The leaves are changing, fall is officially upon us, and so is family dinner season. If you’re anything like me, as soon as that Thanksgiving dinner invite hits your inbox you are immediately thinking about what you should bring to wow your friends and family. Something beautiful and interesting or something a little more hearty and classic? And of course, how am I going to make it vegan? This vegan béchamel is the perfect marriage of both worlds – aromatic, creamy and timeless, yet unique and best of all…plant-based!
Depending on your circle, you may be the only plant-based eater at the table, so you’re going to need to blow their minds and also bring something hearty enough that you can eat in the event that vegan options are limited.
For the fragrant thanksgiving mushroom ground round sauce. Add your oil to a medium heated pan and cook your onion for around 5 minutes or until translucent. Add your garlic and cook for another 2 or so minutes. Add your thyme, sage, and seasoning. Taste. Then add your soy sauce, miso and your ground round (if you don’t have this then use a cup of lentils). Stir and coat everything with seasoning. Add your mushrooms and lemon and reduce heat to low. Pop on a lid and cook for around 20 minutes or until everything is nice and soft and not chewy (yes, mushrooms, I am talking to you). Set aside.
For the white sauce, add the oil to a pot on the stove and heat it at medium to high heat. As the oil heats, sift the flour and add to the pan stirring vigorously, don’t stop. Keep stirring and let it cook for a bit. Don’t let it burn and if it sticks to the pan then turn down the heat. Begin adding the milk, cup by cup, and stir using a whisk. Your head should be on medium-low and continue to add milk as it gradually thickens. Add milk till you get to the right thickness (you will probably notice bubbles developing).
Once you’ve reach your desired thickness, remove from heat and stir in your pumpkin, garlic thyme, sage, nutmeg and seasoning. Make sure you season it enough you could enjoy it on it’s own!
To assemble. Grab your favourite skillet. I used a 23cm one! Add a layer of bechamel (around a ladle), then some pasta (1/2 of it), then some ground sauce (1/2 of it) , then some bechamel (1/2 of what’s left), then some pasta (2/2 of it), then some sauce (2/2 of it) and then some bechamel (2/2 of it) and top with some parmesan cheese!
Bake in the oven, covered with foil for 25 minutes then uncovered for around 5! If you really want to amp things up then cook it on broil!
Serve hot with fresh sage and more cheese!
Leftover dish lasts in the fridge, in a tight sealed container for up to one week.
Leftover sauce lasts in the fridge, in a tight sealed container for up to 4-5 days.
Leftover white sauce lasts in fridge, in a tight sealed container for up to 2 days.
PIN THE BELOW IMAGE TO SAVE THIS RECIPE FOR LATER!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Bolthouse Farms.