Calling all zucchini lovers! This Cheesy Vegan Zucchini Gratin is drenched in creamy cashew cheese and topped with crispy cornmeal breadcrumbs! Gluten-Free, Oil-Free.
- 2/3 cup (100 g) cashews, soaked overnight or until soft
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) water
- 5 cups (600 g) zucchini, sliced into pieces 1/4″ thick (about 3 medium)
- 1/4 cup (50 g) medium-grind cornmeal
- Spray oil (optional)
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 415F, then grease or spray and set an 8×8″ (or similar sized) casserole dish to the side.
- Make the Sauce: add the soaked and drained cashews, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the water to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 45 to 60 seconds.
- Arrange & Top: Arrange the zucchini in the baking tray (I went for a layered look, but you can just place them in there too, if you’d like, then pour the cashew sauce over the top of them. Mix the cornmeal and remaining nutritional yeast and salt together in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the zucchini. Spray the top of the casserole lightly with spray oil, if desired.
- Bake: Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cornmeal is browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and serve warm. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Substitutions: yellow squash can be mixed in or used in place of zucchini, if desired. You can mix up to 1 cup of vegan parmesan-style cheese in with the zucchini for a cheesier flavor, if desired. Cornmeal can be replaced with 1/2 cup-1 cup of gluten-free or regular style breadcrumbs, if desired. The breadcrumbs are larger than the cornmeal, so you need more of them to cover the surface area of the casserole.