Crispy “Cheesy” HEALTHY Broccoli Casserole

This HEALTHY broccoli casserole is the perfect cozy side dish for your holiday dinners.  It is made with a creamy, high protein, nut free vegan cheese sauce and topped with healthy cracker “breadcrumbs” so not only is it delicious, it is good for you too!

vegan broccoli casserole

For all of you green bean casserole lovers out there – this one is for you. I like broccoli more than green beans so that is the veggie I chose, but this gives you all the warm feels from your favorite comfort food but is made with GOOD ingredients to keep this veggie casserole actually healthy!

I made a vegan “cheesy” sauce using cannelini beans and nutritional yeast.  The beans make it super creamy, and the nutritional yeast is what gives it the cheesy flavor.  If you haven’t used nutritional yeast before and are curious to learn more about it, check out my post here.

Then instead of normal breadcrumbs I used a much healthier option – but one that still crisps up perfectly and tastes great.  You won’t miss any of the heavy cream and butter in this one I promise.  Neil keeps asking for it so you know that is a good sign!

healthy broccoli casserole

Ingredients You’ll Need for your Healthy Broccoli Casserole:

  • Broccoli – can’t have a broccoli casserole without the broccoli!
  • Cannelini beans – I use these beans as the base for my cheese sauce.  It makes sauces SO creamy plus it also makes it nut free and adds some protein!
  • Nutritional yeast – this is how we get our cheesy flavor without actually using cheese.  Plus it is a good source of protein!
  • Dairy free milk – this both thins out the sauce, but ensures it is still nice and creamy.  You can use any dairy free milk that you want!  I normally use almond or cashew.  You could use oat milk but just make sure it isn’t too sweet.
  • Lemon juice – adds a little something to the sauce to offset the other flavors.
  • Spices – I use salt, pepper, and garlic powder to add some good flavors to my sauce.
  • Crackers – these will be your breadcrumbs! I just pulse them in a food processor so they get into little bits.  I like using gluten free and high protein crackers if I can.  Some brands I have enjoyed include Simple Mills, Bitys, Iwon Organics, and Kibo Foods.  I normally stick to a plain/sea salt flavor.

And that is it!  That is all you need for this recipe.  If you have any questions about the ingredients or subs feel free to leave a comment at the end of the blog post!

healthy vegan broccoli casserole

Tips for the Perfect Healthy Broccoli Casserole:

  • Modify the sauce as you go – start with the listed amount of milk.  But if you decide you want it thinner, just add more!  If you want it “cheesier”  add some more nutritional yeast.  If you want more flavors added, just use some more spices.  Really easy to modify to your taste!
  • Breadcrumbs tips – you could use traditional breadcrumbs if you want, but I like using crackers because they are nice and crispy, and I can buy ones that I like the ingredients of.  I included some recommendations in the ingredients section but I like finding gluten free crackers, and high protein ones if I can! I normally stick with a more plain/sea salt flavor.
  • Cut the broccoli into small florets – at least that is how I like it.  I like each bite to have a good broccoli to cheese ratio so I don’t like them being too big!

And that is it!  If you have any other questions I didn’t get to, feel free to leave them in a comment below or shoot me a message on Instagram!  I am here to help 🙂

In addition to the listed ingredients you will need:

  • a baking dish (picture is a 2.5qt dish, but you can also use a 9×13.
  • a food processor (or a big ziploc bag and some arm strength) for making your breadcrumbs

And that is it!  That is all that is standing in between you and the most perfect side dish ever!

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broccoli casserole

Crispy “Cheesy” HEALTHY Broccoli Casserole

  • Author: Megan
  • Total Time: 36 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8×8 pan 1x


Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free

This HEALTHY broccoli casserole is the perfect cozy side dish for your holiday dinners.  It is made with a creamy, high protein, nut free vegan cheese sauce and topped with healthy cracker “breadcrumbs” so not only is it delicious, it is good for you too!



Cheese Sauce:

  • 2 cans cannelini beans
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 cup cashew milk (or other dairy free milk)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt


  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup “breadcrumbs” (see notes for options)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Drain and rinse beans.
  3. Combine all sauce ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth (if you want it thinner, add more milk). Set aside to prepare casserole.
  4. Fill a baking dish (I’ve used a 2.5 qt dish, you can also use a 9×13.) with your broccoli.
  5. Take the crackers or chips you are using for breadcrumbs (see notes for options) and put in a small food processor, pulse into small chunks (can also put in a bag and break with hands – this will leave you with larger pieces.
  6. Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli, stir to make sure everything is evenly coated, and then top with breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, then broil until breadcrumbs start to turn golden brown.


Breadcrumb options – you can really use any cracker that you want for these.  I have made these with Simple Mills, Iwon Organics, Bitsys, and most recently Kibo Foods chickpea chips.  All of them have worked well for me.  Some are gluten free, some are high protein, so it just depends what you are looking for!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 26 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/9 of pan

Keywords: broccoli casserole, healthy broccoli casserole, vegan casserole

If you try this recipe leave a comment below letting me know your thoughts!  If you remake on Instagram don’t forget to tag me at @donutworry_behealthy so I can see your  creation and share in my stories!


healthy broccoli casserole

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