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Chili Mac

In my new book, Vegan Mac & Cheese (which hits the shelves today!) there is a recipe for Chili Mac.  It combines two comfort food favorites (mac & cheese and chili, of course) to make one spectacularly delicious dish.

Celebrate the publication of Vegan Mac & Cheese with me and make some Chili Mac!  I hope you love it and I hope you love my new book.  Be sure to post pics of recipes you make from the book and tag me so I can see what everyone is making. And if you haven’ ordered your copy of the book yet, now’s a good time.

Chili Mac

This is a great way to use up leftover chili. If you don’t have any on hand, this recipe includes a quick chili that can be ready in minutes. This recipe is from Vegan Mac & Cheese by Robin Robertson (c) 2019, Harvard Common Press.



3 cups (594 g) cooked lentils or (516 g) black beans, or 2 (15.5-ounce, or 425 g) cans, rinsed and drained

11/2 cups (390 g) tomato salsa (hot or mild)

3 tablespoons (48 g) Barbecue Sauce (page 101), or store-bought

2 to 3 teaspoons (5 to 8 g) chili powder, plus more as needed

Salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste


3 cups (720 ml) plain unsweetened nondairy milk

11/4 cups (175 g) unsalted raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes and drained

1/3 cup (20 g) nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric


16 ounces (454 g) elbow macaroni, or other small pasta

Nonstick cooking spray, for preparing the baking dish

Toppings (optional):

3/4 cup (47 g) crushed tortilla chips, or corn chips

1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

  1. To make the chili: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all the chili ingredients. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and the flavors are well blended, about 5 minutes. Add as much water as needed to create a sauce-like consistency and prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until heated through and any raw taste from the chili powder is cooked off, about 15 minutes.
  2. To make the sauce: In a high-speed blender, combine all the sauce ingredients. Blend until very smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  3. To make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
  4. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to combine.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly coat a 9 × 13-inch (23 × 33 cm) baking dish with cooking spray.
  6. Spread the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread the chili evenly on top of the pasta.
  7. To finish: Sprinkle the tortilla chips on top of the chili. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until hot. Serve topped with the avocado.

Makes 4 to 6 servings




Arugula Pesto Mac UnCheese

Just a few more weeks until Vegan Mac & Cheese hits the shelves.  To make the wait a bit easier, I’m sharing a recipe from the book that’s perfect for late summer: Arugula Pesto Mac UnCheese.  In addition to a fragrant and delicious pesto, the recipe features chopped fresh tomatoes which are now in abundance.  If you’re not a fan of arugula, you can swap it for spinach or go with a more traditional all-basil pesto.

BONUS RECIPES:  If you pre-order Vegan Mac & Cheese, you can receive Bonus Recipes Here’s how.


Arugula Pesto Mac Uncheese

Makes 4 to 6 servings

This recipe is from Vegan Mac & Cheese by Robin Robertson (c) 2019, Harvard Common Press.

16 ounces ziti, or other small pasta

3 tablespoons vegan butter
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups plain unsweetened nondairy milk, or more
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white miso paste
1 teaspoon almond butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup Arugula Pesto (recipe follows)
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup Nut Parm (recipe follows)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

To make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until just al dente. Drain the pasta well and return it to the pot. Set aside.To make the sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, salt, miso, almond butter, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, and pepper. Cook, whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes to blend.Whisk in the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and pesto. Add more milk or pesto to achieve desired flavor and consistency. Pour the sauce over the pasta.Add the tomatoes and toss to combine. Place the pot over low heat and cook for 2 minutes, or until the pasta is hot. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the nut parm and basil

Arugula Pesto

Makes about 1½ cups

Arugula makes a flavorful pesto that can also be used on pizza or in salads, dressings, or soups. Portion and freeze any leftover pesto for later use.

3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped arugula
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Warm water, as needed

In a food processor, combine the garlic, walnuts, and salt and process to a paste.
Add the arugula, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper and process to a paste.
If needed, add a little warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach the desired consistency.
If not using right away, transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and refrigerate until needed.


Nut Parm

1 cup unsalted blanched almonds, or unsalted raw cashews
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture has a fine crumbly texture, stopping to scrape down the sides, as needed.
Transfer to a shaker jar or other container with a tight lid. Store in the refrigerator.


All About Vegan Mac & Cheese

In just over 6 weeks, my new book, Vegan Mac & Cheese will be published and I couldn’t be more excited.  This was a fun book to write and the response I’ve been getting about it has been tremendous. My virtual switchboard has been lighting up with questions about what kind of recipes are in the book , if any of the recipes are gluten-free or soy-free, and what is used to make the cheese component vegan.

I’m happy to report that there are a guide variety of ingredients used to make the recipes, so if you avoid soy, nuts, or gluten, you will be able to enjoy most of the recipes in the book, often by making a simple substitution.  For example, if you use gluten-free pasta instead of wheat pasta or using one of the vegetable-based sauces instead of one made with cashews or soy.

The creamy goodness of the cheesy sauces are made in several different ways. Some are classic roux-based sauces, others are made with cashew cream, a few are made with silken tofu, and many of them are made with blended cooked vegetables. Whether you prefer your mac and cheese saucy or firm, stovetop or baked, you’ll find lots to love in this book, including an entire chapter devoted to “fun with mac and cheese” filled with recipes for using up leftovers (if you have any!)

For a sneak peek inside the book, here’s a list of the contents with recipe titles.  You can pre-order Vegan Mac & Cheese on Amazon right now and you’ll get it as soon as it comes out.  As a bonus, send my publisher an email with your proof of purchase and they’ll send you some bonus recipes!

Vegan Mac & Cheese

More Than 50 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food

 Introduction: Thinking Outside the Box

Chapter 1: Basic Vegan Mac & Cheese

Soy-Good Mac and Cheese

Free Mac

Cashew Cheesy Mac

Mom’s Baked Mac UnCheese

Classy Mac and Cheese

One-Pot Cheesy Mac

Easy-Cheesy Pantry Mac

Better-than-Boxed Mac UnCheese

Chapter 2: Global Cheesy Macs

Mac and Thai


Greek Spinach Orzo Bake

Blushing Baked Ziti

Italian Macaroni Pie

Salsa Mac and Queso

Creamy Curry Mac

Noodle Kugel

Bajan Macaroni Pie

Berbere-Spiced Mac and Cheese


Mac and Creole

Chapter 3: Mac and Veggies

Roasted Butternut Mac UnCheese

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Mac

Spinach-Artichoke Mac and Cheese

Rutabaga Mac and Greens

Cheesy Broccoli Mac

Buffalo Cauliflower Mac

Arugula Pesto Mac UnCheese

Asparagus Mac and Hollandaise

Smoky Mac and Peas with Mushroom Bacon

Brussels and Bacon Cheesy Mac

Cheesy Primavera Mac

Roasted Vegetable Cheesy Mac

Mac and Giardiniera

Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese

Bill’s Artichoke Mac and Chips

Chapter 4: Meaty Macs

Chili Mac

Crabby Mac UnCheese

BBQ Jack and Mac

Philly Cheesesteak Mac

Kid’s Stuff Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Shepherd’s Mac

Lobster Mushroom Mac UnCheese

Brat & Kraut Mac & Cheese

Jerk Tempeh Mac

Tetrazzini Mac

Mac and Stroganoff

Chapter 5: Fun with Mac & Cheese

Cheesy Mac Mug

Mac UnCheese Omelet

Waffled Mac and Cheese

Cheesy Broccoli Mac Soup

Mac and Cheese Balls

Cheesy Mac Muffins

Mac ‘n’ Cheese Pizza

Mac UnCheese Quesadillas

Indian Vermicelli Pudding

Sweet Noodle Kugel

Preorder now!


Celebrate National Mac and Cheese Day!

Did you know July 14 is National Mac and Cheese Day? I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this classic comfort food that to enjoy some delicious vegan mac and cheese.

In honor of this special day, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from my upcoming book, Vegan Mac & Cheese. In the coming weeks, I’ll be providing sneak peeks of what’s inside the book.  For now, enjoy this recipe for Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and celebrate National Mac and Cheese Day.

And, in case you missed it….when you pre-order Vegan Mac & Cheese on Amazon, my publisher will send you free bonus recipes.

Buffalo Cauliflower Mac

Buffalo cauliflower has been making the rounds, so it should come as no surprise that it turns up in a mac uncheese. The cheesy, saucy macaroni is a perfect foil for the spicy hot cauliflower.


1 large russet potato, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks

1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks

21/2 cups (600 ml) vegetable broth

2/3 cup (40 g) nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons (30 ml) tamari

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-size pieces

Olive oil cooking spray

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup (80 ml) hot pepper sauce, preferably Frank’s RedHot

4 tablespoons (56 g) vegan butter, melted

1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon paprika


16 ounces (454 g) elbow macaroni, or other small pasta shape


Sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the potato, carrot, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the nutritional yeast, tamari, onion powder, and garlic powder, and salt. Blend until the sauce is smooth. Tasste and add more salt if needed. Set aside.

Cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on the prepared pan. Spray the cauliflower with cooking spray, then and sprinkle with the garlic powder and salt. Roast for 20 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl and add the hot sauce, butter, vinegar, and paprika. Stir well to coat. Return the cauliflower to the baking sheet and arrange it in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes longer.

Macaroni: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Cook the macaroni in a pot of boiling salted water until it is al dente. Drain well and return it to the pot. Stir in the reserved sauce and place the pot over low heat. Cook over low heat for a few minutes to heat through. Stir in the buffalo cauliflower and gently stir to combine. Serve hot.


Vegan Mac & Cheese Bonus Recipes

More news about Vegan Mac & Cheese! You can now get bonus recipes:

If you order from Amazon before September 17, 2019 you’ll receive additional bonus recipes that you can start using today! Just send your proof of purchase to the following email address: veganmaccheese@quarto.com and we’ll send you the free recipes.

When submitting you pre-order proof of purchase, please attach or include in your email a screen shot of your order confirmation. (Simply right-click your order page on Amazon to create shot of it.) Here is a sample screen shot:


Artichoke-Spinach Dip

Artichoke-Spinach Dip

I love anything with artichokes: grilled fresh baby artichokes are the beyond compare.  When I can’t get fresh artichokes, I satisfy my craving with frozen, jarred, or canned.  I like to put marinated artichoke hearts in salads and that the creamy and delicious artichoke-spinach dip is a longtime favorite.  In fact, I’m such a fan of that dip that I’ve developed a few other ways to use it such as a pasta sauce, or as a tasty filling for palmiers.

First, the dip itself.  Sometimes I make it with a homemade cashew cream cheese (see Veganize It!), but more often than not, I opt for saving time and use a commercial vegan cream cheese.  The dip is quick and easy to make and can be made ahead of when you need it.  You can pop it in the oven just before serving time or do what I usually do:  heat it in a small slow cooker.

Artichoke-Spinach Dip

1 (10-ounce) bag baby spinach, lightly steamed, then squeezed dry

1 cup vegan cream cheese

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

3/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 (12 -ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, well drained and blotted dry

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees °F.

Lightly steam or microwave the spinach for 1 minute or until wilted.  Allow to cool.

Combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Blend until very smooth.

When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze any liquid from it and add it to the mixture in the food processor.  Add the artichokes and pulse to combine, leaving some texture. Do not over-process.

Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish, and bake uncovered for 15 minutes, or until hot. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve with toasted French bread slices or your favorite crackers.

Makes about 3 cups

Slow Cooker Variation:  Instead of baking in the oven, transfer the dip to a small (1 quart) slow cooker and cook on High for about 2 hours, or until hot.

 As a pasta sauce: To transform this dip into a great pasta sauce, simply thin it out with your favorite unsweetened plant milk until it’s the perfect consistency.  Then, add a little more onion powder, maybe some more nutritional yeast, and a little extra salt and pepper.  Heat until warm and toss with freshly cooked pasta.

 Palmier filling: Another favorite way to enjoy the creamy goodness of artichoke-spinach dip is to use it as a filling for these light and flaky palmiers, made with vegan puff pastry, available in the freezer case of most supermarkets.  Best of all, these palmiers freeze well, so if you only need enough for a few people, you can freeze the second roll (unsliced) and thaw when needed.

Artichoke-Spinach Palmiers

 1 recipe Spinach-Artichoke Dip (see above)

1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed (Pepperidge Farm brand is vegan)

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry onto a flat work surface. Spread half of the artichoke-spinach mixture onto the pastry sheet, spreading to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Roll up one long side of the dough to the middle of the dough, then roll up the other side of the dough so the two rolls meet in the center. Repeat with the remaining dough sheet and filling mixture. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll into slices, slightly less than 1/2-inch thick. Place each slice, cut-side down, on parchment-lined baking sheets, allowing about 1-inch of space in between each slice.  Use a metal spatula to flatten the palmiers to 1/4-inch thickness.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.