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Nothing says comfort like a casserole – especially one that brings you back to the flavors you remember from childhood.  My mother didn’t make many things out of a box – she was mostly a scratch cooker, but she did make stuffing – and I loved it.  I never had a problem passing up blue-box mac & cheese, but red-box stuffing?  My idea of heaven.

As a kid, I heard of mysterious dishes like tuna-noodle casserole, green bean casserole and stuffing bake, but never actually had them.  I also knew that my friends’ parents gave them potato chips and soda – and let the TV stay on during dinner.  I envied them at the time – but now I appreciate the time and care my mother took to give her five children nutritious, budget-friendly meals, not to mention requiring everyone to sit down together for dinner.

So on a dreary Sunday afternoon, I decided to try my hand at a stuffing bake, complete with some of the usual components (boxed stuffing, mushroom soup).  But as with everything, I had to 1. make it vegan and 2. create a more nutritious version of the original.  Now I wouldn’t call this dish nutritious, but it’s a far cry better than its counterpart which includes cream of mushroom soup, butter, eggs, and mayonnaise or sour cream.

Broccoli-Stuffing Casserole

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large head of broccoli – chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 16 oz. vegan mushroom soup (not creamed, I used Imagine’s Portobello Soup)
  • 12 oz seasoned vegan stuffing (I used Trader Joe’s cornbread stuffing)
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons egg replacer
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or melted vegan margarine)
  • shredded vegan cheese to taste (I used about 3 oz of Daiya mozzarella)
Preparation:
Steam chopped broccoli for 5-7 minutes, until bright green and beginning to soften.  Place cooked broccoli in the bottom of a casserole dish.
Mix together onion, sliced mushrooms, soup, mayonnaise, egg replacer, olive oil and – if your stuffing comes with one – the stuffing seasoning packet. Once well mixed, stir in stuffing cubes and combine well.  Make sure mixture is quite moist – adding a little extra soup and/or olive oil if necessary.
Pour stuffing mixture over broccoli in casserole dish and spread evenly.  Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and resume cooking for 5 additional minutes.  Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Serve this with a side of lovely, protein-rich greens so you can feel a little less guilty!

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