One Pot Vegan Jalapeño Mac & Cheese

bowl of jalapeño mac and cheese topped with garlic bread crumbs on wood serving board

5 from 7 reviews

This One Pot Jalapeño Mac & Cheese is creamy, spicy, and topped with the most delicious garlicky homemade breadcrumbs for the perfect crunch! Vegan & Gluten-Free option.



For the Garlic Breadcrumbs (Optional):

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (35 g) panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 

For the Pasta:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup (120 g; about 3) chopped jalapeño peppers (remove seeds for less spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 
  • 8 oz (225 g) pasta* 
  • 3 1/2 cups (830 ml) garlic broth (or sub vegetable)
  • 1 cup (110 g) vegan mozzarella-style shredded cheese


  1. ​​Make the Breadcrumbs (optional): Warm the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (or use the same large pot for the pasta). Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, then add the breadcrumbs and salt and mix well. Toast for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the breadcrumbs are golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Aromatics: Warm the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the red onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, jalapeños, nutritional yeast, and cumin (if using) to the pot and sauté for an additional minute to toast the spices.
  3. Add the Pasta: Place the dry pasta in the pot and pour the garlic broth over it. Mix well, then bring everything to a boil over high heat.
  4. Simmer: reduce the heat to medium and cook until the noodles are al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking. Cook time will vary based on the pasta, but it will most likely be the longer end of the estimated cook time on the package.
  5. Final Touches: Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the vegan cheese to the pot. Mix until melted, then turn the heat off. Allow the pasta to sit for 3 or so minutes and cool slightly; the cheese will thicken some and create a creamy sauce.
  6. Serve: transfer the mac & cheese to serving bowls and sprinkle generously with garlic breadcrumbs, if using. This recipe is best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days and can be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave.


  • Gluten-Free: use gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free pasta to easily make this recipe gf-friendly! Corn and brown rice pasta varieties tend to break less than bean-based ones.

Keywords: vegan jalapeño mac and cheese, jalapeño popper pasta