This Mediterranean inspired Easy Vegan Casserole with Peppers & Tofu makes a delicious, gluten free main or side dish, or a quick, healthy bite between meals. Smoky, rich and with a bit of heat, this simple casserole comes together in under 40 minutes.
I haven’t posted a main dish in a while so today on the blog a super Easy Vegan Casserole with Peppers & Tofu recipe. This is a nutritious, satisfying vegan dish with a Mediterranean twist. I added green olives for a bit of extra savouriness, smoked paprika for more depth and a sprinkle of sunny oregano. This is a happy dish, perfect to make when it’s cold and rainy outside!
Easy vegan tomato sauce
The tomato sauce is very simple yet bursting with flavour! It’s tangy and sweet, with a bit of heat from the chilli and warmth from the smoked paprika. It’s also incredibly quick and easy to make. It needs only about 15 minutes to cook, so by the time the peppers are ready to come out of the oven (more on that below) you’ll be ready to assemble the dish.
I used silken tofu as opposed to the more popular, regular tofu as I wanted to enjoy this vegan casserole over a couple of days. Unlike regular tofu, silken tofu doesn’t get tough and rubbery when left to cool. Silken tofu is actually completely fabulous – it’s silky smooth, soft and fluffy, with a melt-in-your- mouth effect, which is just gorgeous in this easy casserole recipe. Silken tofu is a bit like cheese, except it doesn’t melt – it tastes fantastic with the sweet peppers and the rich tomato sauce.
A word of caution when using silken tofu. It is very delicate and will crumble easily so do not be tempted to press it and take care when cutting it. I used a melon baller to create round shapes but you can simply cut it into cubes or large chunks.
Another silken tofu recipe I’ve posted on the blog is this Easy Vegan Caesar Dressing, Check out also these 2 dessert recipes: Healthy Mango Mousse with Sweet Potato and Healthy Vegan Chocolate Banana Mousse.
Prepping the peppers
As for the peppers, just use a sweet variety of your choice. I used pointed red peppers, which are very sweet, plus a few mini peppers (mainly to add more colour to my dish). But red or orange bell peppers would be fine too.
The peppers need to be pre-roasted before adding into the casserole, but this is easy to do. Simply cut each pepper in half, remove the seeds and roast the peppers in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the skin. Your peppers are now ready to add into the casserole.
Assembling the casserole
Once your tomato sauce is ready (you can make it whilst the peppers are in the oven), pour it into the casserole dish, place the peppers, tofu and olives on top, drizzle with a little oil and bake for 15 minutes.
This vegan casserole is super versatile and can be enjoyed with a range of ingredients including rice, pasta, quinoa, couscous or a slice of your favourite bread. You can serve is as a main or side dish. It makes a perfect quick mid-week meal but is also great for weekend entertaining.
More easy vegan casseroles
This Easy Vegan Casserole with Peppers & Tofu makes a delicious, gluten free main or side dish, or a quick, healthy bite between meals.
- 3 pointed red peppers or red bell peppers or sweet mini peppers
- 150 g silken tofu
- 1.5 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 large red onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- ½ red chilli finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 15 green olives pitted
- 1 teaspoon each oregano and smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. Cut the peppers in half lengthways (if you are also using mini peppers just cut the ends off and remove the seeds). Arrange the peppers, cut side down, on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush with a little oil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for a couple of minutes and remove the skin if possible.
While the peppers are in the oven prepare the tomato sauce. In a saucepan heat up 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the bay leaf, garlic, chilli and onion, stir and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, oregano, smoked paprika, season to taste, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour the sauce into a medium size oven dish (6-7 cm deep), arrange the roasted peppers on top (pour over any juices from the baking tray) as well as the green olives, pressing in gently.
Gently remove any excess water from the tofu (but do NOT try to squeeze it out), then either chop into large chunks or use a melon baller to create round shapes (do this very gently as the tofu will crumble easily). Carefully place the tofu pieces over the peppers, drizzle with a little oil and bake in a preheated oven at 425 F/ 220 C/ gas mark 7 for 15 minutes. Serve with rice, pasta, quinoa or flat bread.
Preparation time includes the time needed to roast the peppers.
Pin Easy Vegan Casserole with Peppers & Tofu
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RECIPE LINK PARTIES
I am bringing this Easy Vegan Casserole with Peppers & Tofu to #CookBlogShare, which I have the pleasure of hosting this week – if you’ve got a recipe this is the place to show it off! Also sharing with Recipe of the Week. Fiesta Friday, which I am co-hosing this week with Laurena @ Life Diet Health.