A family-friendly FOK favorite, this cheesy chili mac is great for filling hungry tummies with healthy ingredients that taste like a special treat. Macaroni noodles are simmered with beans, diced tomatoes, and a slew of Southwest spices to make a delightful meat-free chili that’s enhanced with extra fiber and nutrients thanks to frozen peas and carrots. A hearty drizzle of vegan cheese sauce takes this dish over the top, and it’s more than likely your little ones will lick the bowl when they’re done. Great for busy weekdays where you only have half an hour to get dinner on the table, this creamy chili mac will satisfy both kids and adults alike!

For more plant-based mac and cheese recipes, check out these tasty ideas:

By Shelli McConnell,

Last Updated:


  • 3 cups dry whole grain macaroni or spirals
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • ½ of a 15-oz. can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained (¾ cup)
  • ½ of a 15-oz. can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained (¾ cup)
  • 1 14.5-oz. can no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 18-oz. can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • ½ cup Vegan Potato “Cheese” Sauce
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions


  • Put the first 10 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a 5- to 6-quart pot. Stir to mix. Put pot on burner and turn the burner to medium-high. When the mixture starts to boil, turn heat down to low. Add lid to pot and simmer 10 minutes. Add the peas and carrots; stir to mix. Cover and cook 5 minutes more or until macaroni is tender. Sprinkle with a little salt.
  • Meanwhile, make Vegan Potato “Cheese” Sauce.
  • Use a spoon to serve chili mac. Drizzle sauce on each serving and sprinkle with scallions.

Comments (4)

(5 from 3 votes)

Recipe Rating

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This is a fantastic recipe. And that vegan potato “cheese” sauce….holy cow. This whole meal is picky child approved.

Sara Vosler

I meant to say rotel!

Sara Vosler

I just made this tonight and it is delicious. I used rites because I like it spicy.

Jessica King

I have made this it's excellent

About the Author

Headshot of Shelli McConnell

About the Author

Shelli McConnell

Shelli McConnell graduated with a bachelor of science in consumer food science and a minor in journalism from Iowa State University. She began her career as a home economist in the Better Homes & Gardens test kitchen before moving into an editorial position within DotDash Meredith. She has since freelanced for 25 years and has served as an editorial project manager for many books and magazines, including three editions of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. She has also developed thousands of recipes for publications including Forks Over Knives magazine; Eat This, Not That!; Diabetic Living; Better Homes & Gardens; The Magnolia Journal; and more. McConnell loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn.
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