The Washington Post

Mac and Kimcheese With Mushrooms

Mac and Kimcheese With Mushrooms 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Mar 27, 2013

Kimchi gives good old mac and cheese a spicy crunch, and mushrooms and roasted bell pepper turn it into a main-course casserole.

Make Ahead: Parboil the macaroni and refrigerate it up to three days in advance. Make the sauce and refrigerate it for up to 1 week. Assemble the entire casserole and refrigerate it for up to three days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 12 ounces dried whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetarian kimchi, preferably spicy
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • 2 cups low-fat milk (may substitute almond milk)
  • 1 3/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 7 1/2 ounces; may substitute vegan cheese such as Daiya brand)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have a large baking dish at hand.

Toss the mushrooms and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet, then lightly sprinkle with the sea salt. Roast until the mushrooms have softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer them to the baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and par-cook for 2 to 3 minutes less than the package directions suggest, until the pasta has slightly softened yet is still undercooked; it will finish in the oven. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Add it to the baking dish.

If you have a gas stove, turn one of the burners to high. Use tongs to hold the bell pepper over the flame, turning it every couple of minutes, until blackened all over. (Alternatively, when the mushrooms have finished cooking, broil the bell pepper a few minutes per side until blackened all over, then set the oven temperature to bake at 400 degrees.) Transfer the pepper to a small bowl, cover with a plate and let steam. When it has cooled enough to handle, slip off the blackened skin and discard it. Discard the stem and seeds; cut the pepper into 1/2-inch strips. Add them to the baking dish.

Working over a small bowl, drain the kimchi, then gently squeeze out any extra liquid, reserving 1/2 cup of it in the bowl; discard or reserve the rest for another use. Chop the kimchi and add it to the baking dish. Whisk the flour into the reserved kimchi liquid.

Combine the broth, milk and flour mixture in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk frequently as it begins to bubble, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for a few minutes to form a thickened sauce, then stir in the cheese and cook until it melts.

Toss the macaroni mixture in the baking dish to combine, then pour the sauce over the mixture. Stir to coat, then add the Sriracha to taste, if using. Sprinkle the panko on top. Bake, uncovered, until the mixture is bubbling and the panko is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

From Food editor Joe Yonan, author of the upcoming "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook" (Ten Speed Press, August 2013).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 360

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 11g 17%

Saturated Fat: 6g 30%

Cholesterol: 30mg 10%

Sodium: 500mg 21%

Total Carbohydrates: 48g 16%

Dietary Fiber: 7g 28%

Sugar: 6g

Protein: 18g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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