Food by VICE

Caramelized Onion & Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

It’s got that deep popcorn-y cauliflower flavor, matched with the sweet caramel of slow cooked onions.

by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Nov 20 2014, 7:40pm

Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced medium
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cauliflower florets (a medium head of cauliflower should equal four cups, but measure it first to be sure.)
1 12 ounces pack extra firm silken tofu (the vaccum-packed kind)
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon smoked paprika, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few dashes fresh black pepper
1 cup bread crumbs


Author's Note: This is the kind of casserole you want to bring to a potluck, plunk on the table like a mic drop and declare "game over." It's got that deep popcorn-y cauliflower flavor, matched with the sweet caramel of slow cooked onions. Silken tofu is used to make it creamy and eggy, while tahini, nutritional yeast and lemon juice bring in a cheesy element. So what I'm saying is that it's sort of like a quiche in casserole form. And it will make you completely win the entire potluck! It's totally worth it here to slow cook the onions and coax out all that sweetness. While the onion cooks, just prep all the other veggies and measure out your ingredients. That way, not a second of time is wasted!

1. Preheat a large heavy bottomed skillet, preferably cast iron, over low heat. Add the onion and cover the pan, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. It should be golden and soft.

2. Add garlic and cauliflower, raise heat to medium, cover and cook until cauliflower is softened, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside. Preheat oven to 350º F.

3. In a food processor, Combine tofu, vegetable broth, tahini, and lemon juice and blend until completely smooth. Add half of the cauliflower mixture, paprika, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and pulse a few times until well combined. Without running the food processor, stir in breadcrumbs with a spatula. I do this just to save a dish, but you can transfer to a mixing bowl to stir in the breadcrumbs if you prefer. You just don't want to food process them at this point because it would make the dish gummy.

4. Lightly grease a 9x9 or 11x8 casserole dish. Transfer the mixture from the food processor to the casserole and spread it out evenly. Top with remaining cauliflower mixture and lightly press it into the bottom layer.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden on top. Let cool slightly, sprinkle with paprika and serve!