Vegan Jalapeño Mac and Cheese with Shiitake Bacon and Breadcrumbs

Posted by in 4th of July, Cinco De Mayo, Cooking, Pasta, Sides, Snacks, Super Bowl Sunday | 0 comments















Hello & Happy Tuesday!!








If there is one thing I’m all about, it’s a quick and easy vegan cheese! When the boom of the cashew cheesecakes came about I was in love with the many ways we can utilize cashews. However, I got so burn out on cashews and found that balance is everything with creating texture. 


You need just a lil bit of cashews and a powerful blender. Otherwise the result will be too dense and the texture too grainy. Once I explored vegan cheese pasta sauce with incorporating potatoes and carrots, I was again swept off my feet with just how fab cashews are. Whether you’re vegan or not, you really can make a cheese sauce that mirrors that of traditional cheese, promise!


In the last 9 years or so, I’ve become all about the heat factor with dishes. I’m living proof that your tastebuds change and or die out, because I crave the heat with everything and it’s almost like salt to me lol. The heat enhances the flavor in dishes and even makes you slow down with eating so that you truly taste the dish with every bite!!


I had seen a lot of Jalapeño Mac and Cheese dishes floating around so I figured I should whip up this staple dish as it’s just so good! One of the first recipe I ever did was actually fried Jalapeño Cheddar Mac + Cheese back in 2013 lol. 








What’s fab about this dish, is everything! It’s quick, easy, has minimal ingredients and all should be staples in your kitchen, cheesy, packs heat, packs a savory component with the shiitake bacon, a crunchy with the breadcrumbs, can easily be made in bulk, perf for any season, perf for entertaining, and is guaranteed  to change any non vegan persons thoughts on vegan cheese!!




 If you love all things mac and cheese or spice, you have to try this recipe for vegan Jalapeño Mac + Cheese with shiitake bacon and bread crumbs!!











Why this recipe rocks:






Full of Spice

Great for entertaining

Minimal ingredients












































Serves 4-6 servings

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

15 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2 large carrots (peeled, fork tender)
  • 1/2 large potato (peeled, fork tender)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (soaked for at least 4hrs in hot water)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (more as needed)
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed 
  • 2 tbsps nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbs vegan Worcestershire (optional)
  • 1/2 squeeze lime (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin 
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt/pepper as desired
  • Shiitake bacon:
  • 1 cup sliced shiitakes 
  • 2 Tsps soy sauce
  • 2 Tsps vegan Worcestershire 
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke 
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • Breadcrumbs:
  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
  • Garnish
  • Cilantro
  • Sliced Jalapeños
  • Other
  • 4-8 cups cooked pasta


  1. Soak the cashews in water overnight. If not, simply place in water and pop in the microwave for 5 minutes and allow them to soak or as long as you can. Add all the nacho cheese ingredients to a blender or vitamix and blend until smooth. If you want to monitor the heat factor, add some of the jalapeño and taste before adding more.
  2. Add more almond milk a little at a time to achieve the desired consistency if yours is too thick. Toss with cooked pasta and top with garnishes.  
  3. Breadcrumbs: place in a pan with butter or olive oil and cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly toasted. You can add a pinch of chili powder and cumin if desired.
  4. Shiitake Bacon: Preheat the oven to 250. Toss the sliced mushrooms in the ingredients and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-45 minutes until slightly crispy. Set aside.
  5. Serve warm with the shiitake bacon, breadcrumbs and garnishes!


If you desire more of a Mexican flavor profile, skip the jalapeños and just add 1 adobo pepper to the sauce!













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