I grew up not far from Stouffer’s headquarters in northeastern Ohio so my family was well-versed in their products. My favorites were macaroni and cheese, chili mac, lasagna, and especially turkey tetrazzini. Hmmm, those are all pretty heavy on the cheese sauce, now that I think about it! Mom kept a stash in the freezer for those nights when she worked too late to make something from scratch for dinner.
It’s been eons since I ate a serving of Stouffer’s turkey tetrazzini, but this recipe comes pretty close, even though it doesn’t include meat or dairy. The classic flavor is there. It has the added benefit of being oil-free….so I can eat a bigger serving without feeling guilty. For added authenticity, add a bread crumb topping and lightly broil before serving.
If you are thinking about making your own meat substitute, this recipe from 86Eats for Turkey Deli is outstanding. The recipe is easy, fail-proof, freezes well and isn’t filled with funky ingredients.
This easy, rich-tasting ultimate comfort food is reminiscent of a childhood favorite: Stouffer’s Turkey Tetrazzini. My healthier, lighter version is oil-free, but is still rich and creamy.
- 1/4 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked for a few hours to soften
- 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
- 1 Tbsp. liquid aminos
- 1 tsp. white miso paste
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. Trader Joe’s Mushroom & Co. Multipurpose Umami seasoning, optional
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chopped vegan turkey (I use this recipe)
- 12 ounces brown rice spaghetti, or your favorite pasta
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Vegan Parmesan cheese (I use this recipe)
Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring it up to a boil while you prepare the sauce.
Make the sauce
- Place the soaked cashews in the pitcher of a high-speed blender and add the broth through the sea salt. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. When velvety smooth, pour the mixture into a small saucepan and set the burner to medium heat.
- In a medium-sized sauté pan, pour a large splash of water or vegetable broth, add the onions, celery, mushrooms, and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until soft and most of the liquid has cooked out. Stir in the chopped vegan turkey and sauté just until warmed through. Scrape the mixture into the small saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a gentle boil to thicken the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain, and then return noodles to the large pot. Stir in the sauce mixture to make sure the noodles are well-coated. Divide between bowls/plates, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with vegan Parmesan cheese.
If you don’t plan on eating the full amount of pasta, I suggest only cooking the amount of noodles needed. Store the remainder of the sauce separately as the sauce and noodles, if stored together, can get gummy. Add liquid to the sauce when reheating in case it has gotten to thick.
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