Easy Dairy Free Cauliflower Mac and Cheese {vegan + paleo}

Written by Sheri Goodman Graham

On May 2, 2021
Cauliflower mac and cheese
Recipe from https://nyssaskitchen.com/


for cauliflower base
  • 1 very large head of cauliflower or 2 small heads
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper
for cauliflower cashew cheese sauce
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in hot water
  • 1 cup very soft cooked cauliflower (reserved from cauliflower base)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup hot water + more as needed
for garnish
  • paprika
  • black pepper
  • fresh herbs
  • additional add-ins (see notes)


  • Soak cashews in boiling water for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the cauliflower.
  • Cut cauliflower into equal, bite size pieces.
  • Bring about 1/4 inch of water to a boil in a large, shallow frying pan. Add 1/4 tsp salt and cauliflower florets.
  • Turn heat down to medium high, cover and cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes so, until fork tender but not falling apart.
  • Remove all but 1 cup of the cauliflower using a slotted spoon. Set aside to drain in a colander or on a cutting board lined with a towel. Cook remaining cauliflower for another 3 or so minutes, until very soft, and falling apart. Add more water if the water in the pan starts to evaporate too quickly and pan is becoming dry.
  • Move soft cooked cup of cauliflower to a blender or food processor along with soaked and drained cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, turmeric and sea salt along with the first 1/3 cup of hot water. Blend on high until smooth, adding more hot water if needed. You want the final consistency to be pourable, but still thick. I only ended up adding about 1 additional tablespoon.
  • Wipe out skillet that you used to steam cauliflower and heat to medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil. Add drained cauliflower florets back to the pan along with 1/4 tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat in olive oil and salt and pepper.
  • Pour sauce over cauliflower, toss gently with a spatula to coat. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Top with a little cracked black pepper, paprika and fresh herbs if using. Serve hot, but can be made ahead and easily re-heated.

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