This is a great way to use up leftover chili. If you don’t have any on hand, this recipe includes a quick chili that can be ready in minutes.

Chili Mac [Vegan]

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Cooking Time



For the Chili

  • 3 cups (594 g) cooked lentils or (516 g) black beans, or 2 (15.5-ounce, or 425 g) cans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups (390 g) tomato salsa (hot or mild)
  • 3 tablespoons (48 g) Barbecue Sauce (page 101), or store-bought
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (5 to 8 g) chili powder, plus more as needed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

For the Sauce

  • 3 cups (720 ml) plain unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1 1/4 cups (175 g) unsalted raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes and drained
  • 1/3 cup (20 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

For the Pasta

  • 16 ounces (454 g) elbow macaroni, or other small pasta
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for preparing the baking dish

Optional Toppings

  • 3/4 cup (47 g) crushed tortilla chips, or corn chips
  • 1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced


To make the chili:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all the chili ingredients.
  2. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and the flavors are well blended, about 5 minutes. Add as much water as needed to create a sauce-like consistency and prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until heated through and any raw taste from the chili powder is cooked off, about 15 minutes.

To make the sauce:

  1. In a high-speed blender, combine all the sauce ingredients. Blend until very smooth and creamy. Set aside.

To make the pasta:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
  2. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to combine.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly coat a 9 × 13-inch (23 × 33 cm) baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Spread the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread the chili evenly on top of the pasta.

To finish:

  1. Sprinkle the tortilla chips on top of the chili. Bake for 20 minutes until hot.
  2. Serve topped with the avocado.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 219 | Carbs: 16 g | Fat: 13 g | Protein: 10 g | Sodium: 129 mg | Sugar: 0 mg Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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