Golden Potato and Tempeh Casserole

by on July 12, 2008
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Golden Potato and Tempeh CasseroleDoes anybody make casseroles anymore? I’ll be the first to admit that just the sound of the word is enough to give me flashbacks to the potato chip-sprinkled, tuna and cream of mushroom soup concoctions that were so popular when I was growing up. They were enough to drive a kid to vegetarianism, which, now that I think of it, is a point in their favor.

But maybe it’s time that we vegans take it upon ourselves to change the casserole’s image. After all, potatoes, grains, and pasta–all naturally vegan ingredients–are the backbones of most casseroles, and without the artery-clogging meat, cheese, cream, and cream of this-or-that soup, casseroles can actually be healthy (and easy) main dishes. The one drawback that I can see is having to turn on the oven during these hot summer months, but I justify that by doing all my cooking in the oven at the same time. Case in point, this potato casserole: roast a big pan of vegetables at the same time, add a green salad, and you’ll have a complete meal without having to use the stove at all.

The recipe was inspired by all those potato, cheese, and ham concoctions of yesteryear, but instead of cheese I use a variation on the sauce from Macaroni and Cheeze, and instead of ham I substitute a simplified version of tempeh bacon. To be honest, the tempeh breaks down so that it’s like neither ham nor bacon, but crumbly and delicious in its own right. Though the recipe looks complicated, once you’ve got the casserole assembled, it practically cooks itself; you’ll have plenty of time to toss a salad, pour yourself a glass of wine or juice, and kick back and enjoy the aromas wafting from your oven.

One more thing: The family says to tell you that this recipe is kid-friendly and husband-approved…which is a good thing because you’ll probably have enough leftovers for the whole family’s lunch the next day.

Golden Potato and Tempeh Casserole

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Robin August 25, 2009 at 6:19 pm

I want to THANK YOU for sharing such a GREAT recipe!!!

I did not have the Vegan Parmesan nor did I have the fresh Tarragon but it did turn out lovely. Since I did not have Vegan Parmesan to top it off, I opted for the "not-so-fat-free" option and topped it with some organic vegan fried onions instead.

My husband raved about it after the first bite and even went for 2 LARGE helpings :) I know this dish makes a lot but I don't think it will last very long in my house with my husband hoarding it ;)

You can count on me to put this into my regular circulation of tasty vegan recipes!!! Thanks again :)

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2 panther_girl1629 October 15, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I made this last night since I had all of the ingredients (sans tarragon) on hand. I don't know if I messed something up or what happened but I did not like this dish.

I love casseroles and was kinda disappointed that I didn't like it. (I want to like it, I really do!). I like it enough to finish it off since I don't want to waste it. Any suggestions as to how I can spice it up?

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3 Barb August 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I made this dish last night and it was fantastic! Rich, salty, and a lovely hint of a deep smokey flavor that wasn’t too intense. I served it as a small main next to a large green salad topped with lots of veggies…wanted to add some color to the plate since the dish is truly golden! My dish was WAY done after 45 minutes so next time I’ll bake for just 30 minutes and then take the cover off for the last 10-15 minutes to let the top brown a bit (I did not top with vegan Parmesan). Other than that, I’ll be making this again…especially for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner when my friends and family moan about vegans missing out on flavorful holiday food. Thanks, Susan!

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4 Regina Eldred September 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm

this is not a related comment but I did not know how to contact you
I wanted to try zuchini spagetti, what is the best gadget or making this
Regina

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5 m October 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I just made this and wow! It is so delicious. I didn’t have taragon or vegan parmesan so just left them out. I sprinkled a little panko on top for the last 15 minutes.

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6 Nadia October 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Love, love, LOVE this recipe! It is the main reason I keep nutritional yeast in my cupboard. I make a couple of changes though – I never have miso so I just leave it out, and I use sweet potatoes instead of Yukon Gold. I prefer sweet potatoes to any other kind, so I used them on the basis that I had nothing else in my cupboard, and wow does it work in this recipe. It adds an extra creaminess and the sweetness just works so well. Thanks for another amazing recipe, Susan!

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7 jen December 30, 2010 at 10:41 am

i added a layer of fresh kale – turned out great! we were starving and dove in just a few minutes after i pulled it out of the oven, so it hadn’t set, but it was so yummy we didn’t care. i bet it will be even better today! next time i’ll add a few panko crumbs on top.

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8 Michelle L. February 10, 2012 at 5:16 am

This came out delish! I wasn’t sure how all that “cheese” liquid would work but once I got it out of the oven, it looked totally different! Gotta love cornstarch. :) Great recipe – my meat-eating boyfriend even liked it!

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9 Taylor July 24, 2012 at 2:35 am

I bought most of the ingredients to make this recipe sometime this week. However, I’m newly vegetarian (working towards vegan) and not really all that familiar with miso (I know I had miso soup once a long time ago, but don’t really remember it). I looked up white miso, and it turns out I can’t have it because it’s made from barley (I have celiac disease). I’m not really familiar with the flavor, so I don’t really know any good substitutes (or if I could get away with just leaving it out). Any suggestions?

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10 Susan Voisin July 24, 2012 at 6:58 am

Miso has a salty, savory flavor. You can leave it out and increase the salt and other seasonings just a little to compensate and it should be fine.

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