Casserole or diminutive of casse in French is named after the way it is cooked, in a large, deep pot, baked in the oven and served as a serving vessel. Casserole usually consists of protein like meat, poultry or fish mixed with chopped vegetables like mushrooms and onion along with a starchy binder such as flour, rice or pasta. The dish is often coated with a crispy cheesy skin over the top and has creamy moist texture inside.
Casserole is a slow-cooked dish but everyone love to make them, not just because of beautiful flavor combination but also the way it is cooked. You just have to nicely layer or combine all the ingredients and put the casserole in the oven, and then you are free to do other things. Just let the oven do it job and when you come back, you already have a delicious main dish for your dinner.
Since the casserole is made with many ingredients, the dish has its own complexity and depth in favor. You can taste million of things, perfectly harmonic that melted in your mouth at every bite. There are endless recipes when it comes to casserole and the one we introduce today is one of the most delicious casserole recipes ever!
Ingredients (prep will take about 15 minutes)
- ½ pound of Pasta (up to your choice)
- 2 cups of Chickpeas (cooked, pulsed a few times in food processor)
- 6 oz of Fresh Cermini Mushrooms (sliced and chopped)
- 3 cloves of Garlic (minced)
- ½ cup of Onion (diced)
- 1 cup of Frozen Peas
- 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 3 ½ tablespoon of All Purpose Flour
- 2 cups of Almond Milk (unsweetened)
- ½ cup of Veggie Broth
- 1 ½ teaspoon of Onion Powder
- 3-4 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tablespoon of Garlic Salt
- ½ cup of Bread Crumbs
- Salt and Pepper (for seasoning)
- ½ teaspoon of Coriander
Cooking (cooking will take about 40 minutes)
Step 1 – preheating the oven: Before cooking, you should preheat the oven up to 400 degrees F.
Step 2 – cooking pasta: Choose your favorite pasta for the recipe. Take out a large pot and add water into it (depend on your amount of pasta). Add a little salt into water and bring it to a boil. When the water is boiling, add ½ pound of your favorite pasta and let them cook for about 5-6 minutes. Test if your pasta is cooked and turn off the stove after that. Drain and rinse cooked pasta under cold water, set the pasta aside.
Step 3 – sautéing onion: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is heated, add ½ cup of diced onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onion is soften and have light brown color. After that, put in 3 cloves of minced garlic. Cook for one more minute.
Step 4 – making the sauce: Put 3 and a half of tablespoons of all purposed flour (you should sieve the flour before add in) in the onion garlic mixture with 1 tablespoon of oil. Whisk the mixture and slowly add 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk and ½ cup of veggie broth. Keep whisking until the sauce get thicken.
While whisking the sauce, turn down the stove to medium-low heat. After that, 6 oz of fresh sliced and chopped cermini mushrooms, 1 ½ teaspoon of onion powder, 3-4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon of garlic salt and ½ teaspoon of coriander into the skillet. Keep whisking during the process so the sauce is not burn in the bottom of the pan and the mixture doesn’t have any clots. When the sauce reaches your preference thickness, seasoning it with salt and pepper, adjust to your taste.
The next thing is pouring cooked pasta we had set aside and 2 cups of cooked chickpeas into the mixture. Cook in 1 to 3 more minutes. When all the ingredients are combined and cooked, turn off the heat.
Step 5 – baking casserole: Pour the cooked mixture into a large casserole dish. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ½ cup of breadcrumbs in a bowl; combine them with a little pepper and salt. Be careful not to over-seasoning the breadcrumb mixture because the sauce is already seasoned. Then spread the breadcrumb mixture over the top of casserole. Make sure you cover the entire casserole surface with breadcrumb mixture.
Put the casserole into the oven and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the breadcrumb cover turns golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Take the casserole out and serve.
The recipe can serve up to 5 or 6 big portions. The dish should be served when it is hot since the cool casserole will lose flavor. This recipe is for lunch, dinner, family gatherings or party. You will have the crunchy breadcrumbs with creamy tasty filling going along. You can also add more veggies in the casserole if you want or serve the dish with some side dishes. The cooking time can also be reduced if you can multitask and wisely manage cooking time. Hope this casserole recipe will give you an excellent experience!