Sequestration Meal #322


More tiny casseroles. This is the biggest one that fits into my toaster oven (it's a tiny toaster oven!) and what you see here would constitute two servings. Making comfort food casseroles while under a heat advisory without having to heat up my apartment with my oven makes me feel particularly smug. So I made a vegan version of chicken spaghetti with the mushroom soup I still had (there's a tiny bit left, still, too!), a bit of chicken-style seitan I had in my freezer, and some veggies. I topped it with Daiya cheddar shreds and some buttery cracker crumbs, and it was amazing.

At some point in my childhood, I discovered that there were people in the world who ate spaghetti with something other than meat-and-tomato sauce. My mother's spaghetti dinners were predictable and unwavering: Brown ground beef with a chopped onion, add a jar of marinara sauce, stir until hot, serve over spaghetti with garlic toast on the side and a generous amount of cheese from a green can. I probably ate this once a week for about 20 years.

But teeny me went with my family for dinner with another family, when I think I was probably about eight years old, and the matriarch of that household served a dish I have since learned is a common one in some parts of the United States: chicken spaghetti. It blew my mind. It was creamy. It had chicken and vegetables in it. Tomatoes were nowhere to be seen, but there were red flecks that on my adult reflection I realize were probably pimentos.

Here's to the 20th century. It gave us so many interesting foods. Based on the research I've done, it appears that chicken spaghetti may have been the invention of a woman who ran a boarding house in Indianola, Mississippi. In 1987, her son is given credit for having introduced the world to it via a recipe in Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking. But plenty of people had eaten it already and versions appeared in print much earlier than Claiborne's book. Obviously, it wasn't vegan.

If you want to make your own vegan chicken spaghetti, it's a pretty easy process. Cook your spaghetti noodles while making the sauce. The sauce should effectively be a white sauce with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and other veggies you may want (I put in garlic, carrots, and some broccoli from the freezer to round it out), and you'll want to add cheese (I added a slice of non-dairy American cheese and some Daiya cheddar shreds). Mix this sauce with the spaghetti and some sort of prepared chicken substitute (seitan or soy curls will work well), adding some pasta cooking liquid if needed to adjust consistency. If you put it into casserole form (which is really the best way!), grease a casserole dish and put the spaghetti mixture in there, then top with shredded non-dairy cheese. If you want to take it to the next level, add buttery cracker crumbs (or bread crumbs, or French fried onions, what-have-you). Bake at 375 until bubbly, the cheese is melted, and your crumb topping is golden brown.


  1. I love your tiny casseroles. Just calling them tiny casseroles, so cute! I think here 'spag bol' was definitely the spaghetti main stay growing up. I like that there are so many more ways you can enjoy spaghetti.

    1. Yes! So many ways.

      Tiny casseroles have the disadvantage of not having as many tasty leftovers, but in the summer I just have to adapt.

    2. I still have some very cute tiny casserole dishes that from when I lived on my own at uni. I don't have much cause to use them anymore because I am normally cooking for me and my family, but they are so cute and just right if I want to make a little something scaled down just for me.


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