Soy Curl Mac ’n Cheese

By JL Fields | October 29, 2015
Soy curls, a textured vegetable protein food, are used in place of chicken in dishes such as stir-fries, casseroles, tacos, salads, and more. In this quick and easy vegan version of macaroni and cheese, the legume meat substitute adds protein, flavor, and density to a memorable comfort food. This dish is fantastic with just the nutritional yeast, but if you’re looking for something “cheesier,” perhaps to impress non-vegan friends or family, stir in your favorite vegan cheese.


  • 2 cups (200 g) soy curls
  • 2 cups (470 ml) warm water plus
  • 2 cups (470 ml) cold water, or more as needed, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) vegan butter
  • 1 cup (160 g) diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (16 g) vegan chicken-flavored seasoning
  • 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup (105 g) spelt elbow pasta
  • 2 tablespoons (14 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces (56 g) shredded vegan cheese (optional)


Rehydrate the soy curls by placing them in a large bowl and cover with the 2 cups (470 ml) warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain the excess liquid and set aside. In an uncovered pressure cooker, heat the butter on medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the soy curls, chicken-flavored seasoning, and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes. If the soy curls begin to stick to the pressure cooker, add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water or vegetable broth.

Add the pasta and remaining 2 cups (470 ml) cold water, or as needed to cover the pasta. Stir in the nutritional yeast, and pat the soy curls and pasta down under the water. Cover and bring to pressure. Cook at low pressure for 5 minutes. Use a quick release.

Remove the lid and taste before adding salt. Add the cheese and mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow it to set up for a firmer consistency before serving.

Yield: 2 servings

Recipe Note: You can try other whole-grain pasta varieties; just make sure the cooking times listed on the package are similar to that of the spelt.

Excerpted from Vegan Pressure Cooking: Beans, Grains, and One-Pot Meals in Minutes by JL Fields, Fair Winds Press. Photos by Kate Lewis Photography.

  • Soy Curl Mac ’n Cheese