Creamy Vegan Potato Broccoli Casserole (Gluten-Free & Oil-Free)

by Alena
May 12, 2018
piece of vegan broccoli potato casserole on a white plate standing on some linen

I think we can all agree that casseroles are the ultimate comfort food. They fill your kitchen with warmth and an incredible smell, offer lots of creaminess and also some crust – at least, that’s the case for our vegan potato broccoli casserole.

You wouldn’t know from the sound of it, but this cheesy goodness is super nutritious while tasting like a huge indulgence at the same time. Exactly my kind of perfect meal!

It’s meals like that which could bring the whole family together. The health foodie, the gluten intolerant, the vegan, the picky vegetable hater, the old-fashioned cook, the hungry full-time employee. Did I mention that it doesn’t taste like it’s basically just vegetables with some nuts?

Casseroles have been a huge part of most everyone’s childhood – but oh boy, do I remember overeating on them and having blocks of cheese sitting in my belly for hours on end.

This is definitely not the nostalgic part I like to remember. But the coziness, the gatherings, and comfort… good that nobody has to skip that when trying to eat healthier.

The Best Cheesy Vegan Casserole

  • Totally whole food plant-based
  • Made with affordable staple foods
  • Dairy-free and oil-free creamy goodness
  • Easy family-friendly plant-based dinner
  • Makes for delicious & convenient leftovers
  • Secretly healthy comfort food
  • Nutritious and easy to make
  • Customizable & can be spiced up to your liking

The recipe for this cheesy vegan casserole that we provide below is rather mild – which is why we personally love but some of you might be more used to really strong flavors.

No problem! Add some dried herbs, mustard, garlic or onion powder, cayenne pepper or a splash of tamari (for the umami flavor) to your cheese sauce to make this recipe perfect for you and your family.

Potato Broccoli Casserole Ingredients

Beautiful pictures taken by Logan Inc

When thinking about going plant-based, most fear that giving up certain foods (especially cheese!) will result in missing out so much.

We associate specific dishes with lovely memories and, of course, we wouldn’t want to be the ones munching on some salad while the family enjoys a warm and comforting meal together.

Back when we transitioned to veganism, we didn’t know about these recipes that combined our quest for healthfulness and our new ethical stance! We were literally down with eating plain salads, baked veggies, and some beans. Crazy, right?

Potato Cut Casserole

So happy that we have ultimately come across a world of possibilities that bring back the cheesiness but without the cow. And don’t even get me started on saturated fat and all of its health consequences… there has to be a better option. Well, actually there is.

The sauce consists mostly of blended cashews and nutritional yeast (as is super common for plant-based cheesy things) along with some more spices and thickeners. It gets poured between each layer and perfectly melts everything together.

Going Dairy-Free Guide
Potato Broccoli Casserole Sauce

What I especially love is that – even though casseroles are some of the more complicated dishes – this recipe doesn’t require any fancy ingredients I usually don’t have at home.

Literally all I need are my plant-based staple foods and 30 minutes of preparation time.

And if I’m not in the mood for baking but still crave the cheesiness, I just go for the creamy vegan mac and cheese that comes with a similar sauce and is whipped up in a shorter amount of time.

By the way, you can also make a higher protein cheese sauce for your pasta dishes or this potato casserole! We recently shared a low-fat version that’s made with beans but you can combine it with a handful of cashews to get the best of both worlds.

High-Protein Vegan Cheese Sauce
Broccoli Layer Casserole

How to Make a Vegan Potato Broccoli Casserole

You could add some more plant-based protein in the form of white beans to the layers of this potato broccoli casserole for a little twist. Or add some slices of cauliflower. Pretty much any vegetable you’d like to use would be a lovely addition!

We know how hard it can be to find a truly simple and wholesome recipe on the internet. Especially if you want to skip the dairy and eggs without replacing them with processed foods!

This is why, dear whole foodies, we love sharing our healthy and crowd-pleasing vegan creations with you.

Potato Layer Casserole

Real ingredients and real flavor. Easy on the budget and scale. Nourishing for your body and mind!

The good news is that even if you overeat a bit on this dish (which, let’s be honest, is rather likely!) you won’t have ingested that many calories and all the fiber will support your digestion – instead of just staying in your belly like a huge rock for hours on end.

And the preparation is so much fun, too! Try making it with your kids and see if they enjoy it. I truly do, and I’m just kind of an old kid.

Once you have blended your sauce and sliced the potato and broccoli, the layering begins! Am I the only one who finds this oddly meditative?

Potato Broccoli Casserole in Dish

So, with all this warmth and comfort associated with casseroles – why am I sharing this broccoli potato bake in the middle of the year when it’s just getting hotter and hotter?

Well, we are honestly eating it throughout the whole year. Especially when we’re having someone over for dinner… I love popping this into the oven while cleaning up a few bits and pieces and then opening the door to our guests with an inviting, comforting smell from the background.

Let’s make casseroles a year-round appropriate dish!

More Easy Veggie-Rich Dinners

Our blog is full of comforting, secretly healthy plant-based dinner recipes that hide a couple of veggies and are true family favorites. Try these ones next!

I assume you’re now ready to fill your kitchen with that fantastic casserole smell! Here’s the full recipe for this creamy and healthy dinner.

Did you make our cheesy vegan potato casserole? Feel free to rate this recipe down in the comments below, Pin for later, and tag us on Instagram when you make it – we’d love to see your creations

piece of vegan broccoli potato casserole on a white plate standing on some linen

Creamy Vegan Potato Broccoli Casserole

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Our simple and comforting, super creamy vegan potato broccoli casserole with a cheesy cashew sauce is a true family favorite. This gluten-free and oil-free dinner is so easy to make and a really healthy comfort meal. Perfect for meal prepping and reheating!

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1.5 lbs potatoes (680 g)

Sauce

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • few tbsp vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup raw cashews (115 g), soaked if you don't have a high-speed blender
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth, (360 ml)
  • 2 cups soymilk (480 ml)
  • ¾ cup nutritional yeast (45 g)
  • 4 tbsp potato or corn starch
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pinch black pepper & cayenne

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C and prepare your deep baking dish. Cut your broccoli florets as well as the potatoes into thin slices.
  2. In a small pot or pan, sauté the onion and garlic in some vegetable broth for a few minutes. Then, place together with all of the sauce ingredients into your blender jar and blend until smooth. 
  3. Pour the mixture into your pot or pan, stir so that everything is mixed well and let it heat up for 2 minutes, then set aside.
  4. Let’s put it all together into the baking dish! Begin with one layer of thinly sliced potatoes, slightly overlapping. Add a thin layer of sauce, then one layer of the sliced broccoli florets. On top of that, again one thin layer of sauce.
  5. Repeat as many times as necessary (depending on how small or large your baking dish is). Finish with a hefty layer of sauce, then cover your pan and bake for around 50-60 minutes, leaving it uncovered for the last 5-10 minutes.

Notes

  • Spice up the cheese sauce with anything you like from more salt to onion or garlic powder, herbs, cayenne or a splash of soy sauce!
  • Instead of using broccoli, most vegetables can be used for this basic casserole recipe. We love swapping it for cauliflower.
  • If you want to create a higher protein cheese sauce to go along with the casserole, add some white beans to the mixture (recipe in article).
  • You can also top the casserole with some store-bought vegan cheese to make the recipe a bit richer.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 632mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 8gSugar: 6gProtein: 17g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Alena enjoying a bowl of fresh plant-based food and coffe in a restaurant
Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist (CPD) who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

dark grey spotted bowl with a variety of vegetables next to small bottle of green smoothie isolated on light background

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13 thoughts on “Creamy Vegan Potato Broccoli Casserole (Gluten-Free & Oil-Free)”

    • Ja kannst du, Mandelmilch oder Cashemilch sind besonders gut!
      Viele Grüße sendet,
      Jesse-Gabriel aus Berlin

      Reply
    • That sounds just heavenly, thank you so much for sharing this, Marla!
      Will have to try it with these delicious herbs, too. So happy that your family loved it :)

      Reply
  1. This has inspired me to cross the threshold and create my first vegan dish. Simple ingredients, easy prep and I feel confident, with my home cook experience, that it’s doable. Even in rural Oklahoma (USA), I have all ingredients easily purchased at the grocery store. I think I will add in a quick smidge of freshly grated nutmeg for extra home touched comfort. Thank you for sharing your recipe! Seeing worldwide responses should warm your heart.

    Reply
    • Dear Linda,
      your comment really, really warmed my heart! Thank you so much for sharing, it means a lot that this recipe made preparing a vegan dish seem easy enough for you. Sometimes, we think that something we’re not so familiar with is way more complicated than what reality show us :)
      Will definitely add some nutmeg the next time I’m baking this! Thanks for the wonderful idea.
      Feel free to get in touch with us should you ever have any questions or concerns about plant-based eating.
      Warm wishes,
      Alena

      Reply
  2. Wonderful recipe. I forgot to put it back on the stove for the 2 minutes (realized it in the middle of layering) but it still turned out well. My 13 month old loved it- I added a little bit more salt for the part for my hubby and I because my broth was added salt free! I also had a big bag of broccoli florets but I cut them up the same way and filled up my pot. My little one had fun helping me layer the pot. Great mom daughter project I wish I could share a pic with you !

    Reply
  3. Made this and loved it! Subbed chickpea miso for nutritional yeast and it turned out great! Perfect winter comfort food, next time I may try adding mushrooms :)

    Reply
  4. Thank you for sharing this! I’m new to a vegan lifestyle. I made his exactly all the way through (except used almond instead of soy milk) and the texture and look of it were impressive and top notch. But tasting it, meh, just okay. I really miss cheese the most and I really missed gooey tasty cheddar in this. It needs more oomph, maybe the herbs suggested would help, or vegan chicken or something, cayenne, I don’t know.

    Reply
    • thanks, Nicole! I remember freezing it like 1-2 years ago but cannot be 100% certain if the texture remained the same. Nowadays, I’d prebake it for about 2/3 the time, freeze and then thaw before baking it another 20 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is bubbling. I definitely want to revisit this recipe again and update the post :)
      Let me know how yours turns out!

      Reply

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