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Easy Vegetarian Casserole: Keeping it Simple

Easy Vegetarian Casserole: Keeping it Simple

With simple ingredients and minimal prep, this comforting dish promises maximum flavor and satisfaction, all while saving you time in the kitchen.
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Whip up a scrumptious delight without breaking a sweat! Dive into our Easy Vegetarian Casserole recipe – a hassle-free culinary adventure packed with flavor and simplicity, perfect for busy nights or lazy weekends. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal effort, you’ll have a satisfying meal waiting for you in no time. Say goodbye to kitchen stress and hello to effortless deliciousness!

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white casserole dish of baked Easy Vegetarian Casserole with a spoon in center scooping a serving

Easy Vegetarian Casserole


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Description

Discover the effortless way to indulge in wholesome goodness with our Easy Vegetarian Casserole – a tantalizing blend of savory flavors that promises convenience and satisfaction with every bite.


Ingredients

Scale

4 oz (4 slices) of whole unsliced rustic bread (pain beaucaire, farmhouse white, French, hearth bread)

4 Tbsp butter

1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cups milk

1 cans (10 3/4 ounce) cream of celery soup

2 eggs, beaten

3 Tbsp diced pimiento, drained

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper


Instructions

STEP 1: Pre-Heat Oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).

STEP 2: Prepare the Baking Dish.  Start by taking an 8×8 inch baking dish and generously buttering the bottom and sides.  Cut or tear the bread into medium chunks.  Arrange bread to completely cover the bottom of the dish.

STEP 3: Saute the Mushrooms.  Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and melt butter.  Add sliced mushrooms to the pan and sauté them until they are nicely browned, which should take about 7 – 9 minutes.  This step infuses the mushrooms with a rich, buttery flavor, adding depth to the casserole.

STEP 4: Add Water Chestnuts and Mayonnaise.   Once the mushrooms are sautéed, remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in chopped water chestnuts and mayonnaise, mixing everything together until well combined. 

STEP 5:  Create First Layer.  This mixture should then be evenly spread over the layer of bread in the baking dish.  Follow this by sprinkling a generous amount of grated cheese over the top, covering the mushroom mixture.

STEP 6: Prepare the Casserole Mixture.  In a large mixing bowl, combine milk, cream of celery soup, beaten eggs, diced pimento, salt, and white pepper.  Whisk these ingredients together until the mixture is smooth and well blended.  This creamy mixture is then poured over the mushroom layers, ensuring the dish is well-coated and ready for baking.  NOTE:  Preparing your casserole ahead of time and refrigerating it overnight is a fantastic little kitchen hack. It not only helps you manage your time more effectively, especially if you’ve got a busy day ahead, but it also allows all those delicious flavors to meld together, promising an even tastier dish once it’s finally time to bake.

STEP 7: Bake the CasseroleBake the casserole for 1 hour at a temperature that ensures the dish is cooked through and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Notes

  • I use a less sweet mayonnaise such as Hellman
  • For anyone adverse to mushroom, you may reduce the butter to 1 Tbsp,  melted and continue the recipe mixing the water chestnuts and mayonnaise
  • Don’t forget to read our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) and HOW MUCH TO MAKE sections below.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

ENHANCING THE EXPERIENCE WITH INGREDIENTS

Choose the Right Mayonnaise for the Perfect Blend

When it comes to selecting mayonnaise for this recipe, I always reach for a less sweet variety—Hellmann’s is my go-to. It strikes the perfect balance, ensuring the dish isn’t overwhelmed by sweetness, but instead, enhances the savory flavors we’re building.

Adapting for Mushroom Dislikes

I understand that mushrooms aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s completely fine. If you or your guests are not fans of mushrooms, you can easily modify the recipe without losing its essence. Simply skip the mushrooms—no need to sauté anything. Instead, continue with the recipe by melting the butter then mix with the water chestnuts with mayonnaise. This adjustment keeps the texture interesting and the flavors balanced, ensuring everyone can enjoy this comforting dish.

By making these simple tweaks, you’re not just following a recipe; you’re creating a meal that caters to your preferences and dietary needs. Remember, cooking is all about making it your own and enjoying the process. Dive in, get creative, and let’s bring this comforting, heartwarming casserole to life!

A GUIDED JOURNEY OF HOW TO MAKE EASY VEGETARIAN CASSEROLE

If you’re in need of some guidance on creating this delightful recipe, you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find comprehensive instructions. We’ve enriched these sections with visuals like photos and videos to aid your cooking experience and ensure a successful culinary adventure. By following these steps, you’re not just making a meal; you’re crafting an experience. A dish that warms the soul and brings a smile to faces. Enjoy the process and the delicious results!

Step 1: Get Your Oven Ready.

Let’s kick things off by preheating your oven to a cozy 350 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s about 177 degrees Celsius for my metric friends). This is the perfect temperature to bake something magical.

Step 2: Prepare Your Baking Dish Like a Pro.

Grab a baking dish (I made a 9×13 casserole) and let’s get buttering! Ensure you’ve got a generous layer on the bottom and sides for that non-stick magic. Next, take your bread—whether you’re a cutter or a tearer, medium chunks are what we’re aiming for. Arrange these chunks to snugly cover the bottom of your dish.

Step 3: Sautéing the Mushrooms: Unlock Flavor.

Heat up a small frying pan over medium heat, throw in butter, and let it melt into liquid gold. Toss in sliced mushrooms and sauté them until they’re beautifully browned (about 7 to 9 minutes). This step is crucial—it’s where the mushrooms soak up all that buttery goodness, adding a rich flavor to your dish.

Step 4: Add Water Chestnuts and Mayonnaise: The Creamy Crunch

Once your mushrooms are perfectly sautéed, take the pan off the heat. It’s time to stir in those chopped water chestnuts and mayonnaise, blending them into a creamy concoction.

Step 5: Create the First Layer.

Spread this mixture evenly over the chicken layer, then shower the whole thing with a generous layer of grated cheese. Trust me, it’s going to be divine.

white casserole dish on dark granite counter filled with the layer of bread, layer of chicken, layer of mushrooms with water chestnuts and layer of shredded cheddar cheese

Step 6: Prepare the Casserole Mixture: Crafting the Perfect Casserole Mixture.

In a large mixing bowl, it’s time to combine milk, cream of celery soup, beaten eggs, diced pimento, salt, and pepper. Whisk it all together until it’s smooth and utterly irresistible. This creamy dream is then poured over your layers in the baking dish, making sure every nook and cranny is filled with flavor.

Step 7: Bake the Casserole: Baking Your Masterpiece.

Slide your casserole into the oven and bake it for 1 hour. You’re looking for that perfect bake where a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This is when you know you’ve nailed it—a casserole that’s cooked through, bubbling with flavor, and ready to comfort anyone who’s lucky enough to have a bite. This will become one of your families favorite vegetarian recipes.

DETERMINING THE RIGHT QUANTITY: HOW MUCH TO MAKE

This vegetarian casserole when prepared in a 8×8 inch baking dish typically serves between 4 adults as a main course. The exact number of servings can depend on a few factors, such as the portion size and whether the dish is being served as a main course or a side dish.

For larger appetites or as a standalone main course, you might lean towards a 9×13 dish. If the casserole is part of a larger meal with several other dishes, you can stretch it to accommodate up to 8 guests by cutting smaller portions. It’s always a good idea to consider the context of your meal and the size of your guests’ appetites when planning how much to serve.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

What Type of Bread Works Best?

The best breads are typically dense and sturdy, such as challah, brioche, French bread, farmhouse or even croissants. These breads absorb the custard mixture well without falling apart.

Can I Use Stale Bread?

Yes, stale bread is actually ideal for this casserole because it absorbs the custard mixture better than fresh bread, leading to a better texture in the finished dish.

How Do You Know When It Is Done?

Easy Vegetarian Casserole is done when the custard is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. A knife or toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean, with no liquid custard on it.

Can It Be Made in Advance?

Yes, this casserole can be assembled and refrigerated overnight before baking. This can even improve the flavor and texture as the bread has more time to soak up the custard. The baked casserole can also be refrigerated and reheated.

What do I Serve with It?

If serving as breakfast, I suggest a light fruit salad and a sweet pastry.

If serving for brunch, lunch or dinner:
Steamed or Roasted Vegetables: Such as asparagus, green beans, or Brussels sprouts, to add color and balance the meal.
Fresh Salads: A crisp, green salad with a light vinaigrette can cut through the richness and refresh the palate.

When serving, consider the balance of flavors and textures to ensure a delightful meal. Whether leaning towards the sweet or savory, there’s a perfect accompaniment out there to make your Easy Vegetarian Casserole even more memorable.

REVIEWS AND COMMENTS

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