Vegan Shipwreck Casserole is a nice variation on an old heirloom recipe. Generations of people have grown up eating this casserole dish. Living in Oklahoma until recently, I had never heard of Shipwreck Casserole. I polled my Oklahoma and Texas friends and they hadn’t ever heard of it, either. As far as I can tell, it’s a southern and eastern U.S. recipe? Maybe you can tell me in comments if your family made it and what part of the US you grew up in.
The recipe is as varied as the people who grew up on it. Each family seems to have put their own stamp on it. Some kids hated it and some loved it, but in most households where it was made it seems Shipwreck Casserole was a regular dish. I thought it sounded good, along the lines of a shepherd pie quickie casserole: easy to assemble, not too spicy, nothing to offend anyone’s taste buds.
The recipe I decided to veganize was made with ground beef and canned tomato soup. I’ve been eyeballing Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground, a vegan meat substitution, for a while now. This recipe was perfect for trying it. This variation on the recipe allows for taco seasoning added to the meat. That would work with the Beefless Ground, too. Beans would also make a tasty substitution for the beef. Both would add some good chewy texture to the casserole.
I didn’t have any canned or carton tomato soup around, so I used tomato sauce, adding a little almond milk with the water, for a soup consistency. I thought I would take a shortcut by using precooked rice, but that didn’t shorten the cooking time any. The other vegetables need the entire cooking time to soften, so no time was saved with the rice.
If you choose to precook your rice, I prefer to use this method for cooking my rice. It removes 50% to 80% of the arsenic found in rice. If you have time to soak the rice overnight, the cooking time is shortened and you will be making the healthiest rice you can.
The recipe needs a little more “oomph” in the spice and herb department. Next time, I’m going to add some cayenne pepper and probably some garlic to it, or I’ll add the taco seasoning on the veggie meat or beans. You can also add corn, mushrooms (canned or fresh) and probably just about any vegetable you’d like!