Soybean Casserole

I make tofu just about every weekend, and last night I dutifully began soaking my soybeans as per usual. Today, though, I found that I just didn’t have it in me to make the tofu. It’s not hard, and I’ve done it so often I can do it in my sleep, but for some reason I just really did not feel like making tofu. That, however, left me with a bowl of soaked soybeans, which I then decided would have to be the basis of dinner. I’ve made barbecued soybeans before, and those are good, but doing that would have required making another dish or two to round out the meal and I was really lacking in motivation. I’ve also made a kimchi soybean dish that is really good, but alas, we don’t have any kimchi right now. So I did a bit of internet sleuthing for ideas (there are surprisingly few whole soybean recipes in all my cookbooks) and ran this one by Mark. He liked the sound of it, so I have veganized it for him, and by extension, you!

Soybean Casserole

1/2 cup bulgur
2 cups vegan “beef” broth, divided
1 onion, chopped
pinch fennel seeds
1/4 tsp celery seeds
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 carrot, grated
red pepper flakes, to taste
sherry, wine, broth, or water for deglazing (optional)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked soybeans (this is probably about 1 can if you are lazy)
hot sauce, to taste (optional) (I used garlic-flavoured Tabasco)
salt or seasoning salt, to taste (I used Vegeta)
vegan cheese, for topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bring 1 cup of the broth to a boil and add to the bulgur in a bowl. Cover and set aside.

I had frozen rice in the freezer. This is how I defrosted it: I sat it in some boiling water (I love that electric kettle!).

Grate the carrot.

Chop the onion and bell pepper; mince or press the garlic.

If you have an oven-safe Dutch oven that you’d like to bake the casserole in, use that. Otherwise, you can use a skillet and a separate casserole dish. In either case, heat some oil in the Dutch oven or skillet, then add the onions, fennel seeds, and celery seeds and saute until soft.

Add the bell pepper and garlic and saute for another few minutes.

Add the carrots and fry for a bit, using sherry or wine (or broth or water) to deglaze the pot if necessary.

If you are using a Dutch oven, add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. If you used a skillet, scrape the contents into a casserole dish and then add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Optionally, top with shredded or grated vegan cheese and return to the oven. The Whole Foods near me have started carrying Sheese, which I am super excited about, so I used a bit of that:

Bake another few minutes and remove from oven again.

It ain’t pretty, but it was easy to make and tasty!

By the way, instead of the bulgur, you could use packaged vegan “ground beef” (mince), which I think would have been pretty good if you like that sort of stuff. I’ll probably try that next time, although the bulgur method is the more healthy.


  1. cassaundra Said,

    January 25, 2010 @ 12:19 am

    you are incredible!

    how do you do it?!

  2. Jes Said,

    January 25, 2010 @ 9:11 am

    Wow, I wonder why someone ever decided in the first place to make a soybean & hamburger casserole–what a weird combo! The bulgur/soybeanness looks and sounds great (photogenic or not).

  3. Yeaaahtoast Said,

    January 26, 2010 @ 11:26 pm

    I’m looking for a good bulgur recipe, I’ve never made it before.
    Sorry to sidetrack but wat type of amazingness is your chef’s block? Where did you get that? Are those cups removable??? I’m flabbergasted, it’s beautiful!

  4. renae Said,

    January 27, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    Cassaundra – thank you!

    Jes – I thought it was a weird combination, too, but I think maybe the idea of the soy was to stretch the meat to keep the meal cheap?

    Yeaaahtoast – The chopping block is from Sur La Table: The prep bowls are indeed removable. It’s an expensive block, but after going through a few cheaper ones that warped and cracked, it’s worth it. And I love just sweeping stuff into the bowls. 🙂

  5. Josiane Said,

    February 3, 2010 @ 11:37 am

    There is indeed a definite lack of recipes using whole soybeans… I used to cook with them, improvising recipes along the way, but I haven’t done so ever since I’ve started making my own soymilk (maybe because I get the feeling I’m using enough soybeans as it is, now), but your casserole looks delicious. I’ll keep it in mind for the next time I feel like cooking with soybeans!

  6. That Other Mike Said,

    February 10, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

    Hi, I’m a long-term lurker and reader – I really enjoy your stuff.

    What brought me out of lurkdom was the idea of barbecue soybeans… Do you have a recipe for that?

  7. renae Said,

    February 10, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    Hi That Other Mike,

    I think both The New Farm Cookbook and Simply Heavenly! have Barbecue Soybeans recipes, both of which are, essentially, just soybeans cooked in a tomato-based barbecue sauce (tomato sauce/sugar/vinegar/garlic/onion/allspice).

    Okay…I just looked up the recipe in both cookbooks and Simply Heavenly seems to have stolen from New Farm again – their recipes are nearly identical! Anyway, this is the recipe:

  8. That Other Mike Said,

    February 11, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

    Oh, Ok, that sounds do-able, thanks. I was just wondering if there was some kind of special exotic way that I was missing out on 🙂

  9. That Other Mike Said,

    February 11, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

    Oh, Ok, that sounds do-able, thanks. I was just wondering if there was some kind of special exotic way that I was missing out on 🙂

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