A sausage casserole has been a classic comfort food for the cold months for ages. Vegan sausage casseroles also have the advantage of effortless preparation that suits even an amateur cook. A vegan sausage casserole also has the advantage of pairing well with several other ingredients making it very easy to whip up the dish with what you have in the fridge.
This nutritious bowl is not only delicious but has several health benefits – it is packed with protein, carbs, essential vitamins, minerals and several micronutrients. However, a classic sausage casserole can also be overloaded with sodium and saturated fat. Sausages are also high in nitrites and nitrates that can cause certain health issues.
A vegan sausage casserole has none of the above health issues, apart from the deliciousness and the warmth of a casserole. If you’re looking for specifics, below, we share some of the top benefits of a vegan sausage casserole.
Advantages of a vegan sausage casserole over a classic one:
Low in calories
100 g of a non-vegan sausage has 346 calories, while a vegan sausage of the same has about 196 calories, which is a significant difference. Since a vegan sausage casserole is low in calories, it is a definite advantage if you’re watching the weight.
Filling and satisfying
A vegan sausage casserole typically has several ingredients that are low in calories but satiating. So you will feel satisfied and not indulge in other types of snacking.
Unlike a classic sausage casserole that is high in saturated fats, a vegan version is quite healthy for the heart. This is because a vegan sausage casserole has ingredients that are high in omega 3 and other nutrients that promote a healthy heart. So you can indulge the snack to your heart’s content, literally, without any concern for fattening your arteries with saturated fats.
Tips to make the vegan sausage casserole
Whether vegan or not, casseroles are one of the easiest nutritious meals, you can make. You can easily toss all of the preferred ingredients in a pot with your favorite seasonings and have a sausage casserole ready in no time.
However, if you are cooking a vegan sausage casserole for the first time, here are the top tips to make it effortless while getting a pro-result.
Crispy sausages make the best casserole.
The sausage is the star of the sausage casserole, without a doubt. However, even experienced cooks sometimes make the mistake of having a less than stellar sausage. In other words, a soggy sausage can make the casserole a sad one.
Crispy sausages not only add texture but also enhance the overall taste of casserole. To achieve this, fry the sausages using a small amount of cooking oil, and this will prevent the sausages from getting soggy and heavy while cooking.
If you are up to it, slicing the sausages into thin slices before frying them is also a great idea. Not only will the sausage slices be crispy and delicious, but they will also make it easy to plate the dish while serving.
Grilling the sausages is also a good way to add texture. However, if you prefer grilling the sausage, cut them after they are done.
The base of the sauce can make or break the casserole
Sausages may be the star of a vegan sausage casserole, but the sauce brings the flavor. The key to getting the right sauce is to hit a sweet spot while frying them.
First, finely dice all the vegetables and the aromatics that you need for the sausage casserole.
Second, cook the veggies over low heat for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. This cooking method will bring out the flavor of the veggies, so they make the perfect sauce.
Now it’s time to get cooking.
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Vegan sausage casserole recipe
There are several ways to cook a vegan sausage casserole with different pulses. However, sausage casserole and beans are a classic pair and are a staple in almost every pantry, so this recipe includes beans.
- 400g beans – Feel free to use green beans, butter beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, cannellini, black beans, or black beans. Alternatively, you can also use any type of cooked leftover pulses, including chickpeas or lentils. If using a canned version, drain and rinse the beans in cold water.
- 400g tinned tomatoes – You can also use passata
- 400ml vegetable stock
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 8 Vegan sausages (I use Beyond)
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 peppers
- 2 sticks of celery
- 2 carrots
- 2 onions
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
Note: Dice all the vegetables, chop the herbs, and set aside.
- Heat about half of the above oil in a casserole dish and fry the sausage until crisp and brown. Remove them onto a plate.
- Add the remaining oil to the dish and fry the veggies over low flame. Stir them occasionally until they are soft.
- Next, add the thyme, paprika followed by tomato and tomato puree and stir.
- Next, add the bay leaf and beans, followed by vegetable stock. If you are using leftover beans or pulses, add them later after the sausage is cooked.
- Bring the casserole dish to a simmer, add the vegan sausage to the pot, and cook over low flame.
- The vegan sausage casserole will cook in about 20 to 30 minutes, so you need to keep an eye on the sausage.
- After the sausage is cooked and the sauce has become thick, remove the dish from the flame.
- Season the casserole with freshly ground parsley, salt, and pepper.
- As the last step, add the breadcrumbs at the top.
- Remove the casserole lid and put it in a 180oc preheated oven for about 5 minutes or until the breadcrumbs become brown.
- Serve the vegan sausage casserole with rice, salad or mashed potato.
A vegan sausage casserole is very versatile, so you can make it spicy with chili flakes or make it fancy by adding red wine. If you use wine, add it to the dish and cook until it reduces before adding the tomatoes.
Whether your vegan sausage casserole is basic or fancy, this comforting warm dish is sure to warm you and your family’s hearts and health, regardless of the seasons.