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Cheesy Vegan Cauliflower Casserole

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!
Course Side
Cuisine American, Vegan
Keyword Vegan Cauliflower Casserole
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 187kcal
Author Melissa Huggins

Ingredients

  • 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)

Cheese Sauce

Optional Toppings

  • Fresh-cut parsley
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • 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 cauliflowerPlace 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 1/2 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! 

Video

Notes

*Cashews: To make things easier, you can prep ahead and pre-soften your cashews by placing them in cool water for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge).  * 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.
Video Instructions: I made this recipe a little different in the instructional video above. I used an Oven and Stove-Top Safe Casserole Dish, so I made everything in there and just popped it in the oven. I used 2 more tablespoons of butter and 2 cloves of fresh minced/crushed garlic. I omitted the 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic too. This is the only change in instructions: Before the cheese sauce goes into the pan, melt butter over medium heat and sauté the garlic for 1 minute. Now add the cheese sauce and thicken for a few minutes. Remove from heat. Now add the cauliflower and gently toss to combine. Cover and bake the same way. Both methods taste amazing, this one is just a tad richer. 

Nutrition

Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 264mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5.2% | Vitamin C: 3.6% | Calcium: 9.7% | Iron: 10.9%