Corn Chip Casserole: Two Ways – Vegan and Omnivore Versions

Corn Chip Casserole: Two Ways - Vegan with Jackfruit and Reducetarian with Chicken

Today we’re making comfort food! Deliciously cheezy, mildly spicy, pseudo-Mexican comfort food that is. I call it pseudo-Mexican cause I have me a funny feeling that Corn Chip Casserole is not exactly traditional Mexican fare.

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You can make this recipe completely vegan/plant-based or you can make what I call the reducetarian version. Reducetarian is the name for people who are seeking to reduce their consumption of animal-based foods, for whatever reason.

The vegan version features jackfruit, which when shredded looks like shredded chicken or pork.

Corn Chip Casserole: Two Ways - Vegan with Jackfruit and Reducetarian with Chicken
Corn Chip Casserole: Two Ways – Vegan with Jackfruit and Reducetarian with Chicken

The reducetarian version contains chicken, but that’s not the part that we’re ‘reducing’ here. In this case, we’re eliminating the cheese-based sauce and replacing it with a plant-based cheeze sauce instead. This is a great way to dip your toe in the water with reducing your cheese consumption! If you like, you can use a little bit of dairy-based cheese as a final topper. Yes, I am suggesting that you combine cheeze and cheese — I do this all of the time.

Of course, a lot of families these days have diverse diets, maybe in your house there’s a vegan mom, a carnivore dad and vegetarian kids. If you’re living in a situation like that you can easily make both versions — other than the jackfruit versus the chicken, the rest is common ground. This, my friends, is what “eating together made easy” is all about!

Both recipes feature my 4 minute cheeze sauce mix, which is a super simple pantry staple consisting of 4 simple all-natural ingredients. You just add water to it to make cheeze sauce whenever you need it. Of you can just make a one-off version of the cheeze sauce. I provided instructions in the recipe.

Corn Chip Casserole: Two Ways - Vegan with Jackfruit and Reducetarian with Chicken
Corn Chip Casserole: Two Ways – Vegan with Jackfruit and Reducetarian with Chicken
Corn Chip Casserole: Two Ways - Vegan and Omnivore
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins

Corn Chip Casserole is an easy comfort-food meal that can be made vegan, using jackfruit, or omnivore friendly using chicken. The prep time is for the jackfruit version only and it's passive prep time. 

Course: dinner, lunch, side
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: 4 minute cheeze sauce recipe, comfort food, corn chip casserole, easy casserole, easy mexican food, jackfruit recipe
Diet: omnivore, reducetarian, vegan
Servings: 2 generous servings
Calories: 304 kcal
Author: Sylvia Eastman
For all versions
  • handful corn chips
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa (or green tomato salsa, salsa verde) or just use your favourite salsa
  • 1/2 cup small tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder (optional, for more heat)
  • 2/3 cup 4 minute cheeze sauce mix + 1 cup water {See recipe notes for link}
Optionally, if you don't have 4 minute cheeze sauce mix
  • 1/2 cup almond flour {also called almond meal, or ground blanched almonds}
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
If you are making the vegan (jackfruit) version
  • 300 grams packaged jackfruit {Do not buy the kind in syrup as that kind will be sweet.}
  • almond milk, for soaking jackfruit
  • salt, for soaking jackfruit
If you are making the chicken version
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

  2. If you are making the jackfruit version, drain the brine off the jackfruit.

    Put the jackfruit in a small bowl and pour on enough almond milk to cover it. Shake a few dashes of salt on it.

    Let this sit for about 30 minutes or so. This somewhat minimizes the fruity taste inherent in the jackfruit.

    Drain off the almond milk.

    Shred the jackfruit with a fork.

  3. Heat a small saucepan with 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the spices and shredded jackfruit or shredded chicken. Stir and cook for a few minutes, getting the spice mix coated all over the jackfruit/chicken. Turn off heat.

  4. Make the cheeze sauce by combining 4 minute cheeze sauce mix plus water OR the cheeze sauce ingredients and water in a blender. 

    Blend for one minute.

    Transfer to small saucepan, heat over medium heat, and stir until sauce is thickened and stretchy - 3 to 6 minutes. 

  5. Assemble in a baking dish. I used a 4 1/2 inch by 8 inch pan, about 4 cup capacity. 

    Put a layer of chicken/jackfruit, using about 1/3rd of the total amount.

    Spoon on about 2 tablespoons of salsa.

    Put in a layer of corn chips, breaking the chips if necessary. This does not have to be perfect coverage!

    Pour on about 1/3rd cup of cheeze sauce.

    Repeat the above steps 3 times.

    For the final layer, put any remaining corn chips and the tomatoes, cut side down

    If you have leftover cheeze sauce, pour that on.

    Optionally, you can add a few tablespoons of your cheeze/cheese of choice. Monterey Jack or cheddar would make great choices.

  6. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbling. 

    Enjoy with more salsa, some chimichurri, and/or nutritional yeast. And/or crunch up some extra corn chips and sprinkle those on top.

Recipe Notes

Storage and Reheating

You can store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge and reheat in a 250F oven until warmed through.

About 4 minute Cheeze Sauce Mix

This is just a pre-combined version of the cheese sauce ingredients, except the water. You can find the recipe for this awesome pantry staple here. I made the pantry-staple version because I was using the cheeze sauce so often, it just saved a bit of time. I make new recipes it frequently, so check back often. And I'd love to hear if you used it for the base for your own awesome creations. 

Nutritional Information

Nutrition information is an estimate and is based on the jackfruit version with no optional toppings. 

Nutrition Facts
Corn Chip Casserole: Two Ways - Vegan and Omnivore
Amount Per Serving
Calories 304 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 1045mg 44%
Potassium 388mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 11g 44%
Sugars 5g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 22.2%
Vitamin C 8.8%
Calcium 5.9%
Iron 10.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Corn Chip Casserole: Two Ways - Vegan with Jackfruit and Reducetarian with Chicken.
Corn Chip Casserole: Two Ways – Vegan with Jackfruit and Reducetarian with Chicken.

More cheeze please!

If you are looking for more cheezy recipes, check out Stovetop Green Bean Casserole, Easy Cheezy Broccoli Soup,  Cheezy Roasted Cauliflower with Smoked Almonds and Dates, hot chili grilled cheeze, and this awesome dairy-free spinach dip, 

I’ve got lots more cheezy recipes in the queue. I’ve made “4 minute cheeze” a category, so you can easily find the recipes on my site.

Say hello!

Scroll on down and say hello! I’d love to hear from you if you make this! And let me know if I can help you use 4 minute cheeze to simplify making your favourite cheeze/cheese based recipe.

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