Time: 1 1/2 hours || Active time: 30 minutes
It’s casserole season! Time to spend a little more time in the kitchen, time for potlucks and gatherings, time to sit in front of the TV watching Little House On The Prairie reruns and eating an entire casserole by yourself, am I right?
The original inspiration for this was my boyfriend’s description of Scalloped Potatoes and Ham. Not something I ever had as a child, but I can see the appeal. Cream of celery soup, tender layers of thinly sliced potato, browned on top, what’s not to love? Well, besides that ham. This casserole is creamy, dreamy, rich and made smoky with the addition of Eggplant Bacon.
I actually see a world of possibility here…swap the potatoes out for root vegetables or sweet potatoes, add roasted red peppers or fennel, use tempeh bacon instead; this casserole is your template! And if you’re simply just searching for a perfect scalloped potato recipe, this might be it, so go ahead and leave the bacon out. These would be perfect for any holiday table, or anywhere mashed potatoes would be appropriate.
The key to perfectly cooked potatoes is to slice them thinly – aim for between 1/8 and 1/4 thick. And seal the casserole in tinfoil until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, then (and only then) do you uncover the casserole to let everything get nice and brown.
Other notes for this recipe:
~Slice the potatoes when the onions are cooking, that way they don’t turn brown while you’re waiting for everything else to be ready.
~You can actually use roasted cashews here if you like. I usually use unroasted to make cashew creme, but I was out of it and the roasted ones worked just fine!
~If you’re making the eggplant bacon, this will take considerably more time, so add 30 minutes to your cooking time.
~If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, I love to make breadcrumbs out of gluten-free pretzels. You can also sub the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
~If you don’t have a rectangular 2 quart casserole, square will work, too.
1 cup whole cashews soaked in water for 2 hours or up to overnight
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1/4 cup store-bought breadcrumbs (if using homemade, increase to 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced (about 3 large)
1 recipe Eggplant Bacon
Chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish (optional)
Place the drained cashews and vegetable broth in a food processor and blend until completely smooth, scraping the sides of the food processor with a spatula occasionally to make sure you get everything. This could take 5 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat a large pan over medium heat. Saute the onions and celery in the oil, along with a dash of salt. Cook until onions are nice and brown, about 10 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and toss to coat onions and celery. Cook until the breadcrumbs turn a few shades darker, about 3 minutes.
Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 350 F.
Pour the cashew mixture into the pan and lower heat a bit. Mix well. Add lemon juice, several dashes black pepper and salt. Let cook for 2 minutes, it should begin to thicken. Taste for salt and adjust seasoning if needed.
Now we’ll put this baby together!
Lightly spray a 2 quart casserole rectangular with cooking spray (or lightly grease with olive oil). Pour half of the sauce into the casserole. Now arrange potatoes and eggplant into the casserole, dredging potatoes in sauce a bit as you layer. They should be in slightly overlapping layers, with a slice of bacon in between each potato.
Pour the remaining sauce over the potatoes. They should be mostly submerged. Use a rubber spatula to spread the sauce on if needed.
Seal tightly with tin foil and bake for about 45 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until nice and brown.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve!
Wow. this was awesome!!! We tested it for Thanksgiving, and it is officially on the menu. Most thought it was perfect as is, but my dad thought the sauce was a little too thick, and could be a bit more liquidy (like traditional scalloped potatoes). I may add a bit more almond milk next time I make it… it could be cuz I live in Arizona though, ingredients can get dried out. Also, I was a little unsure about the celery being in this recipe, but it fit well in this dish! Thanks!
Just cashews and pistachios, Isa.
YUM, made this last night for dinner and it was so good (the eggplant bacon is like crack!), I’m eating the leftovers for breakfast! Next time, were adding some sliced olives and thyme to the cashew sauce for an update to the dish.
I’ve been wanting to make scalloped potatoes but was so intimidated! Thank you!
This really hit the spot. I have to admit, after prepping the eggplant bacon I wolfed down every piece in record time, so I wasn’t able to include it in the dish. To compensate, I added soy sauce and seitanbacher’s vegetable broth powder to the cream portion of the dish. I used 1 mori nu tofu + 1/2 cup cashews instead of 2 cups cashes, and I also added Kale. I never liked scalloped potatoes in my pregan days, but I really dug this!
Turned out amazing! I followed as is. No changes! Delicious! Soul food!
This is the second time I’ve made this recipe now. There are NO leftovers with my family when this is served. This actually tastes much better than the ‘traditional’ way of using cream of mushroom.
I’ve made this 3 times already this holiday season. I took it to 2 different potlucks as well as Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone loved it!
I made them tonight. DELICIOUS! I agree with Brent – this does taste better than cream of yuck soup. My hubby agrees. Thanks for this recipe! I’ll be making it again.
Do you think this would not cook properly if the potatoes were left unpeeled. If unpeeled should it be handled any differently, or cooked any differently? I know this question is late, sorry. Thanks.
I prefer the texture of peeled here, but unpeeled would work with no other adjustments.
This was so delicious!!! I made it last Friday for dinner, but didn’t have cashews so I used a simple gravy mix (almond milk, earth balance, and flour with some seasonings to add a bit of flavor) and mixed that with the vegetable broth. It worked out well.
Had this or dinner tonight… Thank you for another delicious recipe, Isa! =)
Had some silken tofu in the fridge that needed using, so 3 tablespoons went into the sauce, and used roasted fennel (mmm!) instead of eggplant. It needed an extra 30 minutes in the oven at 450 F (gas mark 8) – I think I may have packed my potatoes a bit tightly into a smaller casserole dish (also used fewer potatoes). The potatoes were sliced very thinly, but they were standing pretty much up-right to fit in the dish… Will use fewer potatoes next time or invest in a larger casserole. =) I left the potatoes unpeeled and they were great (Sante variety).
Totally awesome served with roasted parsnips, carrots and broccoli and your Italian seitan sausage. ^_^
This recipe satisfies my nostalgia for scalloped potatoes (haven’t had them since I cut out dairy from my diet). The smoky flavor of the eggplant marries perfectly with the creamy texture of the cashews and potatoes so nicely. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe. A meat-eating coworker tried it at work the next day and told me, “That’s frickn’ delicious!” I could seriously tuck in to the whole casserole by myself for dinner it’s so tasty. This is a keeper for sure. I had to force myself to eat some greens with it and not just have potatoes for dinner.
YUM YUM YUM, ISAY!
I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first because this was my first foray into using cashews to make a creamy sauce, but the end result was sooo delicious! I made the eggplant bacon, which added a nice richness to it, but I think it would work equally well without because the recipe is already so flavoursome. I loved this and will certainly be making it again.
I went with your encouragement to use this recipe as a template, and used sweet potatoes instead, as well as some broccoli. Next time, I will just use the template. 🙂 I think the sweet potatoes didn’t let the sauce shine enough–when I tasted the sauce before assembling, it made me weak in the knees it was so good. I’ll also just serve the broccoli steamed alongside. Next time!!
Are the cashews raw or roasted? Does it matter? I have a hard time finding raw cashers where I live.
My meat loving family loved this last Thanksgiving. Im already looking forward to making it a tradition! 🙂
Making this as soon as I can. SO EXCITED!
Made this today for a wedding shower, such a huge hit! Devoured completely by the omni’s. Will be sure to make this for all future get-togethers. Thanks so much for coming up with this recipe and sharing with us.
Just made this for my husband’s birthday! He LOVED it.
This was excellent!!! I was a bit concerned about the sauce consistency when I realized after adding it to the onion and celery mixture that I never added in the bread crumbs. I toasted them on the side and stirred them in and it turned out well, but maybe a bit thicker than it was supposed to be. Bringing this to Christmas Eve dinner!
Another omni potluck pleaser …u always do me right, grrl! I’m slowly converting my office to V thanks to PPK. The peeps appreciate my constant goodies so much they are going out of their way to veganize their recipes to share with me! Big up homes, love & light to u 🙂
It would be great if people actually commented AFTER they make recipes. All of the recipes I’ve viewed have very favorable comments, all based on soley the recipe, and not actually preparing and eating the dishes.
C’mon people! Go cook!
My friend just made this for Thanksgiving, and gave me some leftovers. WOW, creamy, smoky goodness. This is comfort food for sure, but looks so elegant too- perfect to bring to an omnivore holiday!
This was seriously amazing! I made it with half cashews and half sunflower seed because I ran out of cashews, and it was delicious. My husband and I couldn’t stop eating. I love the way the eggplant bacon (I added a splash of maple syrup to my marinade) rehydrated in this and yet had its own texture apart from the potatoes and the creamy sauce. I was worried it would all melt together, but the elements stayed distinct and delicious. The only note I will make for last time is to test the potatoes fully, as we had a few that didn’t cook perfectly, but that was the fault of our oven not the recipe, which is perfection!
As I pull up this recipe for the millionth time, I thought I should write a quick comment singing its praises…this is by far my most requested dish and something I make for both thanksgiving and xmas…it’s been known to wow even the most rigid dairy-loving carnivores…delicious!
I’ve read this recipe every year for the last four years. I was intimidated and feeling like I could never make it. But I just did! For Thanksgiving. With my best friend. It was so delish. We are so thrilled. I will make it every year.
I must say that I was a bit skeptical when I put this in the oven, as it seemed a bit dry, but I just ate some and holy yum! So delicious. I think I will just be eating potatoes for dinner…
The pan I made tasted like French onion dip! Used panko breadcrumbs, sweet onion and caramalized onion per the recipe. Hmmm.. not sure if that’s what it’s supposed to taste like?? Either way, I still had, like, 12 servings.