Creamy Eggplant Casserole

Creamy Vegan Eggplant Casserole

I love a delicious casserole so much.  Something about the layers and the flavors and the warming heartiness of it just feels good.  It’s like warming love on a plate to hug me in the middle of winter. Does that make any sense?  I hope so. Basically, it’s the kind of delicious meal that I love making, eating, and sharing with my friends and family.  I also love that it’s easy to double the recipe to make two casseroles. That way I can store one in the freezer for a lazy night.

Creamy Eggplant Casserole (Vegan, Gluten Free):

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 9 3" x 3" squares

Ingredients

Casserole:

  • 1 large eggplant cut into 1/4" rounds
  • 3 roma tomatoes cut lengthwise into 1/4" thick slices, discarding end pieces
  • 1 medium onion cut into thin 1/2 moon slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon grapeseed oil plus more to grease the pan
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt plus more to salt the eggplant
  • 1 8 ounce or 227 gram bag spinach
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms about 4-5 ounces
  • 1 1/2 cups tightly packed cooked rice

Creamy Sauce:

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules

Cheesy Tofu Crumble:

  • 8 ounces super firm tofu pressed and crumbled (1/2 of a 16 ounce or 454 gram package)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup dry gluten free bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Lightly salt eggplant rounds and allow to rest in a colander in the sink while the oven preheats. This will help to remove excess moisture from the eggplant.
  3. Pat the eggplant rounds dry with a paper towel and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes (or until fork tender).
  4. Blend all ingredients for the creamy sauce in a blender until completely smooth. It will be very liquid at this stage. It will set into a thicker sauce thanks to the cornstarch and nutritional yeast during the cooking process. Set aside.
  5. Crumble tofu for the cheesy tofu crumble into a large bowl. Crumble pieces to the size of a pea or smaller. Add in all other cheesy tofu crumble ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside.
  6. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a skillet and sauté onions and mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until starting to brown. Set aside.
  7. Sauté spinach in a large skillet using a small amount of water to help it wilt. Set aside.
  8. Grease a 9” square pan.
  9. Start the layering by placing 1/3 of the eggplant slices in the bottom of the pan without overlapping (the gaps will be filled in with the subsequent layers).
  10. Pour 1/3 of the creamy sauce on top of the eggplant.
  11. Layer on 1/3 of the eggplant.
  12. Spread the layer of rice, being sure to fill in the edges.
  13. Layer on the spinach.
  14. Layer on the onion and mushroom mixture.
  15. Pour 1/3 of the creamy sauce on top of the onion and mushroom mixture.
  16. Layer on 1/3 of the eggplant.
  17. Layer on the tomato slices.
  18. Pour 1/3 of the creamy sauce on top of the tomato slices.
  19. Spread the cheesy tofu crumble of top evenly.
  20. Cover with aluminum foil.
  21. Bake for 30 minutes.
  22. Remove aluminum foil.
  23. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes (until top is golden and crispy).

Creamy Vegan Eggplant Casserole

 

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