This vegan cauliflower bake is so simple to make, uses only 7 ingredients, is relatively quick to make and it’s super tasty.

It’s perfect for people that are oil and gluten-free as well. I’m positive that it will be a hit at any table, and yes, even for picky eaters!

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

I knew to veganise this dish I would begin with creating a white sauce that would bring it all together. And thank goodness for cashews and nutritional yeast!

Cauliflower casserole served on a plate

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.

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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 blended properly to achieve a creamy texture in your sauce.

Alternatively, you can soak the cashews overnight in water (preferably filtered) or soak them in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain them and they’re ready to use! This will soften them so it will make it easier for your blender to do its job.

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

What can you make with a whole cauliflower? 

If you’re scratching your head wondering what to make using a whole cauliflower, this vegan cauliflower casserole is perfect!

You can also use the leaves in this bake, however they’re also great chopped finely and saved for use in soups to bulk them up a little.

More variations of this vegan cauliflower bake

I also make this bake with potato sometimes. 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, or even zucchini. The options are pretty endless!

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. 

This recipe is a great base. It will give you a good foundation and then you can bake whatever vegetables you like with it.

I hope that you love this super easy creamy vegan cauliflower bake as much as I do!

Here’s some wonderful things to highlight about this recipe:

  • Oil-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Crowd pleasure (for vegans, omnivores and picky eaters)
  • Perfect as a weekly rotational meal as well as for special occasions
  • No compromise on flavour
  • Heathier alternative

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 Potato Gratin
  5. Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Coconut Rice

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

Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Bake

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This vegan cauliflower bake is so simple to make, uses minimal ingredients, is oil and gluten-free and super tasty. It's the perfect crowd pleaser!

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
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water*
  • 1-2 tsp salt

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 cauliflower.
  3. Wash and cut the head of cauliflower separating the florets into bite sized chunks. I find it easier to tear them apart with my hands so you don’t have as many crumbly pieces. 
  4. You can add the leaves of the cauliflower to the bake, however I like to save mine to use for soup later.
  1. Add the cauliflower to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes and then drain.
  2. In the meantime, in a high-speed blender*, add in the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Try the sauce and adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Place the cauliflower in a baking dish that fits in all the cauliflower in relative single file and pour the sauce over the top.
  4. Using a spoon, press the cauliflower down so that it's fully immersed in the sauce. It's okay if you have a few pieces sticking up, just make sure they have been pushed under the sauce so they're not dry.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the sauce starts to bubble and brown on top.
  6. Serve on its own or with some bread and salad.

Notes

* If using stock, use less salt. If you're using water, use a little more salt. Try the sauce once you've blended it and adjust seasoning to taste. Keep in mind that it will be going over cooked cauliflower so you may like it slightly saltier to balance out the plain cauliflower as it bakes.

* If you don't have a high-speed blender, soak the cashews overnight in cold water or 20 mins in boiling water. Make sure to drain them before adding to the blender.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 286Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1748mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 14g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically. The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed.

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39 Comments

  1. This recipe is truly outstanding and one of my (and my family’s) favourite recipes. It’s also incredibly flexible. We usually make a double batch and add pasta and veggies. We cook whole wheat macaroni, throwing whatever veggies we’re using into the water the last few minutes the pasta is boiling. This basically turns it into a creamy mac & cheese veggie bake. We most frequently use broccoli and quartered brussel sprouts, although anything works. Sometimes we’ll also add some sauteed, cut up veggie sausages. The leftovers provide lunches at work the next couple days. The beauty of the recipe is its flexibility and it turns out great every time regardless of what you put in it.

    1. Hi Brandon, unfortunately, tahini wouldn’t work. You can try using coconut cream and reduce the amount of water used by about half. You can add a tablespoon of tahini here if you like the flavour. Let me know how you go!

  2. I made this tonight. After reading the comments I decided to use 2 cups of cashews and 3 cups of water (instead of 4 cups of water to double the original amount). I did double the nutritional yeast too. Theee result was a rich creamy sauce that everyone loved. A keeper as I am introducing more plant based dishes into our family menus.

  3. I love this dish! I’ve made it twice in a week, thank you! I only used half a head of cauliflower both times so it’s extra creamy.

  4. love this recipe so much – I made it with a mix of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower and it’s divine! thanks so much!

  5. I made your recipe over the Christmas period and my brother who is not vegan said it was absolutely delicious and the highlight of our Christmas dishes. I loved it too…thank you. I actually made double the sauce and poured that over which turned out great. Thank you for a fabulous recipe.

  6. I believe nutritional yeast is not the best for ibs. Is there an alternative? How will leaving it our affect the recipe.

  7. 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!!

    1. 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 1-2 tsp of salt as a foundation.

  8. 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!!!

  9. 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!

    1. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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