This recipe has lived in my imagination for awhile now and I finally got to execute it for Vegan Happy Hour this month! It was originally inspired by this article on the Huffington Post. I saw the mac n’ cheese pie and thought, I can do it better, and I can do it vegan! So after bouncing around ideas with a few like-minded mac n’ cheese lovers I set off to make the ultimate vegan quiche with a macaroni and cheese filling.
So what went into this recipe? I started with the cashew cheese from my Jalapeno Popper Dip because I wanted a thick sauce that wouldn’t run and make the crust soggy. I went with Julie Hasson’s Smoky Curls from Vegan Diner for the meaty component because I’m completely obsessed with them right now. If you don’t have access to her amazing book or soy curls you can use either store bought or homemade tempeh bacon. Of course, any good quiche needs spinach and caramelized onions. It’s a rule I read somewhere. After everything was mixed together it was all nestled into a flaky pastry shell and topped with sliced tomato.
But what the hell, I’ll just tell you exactly how to make it.
Mac n’ Quiche! A Recipe.
For the Crust (or use your favorite quiche crust recipe)
- 1 ¾ C pastry flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 C palm shortening*
- 3 – 4 tbs cold water
For the mac n’ cheese filling
- ½ lb macaroni noodles
- 1 C raw cashew pieces
- 1/2 lb firm tofu, crumbled up a bit with your fingers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 C lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
The rest of the filling
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Medium yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 5 oz spinach
- 1/4 package of Tofurky Smoky Maple Tempeh Bacon or Homemade Tempeh Bacon, cut into medium sized pieces OR 1 recipe of Julie Hasson’s Smoky Curls from Vegan Diner
- Tomato, thinly sliced
*I buy a giant bucket of Tropical Traditions palm shortening like once every 5 years. It’s sustainable and fair trade. Good stuff!
What to Do
Preheat oven to 350°
Make the crust – In a medium sized bowl sift together the pastry flour and salt. Add the palm oil and use a pastry cutter to work the oil into the flour until dough looks like medium sized crumbs. Add cold water a tablespoon at a time or until dough begins to hold together. Roll dough into a ball and place in the refrigerator for at least 40 minutes.
Roll the pastry crust into a thin round sheet about ¼” thick. Mold the crust to the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9” springform pan. Trim off any excess pastry from the top and place a pie shield on the top of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Cook macaroni – Cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
If you are making Julie Hasson’s Smoky Curls now would be a good time to start marinating them.
Make the cashew cheese – Place cashews in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add tofu and garlic, process for 30 seconds, and scrape down sides with a rubber spatula. With the food processor running add the olive oil and lemon juice, let the processor run for about 30 more seconds, scrape down the sides again, add salt, onion powder and turmeric. Process for another minute, or until cheese is smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Make the rest of the filling (if making Smoky Curls this is a good place to start cooking them!) – Preheat oil on medium-high in a medium sized nonstick pan, add onions and a pinch of salt. Sautee for about 15 minutes, or until onions begin to brown and caramelize. Add a tiny bit of water to deglaze the pan and then add spinach by the handful. Sautee until spinach is completely wilted and water is dissolved. Add Tofurky tempeh bacon (if using) and cook for about 2 more minutes.
Put it all together – In a large mixing bowl combine macaroni, cashew cheese, onion/spinach mixture, and Smoky Curls if using. Mix well.
Add mac n’ cheese mixture to the pan and flatten using a rubber spatula. Place sliced tomatoes in a pretty pattern on top. Put in oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until crust has browned a bit and mac n’ cheese has heated through. Enjoy!