This is a great breakfast or dinner casserole. I could literally eat this for every meal – and so could my kiddos 🙂 It can also be made ahead of time, which is great if you are a busy body. I included this in the “child’s play” category because it’s easy to assemble, but mainly because the kids love helping tear up the bread (though obviously they can’t help cook the “soysage”!).
For this recipe, I prefer using Lightlife Gimme Lean “sausage”, though any other kind of vegan sausage would surely work (though I have never used another kind). Some people don’t care for all these “fake meat” products, but for the most part, I find them tasty and a quick healthy source protein. Having been vegan for 10+ years now, I have tried almost every brand of fake meat, cheese & other non-dairy products out there and I’m always open to trying anything new that I see. Some faux-foods have been not-so-great, but I definitely also have ones that I truly enjoy & find delicious! If you ever want to know my opinion on a product, don’t be afraid to ask! (P.S. I do not get paid by any company whose products I show… If I am endorsing it, it’s because I truly think its great to use in my recipes.)
That being said… onto the bread! I find that the heartier/granier the bread the better the casserole. I would not recommend using a really soft bread, as I have found through experience. I really like using Masada 6-Grain bread. I cannot stress this enough- a thick, hearty (or grainy) bread makes the best casserole!
This recipe has been adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan Planet, though I have made several changes to the original recipe.
- roughly 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cups crumbled soy sausage (I like to use two tubes of Lightlife Gimme Lean Soy Sausage, prepared as directed below)
- 2 blocks soft or firm tofu, drained and then crumbled
- 2 cups soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp ground or whole fennel seeds (if using whole, chop them up into little bits – this is usually what I do)
- salt and pepper
- 8-10 slices of bread
1) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the soysage* and cook, stirring until browned. This will take several minutes. Once browned, remove from heat & set aside.
*If you are using Gimme Lean Soy Sausage, do this by tearing it into little bits (roughly 1/2″ – 3/4″ pieces) and throwing them right into the skillet. It’s a little sticky and mushy… just keep ripping it into small pieces (you can chop them up further with a spatula if necessary while you’re stirring them around with the onion) then continue following recipe above, cooking until lightly browned.
2) In a large bowl, combine the crumbled tofu, milk, thyme, fennel, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, then mix in the sausage mixture and set aside.
3) Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces and place in a lightly oiled shallow 9 x 13″ baking dish. Pour the sausage mixture evenly over the bread and set aside several minutes until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes or overnight. If it looks a bit dry anywhere, it doesn’t hurt to add a splash of soymilk where needed. (If you do refrigerate until morning, let it come to room temp before baking.)
4) Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake until the casserole looks puffy and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Let cool slightly. Devour!