Cauliflower and Cheese Pie

Cauliflower and Cheese Pie
A savoury vegetarian pie of cauliflower, spinach and cheese on a hash brown potato crust
A savoury vegetarian pie of cauliflower, spinach and cheese on a hash brown potato crust

Crispy potato crust filled with a comforting mix of cauliflower, spinach, and warm melted cheese – Cauliflower and Cheese Pie is vegetarian comfort food at its finest.

When I first went vegetarian at 13, I was given a copy of The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen – which was the definitive bible of vegetarian cooking at the time. It was a first introduction to vegetarian cooking for both myself, as well my mother who was the cook of the house. This Cauliflower and Cheese Pie is an adaptation of the Cauliflower Cheese Pie recipe in that book. It was one of the first vegetarian recipes that my mom learned to cook for my family in support of my vegetarianism, and over 20 years later it is still a staple in both her house, and also mine, where it has now become a favourite of my own daughter.

Over the years I have tried adapting it in various different ways, but the way that I like it most lately is with the addition of spinach, and modifying the herbs to include sage and poultry seasoning – to me this flavour profile is the ultimate in comfort food, reminiscent of thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers.

cauliflower and cheese pie - declicious vegetarian comfort food adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook

This recipe takes a bit of work, so it is not best for a busy weeknight, but it is perfect for an afternoon spent around the house. Prepping the potatoes and cauliflower is most of the manual work, but it does take some time to cook the crust and the pie. If you have a food processor with a grating attachment, the prep time is much quicker – sadly I broke mine recently so the last couple times that I have made this I have grated everything by hand! It is not TOO much work, just more of an arm workout than I am looking for when I am cooking 🙂

Ingredients for Cauliflower and Cheese Pie:

  • Cauliflower
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Onion
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Almond Milk
  • Fresh Sage
  • Poultry Seasoning

Equipment:

  • Oven
  • Pie pan
  • Food processor with grating attachment (or a hand grater)

How to Make Cauliflower and Cheese Pie:

For the crust:

  1. Shred the potatoes with either a food processor or a grater. Place the grated potato in a sieve and rinse with cool water to remove as much of the potato starch as possible. After rinsing sprinkle the potato shreds with salt and mix throughout. The salt will help to draw the excess moisture from the potatoes. Let the potatoes sit for 5 to 10 mins, then squeeze them tightly to remove the water. This can also be done with a cheese cloth if you have one. Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl, add the beaten egg, flour, and almond milk and season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  2. Heat your oven to 400℉ and grease the bottom and sides of your pie pan with butter. Beginning in the middle of the pan, add a couple of spoonfuls of the potato mixture and begin to spread it out on the bottom of the pan building a thin, even layer building outwards to the edges of the pan and then up the sides to form a ‘crust’.
  3. Place the pie pan in the oven and let it bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pie pan from the oven, then cover the top of the pie pan with a pie crust protector to prevent the top edge of the crust from burning as it finishes baking. If you don’t have a pie crust protector don’t worry (I don’t either), you can just use strips of tin foil folded over the edges and around the pie to protect it. Put the pie back in the oven and back for another 15 minutes.

For the filling:

  1. Prepare the cauliflower by cutting it into small bite sized florets, and chop the baby spinach into small bite sized pieces.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the cauliflower, onion and garlic to the pan. Cook while stirring frequently to prevent burning for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the cauliflower softened. Because I don’t use oil here, I like to add a couple of tablespoons of water if needed while cooking to keep the mixture from getting dry. Add the chopped spinach, sage and the poultry seasoning and cook for 5 more minutes, mixing the spinach into the cauliflower to make sure it is all wilted.

For the pie:

  1. Reduce the oven heat to 375℉.
  2. place 1/3 of the shredded cheese into the pie crust and spread across the bottom. Add 1/2 of the cauliflower mixture on top of the cheese and spread it out evenly and pack it down. Add 1/3 of the cheese and spread across the cauliflower. Top with the rest of the cauliflower mixture, spread it and pat it into the pan, then top with the remaining cheese.
  3. Whisk the eggs with the almond milk and season. Pour the egg mixture slowly over the pie to evenly distribute it across the pie.
  4. Place the pie protector (or tin foil) on the pie.
  5. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Tips for Cauliflower and Cheese Pie:

  1. You will get the best and crispiest crust if you make sure to squeeze as much water out of the shredded potatoes as possible.
  2. This pie is also delicious with half the cauliflower substituted for broccoli!

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cauliflower cheese pie - declicious vegetarian comfort food adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook
4.84 from 6 votes
Print

Cauliflower and Cheese Pie

A comforting savoury vegetarian pie of cauliflower, spinach and cheddar cheese in a hash brown potato crust
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 474 kcal
Author Courtney

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 2 cups shredded potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg   beaten
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 1 head cauliflower   coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion   chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic   minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh sage
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs,  beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

For the crust

  1. Shred the potatoes with either a food processor or a grater. Place the grated potato in a sieve and rinse with cool water to remove as much of the potato starch as possible. After rinsing sprinkle the potato shreds with salt and mix throughout. The salt will help to draw the excess moisture from the potatoes. Let the potatoes sit for 5 to 10 mins, then squeeze them tightly to remove the water. This can also be done with a cheese cloth if you have one. Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl, add the beaten egg, flour, and almond milk and season with salt and pepper and mix well.

  2. Heat your oven to 400℉ and grease the bottom and sides of your pie pan with butter. Beginning in the middle of the pan, add a couple of spoonfuls of the potato mixture and begin to spread it out on the bottom of the pan building a thin, even layer building outwards to the edges of the pan and then up the sides to form a ‘crust’.

  3. Place the pie pan in the oven and let it bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pie pan from the oven, then cover the top of the pie pan with a pie crust protector to prevent the top edge of the crust from burning as it finishes baking. If you don’t have a pie crust protector don’t worry (I don’t either), you can just use strips of tin foil folded over the edges and around the pie to protect it. Put the pie back in the oven and back for another 15 minutes.

For the filling:

  1. Prepare the cauliflower by cutting it into small bite sized florets, and chop the baby spinach into small bite sized pieces.

  2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the cauliflower, onion and garlic to the pan. Cook while stirring frequently to prevent burning for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the cauliflower softened. Because I don’t use oil here, I like to add a couple of tablespoons of water if needed while cooking to keep the mixture from getting dry. Add the chopped spinach, sage and the poultry seasoning and cook for 5 more minutes, mixing the spinach into the cauliflower to make sure it is all wilted.

For the pie:

  1. Reduce the oven heat to 375℉.

  2. Place 1/3 of the shredded cheese into the pie crust and spread across the bottom. Add 1/2 of the cauliflower mixture on top of the cheese and spread it out evenly and pack it down. Add 1/3 of the cheese and spread across the cauliflower. Top with the rest of the cauliflower mixture, spread it and pat it into the pan, then top with the remaining cheese.

  3. Whisk the eggs with the almond milk and season. Pour the egg mixture slowly over the pie to evenly distribute it across the pie.

  4. Place the pie protector (or tin foil) on the pie.

  5. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.


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8 thoughts on “Cauliflower and Cheese Pie”

  • Oh I love love love this idea! I love the idea completely from the potato rather than pastry crust to the addition of spinach into the usual cauliflower and cheese mix. Great idea, one for me to bookmark!

  • Oh, wow! That totally looks like Thanksgiving leftovers at my house! If I don’t make cauliflower and cheese I am in the doghouse! I totally love the potato crust, as well! Fantastic! My boys will love this!

  • This is the ultimate in comfort food! I always have an abundance of cauliflower, so I am constantly looking for new ways to use it up. I am sure my husband will love this.

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