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Vegan Cauliflower Cheese

This is an amazing vegan cauliflower cheese recipe with a vegan roux sauce and topped with vegan cheese and breadcrumbs. This easy cauliflower recipe contains just 6 simple ingredients and is packed with flavour – the perfect side dish for a Sunday roast or Christmas dinner.

Vegan cauliflower cheese in a white baking dish

I never used to be a fan of cauliflower cheese – I know, shock horror! However, I soon learned to love the taste of the mild cauliflower coated in a cheesy sauce with those oh-so-essential crispy brown bits on top!

This recipe is, in my opinion, as close as you can get to a traditional cauliflower cheese recipe using dairy cheese, butter, and milk. It’s creamy, indulgent, cheesy, and even has that crispy crunchy topping that is a must for any vegan cauliflower cheese recipe. Vegan cauliflower cheese goes great as a side dish for a roast dinner with crispy roast potatoes and plenty of veg, but can also be amazing as an extra-indulgent side with a lentil hotpot or veggie shepherd’s pie.

Read on for how to make this dish!

How To Make Vegan Cauliflower Cheese

This recipe is so simple to make – even if you’ve never made a roux sauce before! It’s worth the extra (slight) effort to make a vegan cauliflower cheese from scratch, giving you that delicious, velvety cheese sauce to coat your cauliflower.


For the full quantities and instructions, please scroll straight down to the recipe at the bottom of the page. Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need to make your vegan cauliflower cheese:

  • Cauliflower
  • Olive oil: This replaces the dairy butter used in a traditional roux sauce. Alternatively, you could use plant-based butter.
  • Plain flour: This is an essential part of any roux sauce. If you want to make your roux sauce gluten-free, you could swap your flour out with cornflour (I would probably just add half a tablespoon less).
  • Plant-based milk: I’ve used oat milk in this recipe, but you could also use soy milk.
  • Nutritional yeast: This adds a nutty, cheesy flavour to the roux sauce. You could omit this if you don’t have it, but I think it adds a lovely depth to your vegan cauliflower cheese sauce.
  • Vegan cheese: I used the vegan cathedral city cheddar cheese block for this recipe as I find it tastes delicious and grates/melt well for this type of recipe. You could use your favourite vegan cheese instead though.
  • Breadcrumbs: These go on top of the cauliflower cheese to add extra crispiness to the recipe. If you are gluten-free, you could use gluten-free breadcrumbs or omit this step altogether.
A delicious vegan cauliflower cheese with a fork just taking a bite out of the white baking dish.

Tools You’ll Need:

Another great perk of this vegan cauliflower cheese is that you’ll only need a few tools! Great news if you’re making this recipe as a side dish to a wider meal and are looking to reduce the amount of washing up you have to do…

(Optional: you might also want some measuring spoons to get accurate quantities).

Par-boiling your cauliflower cheese

I’ve made this recipe both by par-boiling the cauliflower and by leaving it raw and letting it cook in the oven. Parboiling is slightly more time-consuming, but it does ensure the cauliflower is cooked once it comes out of the oven.

Not boiling it meant my cauliflower occasionally came out a little crunchy still.

Making your roux sauce

Making a vegan roux sauce may seem like an intimidating requirement for some people (or you might already be a veteran at whipping one up!), but it’s really very straightforward. Most importantly, keep stirring your roux! This will avoid lumps.

To make your vegan roux sauce:

  • Add oil to a pan and heat
  • Stir in your plain flour to make a paste
  • Slow stir in your plant-based milk, stirring constantly!
  • Add in your nutritional yeast, cheddar cheese, and seasonings of your choosing (I just used salt and pepper, but you could get fancy and throw in some thyme and rosemary, or even a sprinkle of smoked paprika).

Assembling the vegan cauliflower cheese

Once you’ve made your vegan roux sauce, you’ve basically already done about 80% of the work! Next, you simply need to chop your cauliflower into florets, place it in your baking dish, and pour over the roux sauce.

Then, sprinkle over more grated vegan cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs. Place in your preheated oven, and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the cheese sauce is bubbling, the cauliflower is soft, and the top is crispy and golden brown.

Vegan Cauliflower Cheese FAQs:

Help! My roux is lumpy – what did I do wrong?

Don’t worry if your roux has lumps of flour in it. Just keep whisking your sauce and eventually, you should be able to remove most of the lumps. You can also stir in a tiny bit more milk to smooth the sauce out.

What vegan cheese to use for vegan cauliflower cheese?

I used the Cathedral City vegan cheddar cheese block that was released here in the UK earlier in 2022. It tastes very close to the dairy cheddar block, melts well, and crumbles/grates just like dairy cheese! 

Other cheeses I think work great include the KoKo Vegan Cheese and perhaps the applewood block (although this has quite a strong flavour).

The top of my cauliflower cheese is brown but the cauliflower is still hard, what should I do?

If the top of your vegan cauliflower cheese is getting too brown while the cauliflower is still hard, place some foil over the top of your casserole dish. You might also want to turn your oven down a little.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

If you want a gluten-free vegan cauliflower cheese recipe, you’ll need to substitute the plain flour for gluten-free flour, and either omit the breadcrumbs or use GF breadcrumbs. Check that your vegan cheese doesn’t contain any gluten, too.

How do you stop cauliflower cheese from going watery?

If you overcook your cauliflower, it will release water that then leaks into the rest of the dish, resulting in a watery cauliflower cheese. Avoid baking your cauliflower for too long – 30 minutes should be perfect.

Can I steam my cauliflower instead of boiling it?

Yes, absolutely! Steaming your cauliflower will work just as well as boiling – and may actually be more effective for retaining the nutrients your cauliflower contains. Just make sure you don’t over-steam the cauliflower – you still want it to be a little al dente before it goes in the oven.


This vegan cauliflower cheese recipe is so simple that it’s difficult to make too many substitutions without completely altering the dish! However, a few potential swaps and adaptions you could make include:

  • Replace the oil with plant-based butter
  • Omit the nutritional yeast
  • Add caramelised onions in with the cauliflower for an extra hit of flavour
  • Add some dijon mustard to the cheese sauce for a kick
  • You could add some vegan pancetta pieces


This recipe is really best served fresh, so I’d recommend serving it soon after you’ve taken it out of the oven. 

If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, it should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days with foil wrapped tightly around your casserole dish. Place the dish with the foil in a preheated oven and cook for 30 – 40 minutes, removing the foil in the last 10 minutes.

This recipe can be frozen once it’s completely cooled. However, be aware that depending on what vegan cheese you’ve used, you might completely change the texture and quality of your roux sauce once it’s defrosted.

A creamy, cripsy vegan cauliflower cheese dish in a white baking dish. Underneath the dish is a biege waffle patterned cloth, with a silver fork on it.

Vegan Cauliflower Cheese

Yield: 2 Portions
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A beautifully creamy vegan cauliflower cheese recipe with a velvety vegan roux sauce, crispy cauliflower, and topped with vegan cheese and breadcrumbs


  • Half a cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose plain flour
  • 500ml plant-based milk (I use oat milk)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Salt & pepper
  • 50g grated vegan cheddar cheese (I use Cathedral City Vegan Cheddar)
  • 20g Breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Chop your cauliflower into florets and parboil in your saucepan for 5 minutes, before draining and tipping it into your casserole dish
  3. In your now empty saucepan, heat your olive oil
  4. Stir in your plain flour, mixing constantly to form a paste
  5. Slowly add in your milk, stirring/whisking constantly to avoid lumps
  6. Add in the nutritional yeast and two-thirds of your grated cheese, still stirring continuously until the sauce has thickened (this should only take about 5 - 8 minutes)
  7. Once the sauce is thickened, pour it over your cauliflower in the baking dish, ensuring it’s fully coated.
  8. Top the vegan cauliflower cheese with the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs.
  9. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked and the top is golden brown and crispy.
  10. Serve alongside vegetables, roast potatoes, and a vegan main of your choice for the perfect roast dinner!


Best served immediately. This dish will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days wrapped tightly in foil (allow to cool fully before covering). To reheat, pop in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes with the foil on. Remove the foil in the last 10 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 570Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 530mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 17gProtein: 21g

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