Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

Creamy and comforting Vegan Scalloped Potatoes are the perfect side dish for your holiday spread — or for dinner any time of year! This super simple recipe packs a ton of flavor.

If you’re bored of eating mashed potatoes every holiday season, these vegan scalloped potatoes are for you! Rich, creamy, and full of savory goodness, this dish hits all of the nostalgic holiday potato notes. Plus, all you need is a baking dish and a blender!

Usually a recipe laden with milk and butter, we’re taking it in a dairy-free and vegan direction by using a cashew-based cream sauce and non-dairy butter. (Scalloped potatoes are similar to potatoes au gratin, but without the cheese.)

overhead shot of vegan scalloped potatoes, topped with a few sprigs of fresh thyme

The recipe for this tasty holiday side dish is actually fairly simple! We’re going to fill our baking dish with slices of potatoes layered with thinly sliced onion, tie it all together with a garlicky vegan cream sauce, and bake it until it’s perfectly golden brown.

The best part is that since these scalloped potatoes are vegan, dairy-free, and made with simple ingredients, you can enjoy them without feeling weighed down (unlike a lot of other holiday foods).

Ingredients for Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

  • Potatoes. Yukon Gold potatoes are my preferred potatoes for this dish! They’re waxy enough to hold their shape when cooked, and they also have enough starch to help thicken the cream mixture. You can also use russet potatoes. It’s your choice whether or not to peel them before slicing; personally I am not a fan of potato skins.
  • Onion. Sliced, sautéed, and layered between the potatoes, onions cook up super buttery-soft in this dish and add extra flavor.
  • Raw cashews. The base of the cream sauce we’ll be cooking our potatoes in. Soak them for 4+ hours (overnight is okay), and blend them till they’re as smooth as can be.
  • Garlic. Blended into the cream sauce to add extra flavor. Add as many cloves as you like!
  • Nutritional yeast. (Optional.) A few tablespoons of this will add a cheesy flavor to this dish. Typically I don’t add it, because I love the simplicity of the dish without, but it’s an option!
  • Vegetable broth. Used as our liquid for our cashew cream sauce, this adds extra flavor. Personally I love to use a chicken-style vegetable broth to make the dish extra-savory, but a regular veggie broth works too. Even water will work in a pinch.
  • Vegan butter. This adds a delicious flavor to the potatoes and makes them extra creamy.
  • Fresh herbs. Optionally, add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary, or sage to the top of the dish. It will perfume the potatoes without overwhelming the delicate flavors. Then you can simply discard before serving. If you don’t have any fresh herbs, that’s fine! Skip this ingredient.
  • Salt and pepper.

Cashew Cream Substitutions

Cashew cream is my favorite liquid to use in this recipe because it’s creamy and the cashews have a very neutral flavor. Here are a few alternatives you can try in case you don’t like or can’t eat cashews.

  • Use blanched, slivered almonds (soaked 4+ hours) or raw sunflower seeds (soaked 30 minutes) in place of cashews when preparing the cream. Texture and flavor will vary slightly with substitution.
  • Substitute in 2 1/2 cups vegan heavy cream substitute, such as the Silk Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative or Country Crock Plant Cream. The flavor is not quite as neutral as cashew cream in my opinion, so make sure to taste it before using.
  • Substitute in 2 1/2 cups unsweetened plain non-dairy milk (like soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk) blended, blended with 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder to help thicken. Make sure the plant milk is one that you know will taste good in a savory dish. Some varieties taste good in smoothies or in coffee but taste a little “off” in savory recipes.
close up of vegan scalloped potatoes, topped with a few sprigs of fresh thyme

How to Make Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

Prepare the Cream Sauce

  • Drain the soaked cashews and add to a high-powered blender with chicken-style vegetable broth, garlic cloves, salt and pepper, and optional nutritional yeast. Blend until as smooth as possible.

Assemble the Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large, oven-proof skillet, sauté sliced onions in vegan butter until they are very soft and are beginning to brown. Remove from heat and transfer the onions to a small bowl.
  3. In the same skillet, layer about a third of the sliced potatoes (you can either slice them with a knife or use a mandolin) on the bottom of the pan. Scatter half of the sautéed onions over top.
  4. Create a second layer with another third of the potatoes and the remaining onions. Top with the remaining potatoes.
  5. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. Potatoes should be almost entirely submerged.
  6. Optionally, place a few sprigs of fresh herbs on top. Rosemary and thyme are my personal favorites. This will perfume the scalloped potatoes as they cook without overpowering the dish.
  7. Cover the skillet with foil and seal edges tightly in order to trap the steam to help the potatoes cook through evenly.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, covered. Remove the foil and bake, uncovered, for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the top is golden and the dish is beginning to brown around the edges. Test a few potatoes for doneness by piercing them with a fork or knife. If they aren’t tender, let the dish continue to bake for another 10 minutes and test again.

Serving Suggestions

While these Vegan Scalloped Potatoes can be eaten year-round (because potatoes never go out of style), they go perfectly with a Thanksgiving or holiday spread!

Whip them up alongside our other delicious Thanksgiving side dishes such as our Vegan Green Bean Casserole and Classic Vegan Stuffing.

For a main dish, you can leave our recipe for Homemade Deli Slices unsliced and carve it up at the table as a vegan turkey substitute.

Need More Vegan Thanksgiving & Holiday Recipes?

Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

Creamy and comforting Vegan Scalloped Potatoes are the perfect side dish for your holiday spread — or for dinner any time of year! This super simple recipe packs a ton of flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Author: Sarah Sullivan

Equipment

  • mandoline slicer
  • high powered blender if making homemade cashew cream
  • large oven proof skillet such as a 10 or 12" cast iron pan
  • casserole dish if you don't have an oven proof skillet
  • aluminum foil

Ingredients

Cream Sauce

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked 4+ hours
  • 2 cups vegetable broth I recommend chicken-style vegetable broth; see notes
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast optional, for a slightly cheesy flavor
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to preference

Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 small white or yellow onion or 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 lbs Yukon gold or russet potatoes peeled and sliced between 1/8" and 1/4" thickness
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh herbs of choice such as thyme, rosemary, or sage

Instructions

Prepare the Cream Sauce

  • Drain the soaked cashews and add to a high-powered blender along with vegetable broth. (If using a chicken-style vegetable bouillon, you can blend the bouillon and water directly in the blender. You don't have to dissolve the bouillon ahead of time.)
  • Add garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and (optional) nutritional yeast. Blend until as smooth as possible.

Assemble the Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. You can prepare all steps in a large, oven-safe skillet (such as a 10 or 12" cast iron). If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, you'll need a skillet as well as a casserole dish.
  • Heat your skillet over medium-high heat and melt vegan butter. Add in sliced onions and sauté until onions are very soft and have taken on some color, about 8-10 minutes. If baking directly in the skillet, remove the onions to a bowl.
  • Layer about a third of the sliced potatoes on the bottom of your oven-safe skillet or casserole pan. Scatter half of the sautéed onions over top.
  • Create a second layer with another third of the potatoes and the remaining onions.
  • Top with the remaining potatoes. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. It should almost come up to the top, but it's okay if they are slightly exposed.
  • Optionally, place a few sprigs of your favorite fresh herbs on top. This will perfume the scalloped potatoes as they cook without overpowering the dish. I like using thyme.
  • Cover the casserole dish or skillet with foil and seal edges tightly in order to trap the steam to help the potatoes cook through evenly. If your skillet or dish is very full, I recommend baking it on top of a cookie sheet just in case it bubbles over slightly.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, covered. Remove the foil and bake, uncovered, for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the top is golden and the dish is beginning to brown around the edges. Test a few potatoes for doneness — they should be tender and easy to pierce with a fork or knife. If they seem a little undercooked, continue to bake in 10 minute increments until cooked.

Video

Notes

Chicken-style vegetable broth: This will make the recipe taste more savory than a traditional veggie broth, which tends to run on the slightly sweeter side. I recommend Edward and Sons No Chicken Bouillon (use 1 cube) or Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (use 2 teaspoons).
Cashew cream substitutions:
  • Use blanched, slivered almonds (soaked 4+ hours) or raw sunflower seeds (soaked 30 minutes) in place of cashews when preparing the cream. Texture and flavor will vary slightly with substitution.
  • Substitute in 2 1/2 cups vegan heavy cream substitute, such as the Silk Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative or Country Crock Plant Cream. The flavor is not quite as neutral as cashew cream in my opinion, so make sure to taste it before using to make sure you like it.
 
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One Comment

  1. angela farley

    If I wanted to make this a day ahead, would I put it in the fridge before the baking step, and then just bake it on the day I want to serve it?

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