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Vegan Seafood Casserole

A creamy comforting casserole like that of our youth, made over with healthier ingredients, no cream of anything, and no meat, egg, or dairy. Delicious. Soulful. And easy to throw together on a weeknight. Just like the original.

Vegan Seafood Casserole http://wp.me/p4qC4h-3tN

So, as I kinda went over last post (read that: understatement, because I know I sorta analyzed the crap out of it), I am a picky vegetarian that tries to eat vegan meals more often than not.

…unless I run the Disney Marathon in 4 hours, 42 minutes. In which case, I eat a whole freaking half pound of Vermont white macaroni and cheese the next day thank you very much. …This was a couple hours ago by the way, at the time of this writing.

Alright, alright, what’s my point ….Well last year, when I was hardcore vegan for those months leading up to my Ironman, I actually set out to completely recreate dishes that I looooved and did not want to have to go without. My Boursin-Copycat Cashew Cheese was just such a thing, and I still make a batch every week for my afternoon “cheese” and crackers like the good New Englander I am. And popovers… actually, popovers have been a pain in the ass to make vegan, but I’ll keep working on that.

And Tuna Noodle Casserole, with its tuna, condensed cream of mushroom soup, and egg noodles, was another one of those dishes. I had eaten it at least once or twice a month my entire life. My family requested it very regularly. My mom had it in the weekly rotation. And I never tired of it. It is so funny isn’t it that such a simple, horrifically unhealthy dish can be so loved?

But could I make it vegan?????

Now, as I said with my Boursin cashew cheese – I cannot remake a vegan version of something based on cream and butter or such and expect it to taste the same. But I can try to make vegan versions that make me happy in the same way as the original. Realistic expectations folks. Openness to try new things. Plus the willingness to do better for myself, my family, and the planet.

And so, here we are. With a creamy, comforting, Vegan Seafood Casserole.

Vegan Seafood Casserole http://wp.me/p4qC4h-3tN

Vegan Seafood Casserole http://wp.me/p4qC4h-3tN

Vegan Seafood Casserole http://wp.me/p4qC4h-3tN

Vegan Seafood Casserole http://wp.me/p4qC4h-3tN
Alright, what did I do here… Well, I used one of my favorite things in the world, Gardein. Gardein (and this post is not sponsored, I am purely giving my opinion with zero compensation {unfortunately ?}) …but Gardein products are the bestest things that make me not miss meat. And I won’t go into detail (because, I ain’t bein’ paid yo), but suffice it to say Gardein saves me when I have those old steak-n-cheese cravings and such.

So, Gardein makes a crabless cake that tastes damn straight like a little crab cake. And so I used a couple of them to give my casserole that seafood flavor. Then I just made a simple bechamel and added some mushroom soup to round out the flavor (because almond milk bechamel by itself is meh and needs a little love …by the way, see my recipe Notes for an alternative if you can’t find the soup ingredient). 

This casserole was delicious! It was satisfying. It checked the happy boxes. And it even got, “Oh wow, this is good. Didn’t expect that” from my omnivorous family. Happiness was achieved. …And achieved again the next day when leftovers reheated well for lunch. ?

So that’s it folks. First Boursin, now Tuna Casserole. All the creamy casserole comfort without the meat, dairy, or egg. Even if you have no intention of going vegetarian full-time, try this for a meatless Monday, or any day, and remember that life is just so good.

Vegan Seafood Casserole http://wp.me/p4qC4h-3tN

Vegan Seafood Casserole

Erica
A creamy comforting casserole like that of our youth, made over with healthier ingredients, no cream of anything, and no meat, egg, or dairy. Delicious. Soulful. And easy to throw together on a weeknight. Just like the original.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine dinner, familymeal, seafood, vegan, vegetarian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Gardein brand "crab" cakes available in the freezer section
  • 6 oz pasta shells uncooked
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 4-1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup vegan creamy mushroom soup see Notes
  • ½ cup frozen fresh petite peas
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • couple pinches fresh cracked pepper
  • ¾ tsp Old Bay seafood seasoning divided
  • 2 Tbs panko breadcrumbs

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 350F. Put the Gardein cakes in the oven to thaw while you proceed with the rest of the recipe. Also, bring a pot of water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a nonstick saute pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until nicely browned, breaking up bigger pieces into smaller pieces. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over med-high heat. Add the flour and cook a minute to make a roux. Add the almond milk and soup. Heat, whisking continuously, over high heat until mixture starts to bubble. Remove from the heat. Add the mushrooms.
  • Once the Gardein cakes are thawed and toasty, remove them from the oven and chop into little pieces. Add to the almond milk-mushroom sauce. Also add the peas, salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning. Taste for seasoning.
  • Once the pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce as well. Transfer to a small casserole dish or pie plate.
  • In a small bowl, combine the panko, remaining 1/2 tsp olive oil, and remaining 1/4 tsp Old Bay. Sprinkle over top the casserole.
  • Bake casserole at 350F for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Yields 4 servings.

Notes

I used a vegan Portobello Creamy Mushroom Soup (Imagine Foods was the brand) that I found in the soup section because I wanted to add that to the almond milk bechamel for depth of flavor to better resemble the cream of mushroom soup I was replacing. Vegetable stock would be an appropriate substitute if a vegan mushroom soup is not available, but in that case I would add another teaspoon each olive oil and flour to the roux to help the sauce thicken AND I would add the browned mushrooms to the sauce to simmer a bit as well to develop that creamed mushrooms soup flavor.

Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let me know!

Leave me a comment! Otherwise, I’m just talking to myself here …what comfort food or classic dish would you not want to have to go without?

~✿♥✿~

Vegan Seafood Casserole http://wp.me/p4qC4h-3tN

Vegan Seafood Casserole http://wp.me/p4qC4h-3tN

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