Southern Inspired Baked Chiltepin Mac & Cheese

This week, we’re going to re-create an incredible vegan version of a Southern-inspired macaroni and cheese. But, we’re going to add a chiltepin kick.

With a warm, creamy center and a baked crunchy top layer, we’re going to make even the strictest of Southerners second guess the use of cheese and heavy cream in this traditionally rich and calorie filled side dish.


Although several options exist when making dairy-free cheeses, raw cashews and nutritional yeast are easily accessible at our local Food Conspiracy Cop-op. These two simple ingredients work together as a team to bring that creamy, cheesy base that makes this twist on a classic so authentic. The remaining ingredients provide the yellow-orange color and flavors that we identify with actual cheese. Add the local spice of Sonoran Desert chiltepins, and our cheese sauce can easily double as a fierce queso dip for chips or vegetable sticks at your next soiree. Now that’s hot.

All local ingredients provided by The Food Conspiracy Co-op, Breckenfeld Family Growers and High Energy Agriculture.

Southern Inspired Vegan Chiltepin Mac & Cheese Ingredients

Southern Inspired Vegan Chiltepin Mac & Cheese Ingredients

Prefer to leave all the work in the kitchen to the professionals? I can always count on Renee’s Organic Oven for a wide variety of organic, local and plant-based pastas to please my friends and family. Otherwise, read on… 😉

Chiltepin Mac & Cheese

  • 12 ounces macaroni shells*
  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked 6-8 hours & drained*
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast*
  • 1/3 cup diced onion*
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice*
  • 3 cloves garlic*
  • 5-10 Chiltepin dried chili pods(crushed)*2 cups vegetable broth*
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard*
  • 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar*
  • 1/2 tsp cumin*
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper*
  • 1/4 tsp paprika*
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • cilantro and green onion for garnish*

Bring water to a boil with a pinch of sea salt. Lower heat to medium and add macaroni noodles. Cook for 8 minutes or until Al dente. Blend all cheese ingredients until smooth and creamy. Drain noodles and add cheese sauce. Stir until all macaroni is covered in cheese. Pour in oven safe dish and bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, add paprika, black pepper and garnish. Serve.

Side of Grilled Asparagus

  • 1 tbsp of Non GMO oil*
  • 16 oz asparagus*
  • 1 tsp black pepper*
  • 1 tsp lemon juice*
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Toss asparagus with all ingredients. Place on warm grill and heat 3-5 minutes each side or until slightly tender. Serve.

Jaime Hall is a Tucson based vegan, GMO-Free speaker, and healthy lifestyle advocate. Keep up with her at