Ground soy curls, cheese sauce and macaroni make this the best vegan hamburger helper you’ll ever try! It’s a one pot (or pan) dish that’s hearty, comforting and filled with fabulous flavour! Your entire family will thank you for this one!
If you’ve got picky eaters to feed, this is a kid friendly dish that the entire will LOVE!
It’s got all the good stuff!
- Pasta (who doesn’t love pasta?)
- Cheesy sauce, yes please!
- Meaty ground soy curls and you might have a hard time believing it’s vegan!
If you’ve a fan of cheesy pasta dishes, you’ll definitely want to check out this vegan mac and cheese, too.
You’ll love this dish because…
- It’s a classic dish made vegan, to satisfy that nostalgic feeling.
- Oil free, making it WFPB friendly, and low fat.
- It’s simple to prepare, and all you need is one pot, or one pan.
- And of course, the best reason, it’s SO SO delicious!
How to make it
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Gather your ingredients. For the pasta, I like Cavatappi, but macaroni, shells, or any other short variety work well here.
Combine 2.5 cups of veggie broth and the additional seasoning in a bowl, and place your soy curls inside. Make sure the curls are covered by the liquid, and add a little water if needed to cover them. Let that soak for 15 minutes. (photo 1)
Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce by adding all the “cheese” ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Set aside. (photos 2-3)
Drain the curls in a colander and squeeze out the excess moisture over your kitchen sink. Then transfer them to a hot nonstick pan and sauté until brown. (photos 4-5)
Then transfer the browned curls to the bowl of your food processor and pulse until uniformly ground and set aside. (photos 6-7)
Wipe out the pan with a dish cloth or paper towel and add 3.5 cups of broth and bring to a low boil. Then add the pasta and simmer until ‘al dente’, approx. 10 minutes. (photos 8-10)
NOTE: Check the pasta package directions for ‘al dente’ pasta.
Add the ground curls back to the pan and mix well. (photos 11-12)
Then pour the cheese sauce on top and mix to evenly coat. (photos 13-14)
Serve garnished with fresh parsley, if you’d like, and enjoy!
I like cavatappi pasta because it’s fun, twisty and delicious, but macaroni, penne, shells or any other short variety will work well.
Yes, just swap the pasta for your favourite gluten free variety. The sauce and ‘ground beef’ soy curls are already gluten free.
Yes! They’re made from non-GMO whole soybeans and they’re a great source of protein, fiber and iron. As an added bonus, they are minimally processed, making them a great choice for a WFPB (whole food plant based) diet.
You can purchase them in a health food store, health section of your grocery store, or find them on Amazon.
This dish is best enjoyed when freshly made, as the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce as it cools. However, leftovers can be kept refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Add some broth, or a little plant milk to your vegan hamburger helper and reheat on stove top to loosen and add moisture back to the dish.
- Since the soy curls are being ground up, feel free to use the bottom half of your bag that tends to be broken up.
- Make sure the soy curls are completely covered by liquid in order to rehydrate them. If needed, add some extra water to the bowl to cover them.
- Emphasis on low sodium broth for this one, to prevent the dish from being too salty. If you do not have low salt broth, use a 50/50 mix of broth and water.
- Make sure not to overcook your pasta. In fact, a little undercooked (or al dente) is best since it will continue to soften as it absorbs the excess broth.
- If your vegan hamburger helper is a little liquidy once everything is mixed in, don’t worry. Any excess liquid will quickly absorb as it starts to cool.
More delicious vegan pasta dishes
- Vegan Pasta e Fagioli w/ Instant Pot Option
- The BEST Vegan Lasagna
- Pasta Aglio e Olio
- Avocado Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Baked Pasta
If you tried this recipe, please let me know about it in the comments below. I always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to Subscribe to This Healthy Kitchen to be among the first to get my new recipes! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to see more delicious food and get all the latest updates.
For the "Meat"
For the Pasta
- 3.5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1.5 cups cavatappi pasta or macaroni
- Combine all the "meat" ingredients in a bowl and mix well. If the soy curls are not completely covered, add a little water to cover them. Let that soak for 15 minutes, and then drain in a colander.
- Meanwhile, add all the cheese sauce ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat a deep nonstick pan over medium heat and once hot, squeeze the excess moisture from your soy curls over your kitchen sink and place them in the pan. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until browned, adding a splash of water or oil if needed to prevent sticking. Then transfer the soy curls to your food processor to pulse into a uniform ground and set aside.
- Wipe out the same pan and add 3.5 cups of broth and bring to a low boil. Then add the pasta and simmer until al dente, stirring often. Approx. 10 minutes.
- If you have a little extra broth once your pasta is cooked, no need to drain. Add the ground soy curls to the pan and give it a mix to absorb some of the excess broth. Then pour the cheese sauce on top, mix well and serve.