Bottom-Friendly Vegan King Ranch Casserole



Ingredients:


For the Vegan Queso:

  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled

  • 1 carrot, peeled and ends removed

  • ¼ C red bell pepper, or simply the top portion of the bell pepper

  • ½ sweet yellow onion

  • ½ C cashews

  • Salt

  • ¾ C Nutritional Yeast

  • 1 C reserved cooking liquid

  • 10 oz can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles


For the Vegan Cream of Mushroom:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter or regular butter

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 8 oz Oyster Mushrooms, diced

  • ½ tsp dry thyme

  • 2 tbsp flour

  • 1 ½ C non-dairy, unflavored milk

  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the Jackfruit "Chicken":

  • 4 14 oz cans of young Jackfruit, shredded and seeds removed

  • 1 ½ C water

  • 2 tbsp vegan chicken bouillon

  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning

  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke


For the Casserole:

  • Cooking spray

  • 26-30 corn tortillas, ripped to 2-3" pieces

  • 1 C vegan chicken stock

  • 7 oz vegan shredded fiesta blend cheese

  • Cilantro to garnish


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Start by making Vegan Texas Queso and mix in Rotel. Set aside.

  3. To a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt vegan butter, and add olive oil. Once hot, add mushrooms and cook until all water is gone and mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the dried thyme and cook until fragrant, about another minute. Add flour and stir constantly for another minute. Slowly pour in non-dairy milk and whisk the mixture together until there are no lumps in the sauce. Once the cream of mushroom begins to thicken, cut the heat, season, and set aside.

  4. Shred the jackfruit pieces to resemble shredded chicken, making sure to remove the small podlike seeds and any other hard, indelible pieces you may come across. Once done, place a pot over medium-high heat and add the water. Once the water begins to boil, add the vegan chicken bouillon, poultry seasoning, liquid smoke, and jackfruit. Stir well, lower the heat to medium-low, and cover for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the lid, bring the heat back up to medium-high and cook for another 10 minutes until all the water is gone. Set the jackfruit aside.

  5. Spray a casserole dish (I used a 10"x14" dish) with the cooking oil and lay down a layer of torn corn tortillas. Splash 1/4 cup of the vegan chicken stock on the tortillas and then add a layer of the vegan queso. See NOTE: before assembling the rest of the casserole.

  6. NOTE: You can layer this casserole any way you want. That's the beauty of a casserole. Just make sure you start with the layer of corn tortillas and for every layer of corn tortillas, you brush on additional vegan chicken stock. This ensures the tortilla layers stay moist and flavorful. The cream of mushroom will only make one layer and the jackfruit will make 2-3 layers. Make sure to top the casserole with the remaining corn tortillas, chicken stock, and queso.

  7. Top with vegan shredded cheese and add a drizzle of olive oil to the top. Bake for 30 minutes. If the top needs more browning, place it under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or use a torch.

  8. Once the casserole is removed from the oven, let it cool for 15 minutes. Top with cilantro and serve hot. Bottoms up!