Mac no Cheese with Vegan Rice Paper Bacon

Updated: Dec 8, 2019


Another one of my favourite comfort foods: Mac n Cheese. As a kid, I'd eat those instant mac n cheeses that come in microwavable cups and just-add-water powder mixes. I've had my fair share of vegan mac n cheeses; from cheese sauces made of potato and carrots to melted vegan cheese. I preferred the latter because of its really creamy, cheesy goodness.

But let's be real here, you don't always have vegan cheese availale and there are just those times that call for mac n cheese. This mac n cheese recipe requires a few basic ingredients with nutritional yeast possibly being the most not-so-common ingredient in most pantries (especially for non-vegans) so it's something you can easily whip up without having to worry about purchasing ingredients for.

I love this recipe for its thick and hearty sauce. I've fed this to my omnivore friends and they loved it.


I've been making this recipe for a while now and it was only recently when I realized, WHY NOT ADD BACON? So yes, this is now a mac no cheese WITH BACON recipe post. This was probably the most satisfying dish I've had all week. So happy that idea somehow made it to my head. So here it is. Bacon and mac n cheese in all its greasy and cheesy glory.

The bacon takes time to perfect. I had some difficulty the first time I worked with rice paper. It can get a bit tricky since rice paper is so thin and it gets a bit too soggy when left in liquid for too long. Plus, it's hard to control once they're all submerged in oil. But once you get a hang of it, it's pretty fun to do especially when you have yourself a plate full of 'bacon'.

I've just recently perfected baking these with much less oil and I'm so happy they turned out so well. Will share the steps in the recipes below! Check it out and let me know if you decide to make some for yourself!

Hope you guys like it!


Are you looking for more delicious, vegan recipes? Check out my latest Vegan Kitchen eBook, that has over 95 recipes (and a whole section for Asian recipes!) that are packed with flavour and made with simple and easily accessible ingredients! Also, two trees (instead of 1!) will be planted for every download of my eBook through non-profit organisation One Tree Planted.🌲




Mac No Cheese

Good for 2-3 servings

250 grams pasta of choice (dry)

1 1/2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp all purpose flour

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk

1 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.

  2. In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat.

  3. Add in the flour and combine until a paste is formed, around 3 minutes.

  4. Add in the garlic, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, non-dairy milk and salt.

  5. Stir occasionally over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken.

  6. Once sauce has thickened, turn off heat and mix in lemon juice.

  7. Add in pasta and mix well. Serve immediately.

Vegan Rice Paper Bacon (Baked or Fried!)

5 sheets Vietnamese rice paper

Sauce

5 tbsp barbecue sauce

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water

2 tbsp soy sauce/liquid aminos

3 tbsp desiccated coconut

1 tbsp smoked paprika (optional, adjust depending on preferred taste)

Canola or coconut oil for frying

(BAKED-OIL FREE)

  1. Layer 2-3 rice papers and cut into 2 1/2 inch strips.

  2. Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.

  3. Prepare a shallow container and add water.

  4. Heat an oven to 325F. Line the baking tray with some parchment paper (this is essential for it not to stick).

  5. Quickly dip strips of rice paper in the water then transfer to the sauce mixture.

  6. After soaking in the sauce, transfer to the baking tray. Lay them out and make sure the rice paper strips do not stick together.

  7. You will have to make these in batches depending on the size of your oven and tray.

  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until crisp. Watch the rice paper every 2-3 minutes because they can burn VERY fast.

  9. Take out from the parchment paper and let cool (or you can always enjoy them freshly cooked too!)

(FRIED)

  1. Layer 2-3 rice papers and cut into 2 1/2 inch strips.

  2. Mix all sauce ingredients (except oil) in a bowl. Mix well.

  3. Prepare a shallow container and add water.

  4. In a frying pan, place oil over medium heat. The bacon doesn't need to be deep fried, so not too much oil is needed.

  5. While the oil is heating, quickly dip strips of rice paper in the water then transfer to the sauce mixture. After soaking in the sauce, transfer to a plate before frying. Make sure the rice paper strips do not stick together.

  6. Soak just enough bacon strips to fit in your pan before preparing another batch (since the rice paper can get too soft and soggy when left in liquid for too long).

  7. Slowly add each strip to the oil. Do not add too many all at once because they will stick if they crowd in the pan.

  8. Fry for 2 minutes over medium heat. Use thongs. (NOTE: They won't look crispy when in oil but once you remove them and transfer to a plate, they will harden and crisp up.)

  9. Soak the remaining strips in sauce and fry.


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