I don't think you've had enough hot for food mac & cheese... that is truth! I've taken the bacon mac & cheese recipe from my new cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face, and did a little makeover on it to make 2 new tasty versions. This is the thai red curry mac & cheese and there's also a pizza mac & cheese you can check out.
Watch the video below to see how easily these come together!
Pasta & Mix ‘ins:
3 C elbow macaroni
2 pkgs vegan chicken pieces (340 g or approx. 2 cups)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 C baby spinach
1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp roughly chopped thai basil (optional if you can find it)
1/4 C bread crumbs
1/4 C roasted peanuts, finely chopped or crushed
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 C raw cashews (soaked for 20 minutes in hot water)
1 can (400 ml/13.5 oz) coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 C water
1/3 C nutritional yeast
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp red curry paste (can add 1 more tbsp for hot)
1 1/2 tbsp miso paste
1 lime, juice and zest
5 to 6 dried kaffir lime leaves
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp arrowroot flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper (or ground pepper)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To cook the pasta, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, but do not rinse.
To prepare the topping, combine the bread crumbs, peanuts, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, chili powder, and sea salt in a small bowl.
To make the sauce, drain and rinse the cashews. Add to a high-powered blender with the remaining ingredients and blend on high until very smooth.
Heat a 9-inch cast-iron pan over medium-hight heat and add the vegetable oil and chicken pieces. Brown for 5 to 6 minutes adding salt and pepper to taste, if necessary, until golden brown and crispy in most parts of the pieces of chicken.
Then turn off the burner and add the pasta, sauce, spinach, cilantro, and thai basil to the pan and stir with the browned chicken until well coated and combined. What looks like an excess amount of sauce will thicken during baking!
Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly on top.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake on the top rack of the oven for 10 minutes until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbling slightly. Depending on your oven and the distribution of heat, you might want to set the skillet under the broiler for 5 minutes to get the top crispier instead of continuing to bake at 350°F.
Serve immediately. When reheating leftovers you may want to add more nondairy milk to get it creamy once again.