Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Recipe: "Cheesy" Chili Pasta Casserole (Your Kids WILL Eat This!)

I was never much of a casserole person until I accumulated seven kids, a busy husband, and a writing career. Now, I love the simplicity of making a few casseroles at the beginning of the week, covering them in foil and writing the baking instructions on top with a Sharpie marker so my teens can "make" dinner when I have meetings or am out of town.

My kids and husband can't get enough of this particular casserole, and it's so easy to throw together, I make it quite often. Serve it with a bit of salsa and vegan sour cream. I use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream.

Now that Princess's friends are off to college and living on their own, I've had several requests for "that chili thing you used to make when I came over." Here it is, my darlings:

Sexy Vegan Mama's "Cheesy" Chili Pasta Casserole


1 lb. (16 oz.) dry pasta of your choice (I used macaroni, because it was what I had)

1/4 c. plus 2 T. vegan margarine (I use Nucoa) or oil
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
1/2 t. black pepper
1 t. ground red pepper
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
2 c. soy milk

5 c. vegetarian vegetable chili (my favorite chili recipe at the bottom of this post)


Cook pasta according to directions and drain. Dump into bottom of lightly oiled 9” x 13” casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Combine dry ingredients and stir into margarine to make a thick roux. Be sure to keep stirring until dry mixture begins to toast lightly and is no longer raw.

Add soy milk, whisk or stir well and slowly increase heat until sauce begins to boil. Keep on heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens – a minute to two minutes.

Pour sauce over pasta in casserole dish. Go ahead and stir the pasta around to make sure every little piece gets a good coating of sauce.

Pour chili over pasta and sauce. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for five minutes before serving.

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  1. Mmm...I do a similar thing every time I make my crockpot veggie chili. It is a huge batch (and I even halved the original). I make it into chili mac, Mexican stuffed shells and usually stuffed potatoes or chili tortilla casserole for the rest of the week. But your chili mac looks richer and yummier. I'll have to try it that way sometime. Thanks!

    Kristi @
    Veggie Converter

  2. This recipe is amazing. I use gluten free pasta (Tinkyada organic brown rice elbows) and gluten free flour (Bob's All-Purpose). My chili is super-simple, saute half a diced onion and half a diced red pepper, then add a can each of black beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, diced tomatoes, sometimes a can of corn, and a jar of salsa. This is the recipe I make when I need to feed non-vegan / non-GF people and it always gets raves. Sometimes I like to top it with some smashed avocado.