Learn how to make the best easy Vegan Scalloped Potatoes are so unbelievably cheesy, a crowd-pleaser and total comfort food! So creamy thanks to cashews and all whole food plant-based ingredients.
When a recipe turns out that gorgeous golden baked-to-perfection cheesy vegan crust, you know it's gonna be good. I mean, it's like a big block of cheddar cheese just walked right up in my kitchen and plopped itself all over my potatoes, hahaha. Here's my recipe for these amazing cheesy Vegan Scalloped Potatoes.
The difference in my vegan version versus traditional? Well, the ones I used to have were more like milky/creamy versus cheesy, so I wanted my vegan version to have more of a cheesy taste, so I went that route.
To come up with this recipe, knowing I wanted it cheesy, I started thinking about my most popular cheese sauce on my blog, this Cheesy Mexican Tortilla Bake.
Hint: I used salsa in that recipe and wondered if it would work in scalloped potatoes without it being too strong.
HOW TO MAKE CREAMY VEGAN SCALLOPED POTATOES WITH CASHEWS
Cashews are magical for making creamy, dairy-free sauces. You need these easy ingredients for the perfect cheesy scalloped potatoes:
- gold potatoes, the waxy kind (more flavor and russet are bland and tend to fall apart)
- raw cashews
- mild salsa
- tomato paste
- dry mustard, a little extra punch of cheesy sharpness
I had my doubts when I put it in the oven since it was really runny. But don't you worry my friends, alllll that saucy goodness turns into magic when it bakes for an hour! It all turns super creamy and thickens up like a champ. No flour needed.
HOW DO YOU MAKE VEGAN SCALLOPED POTATOES?
First, you'll cook the onion and garlic until tender.
Add the cashews, salsa, tomato paste, paprika, dry mustard, cooked onion and garlic mixture and salt to a blender. I use my Vitamix. Blend until completely smooth.
When slicing your potatoes, it's very important to slice them 1/8 inch thick and all of them the same size, so that they cook evenly.
Add a layer of the cheese sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 dish, add a layer of potatoes and repeat until all of the potatoes and cheese sauce are used.
Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes until super cheesy and firm on top.
HOW DO YOU REHEAT SCALLOPED POTATOES?
Do these reheat well? Yes, they do! Ideally, covering leftovers with foil and reheating them on low heat like 250-300°F is ideal, until warm. However, the microwave works too. They are still creamy and delicious. I do, however, think that the microwave does change the taste of potatoes for some reason when reheated, but it does work.
Helpful how-to video.
Other Vegan Potato Recipes:
Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
- 3 lbs waxy gold potatoes peeled into 1/8 inch slices (keep skins on)
- 1/2 cup 80g diced white onion
- 4 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups 480g water
- 1 1/2 cups 225g raw cashews, soaked overnight if you don't have a Vitamix
- 1 1/2 cups 360g MILD salsa, I used the Arriba brand Fire Roasted Red Salsa and it was PERFECT (see NOTE)
- 2 tablespoons 30g tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons 3g paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons 9g salt (extra for seasoning potatoes)
Note: Using a mild salsa serves 2 purposes, makes it a very mild heat, so that kids can happily eat it. I tried a version with medium heat and my daughter complained the whole time it was too spicy. Mild salsa also leaves a cheesy taste withOUT it screaming salsa. It works AMAZING for a cheesy taste here in the finished dish.
- If you don't have a Vitamix, you will need to soak your cashews overnight in a bowl of warm water, drain and rinse. Otherwise, your cheese sauce will be gritty.
- When slicing your potatoes, it's very important to slice them 1/8 inch thick and all of them the same size, so that they cook evenly. You don't want some mushy and some crunchy potatoes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray a 9x13 dish with nonstick spray. If you don't spray it, the potatoes will stick pretty bad.
- To a small pan, add the onion and garlic and 3 tablespoons (45g) water over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes until tender, stirring often and all the water should be gone.
- To the blender, add the 2 cups water, cashews, cooked onion mixture, salsa, tomato paste, paprika, dry mustard and salt. Blend for several minutes until 100% creamy and smooth, it should not be gritty at all. It will be really runny. But don't you worry my friends, all that saucy goodness turns into magic when it bakes for an hour! It turns super creamy and thickens up like a champ. Don't judge the finished dish by the sauce at this stage.
- To the casserole dish, pour a thin layer just enough to cover the bottom of the dish with the cheese sauce. Watch the video to see visual. It's important to pour just enough to cover the bottom and not too much, so that you will have enough to pour in between each potato layer AND cover the top. Refer to my video above for a visual, as this will help you.
- Place the sliced potatoes in an even layer on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle salt over the potatoes. This is important to lightly salt EACH LAYER of potatoes so they are flavored in the end dish. The sauce has salt, yes, but the amount of potatoes in this need seasoning too, so they additionally have enough flavor. Pour another thin layer of the cheese sauce of the potatoes and use a brush to spread out. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, cheese sauce and then with the last amount of potatoes, scatter around the top and pour the remaining cheese sauce on top, brushing to cover each potato and nook and cranny well.
- Cover with foil and bake on the center rack for 45 minutes. Remove the foil carefully, as the steam is super hot, and bake uncovered for 20 more minutes. Mine were perfectly done and tender after the 20 minutes, but check a few potatoes to make sure they are fork tender, taste for best results. If needed, bake another few minutes. This may vary per oven, but all 3 batches I did worked this timing.
- Serve and garnish with dried parsley flakes if desired. I prefer the taste of dry parsley. But green onions would also be delicious. These reheat very well too.
Nutrition per serving: 302 calories, 13.2g fat, 7.1g protein, 41.9g carbs, 6g fiber, 4.6g sugar, 633mg sodium