This Vegan Deep South Pasta Casserole recipe is an exclusive from The Cajun Vegan Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Classic Cooking and Southern-Inspired Cuisine by Krimsey Lilleth. Click here to find out where you can order the book.
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For this recipe, no pasta pre-cooking is required—just throw everything into the casserole dish! I don’t like doing extra dishes, so I love a recipe that keeps things simple. This colorful casserole is full of all the most comforting foods, so don’t feel ashamed if you decide to skip plates…go ahead, just eat it straight out of the pan like a family of raccoons digging in fresh trash.
- 1 (12-ounce) box tricolor rotini pasta
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (rice milk recommended)
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1½ cups frozen vegan beef crumbles
- ½ cup diced yellow onion (about ½ small onion)
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper (about ½ small pepper)
- ½ cup diced orange bell pepper (about ½ small pepper)
- ½ cup diced yellow bell pepper (about ½ small pepper)
- 3 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 cups vegan cheddar cheese shreds, divided
- ⅔ cup breadcrumbs
- Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C.
- Grease the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish, then toss in the dry pasta. Add all remaining ingredients except 1 cup of the cheese and the breadcrumbs (you’ll need those for topping). Mix and cover with foil. (Note: The pasta mixture will nearly reach the top of the dish; you’ll need to stir it carefully to avoid spilling. If you are prone to messes, you can mix dry pasta and remaining ingredients (except 1 cup of cheese and breadcrumbs) in a large mixing bowl first, and then transfer to baking dish. You’ll dirty an extra bowl, but maybe save yourself from mopping tomato juices off the floor.
- Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and bread- crumbs, then bake, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. If you want an extra- browned top, set your oven to broil and crisp it up for a few extra minutes.
- Let cool 5–10 minutes before serving, then dig in!
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Reprinted with permission from The Cajun Vegan Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Classic Cooking and Southern-Inspired Cuisine by Krimsey Lilleth, Blue Star Press Nov 23, 2021. Photo credit: Krimsey Lilleth
Click here to order your copy.
About the Author
Krimsey Lilleth was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and raised in the rich, celebratory culture of the deep south. She spent a good deal of her childhood in the great outdoors and swampy, magical forest teeming with all sorts of critters she came to love and respect. Krimsey’s mission is to inspire others to care for themselves, animals, and the environment through food. She is the founder of the late-and-great Los Angeles restaurant Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen, the world’s first vegan cajun restaurant.
About the Book
Plant-based foodies rejoice: you can finally indulge in New Orleans’ iconic cuisine thanks to the 130+ recipes in this first-ever Cajun vegan cookbook.
Classic Cajun dishes like jambalaya, étouffée, gumbo, and hushpuppies have gone vegan in this delicious plant-based cookbook created by Krimsey Lilleth, founder of the late-and-great Los Angeles restaurant Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen.
The Cajun Vegan Cookbook blends Louisiana’s beloved flavor profiles with plant-forward ingredients that are fresh and sustainable, yet still authentic and delicious.
130+ recipes inspired by the Big Easy (including 90+ gluten-free options):
• Breakfasts and Breads: Molasses & Roasted Pecan Pancakes, Backwoods Buttermilk Biscuits and Gray, and Strawberry Peach Heart Tarts
• Soups, Salads, and Poboys: Southern Belle Pepper Salad, Gulf Coast Oyster Mushroom Soup, and Swamp Queen Poboy
• Entrees: Heart of the Bayou Étouffée, Jambalaya Collard Wraps, and Chili-Rubbed Butternut Squash Steaks
• Sides: Fried Green Tomatoes, Kale & Tempeh’d Black-Eyed Peas, and Cajun Potato Wedges
• Dressings, Sauces, and Toppings: Tangy Tabasco Dressing, Cajun Nacho Sauce, and Smoky Maple “Bacon” Bits
• Desserts: French Quarter Beignets, Cinnamon King Cake, and Salted Pecan Pralines
• Drinks: Jalapeño Cauldron Lemonade, Café Au Lait, and Hurricane Party
Each of the recipes was created under the influence of powdered sugar, café au lait, Louisiana jazz, and a sprinkling of ’90s jams. May this cookbook inspire you to try new things, have fun with your food, and be reminded that life is one big party. Enjoy!