cheesy broccoli with cracker topping in a blue and white floral bowl with cheesy broccoli in white casserole dish

An ode to a classic holiday recipe I grew up loving. This vegan cheesy broccoli with cracker topping is a healthier and delicious alternative to the classic Ritz cracker and velveeta broccoli combo.

I am so excited to bring you this healthier spin on a classic dish to bring to your holiday gatherings! It’s gluten free, nut free (depending on the crackers you use), and paleo friendly!

The cheesy sauce is out of this world good- it’s flavorful and silky smooth. It pairs perfectly with the broccoli florets and the crunchy cracker topping!

cheesy broccoli with cracker topping in white casserole dish

This is a great healthy side dish to bring to and get together! Everyone will devour it, and I love being able to provide more nutritious options in addition to the more indulgent foods! It’s all about balance 🙂

The cheese sauce is a simple blender sauce with a base of potatoes, carrots, oat milk, nutritional yeast, and a few seasonings. I can’t believe you can make a cheese sauce this good from vegetables, but here we are!! I am in love and honestly would make the sauce on it’s own to pair with chips, pasta, or any veggies!

cheesy broccoli with cracker topping in a blue and white floral bowl with fork

What kind of crackers should I use?

I used an almond flour cracker, but you can use any cracker you love! I don’t recommend a cracker with tons of seeds and different textures in it, as you want a to sort of mimic a Ritz cracker crumb! You can also use regular crackers if you don’t need the dish to be gluten free.

Just blitz the crackers in a blender or food processor to get a nice cracker crumb. You can also crush them by hand if you’re in a pinch- just make sure it’s a fine crumb like pictured above!

cheesy broccoli with cracker topping in a blue and white floral bowl with fork

This cheesy broccoli perfect plant based and gluten free side dish that everyone can enjoy.

I think you and your families are really going to love this one. It’s simple, nourishing, and addicting (you’ll definitely go back for seconds!!). I am so excited to hear what you think of this one! Please be sure to let me know in the comments below, and tag me on Instagram so I can see 🙂

Enjoy! xo

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Vegan Cheesy Broccoli

  • Author: Mia Zarlengo
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x
  • Category: Sides


Vegan cheesy broccoli with a cracker topping. Gluten free, nut free option, and paleo friendly. A healthier, dairy free spin on the classic velveeta-style cheesy veggies!


  • 2 (16 oz each) bags of frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup crushed cracker crumbs (any cracker you like, gluten free if needed)
  • Avocado oil spray

For the Cheese Sauce

  • 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened and unflavored oat milk 
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional, for color)
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. Thaw and drain the broccoli according to directions on bag. Be sure to drain well.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13″ baking dish.
  3. In a large pot, cover potatoes and carrots with water by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Boil for 10-12 minutes until veggies are fork tender. Remove veggies from water with a slotted spoon and blend with all other cheese sauce ingredients until super smooth.
  4. Lay half of the broccoli out in the greased baking dish, and pour about half of the cheese sauce over the top. Add the rest of the broccoli and repeat with the remaining cheese sauce, then cover the top with your cracker crumbs. Lightly spray the cracker crumbs with avocado oil spray.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and cracker topping is slightly browned. You can broil at the end for 1-2 minutes to brown the crackers more if you prefer, but be careful not to burn. Serve and enjoy!
  6. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Leftovers can be reheated at 350°F until bubbly. 

Appetizers + Sides, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian


Nov 17, 2020

Vegan Cheesy Broccoli with Cracker Topping

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag @gatherednutrition on INstagram so I can see what you made! Leaving a rating and review on the site is a huge help too!

  1. Whitney Overfelt says:

    Hi, looks delicious! So should the broccoli already be cooked before layering and baking?

  2. Vegan38 says:

    We made the cheese for nachos! So good for vegans!

  3. Marie says:

    Hey! Are the potatoes necessary? Can you skip them or replace them? Potatoes bloat me up so I’m trying to find another alternative.

    • Mia Zarlengo says:

      Hi Marie- I’m sorry you’ll definitely need the potatoes for the sauce! Otherwise, you’ll end up with a completely different texture!

  4. Daniella says:

    Looks so so delicious! I’m celiac and where I live there isn’t gluten free oat milk-or too many alternatives ????- would almond milk work? Should I add a bit of tapioca starch or something if it’s too thin?

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Simple. Attainable. Gathered Nutrition.