Healthy Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

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Where are my cauliflower lovers at? I know you're here somewhere.

And if you're not a cauliflower lover yet, you need to try this, because this will make you a cauliflower lover. I promise.

Easy vegan buffalo cauliflower casserole dish on a plate

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that you see in the store, and you really wanna try cooking with it, but sometimes you just have no idea what in the actual world to do with it... so you just don't buy it, and you move on to broccoli or something.

But I've got you. Because after you try this spicy, cheezy, flavorful healthy vegan cauliflower casserole dish recipe you're going to want to buy allll the cauliflower, all the time. 😛

easy vegan buffalo cauliflower casserole dish recipe

reasons to love this easy + healthy vegan buffalo cauliflower casserole recipe:

  • It's easy.. okay so it does require a little bit of your time and a certain level of multitasking but seriously, if you follow my steps... you're going to have an amazing looking healthy vegan dish on the table for dinner, and everyone's gonna say WOW!
  • It's healthy! This recipe is oil free, sugar free, and gluten free. Plus, it's got spinach and kale and cauliflower... seriously your grandmother would be proud. <3
  • It looks beautiful. It's colorful with hints of orange and green, and makes such a pretty dish for a special occasion, a romantic dinner for two, or to impress friends who think vegans only eat salads.
  • It doesn't taste healthy. There is so much flavor, and spice, and cheeziness in here... you'll forget the main ingredient of this dish is plain old cauliflower.
  • Makes for the most perfectttt left over meal. Sometimes I make this on Saturday nights because I want the left overs for lunch of Sunday. 😛

easy vegan buffalo cauliflower casserole dish recipe

how to make this healthy vegan buffalo cauliflower casserole dish:

First we start by bringing the cauliflower florets to a boil. You can use one cauliflower, but if you are using a 9x4 glass casserole dish like mine, I recommend two cauliflowers to fill up the whole thing.

While that's boiling, we're going to be wickedly-awesome-multi-taskers and go ahead and make the special homemade spicy vegan buffalo cream sauce.

If you're a pinch for time, you can totally just use a store bought hot sauce, but here's the thing... my spicy sauce is creamy and thick and makes this whole dish taste totally awesome so if you do decide to skip on it, it's on you! 😛 Once cauliflower is soft and tender, drain and coat with creamy sauce.

easy healthy vegan buffalo cauliflower casserole dish recipe

Next, we're going to top the cauliflower with greeeens, because greens make everything prettier, and healthier. Add your choice of greens. I always stick to kale and spinach for this dish. Sometimes all kale, sometimes all spinach, sometimes half and half, depending on my mood... and what I have left in the fridge.

easy healthy vegan buffalo cauliflower casserole dish recipe

Finally, we're going to top it off with the homemade garlic vegan cheezy sauce, and maybe some left over walnut taco meat, if you have any on hand. Seriously, it takes this whole casserole up anothaaa level. But it's totally optional.

Pop it back into the oven for another 10 minutes and you're done. I promise. No more work. Now, we eat.

tasty cauliflower casserole leftovers for lunch...

If you're making this cauliflower casserole dish for a large group, say 4 or more, then you mighttt not have any left overs in the end. But if this is more of a dinner-for-two situation, then let me tell you that lunch tomorrow is going to blow your mind.

This healthy cauliflower casserole tastes sooo good once it has set in the fridge over night. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing fresh-out-the-oven, but sooo yummy as left overs too.

mock mozzarella 'cheeze' sauce 

Also, can we talk about this vegan garlic cheezy sauce for a sec? It deserves so much more than that. This cheezy sauce is a vegan miracle.

The sauce will have a pour-able consistency fresh out of the blender but as soon as it settles in the oven, it begins to harden and becomes somewhat of a mock mozzarella cheese layer on top of the casserole. So good friends, soooo good.

easy healthy vegan buffalo cauliflower casserole dish recipe (2 of 3)

 

Do you like cauliflower? Have you ever made a casserole with it? If you do go ahead and try this recipe don't forget to comment below, or find us on social media to share your review with us. We'd love to feature you in our stories. <3

In the mood for more vegan dinner ideas?

Check out these Oven Roasted Spicy Kale Chips, Easy Raw Vegan Romaine Lettuce Tacos, or my favorite Vegan Garbanzo Bean Soup.

 

with love + gratitude,

Jen ♥

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Time Saving Tip: There are a few things you can do the day before to save some time. You can make the buffalo creamy sauce the day before and store in an airtight container in the fridge for the next day. You can also make the cheezy sauce the day before. It might thicken up a bit in the fridge overnight but you can add bits of water to make it more liquid if needed. You can also make this vegan sundried tomato walnut taco meat the night before as well, and it is a great addition to this meal.

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Healthy Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

easy healthy vegan buffalo cauliflower casserole dish

A cheezy buffalo cauliflower casserole topped with spinach and kale, that is soooo unbelievably tasty, you won’t even know it’s healthy! Vegan | Oil free | Gluten free

  • Author: Jen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 9 pieces
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

  • 2 Cauliflower Heads (You can definitely only make it with 1 but you’ll have a smaller casserole.)
  • a handful of kale (around 35g or 2 to 3 individual stalks), roughly chopped
  • a handful of spinach (23g), roughly chopped

Homemade Spicy Buffalo Cream Sauce: 

  • 1/2 cup (76g) of cashews
  • 1 red bell pepper (roughly 153g)
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes (31g) (soak for at least 20 minutes, save the water.)
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic (10g) and onion powder (8g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) of cayenne pepper or more depending on your tolerance to spice.
  • 1/2 cup (97g) of sun-dried tomato soak water (you can use regular water, too)
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon of pink himalayan salt

Vegan Garlic ‘Cheeze’ Sauce:

  • 1 cup  (123g) cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves (9g)
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) of lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons (24g) of tapioca powder
  • 1 tablespoon (11g) of onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (3g) Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup (219g) of water

Instructions

  1. Cut up cauliflower into florets and bring to a boil for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Make the spicy buffalo cream sauce. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth and set aside.
  3. Drain cauliflower florets and coat with spicy buffalo cream sauce. Place coated cauliflower in casserole dish and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Make the vegan garlic cheeze sauce. Mix all ingredients in the blender until smooth, set aside. Chop the kale and spinach if not chopped yet.
  5. Remove cauliflower from the oven when finished and top with chopped kale and spinach, and pour vegan garlic cheeze sauce on top of greens. Place casserole dish back in the oven (on the 2nd rack preferably) and roast at 350F for another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove, let cool, and serve.

I had some left over vegan sundried tomato walnut taco meat, and so I sprinkled that on top. You can find the recipe for that here.

Notes

  • I used a 9×4 glass casserole dish.
  • Tastes even better the next day, leftovers are perfecttt for lunch.
  • For reference: The cauliflowers that I use range in weight between 600g and 800g

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Easy + Healthy Vegan Cauliflower Casserole Dish Recipe. Oil Free | GF #vegan #plantbased #wholefoods #easyrecipes #dinnerideas

About Jen

Hey, I am Jen, Nice to meet ya! I am obsessed with creating healthy vegan meals that taste deliciouslyyy amazing. I never cared much for food, nor cooking, but that all changed a few years ago when I switched to a whole foods, plant based diet and discovered the magic of plants! <3 Now, I have my very own vegan food blog where I share that magic with YOU! Most of the recipes you'll find here are refined-sugar free and oil-free with almost zero processed ingredients, if any! If you love what you see, drop a comment below! Thank you for stopping by and much love + gratitude always.

24 Comments

  1. Nicole | What She Ate on April 9, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    I’m a big fan of all things cauliflower, so this is totally up my alley. Love the idea of mixing it with cheese sauce and greens and transforming it into a casserole! Yum!

  2. Kathy on April 10, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I love cauliflower! and cheesy goodness! and Buffalo sauce! YUM! I definitely need to add this to my recipe box! 🙂

  3. Jasmin // VeeatCookBake on April 10, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    i love everything with cauliflower. such a great idea 🙂 sounds so delish

    • Jen on April 13, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Jasmin!

  4. Marly on April 10, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    I love cauliflower and the spiciness of everything marked “buffalo”. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Jen on April 13, 2018 at 10:04 am

      If you like spicy – you’ll love this!

  5. Christine @ Happy Veggie Kitchen on April 11, 2018 at 5:39 am

    I spent most of my life hating cauliflower, but lately I’ve been loving it, and this casserole looks perfect, so much flavor! And what gorgeous photography – I will never know how you managed to make a veggie casserole look so stunning, that takes serious talent!

    • Jen on April 13, 2018 at 10:04 am

      Christine, thank you so much for those kind words. <3 I also hated cauliflower as a kid (and partly as an adult too haha), but I've come around to loving it. <3

  6. Albert Bevia on April 11, 2018 at 5:49 am

    I love cauliflower, such a versatile veggie, this casserole looks insane good, can’t wait to give this a try

    • Jen on April 13, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Cauliflower is king! 😛 I was never a fan, but definitely one now. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Kate on April 12, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    This seriously looks so good. I am definitely pinning it to try it later! What a great way to pack in lots of veggies for dinner. And it looks so filling!

    • Jen on April 13, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Yes!! I was surprised myself at how good a bunch of veggies can actually taste haha. <3 Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Claudia on April 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    This buffalo cream sauce sounds divine . I really need to store this recipe on my list. Thanks so much for sharing! Claudia

    • Jen on April 13, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Thank you Claudia! The creamy sauce definitely makes this dish stand out! <3 hope you LOVE it.

  9. Claudia on April 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    This buffalo cream sauce sounds divine . I really need to store this recipe on my list. Thanks so much for sharing! Claudia

  10. Susan Shapiro on April 15, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Jen this looks amazing. What is that crunchy looking topping you have sprinkled on top? Thanks!!!

    • Jen on April 15, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      Hi Susan – the topping is sun dried tomato walnut taco meat (I had leftovers so sprinkled it up top), you can find the recipe here: here

      • Susan Shapiro on April 16, 2018 at 8:36 am

        Thanks Jen!!! Appreciate that.

        • Jen on April 16, 2018 at 6:44 pm

          Of course no problem!! Let me know if you end up making it, and how it turned out for you!!! <3

  11. Yve on April 30, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Found this recipe to be bland and to require quite a bit of tweaking to get the dish tasting good. Felt like too much work as I had to use/clean my blender twice for 2 different sauces – which just blend together anyways once plated. The “cheese” sauce didn’t taste anything like cheese and I was lucky to have nutritional yeast on hand to fix it.
    Overall, I like the idea of this recipe and once eating it, I felt like it was full of good stuff…but I wouldn’t make this again. This recipe had been given 5stars from three different people, which I honestly found rather misleading. Looking back, it appears those people assigned 5stars to what this recipe LOOKED like. I always assumed the star rating system was reserved for when the recipe had actually been tested out. Oh well.

    • Jen on April 30, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      Hey Yve! Thanks for stopping by and leaving an amazing constructive comment that can potentially help somebody else out in the future. I’m sorry you found this recipe to be bland .. I’ve tried this recipe many times in our household and we all love it, it’s actually a FAVORITE around here.. but then again everyone has different taste-buds and and opinions on flavors. I’m glad you were able to ‘tweak’ it to your favor – perhaps adding more salt or more spice would do the trick. I hope you didn’t have to reinvent the whole recipe.

      As far as the complexity of the recipe itself – yes indeed it’s not the simplest of recipes out there which is why I mention it is a great one for the weekends. If washing your blender twice is a hassle, you can always choose not to wash it and simply reuse the blender even if a bit of the first sauce mixes in with the ‘cheeze’. I do this myself sometimes – simple fix! You mention that the sauces just blend together when plated, but in my experience I haven’t found that to be the case. As you can tell from the pictures – the ‘cheezy’ layer forms a thicker crust on top once it’s baked (that’s due to the tapioca hardening which is essential in the cheeze sauce), so I think both sauces should be made separately.. but hey, feel free to experiment!

      The ‘cheeze’ sauce does not taste like cheese because, well, it is not cheese.. it is a vegan alternative. Most vegans are used to this, but if you really crave a more authentic cheese flavor, you can always use store-bought faux cheese… however, those usually contain a ton of processed ingredients, lots of salt, sugar and oil, which we choose not to use around here. Nutritional yeast is a great ingredient and I’m glad that it made the cheeze sauce taste better for you. I opted to leave out the nooch on purpose for this one but it totally works! Overall, I am glad to hear that you liked the ‘idea’ of it, and that it is full of good stuff – which indeed it is. 🙂 I assure you next time I try this recipe I will keep all of your input in mind and try to improve it wherever I can. I hope you feel inspired to get in the kitchen more, and if nothing else, use the idea of this recipe to create something much more enjoyable for yourself in the future. Once again, thanks for your feedback! <3 Have a beautiful Monday!

  12. emma on April 30, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    This recipe is wonderful. Easy to follow, easy to implement and cooking process made the apartment smell great. Filling, lots of leftovers (I used 2 heads of cauliflower) and didn’t feel guilty for eating it. Full of healthy ingredients. Every bite a little different.

    I chose to use only spinach, and I added some Gardein brand beefless crumbles on top. Recipe great as a side dish or main course.

    Will make again for sure!

    • Jen on May 1, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks Emma! So happy it turned out great for you. And yesss the smell and the left overs are my favorite part haha. Thanks for sharing your picture on Instagram with us, had us drooling!!! <3 Have a beautiful Tuesday.

  13. Cleo @ Journey to the Garden on May 9, 2018 at 1:33 am

    Okay, I made this one too and oh my goodness, it was to-die-for!!! I changed it up though and made both the cauliflower and the cheese sauce somewhat differently. I hope to post it on my food blog if I can ever stop working long enough to photograph it. Another great recipe, Jen!

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