Vegan Cornbread Casserole

5 Jun

Last week’s culinary adventure was a huge success — so huge that I devoured the entire slow cooker of casserole before I was able to take a decent picture. Instead, you get this:

I think a casserole is supposed to hold its shape better than this, but who freakin’ cares when it tastes like heaven and requires almost no time to throw together? The ingredient list looks long, but I promise it’s insanely easy. Here’s what you do:

Vegan Cornbread Casserole in the Slow Cooker

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno, minced (and seeded if you want less heat)
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Dash (or 10) of hot sauce
  • Black pepper to taste

Cornbread topping ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup vegan milk of choice
  • 3/4 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

In a frying pan, saute the onion in either a little water, spray oil, or a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Once it begins to soften, add the bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about three minutes. When cooked, add the contents to your slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients (except the cornbread topping). Put the lid on top and set to high for one hour.

After an hour has passed, make the cornbread topping. In a small bowl, combine the “milk” and vinegar. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Now add the milk mixture and the oil, stirring just to combine. Remove the lid from the slow cooker and ladle the cornbread batter on top to cover the bean mixture. Replace the lid and cook until cornbread has reached the desired consistency, about an hour and a half.

Makes 4 servings. (Though I admit to eating it in 3.)

The dish does not stay in the pretty beans-on-bottom-and-cornbread-on-top shape well (or at all, really) when you serve it, but who cares? It’s so. freaking. good., by far one of the best new recipes I’ve made in a billion years. It’s easy to customize, too, with your favorite beans, veggies, and preferred spice level. I might throw in some mushrooms next time, but otherwise, I loved it just the way it was.

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