Vegan Muffaletta Casserole
This vegan Muffaletta Casserole builds upon the famous New Orleans flavors with vegan deli meats, vegan provolone cheese and a delicious olive salad. All of this goodness is topped with a creamy, cheesy custard. The casserole bakes up wonderfully delicious and golden and crispy, and it makes a showstopping dish to serve family or guests. You can easily modify this recipe for a gluten-free, nut-free or low-carb diet.
Servings: 10 servings
For the olive salad
- 1 cup kalamata olives (or any black or green olives, pitted)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
- 2 roasted bell peppers (any color. Use jarred or homemade)
- ¼ medium onion (chopped. Or use 1 small shallot)
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 level tablespoons capers
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
For the creamy custard
- 2 cups nondairy milk (I used cashew milk but any creamy milk like oat milk or soy milk is fine)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion flakes (or onion powder)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Other ingredients for casserole
- 14 oz Italian loaf
- 30 vegan deli meat slices (use an assortment of flavors, if possible. I used a mix of hickory-smoked, oven-roasted and peppered deli slices from Tofurky. If you are soy-free or gluten-free see notes below).
- 10 slices vegan provolone
- 4 oz vegan mozzarella shreds
Make the creamy vegan custard and prep bread
Place all the ingredients for the custard in a blender or a bowl. Blend or whisk until everything is well incorporated. (Expert tip: If whisking by hand, add the cornstarch and other dry ingredients to the bowl first. Drizzle in about a quarter cup of the milk, whisk until everything has mixed and there are no lumps, then add the rest of the milk.)
Cut the bread into 20 slices.
Layer the casserole
Coat the bottom of a four- or five-quart baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Layer in half the slices of bread (10 slices). You can either overlap them, as I did, or lay them down flat.
Spread the olive salad on the bread. If you overlapped the slices, get in there and make sure you cover the entire slice with the salad. If you have some salad left over reserve it to layer it on later.
Layer on the deli slices. I folded each slice in half and placed it on top of each slice of bread, for a total of three deli slices for every slice of bread.
Layer on the cheese. Again, I folded each slice in half and layered it on top of the deli slices.
Sprinkle any remaining olive salad over the deli slices.
Add a final layer of the remaining 10 slices of bread.
Pour the vegan custard over the bread, making sure you soak every slice. It is best to wait at least an hour after this to ensure the custard has soaked into the bread. You can help this process along by placing a similar-sized baking dish on top of the bread to weigh it down.
Bake the casserole
About 15 minutes before you are ready to bake the casserole preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees Celsius.
Sprinkle the tops of the bread with the vegan mozzarella cheese shreds. Or, if using vegan butter instead of the cheese, melt it and drizzle it over the tops of the bread.
Place the casserole in a preheated oven and bake 45 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread looks puffy. In the last two minutes of baking turn on the broiler to help the bread turn crispy and the cheese turn golden.
Sprinkle the top with more chopped parsley, if you desire. Let the casserole stand 15 minutes before serving.
- Gluten-free or soy-free? Use a gluten-free sandwich bread for the casserole and make sure you buy gluten-free and soy-free deli meats. I used Tofurky slices which do have gluten and soy, but Green Slice and Quorn, among others, make a variety of soy-free, gluten-free, vegan deli meats.
- Low-carb? Use a low-carb bread--there are so many on the market now and they are quite amazing. I especially love the Old Tyme Italian 647 loaf for this recipe.
- Nut-free? I used cashew milk in the recipe but if you are nut-free you can use oat milk or soy milk or any other creamy non dairy milk.
- You can easily turn this recipe into a sandwich--just skip the custard and layer on the sandwiches as you would the casserole. Layer the olive salad over a slice of buttered bread, followed by the deli slices, the cheese, and finally another layer of buttered bread.
- Store casserole leftovers in the fridge for up to three days in the baking dish wrapped in cling wrap. You can also transfer the casserole to a container and refrigerate it.
- For longer storage, wrap the prepared casserole in freezer-safe wrap and freeze for up to three months. Thaw to room temperature and bake. Leftovers can be frozen in a freezer-safe container, also up to three months.
- To make this recipe ahead, you can assemble the casserole, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to two days before baking. You can also assemble the casserole, wrap with freezer-safe wrap and freeze. Thaw completely before baking.
Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 394mg | Potassium: 407mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 2mg