This filling vegan casserole is great for meat-eaters too! It’s a favorite lunch of mine – tons of protein, fiber, and most importantly, flavor!
I go on spurts where I make this casserole repeatedly. I make it, eat it for lunch for a week, and then make it again. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s filling and SO healthy. It’s one of my mom’s favorite recipes.
It’s not some wimpy salad where you eat it and then 30 minutes later you eat a Snicker’s bar because you’re still hungry. It is hearty and full of protein and fiber. And soooo good. Did I mention that?
Okay vegans — plug your ears (cover your eyes?) for a minute. Vegetarians you can listen. I titled this vegan, which it is, but it’s reallly good with a little bit of melted sharp cheddar on top. Our little secret.
And meat eaters – feel free to use chicken stock if you don’t have vegetable broth/stock on hand.
If you’re not familiar with bulgur — you can read more about it here. It’s a whole grain with lots-o-fiber. I typically buy Bob’s Red Mill Bulgur. If you’ve ever eaten tabbouli, you’ve probably had bulgur. Bulgar is similar to cracked wheat, made out of wheat berries, but is par-boiled before the drying process for quicker cooking.
The combination of barley and bulgur in this casserole makes it nutty, chewy, and so flavorful. The black beans give a nice smoothness and then you get lots of added flavor from the vegetables and the herbs in here — thyme and parsley.
So if you’re like me and hate making lunch (I seem to realllly hate making lunch lately – I don’t know what is going on with me), this is your perfect solution. Maybe I need to make another batch of this so I will at something besides popcorn for lunch. Sometimes I make it in the morning or even in the evening before bed — then it’s all set and will last me 4 or 5 days depending on if other family members eat this.
And shockingly enough, N (who eats nothing but macaroni and cheese) really likes this. Or at least he did last time I made it but goodness knows that doesn’t mean anything. He’ll love something at lunch and hate it at dinner. Toddlers.
Looking for more healthy casseroles?
Casseroles are so satisfying and usually easy to make. Here’s a few more recipes to add to your casserole repertoire:
- Vegetarian stuffed peppers (this one can easily be made vegan by leaving out the cheese)
- Stuffed pepper casserole with ground turkey (no need to stuff individual peppers, the peppers are cut up and baked right into the casserole)
- Zucchini rice casserole
- Green chile chicken quinoa casserole
- Baked macaroni and cheese (maybe not so healthy but one of the most popular recipes on my site!)
- Egg white casserole with sweet potato crust
- Chicken and kale casserole with whole wheat pasta
- 2 medium carrots, diced small (3/4 to 1 cup)
- 1 8- ounce package of mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley (loosely packed), chopped
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped small (3/4 to 1 cup)
- 1 15- ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 and 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup quick-cooking bulgur
- 2/3 cup pearl barley
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a casserole dish, combine all ingredients. Cover tightly with foil and bake in preheated oven for one hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, stirring every 30 minutes or until barley is cooked through and tender.
- Keep covered with foil until ready to serve.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Husband’s take: He actually really likes this vegan casserole too! It makes a great lunch, I’m telling you! Super filling.
Changes I would make: None are necessary. I’ve used frozen mixed veggies in here (the ones with carrots/peas/corn/green beans) in a pinch and they work great. If you leave the mushrooms out, you might need to add a bit more broth to compensate for the moisture that the mushrooms provide.
Difficulty: Extremely easy.