Tender brussels sprouts, the creamiest dairy free sauce, and the crunch of breadcrumbs… oh baby, you’re going to love this dish! It’s perfect for holiday meals!

Get ready for some creamy casserole goodness, friends.

This Dairy Free Brussels Sprouts Gratin is my fun spin on the classic Potatoes Au Gratin. These saucy brussels are truly comfort food perfection.

Brussels sprouts are boiled until tender. Then covered in the creamiest “cheesy” sauce that will have you licking your plate. (In a totally dignified way I’m sure.)

There’s just something about the smoothness of the sauce paired with the crunch from the breadcrumbs. It’s so satisfying and feels indulgent! And Thanksgiving is really the very best time for indulgence, right?

For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):

  • Fresh brussels sprouts
  • Cashews
  • Almond milk
  • Lemon juice
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Bread crumbs
  • Vegan butter
  • A few seasonings

Trim the bottom of each brussels sprout and peel away the first layer of leaves. That’s where you usually see the dirt and any brown sprouts. Once this is done you’ll have beautiful little bright green sprouts.

Add brussels sprouts to a pot of boiling water and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until sprouts are tender. Then slice into halves or thirds and season.

Add all sauce ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Spread the boiled brussels sprouts in a 9 x 9 baking dish. Pour the sauce over top. Add a layer of bread crumbs and melted butter (vegan). Now bake until everything is warmed through and bread crumbs are golden.

Tips to a Perfect Cashew-Based Sauce

Since this sauce is dairy free I’m using softened cashews to give us the thick creamy texture we desire. I work a lot with cashews for dairy free sauces and here are my best tips to achieve the sauce of your dreams:

  • Use raw unsalted cashews. If you do use salted cashews you’ll want to adjust your seasonings to avoid having an overly salty dish. So skip the salt in the directions until after you’ve given it a taste. Then add salt a little at a time until you achieve the flavor you want.
  • Make sure you get those cashews soft before blending. You can soak them overnight in a bowl of water if you have the time. Need a shortcut? Add them to a bowl with enough water to cover and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes (my favorite method) or cover them with water and let them sit for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. All three methods work great so take your pick!
  • Add a little lemon juice to help balance out the cashew flavor.
  • Blend, blend, and blend some more. If you taste the sauce and it’s gritty or too thin then you need to keep blending. The finished texture will be thick and smooth.

How to prep brussels sprouts

Trim the bottom of each brussels sprout and peel away the first layer of leaves. That’s where you usually see the dirt and any brown sprouts. Once this is done you’ll have beautiful little bright green sprouts.

Why boil the brussels sprouts first?

The time and temperature we’re using in this recipe aren’t enough to fully cook the brussels sprouts so we need to cook them beforehand. Boiling the brussels sprouts means they’ll get super tender and that’s what we want. No crunchy brussels happening here today, folks! We’ll let those breadcrumbs give us all the crunch we need.

Can this be made gluten free?

Purchase gluten free bread crumbs if you’re avoiding gluten. There are lots of great brands who offer these. Panko is probably the bread crumb brand most widely available and they have a gluten free version. Even Target makes one in their Good & Gather line.

Can this be made Whole30?

Just skip the bread crumbs or sub crushed pork rinds. Check the ingredients to be sure your vegan butter is compliant or use ghee instead.

Can you make this ahead of time?

You can definitely do the prep in advance. Once you have everything assembled (but not cooked) cover it in foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake when you’re ready to eat. Since everything will be cold when you reheat it increase the cooking time just a bit to be sure the brussels sprouts are completely warmed up. I recommend 20 to 25 minutes in the oven (again, only if this dish has been refrigerated for a while and is cold).

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Dairy Free Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Tender brussels sprouts, the creamiest dairy free sauce, and the crunch of breadcrumbs… oh baby, you're going to love this dish!

Ingredients 

Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Dairy Free Sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened and unflavored
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Topping

  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs, can use gluten free if desired
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted

Optional: fresh chopped parsley

    Instructions

    • Soak your cashews one of three ways:
      Soak cashews in near boiling water for 20 minutes.
      Add cashews to enough water to cover and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Let sit for another minute or two before moving to the next step.
      Soak cashews overnight in a bowl of water.
    • Drain and rinse soaked cashews. Set aside.
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    • Trim the bottom of each brussels sprout and peel away the first layer of leaves.
    • Bring a pot of water to boil. Once water is boiling add the brussels sprouts. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender.
    • Drain the water. Chop brussels sprouts into halves or thirds. Season with salt and garlic powder. Set aside.
    • Add all sauce ingredients (including the soaked cashews) to a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If it still feels a bit gritty simply blend some more.
    • Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish to prevent sticking. (I use an olive oil spray or simply wipe a very thin layer of olive oil on the bottom and sides.)
    • Spread brussels sprouts in bottom of the baking dish. Pour sauce over top in an even layer. Then spread breadcrumbs over top of the sauce and pour on the melted butter.
    • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until breadcrumbs on top are golden. (20 minutes is perfect in my oven.) Sprinkle with chopped parsley (optional) and serve.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 215kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 540mg, Potassium: 430mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 703IU, Vitamin C: 48mg, Calcium: 89mg, Iron: 3mg
    Did you make this recipe?Tag @thewholecook and hashtag it #thewholecook on Instagram.

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