Betty Crocker’s 1950 Picture Cook Book has been a favorite of mine for years. I love the old-style cover, recipe thoroughness, and history snippets about various classic American dishes. The way the recipes are organized is so simple and clear, and it is amazing how many of them will fit on a single page. I have read the entire book over and over again, even though the nutrition information is outdated and some of the ‘common ingredients’ of the past are hard to come by today. I truly love this book.
Unsurprisingly, hardly anything in the book is vegan. However, one of my favorite things about vegan cooking is converting old favorites (aka meat and dairy recipes) into vegan ones, preferably without the use of fake meats and cheeses that are specifically for this purpose.
I have never converted much more than a cookie recipe from Betty Crocker’s book, but last night I felt inspired to tackle something a little more difficult: macaroni-tomato casserole. Betty’s recipe uses butter and over a cup of extra sharp cheese. I, instead, created a sharp, mustardy cheesy sauce that took the place of both of these ingredients. I also doubled the recipe to make it a little more substantial for vegans. Other than that, I mostly followed the recipe.
IT WAS DELICIOUS! I was not even planning on posting this recipe, but it was so good that I am now OBSESSED and need to share my happiness with the world (rather than my family who has already heard “Oh my gosh that thing I made last night was so good” way too many times).
I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but I had almost all of them on hand, and it only took about a half hour to make (minus cooking time).
If you try this recipe, please let me know in the comments or tag me on Instagram @littleplantperson! Enjoy!
Vegan Macaroni Tomato Casserole:
- 16 oz macaroni
- 12 oz silken tofu
- heaping 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika (plus more for topping)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 5 cups cooked tomatoes (I used a mix of stewed, canned diced, and fresh cooked)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
- black pepper
- bell pepper rings (optional topping)
- 1 teaspoon chopped parley (optional topping)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and boil water for macaroni.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions or a little less (it will absorb more liquid in the oven).
- Blend tofu, nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, paprika, and soy sauce in a blender or food processor until smooth. It should be thick but pourable, so add a little water if necessary.
- If using only fresh tomatoes, cook them in a small pot. If using canned and fresh, heat/cook them together. If using only canned, pour them in a medium bowl. Use all the liquid of canned tomatoes.
- Mix the onion powder, basil, and dried parsley into the tomatoes. Add some black pepper more garlic powder or salt if desired.
- In a baking dish, layer half the tomatoes, half the cooked macaroni, a little more than half the cheesy sauce, and black pepper in that order.
- Repeat step 6, spreading the cheesy sauce thinly and evenly.
- Top the dish with more pepper, paprika, thinly sliced bell pepper rings (see photo), and/or chopped fresh parsley.
- Bake for 45 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
- Let the dish cool before eating and serve with a vegetable such as steamed green beans if desired.