Ooooh boy! This RECIPE?! is a good one and something I’ve been wanting to make for a while. But with the state of the world right now, it couldn’t be a better time to snuggle up to this vegan french onion chicken casserole.
Mmmm yes! This concoction is like my gooey french onion soup from Vegan Comfort Classics meets a chicken pasta casserole thing. It’s the ultimate comfort food and I can’t wait for you to try it. Watch my latest video to see how it all comes together!
I was inspired by a photo of french onion chicken lasagna roll ups I saw on How Sweet Eats instagram. I’ve been scrolling the gram a little MORE than usual. So much I’m noticing a real pain in my neck. Ack! And on the subject of quarantine confessions, I’ve also only wanted to eat pasta, like ALL the time! So if you’re feeling THAT vibe you gotta make this recipe.
If the idea of lasagna rolls ups perked up your taste buds you can make that recipe here. I suppose you could also take what I do in this vegan french onion chicken casserole recipe and just make it into a lasagna roll up. But I didn’t have lasagna noods handy!
The whole thing is pretty basic in terms of ingredients. You obviously need onions and elbow macaroni, but a rotini or penne would be suitable as well. Kale could be swapped with spinach and if you don’t have the garlic croutons that I added on top (which kinda made the whole dish) I would use bread crumbs mixed with granulated garlic powder and nutritional yeast OR just make your own garlicky croutons too.
I LOVED the Sweet Earth mindful chik’n pieces I used too. This was my first time trying them and they are the MOST like real chicken… seriously! Also this casserole reminded me of one my Mom used to make when I was a kid. It was macaroni, chicken pieces, buffalo mozzarella, basil and a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. It was my fave thing ever!
If you have my cookbook you could also follow the recipe for the mozza and use that in OR on the casserole instead of the store-bought vegan shredded mozzarella. Experiment and let me know how it goes!
vegan french onion chicken casserole
This casserole is all things cozy. Imagine classic french onion soup combined with chicken, cheese, and pasta!
- 8 oz / 227g vegan chicken pieces
- 1 to 2 tbsp avocado oil or vegetable oil
- 2 white or yellow onions, sliced (about 4 cups sliced)
- 3 tbsp vegan butter, divided
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 ½ C elbow macaroni
- 1 ¼ C reserved pasta water
- 3 C mozzarella style shreds, divided
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp vegan beef flavored bouillon paste or vegan worcestershire
- 2 C finely chopped lacinato or leafy kale, stems removed
- 1 C garlic croutons (optional) * see note
Heat a cast iron or nonstick pan over medium with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and brown chicken pieces for about 5 to 6 minutes or until browned and cooked. Add more oil mid way through browning if it’s looking dry. Remove chicken pieces from the pan and lower heat to medium low.
Add 2 tablespoons vegan butter, onions, thyme, sea salt and ground pepper to the pan and caramelize onions, only tossing occasionally for about 16 to 20 minutes or until evenly darker brown, caramelized, and soft.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook macaroni to al dente. Remember to reserve pasta water before draining.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Remove caramelized onions from the pan and add the reserved pasta water to this pan bringing it to a simmer. Once simmering stir to get all the remaining onion bits off from the bottom of the pan. Pour this onion water into a blender. To the blender add ¼ cup of the caramelized onion mixture. Also add 1 cup mozzarella style shreds, minced garlic, cornstarch, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, onion powder, and bouillon or worcestershire and blend until very smooth.
Use remaining 1 tablespoon of vegan butter to grease the bottom and sides of your cast iron pan or another oven safe casserole dish. Combine macaroni, chicken pieces, remaining caramelized onions, kale, the blended sauce, and 1 cup mozzarella shreds in the cast iron pan or casserole dish until well mixed. Top with croutons and remaining cup of mozzarella shreds on top.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400°F and then broil for 5 minutes to get the top melted and browned if needed. Serve immediately.