This Cheesy Broccoli Casserole is a completely dairy free version of the classic comfort food side dish! It is also Whole30 (depending on the topping) and Keto-friendly!
I’ve always loved anything that involves broccoli and cheese. Especially the creamy broccoli casseroles I had growing up that were made with cream of mushroom soup. However, regular cow’s milk dairy doesn’t agree with me much anymore, and I’ve since learned that those canned soups are ANYTHING but good for us! So… I wanted to create a healthier, dairy free version of the creamy casserole I grew up loving, and I think this turned out really great.
The sauce is made from a mixture of cashews, coconut milk, chicken broth, nutritional yeast to give it a nice cheesy flavor, lemon juice and a few other spices. Even my husband (who eats ALL the dairy normally) said it was amazing!
What the heck is Nutritional Yeast?!
Nutritional yeast is basically deactivated yeast and it comes in the form of flakes or powder. Nutritional yeast has a lot of nutritional value and it is Whole30 compliant- click here to learn more about it and its benefits! I usually get mine from Trader Joe’s or this brand on Thrive Market. Same with coconut milk – my favorite brand is Native Forest! You can also use unsweetened almond milk.
I also get my cashews from Trader Joe’s – they have raw, unsalted ones for a great price.
I usually get chicken broth from Costco – just make sure to read ingredients if you’re doing a Whole30!
For the topping, I used Pork Panko, which is just made from pork skin and salt. It’s a great alternative to regular bread crumbs and it’s also Keto and Whole30 friendly. If you don’t have this or don’t want to use it, you can use crushed up regular bread crumbs (if you tolerate gluten), crushed up paleo crackers (I like Simple Mills), or other gluten free bread crumbs. Or just omit the topping completely (unless it’s the pork panko) for Whole30!
I feel like this casserole would make a really great Thanksgiving side dish, or would be delicious just paired alongside some grilled steaks!
Ok, time to make this cheesy broccoli casserole!
Dairy-Free Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
- 3 heads broccoli, chopped into florets about 8 cups
- 2 cups raw unsalted cashews no need to soak if you have a high-powered blender
- 1 cup chicken broth sub vegetable broth for vegan
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk make sure you mix it together before measuring - it separates in the can!
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 cup Pork Panko or regular panko if not gluten free, crushed up paleo crackers, Siete chips, etc.
- 1 tbsp ghee sub coconut oil or vegan butter for 100% dairy free
- Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chopped broccoli florets and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
- Make the sauce. Combine cashews, coconut milk, chicken broth, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, mustard, and spices into a high powered blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds until the sauce is very creamy.
- Spray a casserole dish (I used 9x9 but you can also use a 9x13 - it will just be a little thinner) with cooking oil. Add broccoli to the casserole dish and pour the sauce overtop. Mix well until combined.
- Make the topping. Heat the ghee over medium high heat and add in the pork panko (or breadcrumbs/crackers/chips of choice). Saute for 1-2 minutes until combined and slightly toasted. Spread the topping evenly on top of the broccoli mixture.
- Bake the casserole for 35-40 minutes until cooked through and bubbling on the edges. Serve and enjoy!