Vegan Cauliflower Cheese (Gluten-free)
You can’t go wrong with vegan cauliflower cheese! Made with cashews and coconut milk, the cheese sauce is rich, savoury, and incredibly delicious with cauliflower as a classic side dish. Gluten-free, dairy-free, easy to make.
Cheesy cauliflower? Yes please! I used to eat cauliflower cheese all the time before I went vegan. It was one of my go-to comforting dishes, and mum was always more than happy to make it as she loved it too. But, we both love this vegan version even more! I first developed this recipe a few years ago, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finally share it.
But regardless, here we are. You won’t believe that there’s no dairy or cheese at all in the cheesy sauce. Give it a go, you won’t regret it!
About this vegan cauliflower cheese
One of my favourite ways to eat cauliflower has to be putting it into a cauliflower casserole. Pop it in the oven, and that’s all you need for guaranteed cosiness and deliciousness. With a recipe like this one, cauliflower can transform from boring to massively exciting with just simple ingredients.
Of course, the best part is the cheesy, savoury sauce. It uses soaked cashews and coconut milk for the best flavour and texture. The other ingredients all work very well together, so you won’t taste neither coconut, nor cashew. Mix it with the cauliflower, sprinkle some gluten-free breadcrumbs on top, and it’s good to go.
Cauliflower cheese is perfect as a side dish as a side dish, but it works really well as a main course too. I love serving it for a weeknight dinner with a side salad and a protein source like tofu.
Ingredients you’ll need for a perfect cauliflower bake
Here are all the ingredients, plus substitutions. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for full amounts.
- Cashews. Soak these for at least 4 hours in lukewarm water, or cook them in a saucepan for 15 minutes to soften.
- Plant based milk of your choice. This is the variety that comes from a carton. I usually use oat milk or soy milk.
- Fresh garlic cloves.
- Salt, cumin and garlic powder.
- Mustard. Ensure vegan and gluten-free.
- Coconut milk from a tin. Alternatively, you can add more plant based milk from a carton, but the end result won’t be as rich.
- Cornstarch or tapioca flour.
- Tamari, or soy sauce if not avoiding gluten. For a soy-free version, use coconut aminos.
- Lemon juice.
- Vegan butter or olive oil.
- Onion. If you want to, you can add other vegetables of your choice at the same time as you sauté the onion.
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs. You can make these yourself, or use store-bought.
How to make vegan cauliflower cheese
It’s super easy! Start by, first of all, preheating the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F) and greasing a casserole dish.
To make the sauce, simply add the plant based milk, garlic, cashews, salt, cumin, garlic powder, mustard, coconut milk, cornstarch, tamari and lemon juice to a blender and blend until smooth.
Next, melt the vegan butter in a large pan and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened and translucent.
Now add the sauce and stir continuously until it starts to thicken. When this is the case, add boiled or steamed cauliflower. Stir to combine.
Transfer to the casserole dish, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and thick, and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Other delicious cauliflower recipes
- Whole roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce
- Cauliflower wings with almond dip
- Baked vegan orange cauliflower
Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite way to cook cauliflower? If you give this vegan cauliflower cheese a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating. I’d love to hear from you!
Get the Recipe: Vegan Cauliflower Cheese (Gluten-free)
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 cup plant based milk
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours, or boiled for 15 minutes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp mustard, ensure vegan and gluten-free
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, (1 14 oz tin)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch, or tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 lemon, juice of
- 1 1/2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 tbsp breadcrumbs, gluten-free
- Conventional oven
- Casserole dish
- Blender or food processor
- Frying pan
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F) and grease a casserole dish.
- Add the cauliflower to a saucepan and cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Alternatively, you can steam it by placing a steaming basket over a saucepan of water.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add the plant based milk, garlic, cashews, salt, cumin, garlic powder, mustard, coconut milk, cornstarch, tamari and lemon juice to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Melt the vegan butter in a large pan and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened and translucent.
- Add the sauce to the pan and stir continuously until it starts to thicken. When this is the case, add boiled or steamed cauliflower. Stir to combine.
- Transfer to the casserole dish, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and thick, and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.