Cauliflower Cheese Pie

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

A delicious vegetarian pie filled with cauliflower, cheese and spinach with a potato crust

How this cauliflower pie came to be….

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 cheese pie is an adaptation of a 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 home 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.

How to Make Cauliflower Cheese Pie:

This recipe breaks down into 3 parts: the crust, the filling, and the pie.

For the crust:

Shred the potatoes with either a food processor or a grater then put the grated potato in a colander and rinse with water to remove as much of the potato starch as possible.

After rinsing the potato shreds, sprinkle them with salt and mix throughout. Salting the potatoes will help to draw out any excess moisture from them which is how we get a crispy crust.

Let the potatoes sit for 5 to 10 mins, then squeeze them tightly to remove the water. This can also be done with a cheesecloth 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.

rinsing, salting, and squeezing water out of shredded potatoes

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’.

pressing the shredded potato into a crust

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.

baking the potato crust

For the filling:

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

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil, 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. 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:

Reduce the oven heat to 375℉.

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 then spread it and pat it into the pan, then top with the remaining cheese.

filling cauliflower pie with cheese and cauliflower

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

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

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

 

freshly baked cauliflower pie

Tips and tricks:

  • You will get the best and crispiest crust if you make sure to squeeze as much water out of the shredded potatoes as possible.
  • This pie is also delicious with half the cauliflower substituted for broccoli!
  • If you don’t protect the edge of the potato crust with a pie ring or tin foil it WILL get burnt.  Don’t forget this step!

 

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MORE VEGETARIAN COMFORT FOODS YOU’LL LOVE

If you like this cauliflower cheese pie, you might want to check out some of our other comforting vegetarian recipes:

 

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A delicious vegetarian pie filled with cauliflower, cheese and spinach with a potato crust
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5 from 1 vote

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
Keyword cauliflower cheese pie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Calories 474kcal
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 tbsp cooking oil
  • 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 (or milk of your choice)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

For the crust

  • 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.
  • 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’.
  • 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:

  • Prepare the cauliflower by cutting it into small bite sized florets, and chop the baby spinach into small bite sized pieces.
  • Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the cooking oil, 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. 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:

  • Reduce the oven heat to 375℉.
  • 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.
  • Whisk the eggs with the almond milk and season. Pour the egg mixture slowly over the pie to evenly distribute it across the pie.
  • Place the pie protector (or tin foil) on the pie.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.


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