This veggie-loaded Vegan Cauliflower Casserole is layered with ooey-gooey cheese, topped with buttery breadcrumbs and then baked to perfection. It's easy and delicious!
Autumn is right around the corner and that means it's time for everything warm, comforting and definitely cheesy! Am I right? So, to celebrate, I'm sharing this Cheesy Vegan Cauliflower Casserole to kickoff the season.
It will fit right into your weeknight dinner routine, weekends or for your holiday table. It'll be on our Thanksgiving table along with my Meatless Loaf, Sourdough Bread Stuffing, Vegan Greenbean Casserole, and my Sweet Skillet Cornbread Recipe. I can't wait!
This veggie-packed casserole is also kid-friendly. I mean, who wouldn't eat their veggies when they are smothered in a cheesy sauce?
How to Make Vegan Cauliflower Casserole
(full ingredient amounts in recipe card below)
Combine the breadcrumbs, garlic and melted butter together. This will create a buttery and crispy top to your casserole!
Note: You'll need to soften the cashews first for the vegan cheese sauce. To do this, boil water in a small pot and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 15-20 minutes until they're softened.
Cover and steam the cauliflower in about 1" of water in a Large Pot. Cover and steam until just tender (about 7-10 minutes). Uncover and remove from heat.
Note: You can also boil the cauliflower until just tender (about 5 minutes). Drain really well before putting in the casserole dish.
Time to make the vegan cheese sauce! To get started, drain and rinse the cashews (discard soaking water). Now place all cheese sauce ingredients in a High-Speed Blender. Blend until cashews have completely broken down and the sauce is smooth.
Note: If you don't have a high-speed blender, the cashews might not completely break down and this could result in a gritty texture. You can try soaking the cashews longer for 12 hours or more.
Now for the stretchy cheesy goodness! Pour blended vegan cheese sauce into a medium skillet/pot over medium heat (I used the same pot for steaming the cauliflower). Cook for 4-5 minutes until it thickens up a lot and becomes slightly stretchy. Stir often to prevent it from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Note: If the cheese sauce is too thick for your taste, you can add a little soy milk or broth to thin it out. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.
Pour half of the vegan cheese sauce into the greased casserole dish and spread along the bottom. Now add the cauliflower florets on top in mostly one layer.
Top with more vegan cheese sauce! Pour the remaining cheese sauce on top of the cauliflower and spread out evenly. You can sprinkle the top with fresh-cracked pepper if desired.
Now sprinkle the top with prepared panko breadcrumbs and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until breadcrumbs are light golden brown.
- Fresh-Cut Parsley
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- I recently switched to Sari Foods Nutritional Yeast. I like it better because the vitamins and minerals are naturally occurring. They don't add any synthetic vitamins, so it's better for you and it doesn't taste as bitter either. It's a few dollars more than most brands but so worth it. (*It doesn't contain B12, so you'll have to supplement if you depend on nutritional yeast for that)
- If you have Vegan Lactic Acid, you can use that in replace of the lemon juice. It adds a similar tangy flavor that cultured cheese has. I usually add 1 ¼ teaspoons in place of the lemon juice. You'll need to add a few tablespoons of broth or non-dairy milk to make up the liquid portion of the lemon juice.
I'd love to hear from you
If you make this Vegan Cauliflower Casserole, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
Cheesy Vegan Cauliflower Casserole
- 1 large head cauliflower , cut into bite-size florets (about 2.5 pounds)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (GF if preferred)
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter , melted (+ more for greasing dish)
- 1 cup raw cashews , soaked in very hot water
- 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth , low sodium
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup tapioca flour/starch
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic , (+ a pinch for breadcrumbs)
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt , more to taste
- Fresh-cut parsley
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish and set aside.
- Combine the melted butter, breadcrumbs and a pinch of granulated garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
- To soak cashews, boil water in a small pot and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 15-20 minutes, until softened (*see note).
- While the cashews are soaking, you can steam the cauliflower. Place about 1 " of water into a med/large pot that will fit your steamer basket. Place your basket on the bottom and cover pot with a lid. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to med-low to maintain a low boil and place cauliflower florets into the basket. Cover and steam for 7-10 minutes, until just tender. Uncover and remove from heat.
- Drain and rinse cashews (discard soaking water). Now place all cheese sauce ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until cashews have completely broken down and the sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour cheese sauce into a medium skillet/pot over medium heat (I used the same pot for steaming the cauliflower). Cook for 4-5 minutes until it thickens up a lot and becomes slightly stretchy. Stir often to prevent burning. If sauce is too thick for your taste, you can add a little soy milk or broth to thin it out. Taste for seasoning, and add more if needed.
- Pour ½ the cheese sauce on the bottom of the greased casserole dish. Now add the cauliflower on top in one layer. Pour the remaining cheese sauce on top of the cauliflower. Now sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until breadcrumbs are light golden brown. Remove from oven. *Sprinkle with optional fresh-cut parsley and crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!