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Vegan MoFo 3.5: Baked Bacon Mac & Cheese

Posted on Oct 19, 2012 by in Recipes, Vegan MoFo | 6 comments

Vegan Baked Bacon Mac and Cheese

First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who entered The Vegan Slow Cooker cookbook giveaway this week! Next, I want to congratulate Tiana who is our winner! Check your email for more info! Now for today’s party-ready recipe!

This is not a healthy vegan dish. But once you dig into this you and your guests will forget all about that for now and you’ll simply enjoy the rich, full flavors in this mac and cheese. You wouldn’t want to eat this dish every night (or even once a week probably) mind you, but for a special occasion such as a party or holiday dinner, it’s perfectly acceptable. If you have children attending your next gathering this mac and cheese is a surefire hit!

Vegan Bacon Mac and Cheese

I have made several versions of vegan mac-n-cheese in the past, but they are all distant memories now that I’ve created this gem. It is incredibly rich, but the flavors are so smokey and bold that it is irresistible. The nice thing about vegan mac-n-cheese though, even this particular version, is that you don’t go into a food coma afterwards like I used to with traditional mac-n-cheese made with cow’s milk cheese.

Vegan Baked Bacon Mac and Cheese

A bonus for this dish is that you can do most of the work the day or night before your party or potluck so that all you have left to do the day of is add a few ingredients and bake it off. It’s also an easy recipe to double or triple the recipe for if you have a lot of guests or if you want to portion it out and freeze for dinners or lunches (if you want to freeze it, simply bake it all the way through, let cool completely, store in airtight freezer bags, and then bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes when you are ready to eat it).

Vegan Mac and Cheese with Bacon

With this mac-n-cheese recipe in hand, I doubt I’ll ever make another version again (though I’ve seen a few that are quite tempting). I am looking forward to making this dish for the mini-adults for our pre-Thanksgiving Day dinner – though I’m sure I’ll have to make extras for the adults too!

If you want to do the work the night before, simply make it up until the point of folding in the bacos (you’ll want to add those right before you bake it to prevent them from getting soggy), cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge. Proceed with the next steps as written just before you bake it (only takes about 35 minutes total time from fridge to table with this method).

Also, if you aren’t a fan of bacos and their overprocessed smokey goodness, feel free to substitute it with Light Life vegan bacon strips (cooked and chopped) or with tempeh bacon (marinated, pan-fried, and crumbled). Really you are just looking for that smokey flavor and additional texture, so you can pick your preferred vegan bacon option for this dish.

Baked Bacon Mac & Cheese

Yield: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs Pasta Shells
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 cup Soy Milk
  • 1 cup Shredded Vegan Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Bacos
  • 1/2 cup French Fried Onions
  • 1/2 cup additional Shredded Vegan Cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook noodles according to box. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the Earth Balance over medium-low heat and then whisk in the flour until bubbly. Add the soy milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and add a cup of shredded cheese, the nutritional yeast, ground mustard, and salt and pepper. Stir continuously until most of the cheese has melted into the sauce. Lightly oil a casserole dish and add the noodles. Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the noodles and mix well. At this point you can cover and refrigerate the mac and cheese overnight if you want.
  3. If cooking immediately, mix in the bacos and spread the mac and cheese evenly in the casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese and French fried onions. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more. Serve!
http://theunintentionalvegan.com/vegan-mofo-3-5-baked-bacon-mac-cheese

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Next week is all about the final course and the best part of any party – dessert! I’ll have yet another giveaway for you (this time we’ll have two lucky winners!) and some delicious dessert recipes that will satisfy your guests’ sweet tooth without keeping you in the kitchen all night!

Do you like using vegan cheese in your recipes or do you prefer to go without?

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