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
Dairy-Free Cheeseburger Casserole
- 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)
- 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
- 1 ½ cup canned full-fat coconut milk*
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp tapioca flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 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!
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Recipe Creator | Whole Food for 7