When I was a kid, the church potluck was where it was at! So many delicious hot dishes made with love, and ready to share with one another. And while there were many options to choose from, I always gravitated towards the casseroles. Tater tot casserole! Broccoli cheese rice casserole! Green bean and mushroom casserole! Anything with savory, cheesy or creamy goodness.
This vegan tater tot casserole recipe is all of the savory and cheesy goodness with none of the dairy or meat products. It uses raw cashews, butternut squash, nutritional yeast and white miso to carry the flavor of an indulgent, almost Cheez Whiz-esque sauce.
If you do not have a high speed blender to make the vegan cheese sauce, simply soak the raw cashews for 2-3 hours and then, drain off the water before using them in a regular blender.
Also, I highly recommend using white miso in this recipe. White miso has a mellow flavor, and the light color works well with the sauce. Other types of miso may be too strong in flavor and/or could change the color of the sauce.
Vegan Tater Tot Casserole with Broccoli and Mushrooms
1 cup quinoa
1 ¾ cup water
1 large onion, chopped and divided
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
3 ¾ cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 ½ cup fake chicken broth
1 ½ cup raw cashews (see notes above if using regular blender)
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp white miso
1 tsp garlic powder
¼-½ tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
8 ounce package of sliced white mushrooms
1 lb bag of frozen broccoli florets
1 lb bag of frozen tater tots
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Grease a 9” X 13” baking pan and set aside. Rinse the quinoa off (it can taste bitter if you do not rinse it). Add to a medium saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. When it’s rapidly boiling, turn down to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep the lid on for 5 more minutes. Fluff with a fork, and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, add ½ of the chopped onions, 1 Tbsp olive oil and a dash of salt. Sauté over medium heat for about 7 minutes or until soft and slightly golden. Stir in butternut squash, and add 1 ½ cups of broth. Cover with a lid and simmer for 7 minutes. Then, add the contents of the saucepan to a high speed blender.
3. In the same high speed blender with the butternut squash, add the cashews, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, lemon juice, white miso, garlic powder and salt. Blend until completely smooth. If it’s very, very thick, add a little water and blend some more. Taste, and adjust seasonings, especially salt.
4. In a large skillet, add the remaining chopped onion and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat for about 7 minutes or until the onions are golden. Stir in the mushrooms. Stirring constantly, sweat the liquid out of the mushrooms over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until they reduce in size by 50%. Stir in the garlic cloves and broccoli florets, and cook over medium heat until cooked through.
5. In a large mixing bowl, add ¾’s of the butternut-cashew mixture from the blender, the cooked quinoa, and the broccoli-mushroom mixture from the skillet. Mix thoroughly and spread evenly in the greased 9” X 13” pan. Spread the remaining cashew cheese mixture over the top, and then, top with the tater tots. Bake uncovered at 425º F for 25-30 minutes or until the tater tots are cooked through. Serve.