Vegan MoFo 3.5: Baked Bacon Mac & 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!
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.
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).
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.
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?