“Cheesy” Cauliflower and Broccoli Casserole

This recipe looks a bit intimidating, but it’s basically broken into 3 parts: prep the veggies, make the sauce, mix and bake. It’s a little involved because you may have to grate the cauliflower yourself (if you don’t own a food processor with a shredding blade), and the sauce requires time in both a skillet and blender. This is a good comfort-food type of dinner but isn’t good for a quick go-to meal; not hard to make, just a little involved. 

I was a bit surprised how much I liked it. The texture was strange for me at first but it really grew on me and I came to like it a lot. I added chickpeas my first time making it, but I plan on trying it with both chickpeas and kales on my next attempt! This recipe is adapted from Minimalist Baker.

Ingredients:

Servings: about 3 very full bowls as an entree

  • 1 medium-large head of cauliflower, shredded or grated into “rice” (I used a grater)
  • about 2 cups broccoli, roughly chopped
  • ¼ faux parmesan cheese (in a food processor, pulse ¾ cup raw cashews, 3 tbs. nutritional yeast, ¾ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. garlic powder)
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 cup cooked chickpeas or quinoa, and/or 1 cup chopped kale
For the cheesy sauce:
  • about 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup arrowroot starch (sub with cornstarch or whole wheat flour)
  • 2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt + black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup faux parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F and set aside a 9×13″ (or similar sized) baking dish.

Lightly steam your broccoli either in the microwave (in 45-second increments) or on the stovetop with an inch of water. When it’s slightly limp, take the broccoli out and set it aside.

While waiting on the broccoli to steam, prepare your cauliflower “rice” by shredding it in your food processor or using a grater.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the garlic and saute in a couple tbs. of water. Stir and cook for a couple minutes until it’s light golden-brown. Add the arrowroot starch and whisk together for about a minute.

Slowly add the almond milk while whisking, then cook for another couple minutes. The sauce will probably look a little lumpy, but it’ll get blended later.

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Transfer the skillet mixture to a blender, then add the rest of the cheesy sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste-test and adjust the seasonings as needed, adding more nutritional yeast, salt, and/or pepper to taste.

Return the sauce blend back to the skillet and cook over low heat until warmed and slightly thickened (2-3 minutes), whisking occasionally. If it gets too thick add almond milk 1 tbs. at a time to thin it out. 

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While the sauce warms, heat another skillet (with a lid) over medium heat. Add a couple tbs. of water and the cauliflower rice. Season with a few shakes of sea salt and pepper. Cover and let the cauliflower steam for a couple minutes. Remove the lid, stir, and cook for another 1-2 minutes until it’s slightly softened. Transfer the cauilflower to a large mixing bowl.

Add the broccoli and the ¼ cup of parmesan cheese to the mixing bowl. Mix everything together. If you’re adding the chickpeas or kale, put them in the bowl now and stir together. 

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Add the cheesy sauce to the bowl and stir to coat. Transfer everything form the bowl to the baking dish and top with another sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

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Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake at 400°F. for 10 more minutes, or until bubbly and slightly golden brown. Look for golden brown edges and a bubbly center.

Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly. Store leftovers in the fridge up to 4 days, or in the freezer for 1 month. Reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through.

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