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Vegan Cassoulet Recipe (Traditional French Dish)

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Get ready to cozy up with our Vegan Cassoulet Recipe! This hearty dish is packed with flavor and perfect for chilly nights. Just sauté onions, garlic, and veggies until tender, then add white beans, tomatoes, and herbs.

Let it simmer until everything is deliciously melded together. Serve it piping hot with crusty bread for dipping, and you’ve got yourself a comforting meal that’s both satisfying and nutritious. 

WHY IT WORKS?

  • Utilizes easy-to-find ingredients such as canned beans and vegetables for simplicity.
  • Incorporates a variety of spices to achieve a rich, savory flavor without any meat.
  • The breadcrumb topping adds a delightful crunch, contrasting the stew’s creamy consistency.
  • A perfect choice for meal prep, as it tastes even better the next day.
  • Completely plant-based, ensuring a guilt-free indulgence for vegans and non-vegans alike.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Finding a comforting dish that satisfies the palate and ethical preferences can often feel like a culinary challenge.

The quest for a hearty, plant-based meal led me to discover a vegan cassoulet recipe. Traditionally rich and meat-heavy, cassoulet seemed an unlikely candidate for a vegan makeover. 

Yet, the desire for a cozy, satisfying meal without compromising my vegan lifestyle sparked an inventive journey.

By swapping out animal products for lush, flavorful plant-based ingredients, this recipe promises the same depth and heartiness as its classic counterpart.

Imagine diving into a bowl of warm, aromatic stew that feeds the soul and aligns with compassionate eating choices. This vegan cassoulet recipe is a testament to culinary creativity’s power, offering a nourishing and ethically sound solution.

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe

What Is A Vegan Cassoulet?

Vegan cassoulet is a plant-based rendition of the traditional French casserole, renowned for its rich, slow-cooked flavor.

It omits the customary meats like duck, pork, and sausage, opting for hearty beans, root vegetables, and savory herbs to create its signature depth and warmth.

Ingredients like portobello mushrooms and smoked tofu can be added to mimic the umami and texture of meat, while a breadcrumb topping provides a satisfying crunch.

This version maintains the essence of the original dish, offering a comforting, nourishing, ethical, and environmentally friendly meal, making it a favorite among vegans and health-conscious eaters.

Quick Fact: Vegan cassoulet, inspired by a classic French dish, creatively uses beans and vegetables to achieve a rich flavor, making it a hearty and ethical choice for any meal.

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe

Recipe Directions

  • Heat Oil: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  • Sauté Tempeh: Add the tempeh cubes and sauté, stirring frequently, until the tempeh is golden-brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add Vegetables: Incorporate the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. Season with a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper. Continue to sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions become translucent.
  • Cook Mushrooms: Add the mushrooms and pour in the wine. Cook until the moisture has evaporated, leaving the vegetables just tender.
  • Add remaining ingredients: Stir in chopped tomatoes, beans, fresh water, or vegetable stock. Add the bay leaves, sage, parsley, and fresh thyme sprigs. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the medium-high heat to achieve a gentle simmer. If the stew seems too thick, feel free to add a bit more water or stock to reach your desired consistency.
  • Season: Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Serve: Turn off the heat once everything is beautifully combined and heated. Allow the cassoulet vegetarian to rest for about 5 minutes, then serve hot alongside some crusty French bread.

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Variations

  • Protein Variations: For a different texture or flavor profile, swap tempeh with other plant-based proteins like seitan, tofu, or lentils.
  • Vegetable Variations: Add or substitute vegetables according to seasonality or preference. Consider spinach, kale, or Swiss chard for greens; parsnips or sweet potatoes for a sweet, earthy note.
  • Grain Inclusion: Stir in cooked quinoa or barley towards the end of cooking for additional smooth texture and nutrition.

Add-Ons

  • Herbs and Spices: Experiment with different herbs like rosemary or marjoram, or add a spice kick with a pinch of cayenne or smoked paprika for a deeper flavor.
  • Liquid Smoke: A few drops of liquid smoke can add a wonderful depth, mimicking the smokiness traditionally provided by meat.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Sprinkle nutritional yeast into the stew to enhance the umami flavor and add a nutritional boost.

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe

Toppings

  • Breadcrumb Topping: For a traditional touch, mix breadcrumbs with olive oil and garlic, and broil over the cassoulet for a few minutes until crispy and golden.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnish with fresh parsley, thyme, or chives right before serving for a burst of color and freshness.
  • Vegan Cheese: Sprinkle vegan parmesan or shredded cheese on top for a creamy, cheesy finish.
  • Lemon Zest: A bit of lemon zest can brighten up the dish, adding a light, citrusy contrast to the rich flavors.

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Mushrooms for Meat: Portobello, shiitake, or cremini mushrooms offer a meaty texture and umami flavor, perfect for replacing beef or pork.
  • Cauliflower for Chicken: Cauliflower’s versatility makes it an excellent chicken substitute, especially when baked or fried.
  • Jackfruit for Pulled Pork: Young green jackfruit has a texture similar to pulled pork and absorbs flavors well, making it ideal for savory dishes.
  • Eggplant for Fish: When seasoned and cooked properly, eggplant can mimic the texture of fish, suitable for vegan versions of seafood dishes.
  • Lentils for Ground Meat: Lentils provide a hearty, protein-rich alternative to ground beef, excellent in tacos, bolognese, or chili.
  • Butternut Squash for Cheese: Butternut squash, when pureed, can mimic the creamy texture of cheese in sauces and soups.
  • Zucchini for Noodles: Spiralized zucchini is a low-carb, nutrient-rich replacement for pasta.
  • Chickpeas for Tuna: Mashed chickpeas can be used to create a vegan “tuna” salad, offering a similar texture and protein content.

Quick Tip: Blend soaked cashews with water for a creamier vegan soup or sauce. It’s a simple, healthy way to add richness without dairy.

Vegetable Substitutions

Best Side Dishes

  1. Crusty French Bread Essential for dipping and soaking up the flavorful sauce of the cassoulet.
  2. Green Salad A simple mixed greens salad with a vinaigrette dressing adds freshness and a crisp contrast to the hearty stew.
  3. Roasted Brussels Sprouts Their caramelized edges and bitter undertone complement the richness of the cassoulet.
  4. Steamed Green Beans Lightly seasoned with garlic and lemon zest for a bright and healthy side.
  5. Quinoa Salad A chilled quinoa salad with lemon dressing and fresh herbs offers a refreshing and protein-packed accompaniment.
  6. Garlic Roasted Potatoes Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, add a comforting element.
  7. Sautéed Spinach or Kale Quickly sautéed with roasted garlic, this adds a nutritious and flavorful green side.
  8. Ratatouille A dish of stewed vegetables complements the cassoulet with its Mediterranean flavors and adds color to the table.
  9. Grilled Asparagus Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, the meal has a smoky, tender texture.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve?

  • Warm Bowls: Serve the cassoulet in pre-warmed bowls to keep it hot longer, emphasizing the comforting aspect of the dish.
  • Garnish: Just before serving, sprinkle with fresh herbs like parsley or thyme to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor.
  • Crusty Bread on the Side: Provide slices of crusty French bread or a whole loaf for tearing, perfect for soaking up the delicious sauce.
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil: A light drizzle of high-quality olive oil over the top before serving can add a rich, fruity note.
  • Nutritional Yeast or Vegan Cheese: Offer nutritional yeast or shredded vegan cheese on the side for guests to sprinkle on top, adding a cheesy flavor and extra nutrients.
  • Lemon Wedges: Serving with lemon wedges allows guests to add a touch of brightness to their dish, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Freshly Cracked Pepper: A pepper grinder is available for those who wish to add a bit more spice and depth to their serving.
  • A Side Salad: A light, crisp side salad with a tangy dressing balances the richness of the cassoulet and refreshes the palate.
  • Wine Pairing: Offer a glass of vegan-friendly wine, such as a robust red to complement the depth of the cassoulet or a crisp white to balance its richness.

Quick Tip: To deepen the flavors in vegan dishes, roast vegetables before adding them to stews or casseroles. This step caramelizes their natural sugars, enhancing the overall taste.

How To Serve?

Storage & Make Ahead

Storage

  • Once cooled, transfer the vegan cassoulet to an airtight container.
  • Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze the cassoulet in freezer-safe containers for up to 2-3 months.

Make Ahead

  • Prepare the cassoulet up to 2 days in advance.
  • After cooking, allow it to cool completely.
  • Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  • Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or broth to loosen the sauce if necessary.

Fact: The cassoulet, traditionally a slow-cooked French dish, gets its name from the “cassole,” the earthenware pot in which it was originally cooked.

vegan cassuolet recipe card

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Use Canned Beans: Opt for canned white beans to skip the soaking and cooking time required for dried beans.
  2. Pre-Cut Vegetables: Buy pre-cut vegetables or chop them in advance and store them in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. Batch Cooking: Make a large batch of the base stew and freeze in portions. Thaw and add fresh herbs or a breadcrumb topping before serving.
  4. One-Pot Cooking: Utilize a single large pot or Dutch oven for both sautéing and simmering to reduce cleanup time.
  5. Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot: To significantly reduce the cooking time of the cassoulet, consider using a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot.
  6. Pre-Made Flavor Boosters: Use store-bought vegetable broth, pre-minced garlic, and dried herbs to save on prep time without sacrificing flavor.
  7. Oven Finishing: If using a breadcrumb topping, broil the cassoulet in the oven for a few minutes to achieve a crispy top without toasting bread crumbs separately.

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe (Traditional French Dish)

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe (Traditional French Dish)

Recipe by Julia
Course: Breakfast
0 from 0 votes
Servings

6

servings
Prep Time

15

minutes
Cooking Time

45

minutes
Calories

350

kcal
Rest Time

5

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 1 Dried white beans

  • 8 oz 8 Tempeh

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 (diced) 1 Medium onion

  • 2 (sliced) 2 Medium carrots

  • 2 (diced) 2 Stalks of celery 

  • 5 (finely minced or crushed into a paste) 5 Cloves garlic

  • 15 (sliced) 15 Mushrooms

  • 2 (diced) 2 Tomatoes

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Sage

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Thyme

  • 2 2 Bay leaves

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Fresh parsley

  • ½ cup ½ Red wine (optional)

  • to taste Salt and ground black pepper

Directions

  • Heat Oil: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
    Vegan Cassoulet Recipe
  • Sauté Tempeh: Add the tempeh cubes and sauté, stirring frequently, until the tempeh is golden-brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add Vegetables: Incorporate the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. Season with a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper. Continue to sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions become translucent.
    Vegan Cassoulet Recipe
  • Cook Mushrooms: Add the mushrooms and pour in the wine. Cook until the moisture has evaporated, leaving the vegetables just tender.
  • Add Remaining Ingredients: Stir in the diced tomatoes, beans, water, or vegetable stock. Add the bay leaves, sage, parsley, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to achieve a gentle simmer. If the stew seems too thick, feel free to add a bit more water or stock to reach your desired consistency.
  • Season: Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Serve: Once everything is beautifully combined and heated through, turn off the heat. Allow the cassoulet to rest for about 5 minutes, then serve hot alongside some crusty French bread.
  • Equipments List
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chef’s sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can opener
  • Colander
  • Oven-proof casserole dish (if broiling breadcrumbs)
  • Stovetop

Notes

  • Soak dried beans overnight to reduce cooking time; canned beans are a quicker alternative.
  • Sauté tempeh until golden brown for the best texture and flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of liquid based on the desired stew thickness.
  • Fresh herbs enhance flavor; dried herbs are a convenient substitute.
  • Red wine adds depth but can be omitted for a simpler version.
  • Taste and season carefully; balance is key.
  • Letting the cassoulet rest before serving allows flavors to meld.
  • Serve with crusty bread for a complete meal.

Nutrition Table

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Canned Beans Instead Of Dried Beans For The Vegan Cassoulet?

You can use canned beans as a convenient alternative to dried beans. Canned beans significantly reduce preparation time since they don’t require overnight soaking and have a shorter cooking time.

For this recipe, drain and rinse 3 cups of canned white beans to replace 1 cup of dried beans. Remember that canned beans may increase the dish’s sodium content, so adjust the added salt accordingly.

Is It Necessary To Include Tempeh? What Are Some Alternatives?

Including tempeh is not mandatory, and there are several alternatives. Tempeh adds protein and a meaty texture to the vegan cassoulet, but you can substitute it with other plant-based proteins such as tofu, seitan, or lentils.

Each alternative offers a different texture and flavor profile, allowing you to customize the dish to your preference.

vegan cassoulet recipe

How Can I Make The Cassoulet Gluten-Free?

To make the vegan cassoulet gluten-free, ensure all your ingredients are gluten-free, especially the tempeh and the breadcrumbs for the topping.

Some tempeh brands include grains that contain gluten, so opt for a gluten-free labeled product. For the breadcrumb topping, use gluten-free breadcrumbs or make your own by pulsing gluten-free bread in a good food processor.

Can The Vegan Cassoulet Be Made In Advance?

Yes, the vegan cassoulet can be made in advance, which actually allows flavors to meld and deepen, enhancing the overall taste.

Prepare the cassoulet as directed, allow it to cool, and then store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat it gently on the stove, adding a little water or vegetable broth if necessary to adjust consistency.

How Should Leftovers Be Stored, And How Long Will They Keep?

Leftover vegan cassoulet should be cooled to room temperature and then stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

You can also freeze the cassoulet for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. You may need to add a bit of water or vegetable stock when reheating to bring back the original consistency.

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VIE DE LA VEGAN!

Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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