A dairy free cheeseburger macaroni that’s creamy, cheesy tasting, gluten free, nightshade free and secretly loaded with vegetables. The whole family will love this classic comfort food and it can be made for an easy weeknight meal.
This dairy free cheeseburger macaroni is surprisingly authentic to the real thing, but made with whole foods and no dairy. It’s cheesy and not too spicy (but still a little spicy) without any cheddar cheese or nightshades.
This recipe is fast and simple and should be added to your list of quick meals for busy weeknights.
The longest part of the process is making the butternut cheese sauce, which actually only takes 20 minutes and can be prepped a few days in advance.
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What is in dairy free cheeseburger macaroni?
- Butternut squash via vegan cheese sauce (which includes nutritional yeast to give a cheesy flavor)
- Ground beef, or preferred ground meat of choice
- Nightshade free taco seasoning (trust me, this seasoning is worth making ahead and using even if you aren’t nightshade free)
- Gluten free pasta, like this elbow macaroni
How to hide vegetables in dinner
The key to hiding veggies in your dinner is to always chop them as small and uniform as possible. Sauteing with ground beef, is a little more forgiving, as things like cauli rice and mushrooms blend in with the beef.
Think as if you are blending the vegetables into the meat. A good seasoning and vegetables that take on seasoning flavors are good to use. Think mushrooms and cauliflower. Onions also give a lot of flavor and blend with most dishes.
Buy in veggies bulk, chop and freeze right away
Costco is the best. I usually buy vegetables in bulk and spend an hour on the weekend about once a month chopping and freezing vegetables.
This makes throwing healthy meals together quick and painless on busy weeknights. Things like carrots, onions, mushrooms and broccoli freeze well. Make sure you have a sharp knife and chop ingredients small.
I like to buy fresh or frozen cauliflower rice to have on hand to limit the butchering of a head of cauliflower.
How to make dairy free cheeseburger macaroni
This recipe comes together in a few easy steps.
If you haven’t made the butternut cheese sauce in advance, make that first and set aside.
Chop onion, mushrooms and cauliflower (unless using prepared cauli rice).
Heat a pan and add ground beef and veggies to sauté until meat is brown.
Remove from heat and drain excess liquid/fat from meat/veggie mixture.
Mix 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning in 1/2 cup water and add to meat/veggie mixture.
Give the mixture a good stir until liquid seasoning coats all of the meat/veggie mixture.
Cover meat/veggie mixture and let sit while you prepare noodles. Make noodles according to package and slightly al dente.
Drain and rinse noodles. Add noodles and butternut cheese sauce to seasoned meat/veggie mixture. Note: if you don’t want a really meaty dish, you can also use half of this meat/veggie mixture. Save the other half for a taco lunch tomorrow!
If your sauce was in the refrigerator, turn burner to medium low to heat up the cheeseburger macaroni.
Stir mixture and you now have dairy free cheeseburger macaroni. Enjoy!
You can store in your refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container and reheat (or just eat cold-seriously) for lunch or dinner again.
Can you make this a vegan hamburger helper recipe for plant-based diets?
If you are on a plant based diet and need a vegan dinner idea, use a plant-based meat or your choice of vegan ground beef instead of the ground beef.
Since this recipe includes all plant-based ingredients besides the ground beef, it’s an easy swap. Just note that oil for sauteing is not listed as an ingredient since the beef covers that, but you may need a little olive oil or avocado oil.
Can you freeze cheeseburger macaroni?
You can freeze cheeseburger macaroni, but I recommend freezing the meat/cheese sauce and not the noodles.
If you are freezing after you have already mixed the noodles in, just know that your noodles may not hold up very well. Though the flavor is still delicious, it’s just more of a casserole kind of situation.
This cheeseburger macaroni recipe stores well in the refrigerator and tastes great the next day!
Serve this veggie stuffed dinner the next time you need an all in one vegetable packed meal on a busy weeknight. The cheese sauce comes together quickly, but this meal is even faster if you make the sauce ahead of time.Print
A dairy free cheeseburger macaroni that’s creamy, cheesy, gluten free, nightshade free and secretly loaded with vegetables, the whole family will love and ask for all the time.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 15
- Category: dinner
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 large bowl
- Calories: 228
- Sugar: 3.5 g
- Sodium: 661.2 mg
- Fat: 3.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
- Trans Fat: 0.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 31.4 g
- Fiber: 3.8 g
- Protein: 21 g
- Cholesterol: 45.2 mg
Keywords: dairy free cheeseburger macaroni