I’m pretty sure this casserole embodies the idea of winter comfort food. It’s creamy, full of pasta, gooey cheese, and caramelized onions.
Basically, I want to swim in it.
This past week in Chicago has been pretty brutal in terms of weather. We started off with snow (yay!) which quickly turned to bone chilling cold and now we’re gearing up for more snow. And then another deep freeze.
Hibernation mode activated.
Do yourself a favor and put together this casserole. It will make the worst of winter feel a little better and hey, cheese + pasta is always a good combo. You can speed up this recipe by making your caramelized onions ahead of time in the slow cooker (my favorite method because it’s mostly hands off) and buying frozen gnocchi. Then all you have to do is make the cheese and the cream sauce and throw it all together.
Now, I’m going to go make all the casserole, put on my warmest sweater/fuzziest socks, and stay in my apartment until spring! 🙂
French Onion Casserole
- 1 batch of No Mozzarella Mozzarella (or 2-3 cups of regular mozzarella)
- 2 cups of caramelized onions
- 1 batch of gnocchi, cooked (8-12 oz if you’re buying frozen)
- 5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 4 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp pepper (more to taste)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
- You can make the first three ingredients ahead of time in order to cut down the total time it takes to put this casserole together. Here are some instructions to caramelize onions if you don’t want to use my slow cooker method.
- Preheat the oven to 425 and lightly oil the bottom and sides of a large casserole dish. Layer the gnocchi on the bottom and then evenly spread the onions on top.
- Add the 5 tablespoons of oil to a large pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for one minute.
- Add the arrowroot powder and whisk to fully incorporate. It’s going to look a little gloppy but that is ok. Keep cooking and whisking for about two minutes.
- While constantly whisking, pour in the coconut milk and liquid smoke. Cook until the milk starts to thicken, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- The sauce might look a little lumpy but that’s ok. Pour it into a blender, add 1 tsp of fresh time, and blend until smooth, about one minute. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Pour the sauce over the onions and gnocchi. Take the mozzarella and spread it over the top of everything. It doesn’t need to completely cover it but try to get most of it covered. Sprinkle the parsley and remaining thyme on top.
- Bake uncovered for 15 minutes and then turn the oven to broil and bake for another 5 minutes or until everything is bubbling and the top is brown.
- Pull the casserole out and let it cool for 5 minutes until you dig in and enjoy!