Reuben Casserole

The following events have all occurred recently:

  • My second batch of sauerkraut finished fermenting.
  • I made my first batch of tempeh in about a month.
  • A package of cheddar Teese arrived on my porch.

I was therefore thinking about how to incorporate these items into my evening meal; after all, tempeh is best as fresh as possible, and I’d already opened the Teese to taste it. So let’s see: tempeh, sauerkraut, and “cheese”…what can I possibly make with that? Well the obvious answer, of course, is everyone’s favorite: reubens, but we didn’t have any bread and although Wegmans is right down the street, I’d already been there once today – and separately, so had Mark – and had no intentions of returning. So what I did instead was make a reuben casserole, which also allowed me to use up the 5 leftover lasagne noodles I’ve had in my cupboard forever. This was a win all around.

Reuben Casserole

4 ounces pasta, any sort (I broke up some whole wheat lasagne noodles)
6-8 ounces tempeh
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1/4 cup tomato sauce or ketchup (you may want to add a tiny bit of sugar if you use tomato sauce)
2 Tbsp pickle relish
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp Indian black salt (or sea salt)
juice of 1/2 lemon
shredded vegan cheese (cheddar Teese worked perfectly; a portion of the “cheese” recipe in this post or pimiento cheese would also be great)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the pasta; cook until al dente, then drain.

Admire my tempeh. I know I keep forcing you to look at pictures of my tempeh…I’m still always amazed when it turns out so well, and after the lackluster packaged stuff I had the other night, I’m so glad I finally got the hang of making it.

Chop the tempeh into bite-sized pieces.

Heat some oil in a skillet, then fry the tempeh pieces until beginning to brown.

Mix together the sour cream, tomato sauce or ketchup, relish, lemon juice, mustard, and salt.

If you are using a solid “cheese”, shred it.

In a medium-sized casserole dish, place the pasta, tossing it with a tiny bit of vegan margarine or oil.

Add the tempeh in a layer.

Top with the sauce …

… then the sauerkraut. (By the way, I made mine with caraway seeds this time; if yours is plain, you could toss some caraway seeds in with it.)

Top with the “cheese”.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes; remove lid, then bake 10 minutes longer.

It’s not the prettiest thing to photograph a serving of, but it sure was tasty!

Mark liked it a lot. So did I. As for that cheddar Teese, it’s okay, but quite frankly it’s no Cheezly. I didn’t like it by itself on crackers that much, while amazingly we can eat Cheezly that way. It did, however, melt nicer than cheddar Cheezly (though I find mozzarella Cheezly melts perfectly), and I think it would be good in grilled cheese sandwiches or maybe even a quick mac & cheese. I think its best use may well be topping casseroles like this one.

In other news, I woke up on Sunday with Locomotive Breath inexplicably stuck in my head, so I was rocking out to some Jethro Tull in the sunroom. When Mark popped in, the following ensued:

And in cat news, sometimes Brachtune looks like an owl. I took this picture of her and promptly had the Dead Kennedys’ I Am the Owl stuck in my head the rest of the day.

Brachtune is so gorgeous, I’ve often wondered why she doesn’t get a modeling career and support us for a change.


  1. kibbles Said,

    March 24, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

    I like Marks hair. It’s always seems to be different. And Brachtune IS beautiful, but how in the heck do you pronouce her name?!

  2. eatavegan Said,

    March 25, 2009 @ 2:34 am

    Reuben casserole — why has no one thought of this?! What an incredible idea… I will surely be making this as soon as I get my hands on some vegan cheese…

  3. renae Said,

    March 25, 2009 @ 10:20 am

    Kibbles, Brachtune is pronounced Brock-toon. She came with the name, but not the spelling: I rescued her from neighbors who were tired of owning her (bizarre, I know) and were going to take her to the pound. They were college kids (as was I) and had never even written her name down. So I made up the spelling, figuring it looked vaguely German (not that I had any reason to make her German). Also I had a friend – he referred to himself as the Mint Master – with a fetish for Brach’s mints, so I probably got the spelling from there.

    Eatavegan, this would have been just as good with a nutritional yeast sauce topping – I wouldn’t let a lack of commercial vegan cheese hold you back!

  4. Jes Said,

    March 25, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

    Reuben buddies 🙂 I love the casserole idea–everything is so much more tastier in casserole versions! Well, or comforting…but taste and comfort are often the same for me…

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