Yes, I make everything with cauliflower. Including casseroles.
You don’t need to worry until the day I made ice cream with it. Then you’ll know I’ve gone off the deep end.
With autumn in the air, I’m craving heartier and richer veggie dishes. I grew up on creamy chicken-and-veggie-bakes, which feel like comfort food to me. These casseroles of my childhood always contained cheese and sour cream, which I’ve since eliminated from my diet.
I set out to make a veggie-based casserole without the dairy, but with a creamy sauce and crispy topping. This is not a main-dish casserole, but it makes a hearty accompaniment to a roast chicken or another protein source. I do have a main-dish casserole recipe coming soon.
About the ingredients in this Paleo Cauliflower Casserole
Button mushrooms thicken the dairy-free sauce and add umami flavor. If you have other mild-flavored mushrooms on hand, feel free to use those.
Paleo mayonnaise takes the place of cheese in this dairy-free casserole. I encourage you to use an avocado oil based mayo, like this one, because the vegetable oils used in standard mayonnaise is inflammatory.
Canned, full-fat coconut milk is part of the non-dairy sauce. You could likely use a lighter, unsweetened non-dairy milk in place of the coconut milk, but the casserole will not be as rich.
Herbamare, available here, is my go-to seasoning salt, featuring unrefined sea salt and dried herbs. It is worth getting, although you could substitute 1/2 tsp. plain unrefined salt. I use Herbamare on my veggies, meats, and seafood. It’s also delicious on quinoa and rice.
Plantain chips provide a crispy, grain-free topping. You could also used crushed coconut-oil cooked potato chips, if you wish.
Get 25% off the ingredients
If you haven’t signed up for Thrive Market yet, I want to point you in that direction! I’ve worked with Thrive for a few years, and now purchase many of my pantry staples there, including the “specialty” ingredients used in this recipe. Here’s why:
- 25% – 50% off standard prices — Thrive is like an online version of Costco and Whole Foods. For a small yearly membership fee, you get access to wholesale prices on natural and organic ingredients.
- Great prices on their top-quality private label products — I trust Thrive’s private label because they source in ways that supports local, sustainable ecosystems.
- Eco-friendly packaging – I still find their use of packaging to be heavy, but they are dedicated to using as much recycled packaging as possible.
- Community support. For every membership purchased, Thrive gives a membership to a family in need.
If you want to sign up with Thrive, you can get 25% off your first order with this link here.
- 1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 Tbs. ghee
- 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise made with healthy oil, such as this one
- ⅓ cup full-fat coconut milk (you could likely substitute any other non-dairy milk)
- ¾ tsp. Herbamare seasoning salt, available here
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
- ½ package Inca Plantain Chips, available here
- Olive oil
- Steam the cauliflower until tender but not mushy, about 7 minutes. Drain and put the cauliflower into a 9" casserole dish.
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- In a saute pan over medium head, cook the onion in the ghee until slightly softened. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to help soften the vegetables while cooking.
- Once cooked, put the mushrooms/onions in a blender (I recommend this affordable alternative to Vitamix) with the mayonnaise and coconut milk. Add the Herbamare, Dijon, dill and chives. Blend until creamy.
- In the casserole dish, combine the creamy sauce with the cauliflower.
- You can eyeball the measurement for the plantain crackers -- I use about ½ a package. In a zip-top bag, crush the crackers with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Sprinkle the crushed crackers over the casserole, then drizzle lightly with olive oil (about a tablespoon). This helps the topping brown.
- Bake until bubbling and the topping is golden, about 15 - 20 minutes.