Campervan Chili Mac Veganized!

Campervan Vegan Chili Mac

Watching fellow campers, I see all sorts of SAD travesties. It becomes abundantly clear why we refer to it as the STANDARD American diet, and why our health is as bad as it is. I understand that people like to bend the rules a little and indulge themselves a bit while on vacation, after all, I can remember camping as a kid, it was the only time outside Halloween that my sister and I got to eat those fun candies. And it was the only time period that we got to eat mainstream sugar cereals for breakfast or drink soda with meals. But I have a gnawing fear that much of what my fellow campers are eating isn’t that far from standard operating procedure. What anyone eats is their business, and I understand that a camper kitchen presents some challenges compared to cooking at home. I hope to show during this month’s MOFO that simple, easy, cheap, and tasty can all coexist even in the small confines of a camper.


Who can resist that on a camping trip? I couldn’t, so I made a way. I first looked to see what it actually consisted of. Like a lot of childhood recipes, I wasn’t quite sure what it was, and in my older and wiser years, I was a little afraid. So a quick Google search turned up a recipe by one of my favorite vegan bloggers, Susan Voisin. Her recipe showed I was on the right track. She added kale to get some good cruciferous leafy greens, and I suspect, a “superfood” boost as well. I didn’t have them, so I left them out. Instead, I topped mine with some finely sliced cabbage.

Here is how I did it:

Go Westy Chili Mac

New and improved kiddie comfort food

New and improved kiddie comfort food

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 7 oz can tomato puree or salsa (I used a spicy Mexican brand)

1 can kidney beans

1 T dehydrated onion

2 T dehydrated pepper mix

2 T dehydrated corn

2-3 T nutritional yeast

Optional: 1 t each dry mustard and miso (see Note)

cooked whole wheat or gluten free pasta, preferably small elbow


Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.

Soak dehydrated veggies in hot water for a few minutes to rehydrate.

Combine tomatoes, salsa, beans, and veggies in a pot and simmer for a few minutes. Add nutritional yeast and any additional seasonings desired (salt, pepper, cumin, hot sauce, etc.) and continue to simmer. Add pasta and heat through.


This recipe can be very high in sodium, depending on what canned tomato products you use. If sodium is an issue, read labels carefully. If you use plain died tomatoes and sauce, you will want to add a couple teaspoons of chili powder. I made this recipe entirely with pantry ingredients. I used canned food, dry pasta, and dehydrated veggies. It would be even better using fresh or frozen veggies if you had them. But it’s a great meal as is, for later in a trip when fresh is unavailable. If you like a cheezier taste, I find combining nutritional yeast with a little mustard and miso works the best. I had neither, and it tasted fine. But if I had ‘em, I’d a used ‘em!

About vegpedlr

Plant powered off-road triathlete
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