This Cheesy Vegan Cauliflower Casserole is an irresistibly creamy and easy one-pan recipe. Featuring roasted cauliflower and a simple cashew cheese sauce, the side dish is finished with a layer of panko breadcrumbs for a delicious crunch!
Busy nights call for low-maintenance and comforting dishes. This Cheesy Vegan Cauliflower Casserole has it all! Plus, it packs in the veggies and flavor without missing a beat.
You don’t have to sacrifice flavor for nutrition in this cauliflower casserole. Cauliflower is loaded with fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K and C. A quick cashew cheese sauce is poured overtop and baked along with the cauliflower for an extra boost of protein and healthy fat. You’ll love the cheesy flavors, crunchy panko topping, and tender roasted cauliflower!
Like I said, this cheesy cauliflower casserole is so easy and very hands-off. There’s no need to steam the cauliflower first or cook the cheese sauce. It all roasts together in one casserole dish, giving you more time to focus on your other favorite vegan comfort foods, like Vegan Chili or Shepherd’s Pie. Yum!
- Cauliflower - Either chop an entire head of cauliflower into bite-sized pieces or buy pre-chopped florets to save time. Make sure to save some extra florets for buffalo cauliflower wings!
- Cashews - Raw, unsalted cashews are the base of the cheese sauce. Keep scrolling to find out how to make the vegan cheese sauce without cashews.
- Vegan chicken broth - I love using no chicken bouillon paste but regular vegetable broth will work as well.
- Soy milk - Or any other unsweetened non-dairy milk.
- Dairy free yogurt - For a hint of tang. Unsweetened plain coconut yogurt is best, while vegan sour cream is a good back up.
- Tapioca starch - This will help the cheese sauce thicken in the oven. If you don’t have tapioca starch, use arrowroot starch or cornstarch instead.
- Flavor boosters - Nutritional yeast, white vinegar, white miso, salt, and garlic salt will give the sauce its cheesy, savory flavors.
- Panko topping - Panko breadcrumbs are tossed with melted vegan butter and Italian seasonings to give the casserole a nice crunch.
How to make a vegan cauliflower casserole
- Roast the cauliflower: Add the cauliflower to a greased casserole dish and toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender.
- Make the cheese sauce: Blend all of the cheese sauce ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
- Prepare the breadcrumb topping: Pour the panko into a bowl. Add the melted butter and seasonings, then stir to combine.
- Bring it all together, then bake: Take the roasted cauliflower out of the oven and pour the cheese sauce evenly on top. Cover the dish with foil and bake. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top afterward and bake uncovered until brown and bubbly. Serve and enjoy! For full ingredients and instructions see printable recipe card below
Tips for success
- Nut free vegan cheese sauce: Substitute the cashews for 1 cup of your favorite grated vegan cheese.
- To make the cheese sauce even cheesier, add in about ¼ cup of shredded vegan cheese or extra nutritional yeast.
- Roast the cauliflower until it’s almost fork tender. It can become too soft or soggy if roasted too long.
- Save time by steaming the cauliflower florets instead.
- This recipe can be made with broccoli florets instead or a mix of broccoli and cauliflower.
- Leave the panko topping off if you’d like to keep the casserole gluten free and low carb.
- The best way to make this easy casserole taste its best is to top it with fresh parsley, crumbled vegan bacon, and vegan parmesan cheese!
Make ahead and storing
Make ahead: The vegan cheese sauce can be blended 1 or 2 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge. If it thickens, blend the sauce 1 to 3 tablespoons of broth or water to help it thin out. The cauliflower florets can also be roasted ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 day.
Storing: The baked casserole and leftovers can be kept covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing: Cover the casserole dish in foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
More healthy vegan side dishes
Enjoy everyone! Happy Day! Please feel free to comment below and give this recipe a rating. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!Print