Vegan Beanie Weenie Mac n Cheese

vegan (and gluten free) "beanie-weenie" mac n cheese! recipe via
vegan (and gluten free) "beanie-weenie" mac n cheese! recipe via

Logan and I are currently in a state of flux.

Logan is currently packing a trailer with trikes and keggerator equipment and tents. That and LOTS of cold brew coffee. He’s heading to Firefly, a DC music festival. He'll be vending his magical brew to the thirsty, dusty, music-loving masses. I’m watching him haul massive boxes full of compostable cups out of the door right now. I'm completely floored at his will and vision and energy.

This is the first of many festivals he’ll be vending this Summer. His face reads stressed and excited and joyful and scared all at the same time. I just keep hugging him as everything spins around us, coffee beans included.

This is the first of many festivals he’ll be vending this Summer. His face reads stressed and excited and joyful and scared all at the same time. I just keep hugging him as everything spins around us, coffee beans included.

vegan (and gluten free) "beanie-weenie" mac n cheese! recipe via
vegan (and gluten free) "beanie-weenie" mac n cheese! recipe via
vegan (and gluten free) "beanie-weenie" mac n cheese! recipe via
vegan (and gluten free) "beanie-weenie" mac n cheese! recipe via

And me? Well there's a lot going on.

I’m at the cusp of a new perspective on my musical journey with my band Larkspur. We're preparing to craft and record an album this year. I feel the potential for this project like new life in my belly. It’s something wonderful and all-together strange. I feel like Alice stepping through the looking glass.

I'll be teaching 9 weeks of intro to ashtanga classes on Wednesdays at this secret mysore ashtanga studio above a gelato shop! If you're interested in learning the foundations of vinyasa, come take a class with me! Shoot me an email at or email Zoe (the teacher) at

I practice there as well. You're welcome to stop by and practice alongside me too! Just let the teacher know you'll be dropping by by emailing ahead. Or let me know, duh!

I’ve started a youtube channel — I’ve posted three videos already! I’m just learning the platform. Not to mention the completely different perspective it takes to shoot video. I'm posting one video a week, every Friday.

I’ve started a Nom channel! What’s Nom, you ask? It’s like periscope and youtube had a baby and all that baby cares about is food. So... a lot like a real baby. My channel features live casts. Live casts are live videos where you can come hang out with me and chat with me in real time. I’m doing those every Monday at 6PM EST! I make recipes live, have a chat, and make lots of wild hand-gestures. Check out my past live casts here!

I made this vegan beanie weenie mac n cheese live on my channel on June 13th. You can watch the recording of that here!

I admit, I made this Vegan Beanie Weenie Mac n Cheese because I think beanie weenie is hilarious to say. Also, it's Summer and there’s almost nothing that reminds me more of Summer camp than this dish.

Well, except for s’mores and eating red white and blue rocket popsicles until I’m sick.

What makes this mac n cheese particularly awesome is how simple it is to make. Umami-rich nutritional yeast, dried shiitake mushrooms and miso give it a savory, complex flavor. And it’s balanced out with a bit of acid from rice vinegar and sweet savoriness from roasted red pepper. Throw everything together in a blender and blitz until smooth. Then pour the creamy sauce over noodles. Done!

To make the tofu sausage rounds I used a big pastry bag tip — you know, the kind you use for piping icing onto cakes. I used the round end and cut out circles, then used a chopstick to poke the rounds out. You could cut your sausage bites into any shapes you want! I’m thinking dinosaurs would be pretty fun.

Then all you do is toss them with tamari, coconut oil, spices and bake it all off for 30-35 minutes. The trick is opening the oven door for 5-10 minutes (once you shut off the heat) to get the tofu crispy and dry.

V / GF Beanie Weenie Mac n Cheese

Created by Renee on June 14, 2016

Notes: *Cashews can be soaked in hot water for 1-3 hours to soften them up faster. **Tofu can be wrapped in a kitchen towel and pressed under a weight to remove excess water and get firmer.

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 35m
  • Total Time: 40m
  • Serves: 6


  • 16 ounces gluten free pasta
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cashews, soaked for 8 hours* and drained
  • 2 -3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chickpea miso (any fresh miso will do)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Celtic sea salt + more to taste
  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 16 ounces very firm tofu**
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups cooked berlotti beans (any red or white bean will do)
  • garnish: fresh oregano or basil leaves


  1. Cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set the noodles back in the pot, lightly drizzle with olive oil, cover and set aside.
  2. Set a skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more, until the garlic begins to brown. Cut of the heat and set aside.
  3. To the bowl of a high powered blender, add the soaked cashews and enough vegetable broth to barely cover the cashews. Add the nutritional yeast as well and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender bowl as needed. Add the miso, arrowroot, vinegar, sea salt, dried mushrooms and roasted red pepper. Blend again. Taste and adjust salt to your liking.
  4. Add the cheesy sauce and onion/garlic mixture to the pasta.
  5. For the tofu sausage rounds: Preheat the oven to 375F. Slice your firm tofu 1/2” thick, then use a small round cookie cutter or a pastry bag tip to cut out little circles. Toss the tofu circles (and the scraps) with tamari, coconut oil, paprika and oregano. Spread the circles out on half of your baking sheet, and the scraps on the other half. Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping the tofu half-way through. Cut off the oven and then open the oven door for 5-10 minutes. This helps further dehydrate and crisp up the tofu. 
  6. Add the tofu rounds and beans to the cheesy mac (for the most classic look). Throw in the tofu scraps too as you like. Serve with a bit of oregano or basil. Enjoy!