One-Pot Vegan Chili Mac for Kids (Shh.. Hidden Veggies!)

Childhood in a bowl! Kiddos will love the familiar flavors of vegan chili mac. Parents will love the hidden veggies, freezer/pantry staples & weeknight ease.

Childhood in a bowl! Kiddos will love the familiar flavors of vegan chili mac. Parents will love the hidden veggies, freezer/pantry staples & weeknight ease.

Vegan Chili Mac in a bowl. Vegan dinner for kids.

Beat the Weeknight Dinner Stress

Home late from kid activities. Everyone is getting hangry. Homework was forgotten. The fridge is getting bare. Kids don’t want “healthy” food, they just want familiar food. GAHHH!!! … And you’re standing in the kitchen trying to take a deep breath. What you can make that’s fast, easy, reasonably healthy and that everyone will eat?

Vegan chili mac with hidden veggies… just for the kiddos, of course!

Note for Chili Aficionados: Imma be honest. This is not an award-winning firehouse chili. This is a dump-and-stir dish for picky kids.

Let’s Make Vegan Chili Mac

This is one flexible dish, lemme tell ya!

  • Eat cheese? Use regular mac.
  • Gluten-free? Use GF mac and verify that the beefy crumbles are GF.
  • Don’t mind using 2 pots? Make the chili & mac separately and stir them together at the end.
  • Have different frozen veggies? Go nuts.
Ingredients to make vegan chili mac: vegan macaroni box, frozen beefy crumbles, beans, tomato sauce, frozen veggies, broth & seasoning

Blender tomato sauce with hidden veggies

For those with picky palates, blending veggies into tomato sauce is a great way to get a natural boost of vitamins without the drama. I believe in two things: 1) help kids learn to understand & love food by helping in the kitchen, and 2) pick your battles.

So, I generally don’t “hide” veggies. We expect “no thank you bites” (our daughter has to try a bite of everything, but can say “no thank you” to more). It can take multiple exposure opportunities for little tastebuds to learn to enjoy something new. But if everyone is hangry, I’m not picking that battle tonight!

Yes, a “real” tomato sauce would start with cooking down onions and garlic. Then you’d add tomato. Then season it with herbs and salt. We’re going for fast here, people!

Make a Quick Chili

Heat oil in a pan over medium. Add the meatless crumbles and seasonings. Cook until the crumbles have thawed and are cooked through.

Pour broth and tomato sauce into the mixture.

Add macaroni noodles. Set the “cheese pouch” aside for now.

Add vegan macaroni box mix to the vegan chili

Give all of the ingredients a quick stir.

Put the lid on. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a fast simmer (bubbles popping all over the surface). Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes. Stir once or twice, and check the pasta when you do.

Prepare vegan macaroni “cheese” sauce according the the package. If you use a traditional dairy macaroni & cheese mix, this cheese will look a wee bit more appetizing. Just sayin’. It’s all about the flavor tho!

Vegan Chili Mac is Ready!

Sprinkle some sliced green onions on top… if you’re feeling fancy! And if your family eats dairy, sprinkling some shredded cheddar on top is a classic topping.

Vegan chili mac is perfect for a busy weeknight and picky tummies!

Your littles will never know there is cauliflower, carrot and mushroom blended up in this yummy bowl of macaroni, chili and beans. The leftovers also keep well in the fridge. Try packing it hot in a thermos for school lunches!

Hungry for more kid-approved meatless meals?

Be sweet to yourself today, my friend! Happy cooking!


One-Pot Vegan Chili Mac (Shh.. Hidden Veggies!)

  • Author: Katie Allen
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Childhood in a bowl! Kiddos will love the familiar flavors of vegan chili mac. Parents will love the hidden veggies, freezer/pantry staples & weeknight ease.



  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pkg frozen Meatless Crumbles (in the US, I use “Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles” brand)
  • 14oz can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1 cup frozen carrots
  • 1 cup white mushrooms
  • 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 box vegan macaroni & cheese (in the US, I use “Annie’s” brand)
  • salt to taste
  • Optional Toppings: sliced green onions, sliced cheddar cheese (dairy or non-dairy)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat.
  2. Add meatless crumbles and pinto beans.
  3. Microwave frozen carrots and cauliflower in a small bowl. Pour a couple tablespoons of water in. Cover with cling wrap. Poke 2-3 holes with a fork. Microwave until fork-tender (2-4 minutes).
  4. Pour crushed tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower and mushrooms into blender. Blend on high until smooth. If your blender is smaller, you may need to do this in 2 batches.
  5. Add chili powder, tomato sauce (with hidden veggies!), and vegetable broth to pan.
  6. Set aside the “cheese” pouch from macaroni box. Add pasta to the pan.
  7. Stir well to combine. Cover. Let simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  8. In a small bowl, prepare macaroni “cheese sauce” as instructed. After the chili mac mixture has cooked for 20 minutes, add the cheese sauce.
  9. Season with salt/pepper to taste.


Vegetarian: This recipe is vegetarian.

Vegan: This recipe is vegan.

Gluten-Free: Substitute gluten-free noodles. Verify that the meatless crumbles you use are GF.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 395
  • Sugar: 9
  • Sodium: 1106
  • Fat: 7.7
  • Saturated Fat: 2.3
  • Carbohydrates: 61.2
  • Protein: 19.9
  • Cholesterol: 10mg

Keywords: chili mac, chili macaroni, vegan chili mac

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