Vegan cauliflower cheese is a dreamy, creamy side dish (or main) that tastes amazing and is easy to make! Just 7 ingredients and 30 minutes are needed. The key to creating a delicious vegan cauliflower cheese is finding the right milk and cheese alternatives, which make all the difference. It goes great as part of a vegan roast dinner too.
🌟 Why this recipe works
A British favourite – vegan cauliflower cheese is a British favourite for roast dinners, and especially for a Christmas dinner roast! It's definitely an essential side dish in our opinion, so we've made a top tier version.
Easy – rather than messing around with blending nuts or vegetables into a sauce, we've let the vegan cheese companies do the hard work. So this vegan cauliflower cheese recipe is made following the method of a traditional cauliflower cheese but but with dairy-free alternatives! Plus it only takes 30 minutes, needs 7 ingredients and can be frozen too.
Inclusive recipe – it's nut free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan friendly! And it can easily be made gluten free if the oat milk, breadcrumbs and plant based cheese are gluten free!
Dairy alternatives – the key to creating a great vegan cauliflower cheese is finding the right milk and cheese alternatives, as they make all the difference. We’ve tested a few combinations and found the right ones to make the most delicious and creamy vegan cauliflower cheese.
📋 Ingredient notes
Vegan cheese – to keep this recipe simple, we're using shop-bought vegan cheese. There's so many to choose from these days at the supermarket. The vegan cheese brands have done all of that product testing to make life easier for us, and that's why we're using them! It couldn't be easier because you just grate and melt the vegan cheese into the sauce like you would with a traditional recipe. In the UK, our favourites for this recipe is (at the time of updating/writing) vegan cheese by Cathedral City, and Koko dairy-free cheddar. But really any vegan cheese works because they all melt well into a sauce.
Butter, flour and milk – vegan butter (or margarine) and milk, of course. These ingredients are all key for making a roux (or white sauce) as the base for the sauce. It's really easy once you have the hang of it and if you get the right measurements, and it results in a super smooth sauce. We have found that oat milk is best plant milk to use, as it is creamy. Just make sure the plant milk is unsweetened!
Nutritional yeast – a.k.a. nooch. OK, so we said the vegan cheese companies have done all the hard work, but we do still like to include a bit of nutritional yeast in this recipe. It helps to take the flavour to the next level, though you could just leave it out if you're not keen. It offers a nutty, savoury, cheesy flavour that is so good for a vegan cauliflower cheese. It's also often fortified with vitamin B12, so bonus vitamins!
Cauliflower – last but not least, it couldn't be a vegan cauliflower cheese without the main ingredient! We love cooking with cauliflower, whether that's in a cauliflower curry, a whole baked cauliflower or a creamy cauliflower Alfredo – it's always delicious and super filling. Just chop into bitesized florets for a delicious texture.
🔪 How to make vegan cauliflower cheese – step-by-step instructions
This is a step-by-step overview with photos for making vegan cauliflower cheese. The full recipe, along with measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
1. First make a roux for the vegan cheese sauce. Melt the butter (or margarine) in a non stick saucepan, on a medium heat.
2. Once the butter has melted add in the flour and whisk until combined – don't worry if it clumps up.
3. Gradually add in the oat milk, stirring continuously with a whisk as you do so. Add a good splash each time, whisk until smooth and then keep adding more until there's none left.
4. Once all the oat milk is added, sprinkle in the nutritional yeast, turmeric and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then gradually start to add the cheese. Allow each handful of cheese to melt before adding the next one. Simmer the sauce for five minutes. Keep whisking it in order to make sure that it’s smooth.
5. Once the sauce has thickened a little, set aside. Get an ovenproof dish and lay the cauliflower out in it. Cover with the sauce. Put the dish in the pre-heated oven and bake for ten minutes.
6. Carefully take the dish out after ten minutes, and top with some extra grated cheese and breadcrumbs (optional). This will give the top of the dish a great crispy texture and that delicious cooked cheese taste. (If you’re planning on freezing it, don’t add the cheese and breadcrumbs - instead add them when you reheat it.)
7. Pop back into the oven for another five to ten minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden, the cheese has melted and the cauliflower is cooked.
👩🍳 Expert tips
Variations - try levelling up the vegan cauliflower cheese with additional ingredients. Breadcrumbs on top are a great choice for adding a different texture with that layer of crunch. In addition, vegan bacon bits could be added or you could add broccoli to make it into a vegan cauliflower and broccoli cheese bake!
Storage - vegan cauliflower cheese keeps in the fridge for upto 3 days in an airtight container, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Make ahead - this recipe can be made ahead of time so it can be easily added to a roast dinner or Christmas dinner without any extra effort! Just reheat it straight from frozen. If making ahead don't put the cheese or breadcrumbs on top before freezing, add those halfway through reheating.
Vegan cauliflower cheese is so easy to make. You'll just need to make a roux using oat milk, flour, vegan cheese and vegan butter. Melt the butter and then add the flour whilst whisking. Gradually pour in the plant milk, stir, and then pop in grated cheese. Continue whisking until it thickens - for around 5–10 minutes. Pour over chopped (raw) cauliflower in a baking tray, then bake until the cauliflower is cooked through – around 20 minutes.
We use plant-based butter, cheese and milk, as well as plain flour to make vegan cheese sauce. First make a roux, then melt in the plant based cheese and stir until thick. It's so easy!
It's so easy, just follow this recipe by first making a roux, then adding plant based cheese. No need to add soaked cashews or to use a blender!
Cauliflower is high in many vitamins whilst being low in calories, low in carbs and super tasty. In fact, it’s an excellent source of fibre, folate, vitamin C and more! Source.
🍛 Serving suggestions
🧀 More cheesy vegan recipes
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Vegan Cauliflower Cheese
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 100 g Vegan Cheddar Style Cheese (grated)
- 1 pinch turmeric powder less than ⅛ tsp, this is just for colour
- 750 ml oat milk must be unsweetened
- 400 g cauliflower
- A handful of extra vegan cheese (optional)
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional)
- Salt to season
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 392°F
- First make a roux for the vegan cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a non stick saucepan, on a medium heat. Once the butter has melted add in the flour and whisk until combined – don't worry if it clumps up.2 tbsp vegan butter, 2 tbsp plain flour
- Gradually add in the oat milk, stirring continuously with a whisk as you do so. Add a good splash each time, whisk until smooth and then keep adding more until there's none left.750 ml oat milk
- Once all the oat milk is added, sprinkle in the nutritional yeast, turmeric and a pinch of salt and pepper.2 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 pinch turmeric powder, Salt to season
- Gradually start to add the cheese. Allow each handful of cheese to melt before adding the next one.100 g Vegan Cheddar Style Cheese
- Simmer the sauce for five minutes. Keep whisking it in order to make sure that it’s smooth. The sauce should thicken as it simmers.
- Get an ovenproof dish and lay the cauliflower out in it. Cover with the sauce. Put the dish in the pre-heated oven and bake for ten minutes.400 g cauliflower
- Carefully take the dish out after ten minutes, and top with extra grated cheese and breadcrumbs. This will give the top of the cauliflower cheese a crispy texture on top.A handful of extra vegan cheese, 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- Pop back into the oven for another five to ten minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden, the cheese has melted and the cauliflower is cooked.
- Freezes for up to 3 months, so can be made ahead. If you’re planning on freezing it, don’t add the cheese and breadcrumbs - instead add them when you reheat it.
- Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Try adding vegan bacon bits, or even replace half the cauliflower with broccoli for a cauliflower and broccoli cheese bake. You could even add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, garlic powder or onion powder for a slight variation.