A vegan hamburger is great as it is, but (maybe) even better when combined with a different type of food to create a whole new dish. This recipe for vegan Hamburger Helper will bring you back to childhood. The meaty texture of the tofu and the flavor of the sauce have been refined to perfection! You might even forget that it isn't the original! Although, it doesn't come in a box, this vegan Hamburger Helper is still pretty easy to make. Besides, the extra effort is so worth it! You'll be thanking yourself as soon as you try that first bite and lose yourself in nostalgia and all of its savory goodness. Vegan Hamburger Helper is the hearty vegan meal that you've been looking for!
Hamburger Helper [Vegan]
For the Hamburger
- 2 square blocks of tofu, drained
- 8 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoon oil
For the Pasta:
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 4 teaspoons dried parsley
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch cayenne
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cups unsweetened plant based milk (I use almond milk)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 5 cups dried penne
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
- Plant based parmesan to garnish (optional)
- Fresh parsley, chopped to garnish (optional)
- Red pepper flakes to garnish (optional)
To Make the Hamburger:
- Drain the tofu well. Press with a tofu press for 10-15 minutes if you'd like to decrease the cooking time (optional).
- Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Crumble your tofu into very small crumbles by hand or use a food processor and pulse (don't puree it!).
- Mix the soy sauce, cumin, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and oil in a medium sized bowl.
- Add the tofu and toss until evenly combined.
- Place parchment paper on a baking tray and evenly spread the seasoned tofu crumbles onto it.
- Cook for 20 minutes and flip the crumbles around, evenly redistributing them over the tray and return them to the oven. Cook for another 20 minutes, remove, stir and return the crumbles to the oven for a final 10-15 minutes watching them closely. Your goal is to have the crumbles dry into a meat like texture, with some crispiness (but don't let them burn!)
- Once desired colour and texture has been reached, remove from the oven and set aside.
For the Pasta:
- Heat a large Dutch Oven over medium heat.Add your 1 tbsp of oil and saute the onion for about 4 minutes.
- Add your pressed garlic and saute another minute.
- Add your oregano, paprika, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pinch of cayenne, nutritional yeast, water, milk, vegetable broth and tomato sauce and stir well to combine. Bring it to a boil.
- Once boiling add your penne and cook according to package directions remembering to stir often to prevent sticking. Don't worry if your pot looks like it has too much liquid in it. It doesn't!
- Once pasta is tender, remove it from the heat, stir your peas and cooked tofu in and allow it to sit to thicken for about 10-15 minutes. Serve as is or add some plant based parmesan, parsley, and/or red pepper flakes to garnish.