This Vegan Cauliflower Casserole is an easy savory dish where perfectly tender cauliflower is covered in a rich creamy dairy-free sauce, sprinkled with nutritional yeast, and baked until golden. This cauliflower gratin is also Paleo, Whole30 compliant, Gluten-free, Grain-free, and Dairy-free.

Vegan cauliflower casserole in a dish, with a spoon in it.

There is something so comforting and satisfying about creamy cauliflower dishes. From cauliflower gnocchi, to cauliflower sauce, to this vegetarian healthy cauliflower casserole, the combination of cauliflower and a plant based creamy sauce, is SO delicious.

I used to make cauliflower gratin with dairy, but since going dairy-free, I have been on a mission to make a good one without any butter or milk and I finally did it! This Vegan cauliflower casserole has a rich sauce made from coconut cream, almond milk, and nutritional yeast. It is baked until golden and bubbly.

Table of Contents

Vegan cauliflower gratin freshly baked with a spoon in it.

Why this recipe works

  • It is great for those with a dairy allergy or those who follow a Vegan, Paleo, or Whole30 diet.
  • It makes for a wonderful side dish.
  • The creamy combination of almond milk and coconut cream makes for a delicious cream sauce.
  • This is the best Vegan cauliflower casserole!
  • It is made with clean, real food ingredients.
  • It is an easy way to get the health benefits and antioxidants from cruciferous veggies.

Recipe ingredients

Ingredients needed to make cauliflower casserole.
  • a head of cauliflower– make sure it is a large head of cauliflower!
  • tapioca flour– this helps to thicken the cream sauce.
  • coconut flour– this also helps to thicken the cream sauce.
  • coconut cream– it is important to like the taste of your coconut cream for this recipe. I have found that many taste like sunscreen to me, and that in turn affects the recipe. Savoy coconut cream tastes the best to me.
  • almond milk– or any non-dairy milk of choice.
  • onion powder– this gives the sauce good flavor.
  • garlic powder– this also easily gives the sauce flavor.
  • ground nutmeg– this is always my secret ingredient in cream sauces. It adds depth to the cream sauce.
  • dried rosemary– this helps flavor the sauce.
  • dried thyme– this also helps flavor the sauce.
  • nutritional yeast– again make sure you like the taste of your nutritional yeast! I love the one from Anthonys.

See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.

Additions/ Substitutions

  • Instead of tapioca flour, you can use arrowroot starch at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Instead of almond milk, you can use any non-dairy milk of choice.

Step by step instructions

Cauliflower in a pot, ready to be boiled.
Step 1

Step 1: Boil the cauliflower for 5-6 minutes.

This ensures that the cauliflower can get cooked through enough and thus soft enough while baking.

Making the sauce for vegan cauliflower gratin.
Step 2

Step 2: Then start making the sauce.

To do this you add olive oil to a pan, along with tapioca flour and coconut flour. Mix it with a whisk until it thickens.

Making the sauce for vegan cauliflower gratin, with added coconut cream.
Step 3

Step 3: Then whisk in the almond milk and coconut cream into the flours.

Add the onion powder, garlic powder, ground nutmeg, salt, pepper, dried rosemary, dried thyme, and nutritional yeast and mix again.

The sauce for vegan cauliflower gratin finished.
Step 4

Step 4: Let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Then whisk it often for another few minutes until it thickens.

Vegan cauliflower au gratin out of the oven and browned.
Step 5

Step 5: Put the pre-boiled cauliflower into a baking pan, cover in the sauce, then cover in nutritional yeast and then bake until golden.

Expert tips

Tip 1- Cauliflower floret size matters.

For starters, make sure you cut the florets into a medium size. If the florets are too large, they won’t cook and get soft enough. If they are too small, then they get too mushy. Though, I have to admit, I like when they get mushy.

So, if you like your cauliflower to be softer, boil it for longer than 5-7 minutes. If you like more crunch, then boil it for a little less time, maybe 4 minutes.

Tip 2- The thickness of the creamy sauce matters.

When you are making the sauce, be careful not to thicken the cream sauce too much. As soon as it boils, remove it from heat. If you let it thicken too much it could get slimey due to the nature of the tapioca flour.

That is why I used 2 Tbs of tapioca flour and 1 Tbs of coconut flour. It results in a better texture and avoids the issue of tapioca slime.

The sauce should be thick like a creamy sauce or a light light pudding but not as thick as a real pudding.

Tip 3- Keep an eye on the oven when broiling.

Every oven is different, so you need to keep an eye and make sure you don’t burn your vegan cauliflower gratin!

My oven broiled this dish perfectly in 2 minutes.

Recipe FAQs

Can you make cauliflower gratin in advance?

Yes! Prepare everything as written in the recipe, cover, and refrigerate until you are ready to bake it.

What is au gratin?

It is a type of dish traditionally topped with cheese or breadcrumbs that is heated in the oven or under the broiler crispy. For this recipe, the cauliflower is covered in nutritional yeast and baked and then it has a few minutes of being broiled. 

How do you serve this cauliflower casserole?

I like to add more nutritional yeast on top after baking and sprinkle it with some lemon juice. YUM.

This is a great side dish to serve along a protein like a veggie burger, or roast chicken or steak. It depends on what type of diet you are following, what protein works for you.

Dairy-free cauliflower bake with a spoon in the dish.

Other Vegan side dishes you may enjoy:

Dairy-free Mexican Street Corn– I came up with this recipe over the summer and couldn’t stop eating it! I love the mayo nutritional yeast sauce that goes on top of the corn so much!

Carrot Grapefruit Salad (Paleo, GF)– This is a simple recipe from my childhood. If you love both carrots and grapefruit, then this recipe is for you!

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce– This is the best way to make Trader Joe’s Cauliflower gnocchi. The sauce is so simple yet delicious.

Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!

Vegan Cauliflower Gratin (Paleo, Dairy-free) | Perchance to Cook,

Vegan Cauliflower Casserole (Paleo, Dairy-free)

A savory dish where cauliflower is covered in a rich and creamy dairy-free sauce, sprinkled with nutritional yeast, and then baked until golden.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 110 kcal



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Boil cauliflower florets in boiling water for 5-6 minutes and then drain. ( Note: If you like your cauliflower to be softer, then cook it for a few minutes longer; if you like more of a crunch, then cook for a little less).
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, and add in the tapioca flour and coconut flour immediately. Mix until it turns into clumps, this happens instantly. Add the coconut cream and almond milk and whisk. Add the onion poweder, garlic powder, ground nutmeg, salt, pepper, dried rosemary, dried thyme, and 1 Tbs nutritional yeast and mix again. Then, let the mixture sit for a 2.5-3 minutes. After that, whisk it every 10 seconds until the mixture boils( this took about 1.5-2 minutes for me). Once the mixture starts boiling, remove it from heat because it should have thickened to the texture of a thin pudding or creamy sauce.
  • Put the cauliflower florets into a deep baking dish, evenly cover the florets in the creamy sauce and then cover everything with 1 Tbs of nutritional yeast.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until fork tender, and golden on top. Then broil for a few minutes (2 minutes was perfect in my oven).


  • Instead of tapioca flour, you can use arrowroot starch at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Instead of almond milk, you can use any non-dairy milk of choice.


Calories: 110kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 4gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 293mgPotassium: 481mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 68mgCalcium: 85mgIron: 1mg
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