Have you ever had traditional cassoulet? It’s the ultimate indulgent comfort food and is seriously to die for – duck confit, succulent pulled pork ragu, sausage, creamy French beans. It also takes days to make from scratch and is obviously pretty heavy on the meat, which I love sometimes, but mostly try to eat a little heavier on the veggies. So I set out to make a vegetarian cassoulet that was still delicious, rich, comfort food but could be made any night of the week.
The result of my vegetarian cassoulet quest is this eggplant and mushroom cassoulet. It’s mostly pretty humble ingredients that you probably have in your pantry already – cannellini beans, canned diced tomatoes, dried thyme, white wine. There is one specialty ingredient though that really takes this dish to superstar level and that ingredient is truffle butter. It adds richness and flavor complexity that turns this vegetarian cassoulet into ultimate vegetarian comfort food.
If you’re not a mushroom fan, well, then this dish is probably not for you. But if you are, then the layers of mushroom flavor from both the truffle butter and the sautéed mushrooms will make you very happy. The eggplant and white beans add both creamy texture and heft to this vegetarian cassoulet, making it a super hearty and filling meal.
Even though this vegetarian cassoulet will take you literally days less to make than regular cassoulet, you still need to give it some time to bake in the oven so the flavors can meld together. So just a heads up that you should start making this about an hour and a half before you’re planning to eat. It’s super easy though and only takes about a half hour of active prep time. After that it’s just timing the cassoulet in the oven and talking yourself out of a frenzy over how good it smells!
Looking for more vegetarian meal ideas? Check out these recipes (substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth in the soup recipes):
Vegetarian Cassoulet with Mushrooms and Eggplant
- 3 oz truffle butter
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 lb. cremini mushrooms sliced
- 1 medium eggplant peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
- 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes well drained
- 1/2 c. white wine
- 1 c. fresh breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp. salted butter melted
- Parmesan cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Melt the truffle butter in a large dutch oven or overproof pot over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with a large pinch of salt, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and eggplant and stir until softened and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
- Stir the cannellini beans and thyme into the mushroom and eggplant mixture. Taste for salt and add more if it needs it. Arrange the tomatoes evenly on top and pour the wine over everything. Place in the oven uncovered and bake for 30 minutes.
- Toss the breadcrumbs with the 3 tbsp. of melted butter. Remove the cassoulet from the oven and sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over the top. Return the cassoulet to the oven for another 30 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp.
- Serve the cassoulet topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.