Main Courses

Full Casserole on a Sheet

One rule my wife and I have picked up for pot-luck suppers in our whole-food plant-based decade is “bring an entree.” We vegans seem to live on sides and salads, but in a communal room with a table of platters, we look around and ask, “where’s the main dish for us?”

We quickly figured out that if you want a meatless protein focus at a community meal, best to bring it yourself. We’ve brought a variety over the years, usually a favorite home entree, doubled.

The one we shared at a Friendsgiving last Thursday was a hit. I had Googled earlier, seeking a complement to traditional Thanksgiving dishes. The concept of a casserole of sausage, green beans and potatoes kept grabbing my attention. Then I wondered about sheet-panning to intensify flavors. Herewith is an adaption of “Sheet Pan Sausage, Potatoes and Green Beans” from BigDeliciousLife. It’s really ready in under an hour!

A few notes at the top:

Any kind of vegan sausage is fine, link or patty, even homemade. For this potluck, I chose a package of Smoked Apple & Sage Plant-Based Sausage by Field Roast, from Walmart.

I used Idaho russets this week as I had a sack of them, although the recipes found on Google preferred yellow (gold) or red taters. Thus any variety of potato will be great, using what you have on hand keeps this to a pantry meal.

Speaking of on hand, I keep a couple of bags of frozen string beans as a staple; I like the long, slender “fine” green beans, but the thicker “cut” variety has fans as well. Of course fresh is appealing, trimmed to your preference and parcooked / blanched / steamed 3-5 minutes to take the raw edge off. Canned beans are too mushy and gray.

You need a baking pan where the foods can be spread out to brown and roast, when if too crowded they simply will steam. One half-size sheet pan or two quarter-size sheet pans are perfect for the amounts here. There is no need for oil — minimal oil is a WFPB standard — except perhaps a small amount for flavor, especially if you line the pan(s) with parchment paper.

  • 2 to 2.5 pounds potatoes, cleaned and trimmed but unpeeled, cut into bite-size 1-inch pieces
  • 1 10- to 16-ounce package frozen green beans, microwaved 5 minutes to thaw and partially cook
  • 10 to 16 ounces vegan sausage, cut into bite-size half-inch to 1-inch slices or sections
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian spice blend
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced, OR 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder or dehydrated granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt to start, plus more to taste along with pepper
  1. Set oven to 425 degrees to preheat.
  2. If preferring that oil, mix it with potato chunks in a large bowl.
  3. Spread potatoes on parchment-lined sheet pan and bake uncovered 15-20 minutes, to give them a head start.
  4. Mix thawed to partially cooked beans with the garlic and spice blend in a bowl.
  5. Remove pan from oven, stir potatoes a bit then move them to one side of the half-sheet pan. If using quarter-sheet pans, just stir the potatoes and return to the oven.
  6. Place the sausage pieces and, separately, green beans in the opened half of the half-sheet or on their own parchment-lined quarter sheet. Bake until the potatoes and green beans are just tender and the sausage heated through and slightly browned, another 15-20 minutes.
  7. Now add salt and pepper to taste. (Adding salt before roasting hampers any crisping or browning.)
  8. On the half-sheet pan or in a large bowl or casserole (3-4 quart), combine the potatoes with the sausage and string beans.
  9. Serve immediately or can be reheated conveniently.

Serves 6-10

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