Vegan Cassoulet Recipe — Registered Dietitian Columbia SC - Rachael Hartley Nutrition (2024)

This vegan cassoulet with delicata squash roasted garlic recipe is packed warm and cozy goodness of a traditional French recipe, but not nearly as labor intensive! Bake a mix of delicata squash, cremini mushrooms, white beans and sauteed aromatic vegetables with a crispy crust of herbed breadcrumbs!

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe — Registered Dietitian Columbia SC - Rachael Hartley Nutrition (1)

France has played an important role in influencing my career in nutrition and shaping my eating philosophy. My very first foodie memories of really loving food were from a trip to France when I was six. I vividly remember chasing down the cheesecart at a nice restaurant because I was dying for another piece of creamy camembert. Since then, cheese has been to me what coffee is to the Gilmore girls.

It was this love of good food that initially inspired me to go into a career in dietetics. And it was this love of good food that protected me and my practice from going too deep down the hole of clean eating and restriction.

More recently, when I spent a week in southwestern France in 2014, I had a bit of an aha moment that allowed me to fully commit to non diet approaches - although obviously there was a lot of learning after that. While I was there, I noticed the pure joy people experienced while eating - and the pure joy I experienced while eating! I got out of the plant-based, clean-eating-centric comfort zone I had been in at home, and spent a week eating cheese, duck confit, and croissants without any anxiety. When I got back home, I just started eating normally, rather than trying to be super healthy to make up for vacation. It made me realize the kind of dietitian I wanted to be was one that helped people have more pleasurable eating experiences, not one that contributed to the fear mongering rhetoric around food.

Basically, I was able understand that sometimes a croissant is healthier than a kale salad, because health isn’t just nutrition, it’s also mental health too. Health and well being means recognizing pleasure as an important facet of nutrition. Also, the absurdity of most diets is patently obvious in a country that gleefully eats butter, cheese and white bread on a daily basis.

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe — Registered Dietitian Columbia SC - Rachael Hartley Nutrition (2)

One of my favorite dishes we had on that trip to France was cassoulet,the famous dish of slow cooked white beans with different types of meat, usually sausage, pork belly and duck confit. We stayed in Dordogne, the region where cassoulet originated, so wheneverwe went out to eat, at least one of us would order cassoulet to taste test and see which restaurant's version was tastiest. Basically, our trip turned into tour de cassoulet.

Since then, I’ve tried a few different cassoulet recipes at home. I pulled out all the stops a few years ago when we hosted a New Years Eve party and made a legit cassoulet, duck confit and all. But that was hella time consuming - and expensive. I’ve also tried a quick weeknight cassoulet with sausage and beans, which was really tasty. But my favorite just might be this vegan cassoulet with delicata squash and roasted garlic.

While this vegan cassoulet is by no means traditional, it still has all the same comforts - rich flavor, stewy consistency, an abundance of nourishing carbs, and umami from the mushrooms, all under a crispy, bread-y crust.

How to make this vegan cassoulet with delicata squash and roasted garlic

To make this vegan cassoulet recipe, first roast a head of garlic. Then, break out a Dutch oven and saute a base of aromatic vegetables in a healthy dose of olive oil. Add cremini mushrooms and delicata squash, along with canned white beans, broth and herbs, as well as the roasted garlic. The mixture gets topped with herbed panko breadcrumbs and more olive oil before popping it in the oven to bake and let the flavors meld.

If you make the roasted garlic in advance, this vegan cassoulet recipe is actually fairly weeknight friendly. Although it does take a bit of time, most of that time is spent letting the cassoulet get cozy in the oven. But it’s also a show stopper, and you could easily serve this recipe as a vegetarian/vegan main dish on the holidays.

Cooking with delicata squash

Have you ever cooked with delicata squash before? While kabocha is my favorite of the winter squashes (I use it in this kabocha, kale and roasted garlic soup recipe and this chipotle roasted kabocha and kale salad), delicata squash is in strong running for second place. It’s really easy to cook with because it’s soft and easy to cut, and the thin skin is edible. Yay for not accidentally cutting a finger off trying to prep and cozy fall meal! It’s also got a really sweet flavor and smooth texture that I love.

To prepare delicata squash for this vegan cassoulet, cut off both ends to create a flat surface, then slice it in half the long way. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then cut it into 3/4-inch thick half moons, and chop those into chunks.

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe — Registered Dietitian Columbia SC - Rachael Hartley Nutrition (4)

How to Roast Garlic for this Vegan Cassoulet Recipe

Roasted garlic is the ingredient that takes this vegan cassoulet to a new level of cozy deliciousness! Roasting garlic takes away it’s pungency, makes it taste sweet and mellow, and gives it a soft, creamy and almost butter-like texture that melts into this dish.

Making roasted garlic at home is really easy to do. Just take a clove of garlic and peel away most of the outer paper. Trim about a 1/4 inch off the top of the head to expose the cloves, leaving the root part intact to hold the head together. Drizzle a bit of olive oil onto the garlic, wrap it in aluminum foil, and roast it in a 400 degree oven about 40 minutes until soft and tender. Pierce it with a sharp knife and it should insert easily.

If you’re making this vegan cassoulet, I highly recommend making extra roasted garlic. I’m 1000% sure you’ll find a use for it, even if it’s just spreading it on crusty bread (which frankly, might be my favorite way to enjoy roasted garlic). Try it in these recipes from the blog:

  • No knead roasted garlic and tomato focaccia

  • Creamy roasted garlic dressing

  • Kabocha, kale and roasted garlic soup

You could also add roasted garlic to my sweet potato hummus, instant pot mushroom barley soup, sausage and mustard green orecchiette, or kale and mushroom stroganoff.

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe — Registered Dietitian Columbia SC - Rachael Hartley Nutrition (5)

Recipe Adaptions for Vegan Cassoulet

While I do love delicata squash, you can use any squash you like in this vegan cassoulet recipe. You may need to cook it a little bit longer for harder squash, like butternut - just test it with a knife after baking 45 minutes and pop it back in the oven if needed.

This recipe is really tasty with bacon and/or sausage too! If you use bacon, cut back the olive oil for sautéing the vegetables to 2 tablespoons and fry 2-4 slices of bacon to release the fat. Remove the bacon then saute the vegetables, and add the crumbled bacon back in with the beans and squash. Do the same for sausage.

You could also use vegan sausage, like Field Roast. I would highly recommend smoked apple sage flavor.

If you like this vegan cassoulet recipe, follow my vegan recipes Pinterest board for more inspiration.

This vegan cassoulet recipe was originally published December 2016. Recipe, images and text have been updated to give you the best content possible.

Serves 8ish

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon

  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped

  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered

  • 2 large delicata squash, halved, seeds scooped out, and chopped into 1/2-3/4 inch chunks

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 cans white beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Remove the papery outer skin from the garlic without peeling or separating the cloves. Cut away the top 1/4-inch of the garlic to expose the cloves a bit. Drizzle the head of garlic with a teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap with foil and place in the oven to roast for an hour. Once cool enough to handle, separate the cloves and squeeze the soft, caramelized garlic pulp into a bowl and lightly mash with a fork. Increase heat to 375 for the cassoulet.

  3. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots, a pinch of salt, and saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms start to lose their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add roasted garlic, squash, broth, sage, thyme, bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, until squash is mostly tender.

  4. Stir in white beans and season with salt and pepper. Mix panko with parsley, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and sprinkle over the top of the cassoulet.

  5. Cover the cassoulet, place in the oven and bake 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

If you like this vegan cassoulet recipe, you might also like these winter squash recipes:

Vegan Cassoulet Recipe — Registered Dietitian Columbia SC - Rachael Hartley Nutrition (10)

main, Recipe

Rachael Hartley

beans, casserole, Winter, winter squash, Recipe, fall, French

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Vegan Cassoulet Recipe — Registered Dietitian Columbia SC - Rachael Hartley Nutrition (2024)

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