Creamy Mushroom Casserole

 I have such a dynamite recipe for you today! It has been a long time in the making as I’ve developed it from scratch.  I wanted to create a recipe similar to chicken and rice. I had no idea if it would be possible to replace Cream of Chicken soup and onion soup mix with a cashew sauce and spices. I was a little nervous to try, because I didn’t want to waste precious (expensive!) cashews. But thankfully, it works great!
It’s nice to have warm, comfort-food crockpot recipes that you can rely on. I purposely made this to require NO chopping! Is it just me, or do you sometimes feel that you spend half your life chopping veggies? For once, you won’t have to painfully peel garlic or chop an onion–just buy a package of sliced mushrooms and you won’t have to even get your knife out.
I’ve made this recipe several ways, and you can, too. You can use brown rice or farro. You can bake it in the oven or in a slow cooker. Rice is easier to find, but farro is a delicious grain that we’ve come to love. Both ways are truly delicious. I find the crock pot way easier, however, if you forget to start dinner early, it takes just over an hour in the oven. I would aim to let it cool for at least 20 minutes, either way you cook it, which allows the liquid to be even more absorbed so you won’t have a runny casserole.
Crock-pot version:
Oven-version:
 
I like to serve this with steamed or roasted broccoli or brussel sprouts on the side.

(And can we just focus real quick on how pretty/cute roasted brussel sprouts are? There aren’t even any oil on these. Would you like me to post my recipe for my savory roasted brussel sprouts?)

Divvy up the leftovers (if there are any!) into containers for lunch the next day…this is even better the next day, when the creaminess is even more absorbed and the flavors have melded.
I am so excited for you to try this recipe! Plant-based eaters and “normal eaters” alike will enjoy this creamy, flavorful, onion-y, and savory main dish. You will feel good that the creaminess doesn’t come at the cost of eating dairy, which is inflammatory, acidic, and very cancer-promoting (not to mention the antibiotics and hormones it contains).
100% whole food, plant nutrition, masked in a creamy casserole.
  
Mushroom and Rice Casserole
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Cooling time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

A vegan take on Chicken and Rice casserole, this hearty and meaty dish can be prepared with either rice or farro, in either the oven or the crock-pot. 

Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown rice or 1.5 cups farro
  • 1 8 oz package sliced mushrooms (any variety, I like portabellos)
  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup onion flakes
  • 1 tsp dried parsely
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Instructions
To make in a slow-cooker:
  1. Place cashew pieces into a bowl of hot water for at least 10 minutes. 

    Place rice or farro and mushrooms into the slow cooker. 

  2. In a high-speed blender, blend all the remaining ingredients: drained, soaked cashews; water, broth, onion flakes and spices. This is your "cream of chicken soup."  If you don't have a high-speed blender, a bullet or other powerful chopper might work. Use whatever can grind the cashews the smoothest possible cream.  You don't want any chunks of cashews. 

  3. Stir cashew mixture into rice and mushrooms. Stir until well-mixed. 

  4. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6 hours. Times may vary according to your slow cooker, but the rice or farro should be cooked and the water mostly absorbed. Let cool about 20 minutes, ideally. Salt and pepper to taste. 

To cook in the oven
  1. Follow instructions above, except mix everything in a 13 x 9 pan. Cook, covered with foil, for 60-70 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool 20 minutes for the rice or farro to continue absorbing the liquid. 

Make-ahead version:
  1. Cook farro or rice on the stove in advance by combining 1.5 cups farro, 2 cups broth and 2 cups water in a pot (or 1 cup rice and 2 cups broth). Bring to a boil, then let cook on low for 25-30 minutes until soft and chewy.

    In a blender, combine 1 cup broth, cashews, spices. Stir cooked farro, cashew sauce, and mushrooms together and spread in a 9x13 inch pan. When ready to bake, let bake at 350 until heated through, about 20-30 minutes. 

Recipe Notes

If you don't have a high-speed blender, blender cups, bullet, or something similar that is powerful, you might need to wait to make this recipe, as it's pretty necessary to make the cashew sauce. 

Here are the nutrition facts for a traditional chicken and rice casserole, just to compare with this recipe’s nutrition facts below.

Traditional Chicken and Rice

Creamy Mushroom Casserole (made with brown rice):

 



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