This Easy Vegan Macaroni Casserole is based on a nostalgic dish made with elbow macaroni baked in a cheesy tomato sauce. We’ve added veggie crumbles, onions, and sweet bell peppers. We make this recipe easy by not pre-boiling the noodles. Follow my tips for easy, vegan, cheesy, deliciousness in each and every bite.
I love taking a recipe and veganizing it. That’s what today’s post is all about. I originally saw this recipe for Easy Macaroni Casserole on SkinnyTaste. And I thought to myself, “Self,” (because that’s what I call me), “I think you can do this recipe in a vegan kind of way.”
Not only did this recipe kick in my veganista ways, it also turned on my competitive juices. Ms. Taste was impressed that she was able to get this recipe down to 338 calories per serving. I was pretty sure my vegan version could top that.
Or…not top that. Calories are a little like golf, the lower the score the better!
Macaroni Casserole Recipe
You might be surprised to see from the picture below that I’m using raw macaroni noodles. I decided to skip the step of pre-boiling the macaroni. Instead, I added more liquid to the sauce and baked the noodles with vegan cheese on top.
I’d like to call it a one-dish recipe, but I did choose to make a homemade sauce which required a skillet to cook the onions. However, if you want to use store-bought sauce, that would work too. Just add the veggie crumbles and two cups of water.
I prefer to make the sauce myself because I can adjust the amount of garlic and seasonings. It only takes a few minutes and adds so much to this vegan macaroni casserole.
Baked Macaroni Casserole
The most important step of this recipe is baking it. I like covering the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil to help trap in the heat, allowing the vegan cheese to melt a little more evenly. In fact, I leave the foil on top even after removing it from the oven, to let all the flavors set in.
Another thing that’s great about this casserole is the leftovers that taste as good (or even better) than when you pull it fresh out of the oven. We like to make this vegan macaroni casserole on the weekend and enjoy the leftovers throughout the week.
You can also freeze the leftovers in a sealed container for up to one to two months.
Vegan Macaroni Casserole Tips
The last step in this vegan macaroni casserole is adding vegan cheese shreds. We love using either Daiya or Follow Your Heart Mozzarella. We can find these products in the health food section of our local grocery store, health food stores, and specialty stores like Sprouts.
Trader Joe’s also makes a nice vegan mozzarella that will work for this recipe.
I recommend using vegan parmesan in this recipe too. You can either make your own (see my recipe for nut-based vegan parmesan) or buy vegan parm at your local health food store.
My Easy Vegan Macaroni Casserole comes in at a skinny 296 calories per serving. Not too shabby for a delicious meal…if you ask me!
In addition I took the ingredient list and did a little cost analysis too. If you think vegan means expensive, this recipe can illustrate that there are inexpensive ways to eat on a vegan diet:
- 2 tbsps olive oil = 0.32 cents
- 1 onion = 0.25
- 1 red pepper = 1.33
- 3 cloves garlic = 0.24
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes 0.59
- 2 cups marinara sauce (I used store brand variety) $1.09
- 1/4 cup vegan parmesan .50
- 1 cup bocca crumbles 1.75
- 2 cups vegan mozzarella $3.50
- 12 oz box whole wheat macaroni $2.89
Total = $12.46 for the entire recipe. Divided by 8 = $1.56 per serving. Not too bad!
Give the recipe a try and see if you agree that easy can be soooo good.
We hope you love this recipe for Easy Vegan Macaroni Casserole as much as we do. Easy, cheesy, and delicious! If you decide to make it, be sure and grab your camera and snap a quick photo and then run to Instagram and share it using #namelymarly so I’ll be sure to see it! We love seeing your photos!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium red pepper optional, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes drained
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup Vegan Ground Crumbles such as Boca Ground Crumbles
- 12 oz box of whole wheat macaroni
- 2 cups vegan mozzarella shredded
Heat your oven to 375F and prepare a 9X13 baking dish by giving it a light coating of vegetable spray
In a large skillet or saucepan, add olive oil, onions, and red pepper. Cook over medium heat until they're tender, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and add the chopped garlic.
Add the tomatoes, marinara, and water and bring this mixture to a boil. Turn down heat and add the veggie crumbles. Stir to combine.
Spoon just enough of the marinara sauce mixture to cover the bottom of your prepared 9X13 pan. Pour the box of uncooked pasta over the top of this, spreading it out evenly across the pan. Now, you simply pour the rest of that marinara sauce mixture over the uncooked macaroni, being sure to spread it out evenly as well.
Top the casserole with vegan mozzarella. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil, crimping the edges just slightly to keep the heat inside. Bake for 50 minutes. Then remove the casserole from the oven and keep the foil on the pan for 15 minutes or so. Allow to cool slightly before serving.