Tender summer veggies and chickpeas are simmed up in a Cajun spiced sauce to create this hearty and flavorful vegan étouffée.
I have no idea what I’m doing. Just a warning. I’ve never had an authentic version of étouffée, which would normally be made with some type of shellfish, or maybe sausage. I made mine with zucchini and chickpeas. I’m sure a few southern home cooks will see this and cringe, but you know what? It was delicious! Authentic or not, this stuff was good enough to give me a wicked mouth burn because I couldn’t hold back on the taste testing. So there.
A few things I’m pretty sure you will find in an authentic version of this dish are celery, peppers, and in some cases, tomatoes. I decided to roll with the veggies, and since zucchini season is nearly here, throw in some of those too. The chickpeas are there for protein, but if you’re into vegan sausage, chop up a few links and throw them in.
I ended up loving this dish, way more than I even thought I would. It’s spicy, but just enough to enhance the flavor of the veggies and herbs. Definitely not enough to set your mouth on fire (husband confirmed). Feel free to load up on the hot sauce, if that’s what you like, and definitely load up on the fresh parsley and scallions.
Vegan Summer Vegetable Étouffée
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into quarters and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-14 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, with juices
- 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper hot sauce
- 1 tbsp. vegan Worchestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- salt to taste
- cooked rice
- fresh parsley
- chopped scallions
- additional cayenne pepper hot sauce
Place oil into a large pot and pace over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and bring to a gentle simmer, whisking frequently. Allow to cook until the mixture darkens slightly in color and gives off a nutty aroma, about 15 minutes.
Add celery, onion, zucchini, bell pepper and garlic to the pot. Raise heat to medium and toss a few times to mix and coat the veggies. Allow to cook just until they soften up a bit, about 5 minutes, watching the pot closely and flipping the mixture frequently.
Add chickpeas, broth, tomatoes, hot sauce, Worchestershire sauce, bay leaves, paprika, thyme, cayenne and black pepper to the pot. Raise heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to cook until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves and season with salt to taste.
Divide rice among bowls and top with étouffée. Sprinkle generously with scallions, parsley and additional hot sauce, if desired. Serve.
Nutrition information does not include accompaniments.