cheese sauce is then poured over small pasta shells and sprinkled with our extra crispy Coconut Bac’n Salt!
For an added bonus and mega delicious points, serve this mac n cheese with our Soft Beer Pretzel rolls – or maybe turn the rolls into pretzel bowls and scoop in the mac n cheese. Ohhhhh my goodness, that sounds like PURE HEAVEN.
So, we’ll see how this does at Sunday’s event! If you’re going to be in the Philly area, you are NOT going to want to miss it. And be sure to stop by our table and say hi (and maybe throw a People’s Choice vote our way if you think we earned it…which I’m confident we will!)
If you want to make this recipe with us LIVE, be sure to catch us on the Plant Power Couple Facebook page this TONIGHT at 5PM EDT. UPDATE: You may have missed the live broadcast, but you can still catch the replay:
- 1 16-oz box of pasta shells, cooked
- Coconut Bac'n Salt (optional, for sprinkling)
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup olive oil (or vegan mayonnaise)
- 1 Tbsp chicken(less) noodle soup powder (or vegan bouillon of choice)
- 4 - 6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- 1.5 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup beer of choice
- Get a large pot of water boiling and prep your veggies - potatoes first, then carrots, then the onion. Add them to the boiling water as you finish chopping them. Allow the veggies to boil - covered - for about 15 minutes, or until they are fork-tender.
- While the veggies are boiling, get your food processor ready. Add the remainder of the sauce ingredients (excluding the beer) to the food processor.
- When the veggies are finished boiling, strain them over a large bowl to reserve the water.
- Then, add 'em to your food processor along with 1 cup of the reserved water. Process until your sauce is smooth and creamy. Then process a little longer for that oil to emulsify beautifully.
- Pour your sauce back into the large pot and heat on high. Whisk the beer into the sauce and bring it to a boil. Allow to simmer, uncovered for 5 - 7 minutes or until your sauce reaches your desired consistency. Be sure to stir often as your sauce simmers. If it gets too thick, add a little more of the reserved liquid.
- Stir in your cooked pasta, taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve in a big bowl sprinkled with Coconut Bac'n Salt!
To order yourself some coconut bacon salt, click here to visit our spice shop.
To make some yourself, check out this live tutorial we did on Facebook!