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!
But what really brings this casserole together is Whole30’s Secret Sauce. This dressing is not only perfect for dipping your fries and topping your burger and wraps with, it gives the perfect flavor to this Dairy-Free Cheeseburger Casserole. Haven’t tried this Whole30 sauce favorite yet? Be sure to grab your bottle of Whole30 Secret Sauce here!
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)
- ⅔ cup Whole30 Secret Sauce
- 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.
- 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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