Easy Cheesy Broccoli “Nachos”


I put up my very first post on GoDairyFree.org back in 2004. I had a mountain of researched information and couldn’t help but notice the dairy-free void online. I had no plans, no intentions beyond hoping it helped a few others, but that near silent launch snowballed into the release of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, a career in special diets (including recipe creation, writing, magazine and cookbook editing, ebooks, speaking engagements, and much more), and approximately 10 million unique visitors to date. However, the workload has held me back on innovation in recent years. There is so much more that I want to be able to offer you, but I need accountability for my time, which is why I’ll be sharing my journey from here on out.

Easy Cheesy Broccoli "Nachos" Recipe (Vegan, Gluten-Free & Allergy-Friendly for Awareness Month!) + Big Things to Come in Dairy Free

The first big part in this journey: THREE dairy-free books in 2015! Yes, not one, not two, but three books will come from my kitchen, research and experience. I’ll be releasing the titles throughout this year, and that will just be the beginning of my future plans to help make a difference for millions of you!

The inspiration for sharing this undertaking with you came from Silk. Though their many dairy-free offerings (so many milks and yogurts!) speak for themselves, Silk has invited me to make my journey vocal in a cohesive effort to help not only those of you who want more deliciousness from the dairy-free lifestyle but also those who are craving more knowledge and motivation to conquer your goals. Once a month, I’ll share tips, recipes, what we are doing and how we are doing it on this book production path.

Along that theme of inspiration… on a drive back from San Francisco this weekend, Tony and I decided to stop in at IKEA (we don’t have one in our town) and try out those new vegan and gluten-free Veggie Balls. They were quite good (think Bombay veggie burgers meets a falafel), but Tony was quickly distracted by something he said was the perfect inspiration for me… a big stuffed broccoli.

Fun IKEA Inspiration

Broccoli is easily one of my favorite foods (yes, it really is on my “if you could only have 5 foods on an island” list), and he knew that this cheesy stuffed toy was exactly the muse I needed. And of course, our childish antics caused us to pick up several other inexpensive kitchen gadgets that I do need for recipe creation, but as a bunch ended up looking like a children’s play set.

And that cheesy broccoli (seriously, what made those crazy Swedish designers think “that broccoli really needs a skirt”?) was an immediate inspiration. Yesterday I whipped up some cheesy broccoli “nachos” by adapting a cheesy sauce I’ve been working on for one of the books.

Easy Cheesy Broccoli "Nachos" Recipe (Vegan, Gluten-Free & Allergy-Friendly for Awareness Month!) + Big Things to Come in Dairy Free

The nachos part is obviously for Cinco de Mayo, but I love the way you really can eat these like nachos! Just tuck the broccoli stems under the florets when plating, and they stay dry for picking up and eating by hand.

And though this sauce could easily be made thick with nuts, tofu or a roux, I opted to keep the entire cheesy broccoli “nachos” recipe gluten-free and free of top allergens (except mustard – sorry my Canadian friends!) in honor of Celiac Awareness Month and the upcoming Food Allergy Awareness Week (which is why I’ve shared this post via Allergy Free Wednesdays too!)

Easy Cheesy Broccoli "Nachos" Recipe (Vegan, Gluten-Free & Allergy-Friendly for Awareness Month!) + Big Things to Come in Dairy Free

In addition to my monthly posts on this journey, and recipes like this cheesy broccoli, you can follow more of my project and several others on Twitter, via the hashtags #Inspired and #LoveMySilk.

Special Diet Notes: Easy Cheesy Broccoli “Nachos”

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.

Dairy-Free Margarine and Subs: For that buttery hint in this cheesy broccoli, I used Melt Organic – I like their ingredients and don’t feel quite as guilty. But, you can substitute your favorite buttery or neutral oil in this recipe, if desired. coconut oil, dairy-free butter-flavored olive oil or avocado oil should go nicely.

Dairy-Free Milk Beverage: I like the Silk Coconut Milk Beverage in this cheesy broccoli, but the Cashew Milk Beverage should also go nicely – just make sure to grab unsweetened! For discount coupons, I signed up for the Silk newsletter (used $1.50 off 1 carton just yesterday!).

Easy Cheesy Broccoli "Nachos"
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe creates a very mild cheesy sauce that is meant as a backdrop; use the salsa to spice up the flavor to your tastes.
Serves: 2 to 3 servings
  1. Steam the broccoli until crisp-tender, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  2. Place the water, nutritional yeast, starch, /4 teaspoon salt, mustard, paprika and cayenne in your blender, and blend on high 30 seconds, or until smooth.
  3. Melt the margarine in a skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the mixture from your blender and continue to whisk as it cooks and thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. When thick, whisk in the milk beverage and lemon juice, to taste, until smooth. Whisk in the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt or salt to taste. If it threatens to clump at all, just whisk well, it will smooth out. If needed, whisk in a little more milk beverage. Note that it does set-up quickly, so you want to serve immediately.
  4. Optionally whisk salsa, to taste, into the cheesy sauce, or use it as a topping, as directed in the next step.
  5. Plate broccoli - I like to plate it all facing the same direction with stems tucked under for eating like nachos, if desired (keeps the cheesy sauce mostly off the stems). Drizzle with cheesy sauce and top with salsa (if not stirred into sauce), followed by a good sprinkling of olives.
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine. For dairy-free milk beverage and yogurt coupons, recipes and much more, sign up for the Silk Newsletter.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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  4. Gwenda Adkins on

    I wanted to tell you about some amazing side effects that Silk Almond Milk:

    Silk is delicious, especially on Chex cereal which doesn’t contain Gluten nor artificial flavors or colors and not any high fructose corn syrup. I use Silk vanilla unsweetened. I have a bowl for breakfast every day and sometimes for a snack in the evening. The amazing side effect is that my thigh and calf muscles have developed strength and definition. My hands have now much more grasping ability. This has happened strictly by my using Silk and Chocolate Chex (my favorite. I even have a waist line that I haven’t had for twenty years or longer. Plus my midriff is smaller and firmer than ever. I didn’t diet nor did I do any exercise. Keep in mind that I I am 63 1/2 years old and I lost 30 pounds on this regimen. To me, this is one of the best things that has happened to me. I can’t thank your company enough for this product. Unlike Dairy milk, Silk does not doesn’t cause any bad side effects and stays fresh in the fridge much longer. <3

    Gwenda Adkins. Kingwood WV.

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  7. Love the idea to serve broccoli nacho style. Can’t believe this one is dairy free. My husband is lactose intolerant (and on a low carb diet!), so he’ll really appreciate having nachos again.

  8. How exciting to have 3 book releases this year! That’s awesome and congratulations in advance, Love this recipe as I am a huge fan of broccoli! Pinned. 🙂

  9. What a terrific nachos recipe! I’m a broccoli lover although I wouldn’t even touch broccoli until I in my 30s. So silly. We all love it in our family. 🙂 But if folks are on the fence on giving broccoli a fair shake, this recipe should be the game changes. Everyone loves nachos and having a dairy-free and healthy option is terrific! Btw, that stuffed broccoli is adorable and you’re right on the other purchases looking like a children’s playset. Fun. 😉

    So excited on all you’ll be sharing with us in the future, Alisa!


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