Vegan Seitan and Butternut Squash Casserole

This is a guest post by Betsy DiJulio, author of The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes.

A creamy fall casserole that is special enough for a holiday feast but easy enough for a weeknight meal. The sweet potato chip topping is an updated nod to the vintage “church cookbook” casserole genre.

What you’ll need . . .
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

4 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise into quarters, and then finely diced

Sea salt

2 cups butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 cups seitan in bite-size pieces (*preferably homemade)

10 ounces of frozen green peas, thawed

1 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (try my recipe for vegan mayo)

1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1-4 ounce jar pimentos, drained

1 tablespoon salt-free multi-purpose seasoning

1 teaspoon rubbed sage

Freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces sweet potato chips (I use Terra brand), crushed (I use a small rolling pin)

How to make it . . .
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a large casserole dish. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add onion, celery, and a pinch of salt. Saute, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and heat. Add butternut squash and another pinch of salt, and saute, stirring only occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until some of the surfaces are caramelized. Transfer squash to bowl with onion and celery. Add seitan and green peas. In a small bowl, fold together Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, vegan mayonnaise, flour, pimentos, multi-purpose seasoning, sage, and pepper.

Pour over vegetables, and seitan, gently fold together until well, combined, and lightly mound into into casserole dish. Sprinkle evenly with crushed sweet potato chips, and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, covering if edges begin to brown too quickly. Allow to cool at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

*My secret to the most tender, most flavorful seitan is to season both the seitan dough and the cooking liquid, to use plenty of liquid in the dough, and to NOT knead the dough as long as most recipes call for or it will become very tough. Knead only until ingredients are well-combined; less than 3 minutes.

Yield 6 servings.

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*Note: This is NOT an official recipe from Tofutti Brands, Inc.

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