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5 from 2 votes
Vegan Jalapeño Popper Mac & Cheese
Vegan Jalapeño Popper Mac & Cheese
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Macaroni is dressed in creamy dairy-free cheese sauce and topped with a coating of crispy panko breadcrumbs, smoky coconut bacon, and fiery jalapeño slices to make this spicy vegan jalapeño popper mac & cheese.
Course: Entree
Servings: 6
Calories: 551 kcal
Author: Alissa Saenz
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, sliced (or use as many or as few as you like)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 10 ounces dried elbow macaroni pasta
For the Cheese Sauce
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained
  • 1 cup unflavored and unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce, Cholula works great. If you prefer something non-vinegar based like sriracha, just add a bit of vinegar to balance out the flavor.
  • Salt to taste
For Topping
  • 1/2 cup coconut bacon
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrubs
  • Chopped scallions
  • More hot sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the jalapeño slices into a medium bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil to coat. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet in an even layer. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the peppers are softened and browned in spots.
  2. While the peppers bake, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, then drain the pasta into a colander. Return the pasta to the pot and toss it with a bit of olive oil to avoid sticking.
  3. While the pasta boils, make the cheese sauce. Place the cauliflower and carrots into a medium pot and cover with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Allow to cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the veggies and place them into a food processor bowl with the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth, taste test, and adjust seasonings to taste. Add in a few of the baked jalepeño slices if you'd like some more heat (I used 4).
  4. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to coat.
  5. Optional: Transfer the macaroni to a baking dish or oven safe skillet and sprinkle the top with coconut bacon and panko breadcrumbs. Arrange the jalapeño peppers on top, then place everything under the broiler for a few minutes to toast the panko.
  6. Otherwise, just divide onto plates or into bowls and top each with panko, coconut bacon, and jalapeño slices.
  7. Sprinkle with scallions and drizzle with some extra hot sauce if you'd like. Serve.
Recipe Notes

If you're making the coconut bacon at the same time as the mac and cheese, you can stick it in the oven right with the jalapeño slices—it cooks at the same oven temp!

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Jalapeño Popper Mac & Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 551 Calories from Fat 156
% Daily Value*
Fat 17.3g27%
Saturated Fat 5.6g28%
Sodium 377mg16%
Potassium 671mg19%
Carbohydrates 59.9g20%
Fiber 7.1g28%
Sugar 7.5g8%
Protein 16.9g34%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 6.7mg37%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.