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+ servings
A white, rectangular baking dish has been filled with a cauliflower gratin and topped with breadcrumbs. It rests on a white cloth against a white surface.
4.34 from 9 votes

Vegan Cauliflower Gratin

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Soaking time for cashews 2 hours
Yields: 8 servings


  • 1 cup raw cashews (140 g)
  • 1 extra large head (~3 lb) or 2 small (~1.25 lb) heads cauliflower (2 1/4 lb/1020 g florets after preparation)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour (30 g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (plus extra for boiling the cauliflower)
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (substitute 1 clove garlic)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (20 g)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping cup (105 g) fresh breadcrumbs* or 3/4 cup (84 g) dried bread crumbs (I prefer fresh for this recipe; see note)


  • Bring two cups of water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the cashews and allow them to soak for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. If you soak them for longer than two hours, transfer the cashews to the fridge. When the cashews have soaked long enough, drain and rinse them. 
  • Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly oil or grease a 7 x 11 x 2 in (10 cup) baking dish with vegan butter. (28 x 18 x 5 cm, or 2.4 L.)
  • Core the cauliflower and break it down into small florets and bite-sized pieces. You should have about 2 1/2 lb (1020 g) cauliflower after preparation. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the cauliflower florets and pieces for 6-10 minutes, or until all of the pieces are fork tender, but not mushy. (The water temperature may drop when you add the cauliflower, in which case, be patient: the water will start to boil again if you cover it and allow it to reach a boil again.) Drain the cauliflower. 
  • While the cauliflower boils, blend the soaked and drained cashews, water, flour salt, nutmeg, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and pepper in a powerful blender or a food processor until the mixture is completely smooth. 
  • Pour 3/4 cup of the blended creamy cashew mixture into the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Add all of the cauliflower to the dish. Pour all of the remaining liquid over the cauliflower, coating the pieces well. It will look like a lot of liquid, but it will thicken as it bakes. Top the gratin with the breadcrumbs.
  • Bake the gratin for 30-40 minutes, or until the crumbs on top of the gratin are a deep golden brown. Allow the gratin to cool for 15 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving. Enjoy!


*To prepare fresh breadcrumbs: tear 3 slices (105 g) of stale white bread (sourdough, peasant or country bread, or white sandwich bread) into rough pieces and transfer them to a food processor. Pulse until they're broken up into crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until very lightly golden and dry. Proceed with your recipe.