Dairy Free Broccoli Casserole

Creamy, cheesy and super cozy, this dairy free broccoli casserole is a fantastic side dish for the holidays or colder weather! With flavorful fresh veggies, a dreamy cashew based sauce and a crispy cracker topping for the ultimate finishing touch, it’s comfort food at its finest. Vegetarian with a gluten free option.

A white baking dish filled with Dairy Free Broccoli Casserole.

This creamy, dreamy dairy free broccoli casserole?

It may not be the prettiest looking dish on the block but what it lacks in looks it most definitely makes up for in taste.

  • We have tender fresh broccoli.
  • A “cheesy” cashew based cream sauce.
  • And a crispy, crunchy, buttery cracker topping. 

All combining into a cozy comfort food side dish that’s perfect for your holiday table OR a regular ol’ dinner.

But the best part? There’s no cream of mushroom soup involved. 

Which is typically used in classic broccoli casserole … along with copious amounts of mayo and shredded cheese.

Making today’s version not just dairy free but also a smidge healthier! And you won’t mind one little bit.

Veggies tossed in a cashew cheese sauce.

How To Make Dairy Free Broccoli Casserole

So, let’s talk about how this cozy casserole goes down:

Make “cheese” sauce. First up, we’ll blend some cashews, dairy free milk and plenty of seasonings in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. 

Soften veggies. Next, we’ll soften an onion and mushrooms in a skillet, before adding in a good amount of broccoli florets until crisp tender. 

Assemble casserole. We’ll combine the veggies with the cheese sauce, stir in an egg and then transfer to a casserole dish, before topping with crushed dairy free crackers. 

Bake until set. Finally, we’ll pop the casserole in the oven for about 25 minutes, until set and golden brown. 

Chopped veggies in bowls and then an unbaked casserole.

Tips & Tricks

  1. If you forget to soak your cashews overnight, use the following quick soak method instead. Add the cashews to a heatproof bowl, then cover with boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then proceed with the recipe.
  2. I highly, highly, recommend using a high speed blender as the cashews will blend up so smooth and creamy. You can certainly try using a regular blender, just keep in mind it will take longer to smooth out and won’t have quite as perfect of a consistency. I’ve found cashew based sauces can be a bit grainy / strange in texture with a regular blender – they just don’t have enough power.
  3. Now, the cashew cheese sauce will have the consistency of milk once blended – it won’t be thick or dip-able. This is how it’s supposed to be so don’t be concerned – it will thicken when baking in the oven. 
  4. Don’t like mushrooms? No problem. Leave them out and use another 1 cup broccoli florets in their place. 
  5. Finally, I have not tested this casserole without the egg. I’m not sure what would happen if you left it out or tried to substitute as it helps the mixture set up correctly. 

Non Dairy Broccoli Casserole in a baking dish with a spoon.

How To Store

I find that this casserole is best enjoyed freshly baked so that the cracker topping is nice and crisp. However, you can absolutely store leftovers with the following method:

Fridge: Let the casserole cool completely then transfer to an airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

The flavor is still fantastic, you just won’t have that crisp topping. 

Two plates filled with No Cheese Broccoli Casserole.

Additional Dairy Free Sides You Might Enjoy:

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

A white baking dish filled with Dairy Free Broccoli Casserole.

Dairy Free Broccoli Casserole

Yield: about 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Creamy, cheesy and super cozy, this dairy free broccoli casserole is a fantastic side dish for the holidays or colder weather! With flavorful fresh veggies, a dreamy cashew based sauce and a crispy cracker topping for the ultimate finishing touch, it's comfort food at its finest.

Ingredients

For the cheese sauce:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight*
  • 2 cups unsweetened plain almond or cashew milk
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder 
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional for color) 

For the casserole: 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 7 cups bite-sized broccoli florets 
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup crushed dairy free cracker rounds**

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly grease a 9x9 inch casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

For the cheese sauce:

  1. Drain and rinse the cashews, then add to a high-speed blender along with all the other ingredients for the sauce.
  2. Blend on high until completely smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

For the casserole:

  1. Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add in the onion and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add in the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add in the broccoli florets and salt, then saute for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the broccoli is crisp tender and bright green. 
  2. Add the veggies to a large bowl, then pour in the cheese sauce and toss to combine (there will be a lot of liquid - don’t worry it will thicken in the oven). Taste and season with additional salt / pepper as needed (I usually add more salt), then stir in the egg.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Top with the crushed crackers.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the casserole looks set and the topping is browned. 
  5. Let the casserole rest for about 15 minutes, then serve warm.

Notes

*Add the cashews to a small bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight. If you forget, a quick soak method is included in the tips & tricks section in the post above.

Please note you REALLY need a high-speed blender to fully process the cashews. See the tips & tricks section in the post above for more info.

**For the cracker rounds, I’ve used Back to Nature’s Classic Cracker Rounds and Late July’s Organic Classic Crackers - both of which at the time of writing are dairy free (although please read the packages to double check / look for cross contamination warnings depending on your situation). 

To keep this gluten free - use gluten free / dairy free cracker rounds of choice. 

Be sure to check the ingredients on your mustard to make sure it is dairy free / gluten free as needed for your diet.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 416mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 11g

Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.