Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort dish. It is gooey, creamy, cheesy, and filling. It is perfect on its own or as a side. Many variations exist. You can mix cheeses, choose different types of pasta and even add sauces.
In this recipe, we are modernizing and veganizing mac and cheese. We are making bite-size mac and cheese. They are delicious and spicy enough to wake up your senses. Perfect as appetizers, they also make great sides and are incredibly fun to make.
Are chickpea pasta better than regular pasta?
While you can use regular pasta to make mac and cheese, we use chickpeas pasta for this recipe. Chickpea pasta is one of the many alternatives to regular pasta. I like them and use them when I want to boost the protein content of a dish or if I am looking at a gluten-free alternative. A serving (2 ounces, or 56g) of chickpea pasta has 11g to 13g of protein, compared to 7g in white wheat pasta. Besides, they are richer in fibers which make you feel fuller for longer.
How to make the perfect plant-based bechamel?
When cooking regular mac and cheese, we usually melt different cheeses to create the sauce (or crack open a mac and cheese mix…). I use my bechamel recipe to make the cheese sauce in this recipe.
Regular bechamel is made out of 6 simple ingredients: flour, butter, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. I use olive oil, flour, plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper here.
To make the perfect bechamel, it is essential to make a roux. The roux is the base of our bechamel that will bring creaminess to our sauce. To make a roux, you need a source of fat (butter, margarine, or oil) and flour. Combine the same amount of fat and flour on low heat and whisk until the mixture thickens (for about 7-8 minutes). For this recipe, we are adding plant-based milk to the roux. We combine nutritional yeast with plant-based cheese to add that beloved cheesy flavor. And here you go, the perfect plant-based cheesy sauce that you can pour on your favorite dishes, such as these beautiful mac and cheese bites (or onto lasagna, for example).
- 8 oz chickpea pasta
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups plant-based milk
- 1 tbsp hot sauce
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 cup plant-based cheese
- ½ tsp turmeric
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a pot with boiling water, cook your pasta for 7 to 9 minutes.
- In a saucepan on medium heat, add the flour and olive oil. Let it thicken for 3 minutes. The roux will change color. Gradually add the milk while continuously mixing until the bechamel thicken. Add in the nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Add the hot sauce.
- Mix the cooked pasta with the cheese sauce.
- Grease muffin tins.
- Pour the mac and cheese into the muffin tins.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
- Bake for 15 minutes.