gluten-free paleo sides

Baked “Cheesy” Cauliflower {Dairy-Free}

August 17, 2014

I consider myself pretty luck in love. I’ve experienced first love (and second love), what it truly means to care for someone and someone to care for me and am fortunate to have never had my heart-broken. That is until now.

Don’t worry, C didn’t dump me (he’s smart enough not to do that!) but rather I am talking about my second true love, cheese. Cheese and I have always had a tumultuous relationship. By this I mean it hates me and no matter how many times it takes advantage of my tummy I never seem to learn my lesson. We go back and forth and just when I think I’m over it I find myself staring at a container of ricotta wanting to dive in spoon first. What can I say, cheese? You’re a hard block of guyere to get over.

Baked "Cheesy" Cauliflower // #dairyfree #paleoLately I have been trying to avoid going overboard with the dairy. As much as I love cheese and yogurt (the only kinds of dairy I eat), I’m not into looking and feeling like a heifer, which seems to be my body’s natural reaction to all things cow. But you know I’m not one for restriction so I’m trying to find ways to sub out dairy where I see fit. Like mac n’ cheese (or baked “cheesy” cauliflower…whatevs) which I eat just about never.

Actually I’m pretty sure the last time I ate mac n’ cheese was in college, drunk, with enough frank’s red hot to start a fire in my mouth. Truth-be-told I think the cheese they use in the boxed stuff is questionable so perhaps I wouldn’t have a bad reaction to it after all.

Baked "Cheesy" Cauliflower // #dairyfree #paleoBut since I’m not about to go throwing nutritional yeast onto my pizza or inside my zavioli, I figured I could probably live with creating a fake-out mac n’ cheese. Now folks, don’t come yelling at me when this doesn’t taste like the real stuff! That would require me to somehow develop a dairy-free cheese chemical and since I know nothing about chemistry, you’re out of luck.

I’ve yet to find a cheese substitute that actually tastes like cheese. I’ve heard good things about daiya, but since I’m new to the cheese single-life I thought I would take things slow and stick to nutritional yeast. It’s actually pretty good and I’ll suck up my cheese snobbery to save myself the tummy ache. Will I be coming home at 2:00 AM craving this Baked “Cheesy” Cauliflower? Probably not. But that’s because my drunk food of choice is always poutine, hold the cheese curds.


Baked “Cheesy” Cauliflower {Dairy-Free}

  • Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk*
  • 3 T tapioca starch**
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot heat up olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add in onion and sauté for 5 mins or until translucent.
  4. Heat up almond milk in microwave for 1 minute or on stove top (in a separate pot) until warm.
  5. Stir tapioca starch in with almond milk until well-combined.
  6. Reduce heat on pot with onions to low and add in almond milk-tapioca mixture. Continue stirring until mix has thickened (about 1 minute). Remove from heat.
  7. Add in nutritional yeast and salt and pepper. Let mixture cool for 5-10 mins.
  8. Stir in egg until well-combined.
  9. Add in chopped cauliflower and coat with mixture.
  10. Spray 4 small ramekins or a larger ovenproof baking dish with non-stick spray or coconut oil.
  11. Divide mixture between ramekins or add to baking dish.
  12. Cook for 30 minutes.
  13. Increase oven to broil and cook for another 2 minutes.
  14. Remove from oven and serve.


*Can use any dairy-free milk. **Can use any starch such as corn but use tapioca if paleo.


  • Serving Size: 4

Baked Cauliflower Mac n' Cheese-It may not be the real stuff but this #dairyfree and #paleo mac n' cheese is packed full of flavour with the goodness of cauliflower! // Dairy, yay or nay? Have you ever tried nutritional yeast?


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  • Reply
    January 18, 2016 at 6:48 am

    I also have trouble with “dairy” including cheese and yogurt. But goat products are ok. Have you tried goat cheddar? It’s to die for! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lexi @ Lexi's Clean Kitchen
    August 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    DAMN this looks amazing!!!!! I am a little scared of nutritional yeast. Tell me not to be.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      August 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Don’t be!!!! I mean it’s no replacement for cheese but it ain’t bad!

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    August 20, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Baked and Cheesy? This Cauliflower… Sounds like he is a FRESHMAN at a college frat party!

  • Reply
    Mary Frances
    August 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I have GOT to try this. Ugh, I know it, my body does crazy (really crazy :/) things when I overload on dairy. Sometimes I just have to have my cheesy fix and thank goodness for nutritional yeast. It is the bomb! 🙂 As is this recipe – Pinning!

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    August 19, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    im not a big fan of dairy, but that i mean milk but i heart cheese and gelato. this looks pretty darn good.

  • Reply
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green
    August 19, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Yummmm.. I love me some cauliflower! And when it is baked in a creamy dairy free sauce – double win!!

  • Reply
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
    August 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    I have not tried nutritional yeast. I’ve seen it in a lot of recipes and not entirely sure I understand what it does. If it replaces dairy, then I should be using it. Like you, my stomach cannot digest dairy well.

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    August 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I hear you, I love cheese! Cheese, yogurt, and whey protein (oh, and fro yo sometimes!) are pretty much the only types of dairy I eat, but recently I’ve been thinking about nixing the dairy for a bit to see if my annoying skin issues (allergies, rashes) go away… but I’m hesitant because I really like eating my dairy!

    I just tried Daiya pizza for the first time at IDEA World and I have to say, it was yummy and tasted pretty similar to normal cheese! If I do try doing dairy-free, I think I’d need to have substitutes like that to fill my cheese void 😉

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    August 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Yum! Pinned!

  • Reply
    Diana @sosmallsostrong
    August 18, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I have tried nutritional yeast. It’s not bad! I am a huge dairy fan but I never discriminate against non-dairy! 🙂 These little guys look great!

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