What if you could take all the flavors of a cheeseburger and put it into a warm, cozy, Whole30-compatible casserole? Now you can with this fun dairy-free recipe! 

This recipe is easy to put together and is topped with a creamy homemade dairy-free cheese sauce you don’t want to skip. We love it cooked in the oven, but it also includes instructions for cooking in the Instant Pot, if desired.

The dairy-free cheese sauce is made with full-fat canned unsweetened coconut milk, as it has a nice thick consistency that works well. See notes to substitute it for another dairy-free milk of choice, such as almond milk. Tapioca flour is not always ideal to thicken sauces, as it makes them tacky. But, that is perfect for creating this cheese-like sauce! You can also use arrowroot flour if that is more accessible to you. But don’t skip the nutritional yeast in the cheese sauce – it gives it the dairy-free “cheesy” flavor!

New to “nutritional yeast?”

Nutritional yeast is not used the same way as baker’s yeast, as this yeast is inactive and used as a flavoring. It usually comes as thin yellow flakes, enhances flavor, and is typically found in the condiment or spice section of the grocery store.

This Whole30 casserole is kept grain- and gluten-free by using shredded potatoes for the base. Can’t do potatoes? Use an equal amount (3 cups) of fresh riced cauliflower instead!

Dairy-Free Cheeseburger Casserole Swaps:

  • You can use 1 large or 2 medium diced fresh tomatoes instead of the canned tomatoes.
  • You can use another dairy-free milk of choice instead of coconut milk. Most are thinner in consistency, so increase the tapioca flour to 1 ½ tablespoons.
  • You can use 3 cups of riced cauliflower instead of the potatoes.

This dish serves 6, is freezer-friendly AND Instant Pot adaptable. Perfect to make and freeze leftovers for a fast dinner option later in the month, if there are any leftovers!

Dairy-Free Cheeseburger Casserole

Whole30 Dairy-Free Cheeseburger Casserole
Recipe Author: Autumn Michelis
Whole30 Dairy-Free Cheeseburger Casserole

Dairy-Free Cheeseburger Casserole

4.10 from 122 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course
Servings 6 people


  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • ½ large yellow onion diced
  • 2 tsp salt divided
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes drained
  • 3 medium russet potatoes shredded (about 3 cups)

Special Sauce

  • 1/2 cup compatible mayo
  • 2 tbsp compatible ketchup
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped pickle
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

"Cheese" Sauce

  • 1 ½ cup canned full-fat coconut milk*
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp salt

Optional Toppings

  • shredded lettuce
  • chopped pickles


  • PREHEAT the oven to 350 °F and set out a 9×13 casserole dish
  • COOK the ground beef and onion, seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, in a medium skillet over medium heat until beef is browned through and onion is tender and translucent. Drain grease.
  • MAKE the "cheese" sauce while meat is cooking by whisking together all cheese sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Then heat in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir regularly until sauce thickens, about 6-7 minutes. Set aside.
  • MAKE Special Sauce by whisking together all ingredients.
  • BUILD casserole by combining beef mixture, drained tomatoes, and shredded potatoes in the casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in Secret Sauce. Then top with cheese sauce, spreading evenly over the top of the casserole.
  • BAKE uncovered at 350 °F for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cheese is set and starting to bubble on the edges.
  • COOL casserole for 10 minutes on the counter before eating. Top as desired with shredded lettuce and pickles.
  • FREEZE leftover casserole in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

Instant Pot Variation

  • SAUTÉ ground beef and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, as above using the sauté button on your Instant Pot.
  • ONCE browned, top with drained tomatoes and shredded potatoes. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt.
  • SEAL Instant Pot and steam for 8 minutes.
  • MAKE cheese sauce while the other ingredients are steaming.
  • RELEASE steam once time is up. and open Instant Pot.
  • STIR in only ½ cup Secret Sauce until combined. Top with "cheese" sauce and enjoy!
Keyword burger, casserole, ground beef, made by whole30, Secret Sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Published by Lindsay Rhodes

Lindsay Rhodes currently lives in Chicago. She attended Butler University where she received her B.S. in Marketing and a minor in Strategic Communication. Previously, Lindsay has worked for management consulting firms as a marketing consultant and as a campus recruiter.

Autumn Michaelis

Recipe Creator | Whole Food for 7

Autumn Michaelis is an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, with a B.S. in Exercise Science from BYU. Though exercise was her first love in the health world, nutrition has become her passion. She created the blog Wholefoodfor7, sharing easy and budget-friendly Whole30, Paleo, and gluten-free + dairy-free recipes for families. In August 2022, Autumn released the newest Whole30 Endorsed cookbook, Whole Food for Your Family. She is mom to 5 boys (yes 5!) and when not in the kitchen can be found adventuring, hiking, and tearing up the dance floor.