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Vegan Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 7 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Vegan Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese is full of fiber and tons of flavor for a grown-up version of everyone’s favorite childhood recipe. Serve it warm for an easy side dish or add protein for a complete meal in less than 45 minutes!


Units Scale
  • 2 sliced jalapeños, deseeded. Keep a few seeds intact if you want an extra spicy dish.
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt or onion salt
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil (divided)
  • pinch of kosher salt/pepper (to taste)
  • 16 ounce (2 boxes) gluten-free pasta shells
  • Water for boiling pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
For the cheese sauce:  Makes around 1 cup
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2+ cup vegetable broth or water (as needed depending on desired thickness)
  • 2/3 cup to 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 11/4 Tablespoon arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
  • Optional 2 teaspoons Tabasco or 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika


  1. Preheat oven 400F. Slice jalapeños 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick. Slice them too thin and they will cook faster than the time recommended.
  2. Mix jalapeños, chickpeas, paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, salt/pepper, in a bowl with 1 Tablespoon oil. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes.
  3. While that is baking, cook your pasta according to package directions. Tip – add 2 teaspoons salt to boiling water for better texture.
  4. Once pasta is cooked, thoroughly drain and place pasta back into the pot. Toss 2 to 3 Tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic.  Add in 1/4 teaspoon salt/pepper to taste. Keep the heat on low.
  5. Cheese sauce with slurry: In another small saucepan, whisk together non-dairy milk with broth, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic, and arrowroot powder.
  6. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce to low and stir continuously until a thickened “cheesy” sauce is formed.  Add a few tablespoons more milk, for a thinner sauce is desired before adding to pasta.
  7. Add this sauce to the pasta and mix together. If the pasta with sauce seems too dry, toss with 1-2 Tablespoons more olive oil.
  8. Once jalapeños/chickpeas are done baking, add them to the pasta.
  9. Stir gently to combine. Season with salt/pepper to taste, if desired, and garnish with cilantro. 


Depending on the type of pasta you use, you may need to make more sauce. Some pastas absorb the sauce more than others.

For Nutritional Yeast I used Bob Red Mill

Arrowroot Starch substitute –  Corn starch is not as nutritious as arrowroot starch but works well as a thickening agent in sauces.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: main, dinner
  • Method: stove
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 431
  • Sugar: 2.5
  • Sodium: 439.6
  • Fat: 8.5
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.1
  • Trans Fat: 3.3
  • Carbohydrates: 68.5
  • Fiber: 16.6
  • Protein: 26.8
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: chickpea mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese, gluten free pasta recipe, vegan cheese sauce