Cauliflower ‘Cheese’

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This dish doesn’t need much of an introduction – cheesy, creamy, comforting, hearty deliciousness! We haven’t scrimped on sauce in this recipe – it’s a flavour-packed béchamel topped off with gooey melted vegan cheese and crispy golden breadcrumbs.

Photograph by Rebel Recipes 


Gluten free
Wheat free

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Preparation time

10 min

Cook time

20 min

Total time





  • sides-light-meals-and-salads
  • vegetable-side-dishes





  • 1 large cauliflower, leaves removed and broken into florets
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 6 tbsp vegan butter/spread
  • 6 tbsp plain flour (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 600ml/2½ cups unsweetened plant milk
  • 1 tbsp English or Dijon mustard
  • ¾ tsp ground or fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 50g/2 oz vegan cheese, grated (optional)
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar (optional)


  • 6 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional – we like panko. Use gluten-free if needed)
  • 200g/2 cups vegan cheese, grated



  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, then add the salt. Add the cauliflower florets and cook (still boiling) for 5 minutes if you like it with a bit of bite or 7 minutes if you like it a little softer. Take out a piece and check that it’s cooked to your taste. You definitely don’t want it to be mushy!
  3. Drain the cauliflower then tip it into a deep ovenproof dish in a single layer. Set aside.

Béchamel sauce

  1. Using a large saucepan, melt the vegan butter/spread on a low heat.
  2. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the flour until you have a smooth paste.
  3. Return the pan to the heat, turn up to medium and very gradually add the plant milk, stirring continuously with a balloon whisk to avoid lumps.
  4. Once the sauce has thickened, add the mustard, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, vegan cheese and white wine vinegar. Use a balloon whisk to get rid of lumps if necessary. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Stir thoroughly then pour evenly over the cauliflower.


  1. Evenly distribute the vegan cheese over the sauce then sprinkle over the breadcrumbs.
  2. Place the dish into the oven and then bake for 20 minutes or until golden and the vegan cheese has melted.


Serving suggestions: baked potato, bangers and mash, Christmas dinner, crusty bread, garlic bread, green salad, pies, roast dinner, steamed or roasted vegetables


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