Taco Mac and Cheese is Tex-Mex meets Rome. Taco “meat” mixed with black beans, then stirred into creamy queso mac and “cheese.” Add sliced avocado, pico de gallo, more creamy queso, and you have a meal that would please anyone from Texas to Italy.
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Besides being Vegan, I follow a gluten free diet, as little as possible refined sugar, and very few processed foods. So when I get a chance to pile on all the yumminess I can think of, recipes like this happen.
This dish popped into my head because I’m currently teaming with Banza Pasta for a giveaway (visit my Instagram page here for more details). I love pasta, and I love Mexican food, and being born and raised in Texas that means lots of Tex-Mex food. So voila! I combined the two.
The creamy cashew queso is adapted from Minimalist Baker’s 5 minute queso recipe. I tweaked it a bit but gotta give credit where credit is due!
I’ve put links in the recipe to all the yummy components of this recipe. Plus, it’s a whole heck of a lot healthier than a non Vegan Taco Mac and Cheese. And the animals thank you.
Taco Mac and Cheese
Taco Meat –
- 1 batch Terrific Tofu Taco Meat
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
Cashew Queso – (Adapted from Minimalist Baker's 5 Minute Cashew Queso)
- 1 cup whole raw cashews
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup diced jarred jalapenos
- jalapeno juice from jar (if needed)
- 1 8 ounce box Banza Chickpea Pasta Shells (or pasta of your choice)
Taco Meat –
- Follow the instructions for Terrific Tofu Taco Meat.
- Rinse and drain black beans, add them to the meat.
- Follow the box instructions. While Pasta is cooking make the Queso.
- Once done, drain and set aside.
Cashew Queso –
- Put all ingredients except jalapenos and jalapeno juice into a small but powerful blender. I used a Ninja Nutribullet. Process for 15 to 20 seconds, shake or stir, then process another 15 to 20 seconds. You'll be able to see the "cheese" sauce getting thicker.
- I add diced jalapenos and stir for the added "tang". Can also add a little of jarred jalapeno juice if the "cheese" sauce is too thick.
To finish –
- Pour drained pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add enough queso to cover. Stir.
- Add taco meat and beans. Stir. (add as much or as little as you like)
- If you need more queso, add more. This recipe is a "do it like YOU like it" kinda recipe so put as much or little meat and/or queso as you like.
- Top with Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, or any of your favorite toppings.
- If you’re wanting to make this, I suggest making the taco meat one day, then the day you want to eat the dish make the queso and pasta. That way it saves you a good 30 minutes!
- Will keep in refrigerator for up to 7 days. I would suggest keeping leftover taco meat, queso and pasta all separate as the queso gets thicker when you reheat it and it will need extra liquid to thin. Then you can add them all together again.
- Nutritional information is using chickpea pasta so the protein will be a higher percentage than if you used a non chickpea pasta.
Looking for Mexican dishes? Look here!