Now that fall is absolutely, officially here, it’s comfort food time. This is a big huge problem for me, because I am a hardcore carbivore. And carbs make the best comfort food. We can agree on this, no?
One way that I get through my carb cravings is to embrace them – in the form of vegetables. I figure, if the bulk of my meal is veggies, then a little bit of biscuit on top won’t be too bad, right? Ok, a lot of biscuit. But still…this is logic I like. Are you with me on this? I knew you were. High-five for being super cool people.
I really wanted to call this skillet bake a pot pie. But it’s not. There’s no actual pie crust. There’s filling, and a biscuit topping. If someone else has a better name for this than Roasted Vegetable Skillet Bake, I’m all ears. All I know is Michael licks the bowl clean before he gets seconds (or thirds), so whatever it’s called, you should make it, and eat it. So let’s do this thing.
First, you’re going to crank up your oven to 425F. While it’s preheating, wash and chop a whole heap of vegetables into bite size pieces. If you use broccoli (and you should), cut the florets a bit larger than everything else because they shrink down as they roast. Mmmmmmm…roasted broccoli…so good. Ok, I’m back from my broccoli reverie.
I also sneak a few garlic cloves onto the pan so they can roast along with the veggies. You’ll use them in the sauce, which is made from, wait for it, vegetables. Cauliflower, to be specific. And, bonus, you can roast the cauliflower in the skillet that you’ll use for the finished dish! Two cool things about this. The cauliflower gets these roasty toasty brown spots from the cast iron skillet, and it’s one less dish to wash. SCORE TIMES TWO.
Ok, so your veggies are roasting away in the oven, and it’s time to make the biscuit topping. This couldn’t be simpler. Whole wheat flour, coconut oil, baking powder, salt, non-dairy milk (or yogurt mixed with water). I also add nutritional yeast for some extra savory flavor, but it’s totally optional. Since coconut oil is pretty soft to start out with, I mix the dry ingredients together and then add the coconut oil and stash it in the fridge for 5 minutes or so. If you’ve made biscuits before, you know it’s important to keep everything cold before it goes into the oven, so this step is optional but helpful.
This is really getting exciting. When the vegetables are done roasting, it’s time to make the sauce and put this bad boy together. Transfer the cauliflower and roasted garlic into a blender, and add silken tofu, cashews, salt, and nutritional yeast. Blend that sucker up until it’s smooth and creamy. You totally don’t have to use the tofu, by the way, I just like getting that extra protein in there. You could add chickpeas to the vegetables for a different protein option. Or heck, just run with the all vegetables thing. Your kitchen, your rules.
Now that the vegetables have cooled down, you can move them into the skillet and then drown em’ in the sauce. Stir everything up carefully, and taste the mixture for seasoning. Add salt and pepper until it tastes just right to you.
Now take your biscuit flour and coconut oil mixture out of the fridge, and stir in the non-dairy milk until just combined. I love using a danish dough whisk for this, because it helps keep the biscuit dough for being overmixed. Nobody likes a tough biscuit. Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the top of the veggie/sauce mixture, and press out lightly with your fingers. It probably won’t cover the whole surface, and that’s ok. We’re going for rustic here.
Back into the oven with you, skillet! It’s time to bake! 450F for 15 minutes, and your life is about to get a whole lot better.
Patience is a virtue, and tastebuds are for tasting, so do them a favor and wait a few minutes to dive into this deliciousness. I know it’s going to be tough, but I believe in you. Maybe make a kale salad while you wait. Too many vegetables for one dinner? I get it.
While we’re waiting, let’s talk about this cast iron skillet thing. I know some of you are reading this wondering, “Beth, do I really need a cast iron skillet to make this skillet bake?” Well, no. You can use a good old fashioned 13×9 casserole dish and everything will be just fine. But I must implore you to give this pan a try in your kitchen. I use it every day, and it’s incredibly versatile. And it will last FOREVER. I don’t think you can say that for anything else that costs 25 bucks. (steps off soap box)
So what do you say? Ready for some healthy comfort food? Make this veggie-filled skillet bake and let me know how it goes! Post here in the comments, or tag @eatwithinyourmeans on Instagram. It truly lights up my life when you make these recipes and tell me about it, so thank you in advance!
P.S. The skillet also makes a great weapon. You’re welcome.
Roasted Vegetable Skillet Bake
For the Vegetables
- 3-4 cups broccoli florets
- 2 large carrots (sliced into coins or half-moons)
- 2 stalks celery (sliced)
- 2 medium yukon gold potatoes (cut into small chunks)
- 16 ounces crimini or button mushrooms (halved or quartered)
- 1/2 onion (chopped)
For the sauce
- 1 head cauliflower (broken into florets)
- 5-6 cloves garlic (skins left on)
- 12 ounce package silken tofu (such as Mori-Nu (firm or soft))
- 1/2 cup raw cashews*
- 3 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt (I love Herbamare)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the biscuit topping
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (I’ve used pastry flour and bread flour (both with good results))
- 1/3 cup refined coconut oil or non-dairy butter
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional but recommended)
- 1 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk**
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Place all vegetables except cauliflower and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet in a single layer
- Place cauliflower florets and garlic cloves in a 12” cast iron skillet or another large baking sheet
- Roast all the vegetables and garlic cloves for 30 minutes
- While vegetables are roasting, begin to prepare the biscuit topping
- Mix flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl
- Cut in coconut oil or vegan butter until crumbly (some large pieces are ok)
- Place bowl in the fridge while vegetables are roasting
- After the vegetables are roasted, add the cauliflower and garlic cloves into a blender and put the remaining vegetables into the skillet
- Set the oven temperature to 450F
- Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, salt, and water to the blender and puree until smooth
- Add the sauce to the skillet and mix to combine with the vegetables, adding salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the biscuit flour mixture from the refrigerator and stir in the non-dairy milk until just combined
- Drop biscuit dough by spoonfuls on to the top of the vegetable mixture in the skillet
- Press dough out gently with wet fingers until most of the surface is covered with the dough
- Bake for 15 minutes at 450F until the biscuit topping is golden brown
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving, if you can wait that long