I had three things on my mind–Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos, Hamburger Helper, and Frito Pie. And that is how I arrived at this easy vegan taco pasta casserole recipe. Seriously, what if a classic hard shell TVP taco was completely deconstructed, combined with pasta and black beans, and baked in the oven? As it turns out, it would be hearty, delicious and worth sharing 💚
A few things…
- ・New to textured vegetable protein (TVP)? It has one ingredient, soy flour. It comes completely dehydrated and is shelf stable. Sometimes, you can find it in bulk bins.
- ・To prep the TVP for this vegan taco pasta casserole recipe, you’ll need to add 1 cup dehydrated TVP to 1 cup boiling water, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- ・No TVP on hand? Use 2 cups of your favorite vegan ground substitute for tacos. While testing this recipe, I ground an 8 ounce package of tempeh in a food processor. It worked well, but I liked the TVP better.
- ・In an effort to trap enough heat close enough to melt the vegan cheese, but not make the chips soggy… I recommend “loosely” covering this vegan taco pasta casserole with foil. Basically, just lay the foil on top. No need to crimp the sides.
Please enjoy this tasty baked vegan taco pasta casserole! And check out more UVK recipes, like Chipotle Lime Jackfruit, Vegan Chili Mac and Cheese, Vegan Green Bean Casserole, Vegan Guacamole, Vegan Spinach Mushroom Wild Rice Casserole or Vegan Baked Pasta with Tofu Ricotta and Eggplant.
Vegan Taco Pasta Casserole
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
2½ tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cornstarch
1½ cups dry elbow macaroni
1 cup dehydrated TVP
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped red onions
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped (if sensitive to heat – remove seeds and inner membrane)
3 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
15 ounce can of no salt tomato sauce
15.5 ounce can of no salt black beans, drained and rinsed (OR ~1¼ cups cooked black beans)
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1½ cup vegan shredded cheddar cheese
1½ cups corn chips (I used Fritos Original Corn Chips)
Diced fresh tomatoes
Finely chopped cilantro
1. First, you’ll boil the pasta for the vegan taco casserole. On the stove, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in the macaroni. Boil for ~7 minutes or according to the directions on the box. Drain, rinse and set aside.
2. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, prep the TVP for the vegan taco pasta casserole. In a mixing bowl, add the 1 cup dehydrated TVP to 1 cup boiling water. Set aside for 10 minutes. This will allow it to hydrate.
3. Next, in a small bowl, combine all the ingredients listed under “Taco Seasoning”. Set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Grease a 9″ X 13″ casserole pan. Set aside.
5. Next, sauté the aromatics for the vegan taco pasta casserole. In a large skillet, add the olive oil, red onion and a dash of salt. Sauté over medium-high heat for ~5 minutes or until soft.
6. Add the TVP, garlic, jalapeño and the soy sauce to the skillet. Stir around 2 minutes. Then, add the “taco seasoning” from the small bowl and the tomato sauce. Stir around for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
7. Add the cooked macaroni, 1 cup chopped tomatoes, black beans and ½ cup vegan shredded cheddar cheese to the large skillet. Stir. Taste, and adjust flavors, if necessary.
8. Spoon the vegan taco pasta into the greased 9″ X 13″ casserole pan. Spread evenly. Top with the remaining 1 cup of vegan shredded cheese, and then, top it with corn chips.
9. Loosely cover the vegan taco pasta casserole with foil (see notes above). Bake at 375º F for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with tomatoes, cilantro and scallions. Serve.