Lunch Recipe
Vegan French Fry Casserole

Vegan French Fry Casserole

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Food should be fun, and it doesn’t get any more fun than this vegan French Fry Casserole. A creamy, healthy filling of veggies and meatless “beef” is topped with two layers of French fries. The first layer slurps up the savory sauce, turning moist, unctuous and absolutely delicious. The top layer turns crispy and golden brown in the oven. This is an easy dish that can be made with frozen veggies and frozen French fries, so you, as the cook, can be in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. It’s also one-pot if you have a cast iron or oven-safe skillet. I came up with this recipe to satisfy my hungry but picky teen, and if you have kids, or even if you don’t, I hope you will try it–it is a certain palate pleaser. I also made this recipe gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free so everyone can enjoy it.

Closeup photo of vegan French Fry casserole with golden potato fries layered over vegan beef and veggie filling.

Here’s a meal that will set every heart, adult, teen and child, racing when you bring it to the table on a Saturday afternoon–or a weeknight: a bubbling, creamy and savory vegan French Fry Casserole with a creamy filling of veggies topped with golden, crunchy French fries.

It’s a delicious and easy dish, one with universal appeal, and it’s also healthyish. Yes, sure the French fries steal the spotlight here. But underneath those crispy gold slivers is a gluten-free filling of veggies and vegan “beef” in a creamy, herby oat-milk-based sauce. If you’ve had my vegan Tater Tot Casserole, you will almost certainly love this casserole.

The French fries get baked here, so you are not deep frying them. And for the sake of convenience I use storebought French fries, although you’re welcome to make the fries yourself if you want to.

As mom to a teen who’s always voracious but also always highly opinionated about what he’ll eat (usually something crunchy out of a packet), I try to balance food that’s healthy with some that will appeal to his tastebuds. It’s much better than hearing, “I’m not hungry, mom,” or “Can I skip dinner tonight?” With this recipe, there’s no chance of that happening.

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Contents
Overhead photo of a vegan French fry casserole in cast iron skillet with gray napkin.

Why you will love this Vegan French Fry Casserole

  • It’s delicious. A creamy, savory filling topped with French fries. What’s not to love?
  • It’s easy to make and weeknight-friendly. You can use frozen veggies and frozen potatoes for this dish, which would further cut down the prep time.
  • It’s one-pot if you have a 12-inch cast iron skillet or oven-safe skillet that can go from the stovetop into the oven. If not, you can transfer the sauce to a baking dish, layer on the fries, and proceed with baking.
  • It’s everyone friendly. Everyone is sure to love this dish, of course. And there are no nuts, no soy and no gluten in this recipe and it is vegan, so everyone can eat it too.
  • It’s veggie- and protein-packed. The filling for this vegan French Fry Casserole is mostly veggies with some vegan meatless meat or sausage mixed in for flavor, deliciousness and protein. There are 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber in each serving. You can use tofu or tempeh to replace the meatless meat.
Photo of French fry casserole served in white bowl.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. I used avocado. Any flavorless vegetable oil is fine.
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Vegetables: 2 stalks celery, 1 medium carrot, 1 sweet potato and 1 large bell pepper (any color). You can sub 16 oz of any frozen veggies you like instead.
  • 16 oz vegan “beef”. I used Beyond, you can use any brand, or use vegan sausage. Try and stick with Italian sausage or original flavor as strongly flavored sausage, like chipotle, won’t work well here.
  • 2 teaspoon rosemary (or sage). Start with 1 teaspoon, taste, and add more if you want. If using fresh herbs use 1 to 2 tablespoon instead.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin. This adds a nice smokiness to the casserole.
  • ¼ cup flour. I used gluten-free all purpose flour. Regular all purpose flour or rice flour works just as well.
  • 2 cups oat milk. Any nondairy milk is fine, please make sure it is unsweetened.
  • Salt and ground black pepper.
  • 20 oz frozen shoestring French fries. Any brand is fine. Make your own if you prefer, but toss them with a bit of cooking spray before layering.

How to make the Vegan French Fry Casserole

  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add the garlic and onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt and ground black pepper, and cook over medium heat until soft but not brown.
  • Add the sweet potatoes and stir in. Cover and let the sweet potatoes cook about 3-5 minutes until almost tender. Stir in the bell peppers, cumin and rosemary (or sage) and saute another couple minutes.
  • Add the meatless beef to the skillet, breaking it up as you add it. Saute for a couple of minutes until it begins to brown.
  • Add the flour to the skillet and mix well until the flour is absorbed by the veggies. Add the oat milk and stir it in. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Layer the frozen French fries over the creamy sauce. I put one layer down first and then another on top of that. The bottom layer soaks in the sauce and the top layer becomes crispy and golden-brown, offering a nice texture contrast.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake 1 hour. Remove the skillet from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Make-ahead and storage instructions

Make the creamy sauce up to 2 days ahead and store in refrigerator. Layer on the French fries before baking.

It’s highly unlikely you will have any leftovers the day after, but if you do, store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before eating, preferably in the oven, so the fries crisp up.

More tasty vegan casserole recipes

Closeup photo of crispy golden French fries layered over a creamy filling of vegetables and vegan meat in a cast iron skillet.

Vegan French Fry Casserole

In this vegan French Fry Casserole a creamy, healthy filling of veggies and vegan “beef” is topped with two layers of French fries. The first layer slurps up the savory sauce, turning moist, unctuous and absolutely delicious. The top layer turns crispy and golden brown in the oven. This is an easy, one-pot recipe and it is gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free so everyone can enjoy it.

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Course: Main/Casserole

Cuisine: American

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Keyword: Vegan French Fry Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Servings: 8 servings

Calories: 382kcal

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add the garlic and onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt and ground black pepper, and cook over medium heat until soft but not brown.

  • Add the sweet potatoes and stir in. Cover and let the sweet potatoes cook about 3-5 minutes until almost tender. Stir in the bell peppers, rosemary (or sage) and cumin and saute another couple minutes.

  • Add the “beef” to the skillet, breaking it up as you add it. Saute for a couple of minutes until it begins to brown.

  • Add the flour to the skillet and mix well until the flour is absorbed by the veggies. Add the oat milk and stir it in. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.

  • If you are not using an oven-safe skillet, at this point transfer the creamy sauce and veggies to a baking dish. Otherwise proceed with next step.

  • Layer the frozen French fries over the creamy sauce. I put one layer down first and then another on top of that. The bottom layer soaks in the sauce and the top layer becomes crispy and golden-brown, offering a nice texture contrast.

  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake 1 hour. Remove the skillet from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • You can use other veggies, including zucchini, mushrooms, potatoes and even greens like chard of spinach in this recipe.
  • If you’d rather not use vegan meat or sausage, replace with tofu or tempeh. Cut into small cubes. To add more flavor, toss the tofu or tempeh in a teaspoon of vegetable bouillon seasoning.
  • Rosemary and sage add perfect smoky flavor in this recipe. You can replace them with another savory herb like oregano or thyme.

Nutrition

Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 692mg | Potassium: 685mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 6093IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg

Tried this recipe?I’d love to see! Leave a comment and rating below or tag me on Instagram @holycowvegan. Be sure to hashtag it #holycowvegan.

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