Roasting the poblano peppers imparts a smokiness to the sauce. Poblano peppers are not traditionally known for being hot. However, if you look for older peppers (darker red and black skins with striations) they will have more heat. You can control the spice in this recipe by adding more or less poblanos or even other types of peppers for more heat.
Many dairy-free macaroni and cheese recipes use vegan cheeses. My goal with this recipe was to create a plant-based macaroni and cheese recipe using as many whole foods as possible. Be sure to use silken tofu to achieve maximum creaminess. Silken tofu can also be used in smoothies to add protein and a creamy texture. Firm tofu will not deliver the same results and is better suited for stir-fries and scrambles where it will hold it's shape.
Prep Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
1 cup fire roasted poblano peppers, diced (2-3 large)
For the Sauce
15 oz tofu, silken
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sriracha
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic, granulated
1/2 tsp salt, kosher
1/4 cup butter, plant-based
1/4 cup flour
2 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp salt, kosher
1 lb elbow macaroni (or other pasta shape)
2 Tbsp butter, plant-based
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1.) Roast poblanos directly over an open flame on the stove for 3-5 minutes or until blackened all around. Use tongs to rotate peppers as needed. After roasting place peppers in an air-tight container (a large ziploc works well) for 10-15 minutes. Open peppers and discard stem, seeds and membranes. Lay pepper skin-side down flat on cutting board and scrape blackened skins from peppers using a knife. Dice peppers and set aside.
2.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3.) While pasta is cooking: Combine tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tahini, olive oil, sriracha, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a blender until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
4.) Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add 1/4 cup plant-based butter to melt. Whisk in flour to combine and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally. Slowly add in vegetable broth while whisking until all broth has been added. Add blended tofu sauce to saucepan, stirring to combine. Stir in peppers. Taste and add additional salt if desired. Add pasta to sauce and gently stir to combine. Cover and keep warm.
5.) Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp plant-based butter to melt. Add breadcrumbs and stir to coat. Cook 3-5 minutes or until breadcrumbs have turned a golden brown color. Serve warm topped with breadcrumbs.
Store refrigerated in an air-tight container for 3-5 days.