Cheesy pasta casserole with sausage and greensAh, the casserole. It takes me back to potluck dinners at the Lutheran church, where The Covered Dish is something of an art form. You can bring this one that’s totally healthy (and secretly vegan), and no one will ever know. Hearty pasta, spicy chorizo, and healthy kale meld with a creamy cheesy sauce that bakes under a layer of cornbread crumbs. What could be better on a chilly Sunday evening?

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Oh, how I love, love, love The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook! Jo Stepaniak has done ALL the heavy lifting on perfecting dairy-free cheeses; nearly every one I’ve tried has been amazingly delicious! She’s graciously given me permission to use one of her recipes here, in this church-supper-style casserole recipe.

I combined finely shredded kale with soy chorizo, cooked the pasta, then poured over the sauce straight from the blender. Leftover cornbread that went stale in the freezer makes the crispy topping, which gets a quick dusting of minced cilantro before serving. This goes into the oven in about 15 minutes, and is Husband tested and approved!

Do you have a favorite casserole memory? Tell us about it in the comments!

Suitable for:
vegan, gluten-free, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:
low-sodium or migraine diets

All of our recipes are gluten-free, sugar-free, and made with plant-based ingredients to help you build a healthy life. Suitable for Meatless Monday. Look for midweek posts on meditation, service, and life lessons, helping you create inner balance.

Radiatore Cheesy Sausage Bake

Cheesy pasta casserole with sausage, greens, and cornbread crumb topping

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

Casserole

  • 8 ounces pasta (gluten-free) radiatore or rotini
  • 4 cups kale finely shredded (100 g)
  • 8 ounces soy chorizo (or quinrizo)
  • 2 pieces corn bread 3 ounces (about 90 g)

Cashew cheez sauce

  • 1/2 cup cashew butter (130 g)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1-1/2 tbsp miso light or chickpea
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 cup water (filtered or spring)

Instructions
 

Casserole

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/gas mark 4.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions, usually about 10 minutes. Make sure you use a big pot, a lot of water, and have it really boiling. I add a good spoonful of salt and a small splash of olive oil, which seems to help the gluten-free pasta's consistency.
  • Finely shred the kale after removing the tough stems. Saute the kale with the soy chorizo in a skillet with a small amount of oil while the pasta is cooking.
  • After taste-testing the pasta to make sure it's just cooked through but not too soft, drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
  • Make the Cashew Cheez Sauce.
  • Spray a heatproof casserole dish with cooking spray. Toss the pasta with the kale-chorizo mixture (I use the rinsed-out pasta pan for this), then pour over the cheez sauce. Toss until everything is well-coated. Pour into the prepared casserole dish.
  • Crumble the stale cornbread into crumbs, making an even layer on top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Finely chop some fresh cilantro and sprinkle over the top.

Cashew cheez sauce

  • Place all ingredients in the blender except the water and blend until a smooth consistency. Add water until you get a thin pourable sauce. It will thicken as it bakes, so don't make it too thick.

Notes

Per serving:
  • 275 calories
  • 14 g fat
  • 2 g saturated fat
  • 5 g monounsaturated fat
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 377 mg sodium
  • 252 mg potassium
  • 33 g carbohydrate
  • 5 g fiber
  • 2 g sugars
  • 10 g protein
  • 8 Weight Watchers Points Plus
Instead of cashew butter, I use 1/2 C. (100 g) raw cashews blended with 1/2 C. (125 ml) filtered water, and then add the other ingredients and just enough extra water to get the right consistency. I used the Ancient Grains "pagoda" pasta for this recipe.
Cashew Cheez Sauce
from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook
by Jo Stepaniak Used with permission