Elevate Boxed Vegan Mac And Cheese With One Ingredient

A walk down the pasta aisle can be underwhelming for vegans. There, settled next to the countless boxes and varieties of the household name instant mac and cheese brands are just a handful of dairy-free options. Deep down, your heart knows that the likelihood of any of them living up to the Krafts of your past is slim to none. However, rather than feeling like you're betraying one of your favorite childhood foods, you can add a spoonful of one of your new favorite vegan ones: hummus.

Not only does hummus offer a good amount of plant-based protein to your go-to pasta dishes, but it's especially beneficial for vegans who are craving something creamy without using the typical heavy cream and cheese. When mixed into warm pasta with a bit of pasta water, it combines effortlessly with your sauce while creating a thicker, creamier texture. This method is particularly helpful when it comes to those boxes of instant mac and cheese, which all too often come out thin and runny.

Hummus in your pasta

Next time you're feeling lazy, grab a box of instant vegan mac and cheese — whether it's Annie's, Banza, Daiya, or Upton – and prepare it as you normally would. After you've mixed it into the cheese-y sauce, scour your fridge for that container of hummus you keep on deck — if you're vegan, you should know that an emergency stock of hummus is a must — and add a spoon full of it to the pot while it's still warm. Although classic hummus is best, it really doesn't matter the flavor; you can use whatever you have on hand. In fact, it might be fun to experiment with different kinds to see how they might enhance the dish overall.

As you stir your hummus into the pasta, you'll be able to see the sauce thicken. Feel free to add as much or as little of the hummus as you like, using pasta water to adjust if needed. Keep in mind to taste as you go depending on the flavor of hummus you use. It's all up to your preference; however, you don't want your mac and cheese to taste more like pickle hummus than cheese — unless that's something you're into, of course. When it looks creamy enough for your liking, go ahead and dive in. Now you have a vegan mac and cheese that's both creamy and protein-packed. It's a good trick for any pasta you make, but your vegan mac and cheese especially.