We are 5 days away from Dec 25! Have you started thinking about what side-dishes to serve? Let me help you out: This cheesy cauliflower bake! Yes, it is as unbelievably delicious as it sounds. And is the perfect side dish for a holiday family feast.
Wait, lets back track for a moment….6 days until Christmas!? I think I just swallowed a lump of coal! Where did December go!? Better yet, where did the past 12 months go!? Well, at least I can say that this brilliant recipe came out of 2016. And a true masterpiece it is! This Cheesy Cauliflower bake is a winning recipe that’s destined to please all. It’s creamy, cheesy, savoury, and ooey gooey. What more could you need in a side dish? Did I hear you say “easy to make?” Well, it looks like Christmas came 5 days early because it’s that too!
This creamy cauliflower bake is the A+ procrastinator of brilliant recipes. Meaning you can make this delicious dish quickly and easily with few ingredients. We all know that Christmas means lots of meal prep, and so we often result to simple sides to power through. Which is totally understandable given we’ve got to serve a minimum of 4 courses to 20+ people….with at least 3 varieties of desserts! Who made up these rules again? Remind me to have firm talks with Grandma!
So it’s my pleasure to bring you this winning dish just in time for Christmas! Your very own gift under the virtual Christmas tree. With this recipe you will have everyone from babes grandmas, and even dogs and cats drooling over this side-dish! (Best to put it out of reach from the dogs and cats…. maybe from Grandma and baby too until ready to serve).
Actually, for a while now I’ve wanted to blog a cheesy vegan dish like this, but couldn’t seem to find the right ingredients to do so. Often vegan substitutes for cheese are processed and somewhat artificial, and I like to keep my ingredients as pure as possible. So it was a savoury revelation creating this recipe – to be able to bring you a wholesome Christmas-worthy bake. This vegan cheesy cauliflower recipe has simple and pure ingredients, in fact you probably have most of the ingredients already. Which is just what we need 5 days from Christmas. Let’s try to avoid overwhelming grocery stores of people in a mad-dash for cranberry jelly! Instead this speciality cheese sauce is made with household staples, like cashews, onion, potato, carrot, nut milk, and nutritional yeast. Then we’ve poured the cheese sauce over cauliflower florets and baked in the oven until bubbling and golden. We’ve also topped it with bread crumbs and thyme for some extra flare because it’s Christmas after all! It’s so simple and totally brill! You really won’t believe how the ingredients blend together and transform into a cheesy and rich dish without any cheese at all! A Christmas miracle I’d say!
So crack open that well deserved Champagne, start the toasting, and get on roasting with this Cheesy Cauliflower bake. I promise it’s an simple and easy bake to be remembered, and one you’ll love creating time and again. Hope you have a warm and lovely holiday celebration. <3
Cheesy Cauliflower Bake
- 1 cauliflower (about 1 kg/2.2 lbs) cut into bite-sized florets
- 2 white potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 yellow onion
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3/4 cups water reserved from boiled veg
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- pinch paprika
- pinch cayenne pepper optional
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp thyme
- Peel potatoes, carrots and onion, and roughly chop. Bring a pot of water to boil and add veg. Then, place steamer on top of pot and add cauliflower florets to steamer. Steam cauliflower for 10-15 mins, or until al-dente. Boil vegetables for 20 minutes, or until soft.
- Scoop out boiled veg and add to blender (reserving the water from the saucepan). Add garlic , 3/4 cup reserved boiled water, cashews, almond milk, nutritional yeast, paprika, cayenne pepper, sea salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Pour a thin layer of cheesy sauce into a baking dish (I used a 10x7 inch pan), then add enough steamed cauliflower to cover. Top with another layer of cheesy sauce. Continue this process of layering cauliflower and sauce until you've used them both up.
- Sprinkle with bread crumbs and make for 30 mins, or until soft, bubbly and golden. If desired, turn oven to broil for the last 1-2 minutes to allow the bread crumbs to become more golden and crisp on top. Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve.
VEGAN – VEGETARIAN – DAIRY-FREE – SOY-FREE