Overhead close up shot of a cast iron skillet filled with cheesy vegan broccoli cauliflower rice with a wooden spoon resting in it

Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Cauliflower Rice Skillet

This Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Cauliflower Rice Skillet is a delicious, plant-based meal or side dish, reminiscent of the creamy cheddar broccoli rice casserole you might have had growing up! The cheese sauce is luxuriously creamy, made with sweet potato and cashews, and there's a nut free version too! It's healthy comfort food at its best!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten Free, Plant Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword cheesy broccoli cauliflower rice, cheesy broccoli rice casserole, cheesy vegan broccoli, cheesy vegan skillet recipe, easy cauliflower rice, vegan cauliflower rice recipe, vegan cheese sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Molly | Spices in My DNA


For the cheese sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2'' cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • pinch of pepper

For the broccoli and cauliflower rice

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium broccoli crown, cut into small florets
  • 1 (12 ounce) package cauliflower rice*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Begin by making the cheese sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion along with a couple pinches of salt and pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sweet potato, 2 1/4 cups of the water, and cashews and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until sweet potato is tender.

  2. Let mixture cool for a minute, then transfer to a high-powered blender. Add the remaining 1/4 cup water, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until super smooth and creamy. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired. Set aside.

  3. For the broccoli and cauliflower rice, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (you can use the same skillet - just wipe it out!). Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the broccoli and sauté for 2-3 minutes until bright green and starting to become tender. Add the cauliflower rice, salt, and pepper, and sauté for another minute or two until heated through. Add desired amount of cheese sauce (you will likely have a little left over), and stir to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired and serve!

Recipe Notes

*I use a package of frozen cauliflower rice for this recipe, but you can certainly make your own, or buy riced cauliflower fresh from the produce section. Any cauli rice will work!
*For a nut free version, substitute the 3/4 cup cashews for 1/2 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds.