Vegans don’t need to go without mac and cheese! This chili version is comforting and cheesy without using any dairy. It’s super-easy to make and can be done in the slow cooker while you’re not even home.
Combine all the ingredients except the macaroni and the Macadamia Nut Cheese Sauce in a large slow cooker. Cover, turn it on high, and cook for 3½ hours.
Meanwhile, make cheese sauce. Drain and rinse the nuts. Add them to a high-power blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Add the macaroni and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta is done.
Pour in the cheese sauce and stir well.
Garnish with more paprika and chopped green onions, if desired, and serve immediately or refrigerate for later. This will keep in the fridge for at least a week. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months.
If you want some extra heat in this recipe, you can add ½ teaspoon cayenne or even some diced chile peppers.
If you forget to soak the nuts for the cheese sauce overnight, you can boil them for 30 minutes to soften.
This cheese sauce will last a couple weeks in the fridge. I store mine in a large mason jar. You can also freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.