Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Bake (7 Ingredients)

Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Bake

I’m so excited to share this vegan cauliflower bake/casserole with you! It’s simple (7 ingredients), relatively quick (40 mins), gluten-free, and tasty.

I used to make a deliciously creamy cauliflower bake with lots of cheese before I became vegan. It was quite a heavy, rich sauce, and the cauliflower would melt in my mouth. Yum!

I knew to veganise this dish would begin with finding a white sauce to bring it all together.

The success of this vegan cauliflower bake depends on the white sauce

The first few months of being vegan, I wanted to recreate a white sauce that I liked for dishes like this leek and mushroom pasta. So I set out on a mission to recreate a vegan and healthier alternative.

Once I landed on the fact that cashews make things nice and creamy and thicken a sauce up well, this was my base for a lot of different dishes. Creamy sauces and curries are the ones I use cashews in regularly.

Because I use this white sauce so much in my cooking, I’ve made a stand-alone recipe for your reference: Creamy Vegan White Sauce

The sauce itself is only 6 ingredients and without any processed vegan butter, you can enjoy a healthier alternative without compromising the taste.

sauce ingredients in blender

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Substitutes for cashews in the white sauce

I haven’t made this sauce without cashews. But you could try swapping them out with either sunflower seeds, white beans or silken tofu. 

If you do try an alternative and it works out, please let me know in the comments below.

Blending the cashews

On the topic of cashews, it’s preferable that you use a high-speed blender when making the sauce. You want to ensure that all of the cashew nuts are crushed up properly to achieve a creamy texture in your sauce.

If you don’t have a high-speed blender, I recommend the Optimum Vacuum Blender. We’ve used the first-generation model for years DAILY, and it’s still going strong.

Working with cauliflower

Can I just add…how beautiful are whole cauliflowers? I love the texture and the earthiness that they have. I also have a thing for photographing raw produce.

Whole cauliflower

Try to use up what you can. For example, I usually save the leaves for making stock, stir-fries or soup and the stalk of it as treats for our dog Chewy. He loves those as well as broccoli stalks.

More variations of this vegan cauliflower bake

I also make this bake with potato sometimes. So you can add them in if you like, make sure you put them in to cook (in the boiling water) first as they take longer than the cauliflower to be ready for baking.

Add about another 5-10 minutes of overall time if you decide to make it a potato and cauliflower bake. 

It doesn’t stop there. You can do a combination of cauliflower and broccoli as well, sweet potato, regular potatoes as mentioned above or zucchini. Your options are pretty endless!

Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Bake

Ways to eat this delicious vegan cauliflower bake 

It’s lovely eaten either on its own, with some dipping bread (for that creamy, delicious sauce) and/or with a nice green salad.

You could also eat this bake with some grains, whether it’s rice, quinoa or buckwheat. 

I hope that this blend will help you find a good base and then you can bake whatever vegetable you like with it.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest

Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Bake
Yield: Serves 4

Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Bake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

I'm so excited to share this creamy vegan cauliflower bake/casserole with you! It's simple (7 ingredients), quick, gluten-free, and tasty.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

Sauce:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free vegetable stock powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp salt (more to taste if desired)
  • 2 cups of water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
  2. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. There should be enough water in the pot to fully immerse the head of cauliflower.
  3. While the water is boiling, wash and chop the cauliflower into florets. It's okay if you have little crumbly bits.
  4. Add the cauliflower to the water and cook for 10 minutes and then drain.
  5. While that’s cooking, in a blender, add in the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.
  6. Place the cauliflower in a baking dish that fits in all the cauliflower in single file and pour the sauce over the top.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the sauce starts to bubble and brown on top.
  8. Serve on its own or with some bread and salad.
Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Bake in dish

Other recipes you’ll love:

  1. Vegan Smokey Baked Mac & Cheese
  2. 3-Ingredient Cabbage Pasta
  3. Leek and Mushroom Vegan White Sauce Fettuccine
  4. Creamy Vegan White Sauce
  5. Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Coconut Rice

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  • melanie 09/09/2018 Reply

    This looks great!

    Should the cashews be soaked first? It seems like that’s the usual step in cashew cream sauces. Does it make a difference?

    Thanks.

    • For me it doesn’t but I have a high speed blender. If you feel that it would blend better for you by soaking, I would for a couple of hours prior to using.

      • melanie 15/09/2018 Reply

        thank you! i’m going to try it next week 🙂

  • I love your Slow Sunday Morning newsletters in my inbox and I’m impressed with the positive community you have built. Keep the content coming. I find it relevant and interesting. I’m always looking for ways to fit minimalism and veganism into a busy lifestyle.

  • Judy T. 11/09/2018 Reply

    Inspired and with a cauliflower already in the fridge, I ran out and purchased the yeast (at first getting yeast levure and having to return it) and the garlic powder and set to work. I added potatoes. When the sauce was bubbling I took the dish out but it was a bit disappointing in that the color was rather brown and unappetising and the sauce stuck to the bottom of the pyrex dish and was too solid. And what was that about lining up the florets in single file? I lined them up in a line down the middle of the pan but eventually had to double them up a bit!

    • Hi Judy, I’m sorry to hear of your experience. Did you blend the ingredients well in the blender and add enough water? I’m not too sure without being there where it could have gone wrong but it sounds like either it wasn’t enough water and salt added. Did you use the nutritional yeast?

  • Gillian Ford 11/09/2018 Reply

    I love this recipe as it keeps my cravings for all things cheese at bay. I’m in my late fifties and went vegan about a year ago. I’ve always been interested in vegetarianism but didn’t have the courage to follow my own convictions. Then whilst on a retreat I met a wonderful vegan lady who said to me if you can be happy and healthy and not harm another living being then why wouldn’t you? I’m loving being vegan and wish I’d done it years ago. So if there’s anyone out there who thinks that they’re too old to change remember anything is possible! The only cravings I get are for an occasional piece of cheese so I’m so happy you posted this recipe it’s really delicious and hits that cheesy spot that I seem to have. Thanks I love your blog!!!

    • Thanks for sharing Gillian! Good on you for turning the corner 😉 There are so many more options now compared to a few years ago and it will only get better.

  • Meredith 20/09/2018 Reply

    You think silken tofu can replace cashews in this dish? Looks yummy but we have nut allergies.

  • Anna Bilchuk 05/11/2018 Reply

    OMG, it is delicious!

  • Dana 18/11/2018 Reply

    Do you know if this will freeze and reheat well?

    • Hi Dana, I haven’t actually tried freezing it myself as it’s normally gone before it even makes it to the fridge haha but I don’t see why not! Let me know how you go 🙂

  • April L 13/04/2019 Reply

    Don’t skip the salt!! Otherwise it’s way too bland. Unfortunately I learned that the hard way & had to smother it in buffalo sauce to eat it… But honestly I liked it that way!!

    • Hi April, thanks for your feedback. We didn’t specify how much salt to add to the sauce as everyone has different pallets. It also depends on what salt you use. I’ve updated the ingredients to include at least 1 tbsp of salt as a foundation.

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