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This Vegan Chili Mac is the perfect combination of two comfort food favorites. It’s also easy to throw together, making it perfect for game day or a lazy sunday. What’s more, it packs a healthful punch with lots of fiber and protein while still satisfying that comfort food craving.
YOU’LL LOVE THIS CHILI MAC:
- It’s super easy. With minimal prep and mostly pantry ingredients, this chili mac is a dream to throw together. Need I say more?
- It’s big on flavor. Using my quick hack to bloom the spices and slow cooking means this soup has big, bold flavors that bring that hearty feel without any meat!
- It’s protein-rich and satiating. This chili mac has that same stick-to-your-bones quality of classic chili, without being greasy or overly rich. While traditional chili and mac & cheese rely on a hefty fat content to keep you satiated, this chili mac uses high fiber and protein content to satisfy.
We’re keeping things pretty simple here. First, turn your slow cooker on high. Add all your spices and oil to the slow cooker. Allow to become fragrant while you drain & rinse the beans and dice the bell pepper.
Then, add the rest of your ingredients except the noodles to the slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. About 10 minutes before serving, add the noodles and give a good stir. When ready to serve, top with a generous heap of cheddar (or vegan “cheddar”) and any other favorite toppings!
- I love to add the oil and spices to the pot first while I prepare the other ingredients. This helps to “bloom” the spices, which helps enhance the flavor.
- This chili mac goes great with lots of toppings! Aside from a generous heap of cheese, I love a squeeze of lime, a dollop of vegan sour cream, some chives, and a handful of tortilla chips.
- In a pinch (and if you want to use only pantry ingredients), you can substitute the bell pepper for one 4.5 oz can of mild green chilis.
OTHER EASY DINNERS YOU’LL LOVE:
Easy Slow Cooker Vegan Chili Mac
- 1 ½ tablespoon shallot-infused olive oil (or: oil of choice and 1 teaspoon onion powder)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional- adds mild spice)
- ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup corn (canned or frozen)
- 1 15 oz can light red kidney beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 bell pepper , any color, diced
- 2 cups unsalted vegetable stock
- 8 oz chickpea rotini noodles (or rotini of choice)
- salt to taste
- 1 7.1 oz bag cheddar style shreds (or: shredded cheddar for non-vegan)
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS (per bowl):
- 1 handful corn chips
- 1 lime wedge
- 1 dollop vegan sour cream (or sour cream for non-vegan)
- 1 teaspoon fresh chives
- Bloom: Turn slow cooker on high. Add oil, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, red pepper, ancho chili powder and black pepper. Allow oil and spices to heat while preparing other ingredients.
- Combine: Once spices are fragrant, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, corn, beans, diced bell pepper, and vegetable stock (Do NOT add the noodles at this time).
- Cook: Slow cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.
- Boil: About 10 minutes before ready to eat, turn slow cooker back up to high (if not already on high). Add uncooked noodles and stir to combine. Allow to cook until noodles are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
- Serve: Top each bowl with shredded cheddar and other desired toppings.
- Store: This chili stores well in the fridge for up to five days. To freeze, do not add the noodles and allow to cool before storing in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Salt to taste and depending on your nutritional needs. I have found that if I use unsalted stock with salt-containing tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, the recipe is plenty salted. If all ingredients are unsalted, about ½ teaspoon salt is sufficient to enhance the flavors.
- This recipe yields about six ~1 ¾ cup bowls of chili mac
This recipe was inspired by Budget Bytes' One Pot Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac