Vegan Chick'n Enchilada Breakfast Casserole | The Full Helping

A few weeks ago, in sharing
a lasagna recipe
, I mentioned that big, casserole-like dishes
have been a meal prep time-saver for me lately. They’re more
involved than other recipes, but once they’ve been prepared, they
give me at least 4-6 extra portions of food. And they’re a nice
way to break up my routine of soups and stews and bowls,
which—though trusty allies throughout my whole internship
year—are getting a little repetitive at this point.

I often get requests for make-ahead breakfasts in general, and
savory make-ahead breakfasts in particular. I can relate well to
the demand for this kind of recipe, since I’m always on the hunt
for new ideas myself. I’m a big breakfast eater, and my early
hours this year have made it difficult to eat breakfasts that are
as satisfying as what I’m used to making at home, but also easy
to transport to work.

This breakfast enchilada casserole doesn’t have to be eaten
for breakfast, of course; it’s great for dinner, too, and I’ve
enjoyed it at both mealtimes. But I’m a big believer in getting a
nice bolus of protein at breakfast (bolus! Always a funny-sounding
word when I put it into writing), and the soy curls in the recipe
make that an easy task here.


Soy curls
are one of my favorite plant-based proteins.
They’re inexpensive, a whole food (whole, non-GMO soy beans are
the only ingredient), versatile, and they make a
vegan “chick’n”
that’s about as good as any
store-bought vegan meat you can find, only cheaper. They’re also
low in fat and packed with protein, so perfect when a protein-rich
morning meal is the goal.

It was my original plan to use layers of shredded vegan cheese
in the recipe—pepperjack or cheddar—but I ended up forgetting
to pick up any the week I made the casserole. I had plenty of
cashew cream in my freezer, as I usually do, so I decided to use
layers of homemade
cashew cream
instead.

Vegan Chick'n Enchilada Breakfast Casserole | The Full Helping

It worked out just fine. The cashew cream definitely tastes less
“cheesy” than a store-bought vegan cheese would, but it sort of
melts into the vegan chick’n and greens while the casserole
bakes, giving the whole dish a creamy texture. It’s an easy
option if you make cashew cream regularly and have some at the
ready, or if you’ve got a powerful blender at home.

If you’d prefer to use a vegan cheese, that’s fine, too, and
you can just sprinkle some onto each layer instead of drizzling the
cream. (Lately my favorite is the Violife brand.)

Vegan Chick'n Enchilada Breakfast Casserole | The Full Helping

Aside from that, don’t let the name of “casserole” fool
you. This couldn’t be easier to put together. If you like to make
your own enchilada sauce and want to use it, go for it; I used the
store-bought stuff for convenience, and the whole dish was
assembled in about 20-25 minutes, including the time it took to
make the soy curls. It’d be even quicker if you prepared them in
advance. Here’s how to do it!

Vegan Chick'n Enchilada Breakfast Casserole | The Full Helping

Vegan Chick’n Enchilada Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 8-ounce bag Butler foods soy curls (purchase online or
    through Amazon)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube (chicken flavored works best, but
    herb/vegetable is also fine)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (substitute chopped leafy greens of
    choice, or frozen and chopped leafy greens of choice)
  • 12-15 6-inch corn or flour tortillas (12 fit my casserole dish
    perfectly; you may wish to have a few extra on hand)
  • 2 15-ounce cans or jars of red enchilada sauce (substitute 3
    heaping cups of homemade enchilada sauce)
  • 1 heaping cup cashew cream
  • chopped fresh avocado and cilantro leaves/stems, for
    topping
  1. First, prepare the chick’n style soy curls. Place the bouillon
    in a large, heatproof bowl. Bring the water to a boil. Pour it over
    the bouillon cube, then add the tamari, smoked paprika, and onion
    powder. Stir everything well, then add the soy curls. Cover the
    bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. Drain the hydrated soy curls in
    a colander, pressing them gently to help remove as much moisture as
    you can. You can prepare these in advance and store them in an
    airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. They can also be
    frozen for up to 6 weeks.

  2. Preheat your oven to 375F and lightly oil the bottom of a 9 x 13
    inch baking dish. Pour one can (1 1/2 cups) of enchilada sauce into
    a large, deep skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Add
    the prepared chick’n style soy curls and the baby spinach. Heat and
    stir until the spinach has wilted.

  3. Pour 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce (from your remaining can) onto
    the bottom of the casserole dish and spread it around into a thin
    layer. Layer 4 tortillas over it (for my dish, I could layer three
    in a row and then cut an additional fourth in half and used it to
    cover space at the sides). Layer 1/2 of the chick’n/spinach mixture
    over the tortillas. Top with 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and drizzle
    with 1/2 cup cashew cream. Cover this layer with another 4
    tortillas, the remaining chick’n/spinach mixture, another 1/2 cup
    sauce, and 1/2 cup cashew cream. Top with 4 more tortillas, then
    pour about 3/4 cup sauce on top of these, spreading the sauce
    evenly to cover the casserole. Transfer the dish to the oven and
    bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is darkening and the sauce
    is bubbling.

  4. When the casserole has cooled for about 10 minutes, you can top
    it with chopped avocado and fresh chopped cilantro. Cut into 6
    pieces and serve!

Vegan Chick'n Enchilada Breakfast Casserole | The Full Helping

This recipe was inspired by a non-vegan version from my friend
Ali. If you check out
her post
, you’ll get instructions on making homemade
enchilada sauce, if you’d like to. I’d put this recipe into the
“semi-homemade” category as it is, but preparing sauce from
scratch will definitely give it a more wholly homemade feel.

Greens, protein, some starch from the tortillas: this is a
breakfast formula that satisfies me and keeps me going happily till
my morning snack. I haven’t always had breakfasts like this as an
internship student; I’ve had more squares of
baked oatmeal
than I can count, sometimes a double dose of the
whole meal muffins from
Power Plates
, sometimes toast if I can eat at home. Lately,
it’s been microwaved oatmeal at work. But when I have the option
of something savory and hearty and protein-dense, like this, I’ll
always take it.

Enjoy, friends, and see you later this week.

xo

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Vegan Chick’n Enchilada Breakfast Casserole
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The Full Helping.