This “Cheesy” Broccoli Bake is the best creamy vegan side dish! The sauce tastes like cheese but it contains no dairy or even vegan cheese – scroll down to find out what makes it so creamy and cheesy!
Vegan and cheesy are not necessarily words you expect to hear together. I mean, sure, vegan cheeses appeared in most shops in the past few years but they often contain a whole lot of ingredients. Some are good and others not so much. I don’t really like vegan products that resemble something else (like dairy, meat etc.) but contain way more ingredients than the real deal. Instead, I like to find alternatives that are still healthy but taste amazing!
This recipe, for instance, does not contain cheese, not even vegan cheese. Instead it’s a mixture of potatoes, carrots, coconut oil, spices and the secret ingredient that makes this sauce cheesy… nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is yellow flakes with a savory flavor that taste a bit like cheese. It’s often used for a cheesy flavor in vegan cuisine since it adds the flavor without added salt or fat. You can add it to sauces, salads or pasta dishes.
When I was a kid, the only way I would eat cauliflower and broccoli was when it was covered in a cheese sauce. To be honest, the vegetables were merely a vessel for the cheese sauce which is what I really wanted to eat! Trying to avoid dairy as much as possible and not always wanting to rely on coconut milk, I wanted to come up with a sauce that’s both creamy and cheesy.
Blanching the broccoli for a short time only is very important for the success of this dish. Blanching means cooking vegetables in boiling water for a short time and then adding it to ice cold water to stop the vegetables from cooking further. If you cook the broccoli too long, it will be all mushy. And if the water isn’t super cold – best add ice cubes even – then it won’t stop the broccoli from boiling further.
Will you make this cheesy side dish for dinner soon? Or how about the Best Ever Potato Wedges?
Vegan “Cheesy” Broccoli Bake
This "Cheesy" Broccoli Bake is the best creamy vegan side dish! The sauce tastes like cheese but it contains no dairy or even vegan cheese - find out what makes it so creamy and cheesy!
Pre-heat oven to 230°C (446°F).
Peel and chop carrots and potatoes. Add to a pot with the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes until soft. Reserve the broth in case you need it for the sauce.
Cut the head of broccoli into pieces. Bring salted water to a boil. Once it boils, add the broccoli. Simmer for 8 minutes, then take off and immediately put the broccoli in ice water. Drain after it's cooled off.
Add the soft potatoes and carrots to a blender with coconut oil, white pepper, garlic powder, salt and nutritional yeast. You can add 1/8 cup of the broth if it's not creamy enough.
Mix drained broccoli and "cheese" sauce together and add to a casserole dish. Top with sliced almonds.
Bake at 230°C (446°F) for 30 minutes. Enjoy!