A creamy vegetable bake packed with colourful veggies, smothered in a creamy sauce and topped with crispy, cheesy breadcrumbs.
If you're a vegetable lover, this is the recipe for you! And equally, if you think you don't love veggies, this is the recipe for you too. This creamy vegetable bake is jam-packed with a variety of colourful veg, smothered in a rich, creamy sauce - absolutely irresistible.
Creamy veggie bake
This creamy vegetable bake has three main components:
- a variety of colourful veggies
- a creamy white sauce
- a cheesy breadcrumb topping
It's all cooked up together to give a seriously tempting creamy bake.
What vegetables can I use in this vegetable bake?
First up, the veg! They're all sautéed up together in a big frying pan.
Ideally you want to use a wide variety of vegetables, so you get a nice mix of flavours, textures and colours.
For my vegetable bake, I used broccoli, sweetcorn, peas, peppers, and mushrooms. But of course, you can totally swap the veg out for your own favourites if you want to.
A few other vegetables that would work well:
To be honest, most vegetables will be great in this - just make sure that you parboil harder veggies like carrots and potatoes before adding them to the pan.
Can I use frozen vegetables?
Since having my second baby a few months ago, I use frozen vegetables more than ever. They're just as healthy as fresh veg, with the added benefit of reducing food waste - I can just take as much as I need from the packet and return the rest to the freezer, as opposed to finding fresh veg going old and soggy in the back of the fridge!
Using frozen vegetables also helps me to make sure there's always something nutritious in the house, even if I haven't had a chance to go shopping for a couple of weeks.
Bear in mind that some frozen vegetables are better than others. I regularly use sliced peppers, diced onions, sliced mushrooms, peas and sweetcorn straight from the freezer, and I used some of the above in this recipe. But other vegetables are better cooked from fresh - I used fresh broccoli for this creamy vegetable bake, for example, as I find the frozen stuff sometimes ends up a bit mushy. I'm also not a huge fan of the texture of frozen carrots.
So if you'd like to start using frozen vegetables more for whatever reason, just try out a few kinds and see which you like best. You can use a mixture of frozen and fresh veg depending on your preferences.
Creamy white sauce
Next, just make a simple white sauce. I've shown you how to make a white sauce in detail before, so basically... just do that.
You could add some cheese to your white sauce if you like, but I actually found it wasn't necessary (and if even I'm saying that, you know it's true). With all of those tasty veggies, the saucy part of this creamy vegetable bake has plenty of flavour even without extra cheese.
Creamy vegetable casserole
Just mix the cooked veg with the creamy sauce, and you're almost done!
This veggie bake is one of those dishes that really makes the vegetables the star of the show, and lets you appreciate just how much flavour vegetables actually have!
Finally, top the creamy vegetable mixture with some fine breadcrumbs and a little grated cheese (I wasn't going to use none, was I?).
The topping crisps up beautifully in the oven, and the sauce bubbles up around the edges, inviting you to take that first scoop...
How should I serve my creamy vegetable bake?
This veggie bake can serve as either a side dish, or a main course in its own right.
It would be great served with just a simple salad, or with some crusty bread and butter on the side for mopping up the sauce.
Or, serve it with a vegetarian roast dinner - it's all your vegetable dishes in one! Some kind of vegetarian cutlet and a few roast potatoes will make an incredible dinner with this creamy vegetable bake on the side (just don't forget the gravy!).
Creamy vegetable bake
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- 1 tablespoon oil
- 225 g (~ 2 cups) frozen sliced peppers (or 3 fresh bell peppers, sliced or diced)
- 100 g (~ 1 cup) frozen sweetcorn
- 100 g (~ 1 cup) frozen peas
- ½ small head broccoli (or ~ 2 cups prepared broccoli)
- ~ 6 medium mushrooms, sliced or diced
- 35 g (~ 2 ½ tbsp) butter
- 2 ½ tablespoon plain flour
- 250 ml (~ 1 cup) milk
- 250 ml (~ 1 cup) vegetable stock
- Black pepper
- 75 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ ¾ cup when grated)
- 50 g (~ ⅓ cup) fine breadcrumbs (I used shop-bought)
- Spray oil
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add all the vegetables. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until almost entirely cooked. You can use different vegetables if you like, just bear in mind that vegetables that are particularly hard (e.g. carrots or potatoes) will need parboiling before adding to the frying pan.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a medium-low heat. Add the flour, and mix well to form a paste. Cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly, then add the milk a little at a time, stirring until smooth each time before adding more. Then add the vegetable stock (again, it may help to add it a little at a time). You can see more detailed instructions for how to cook a simple white sauce here.
- Add the white sauce to the cooked vegetables, and mix well. Season with black pepper, and some salt if needed (you may find the salty stock is enough). Transfer to a suitably sized baking dish (mine measured 9 x 7 inches).
- Sprinkle some grated cheese and fine breadcrumbs over the creamy vegetables, and spray lightly with oil to help the topping crisp up. Bake at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are piping hot, and the topping is crisped up to your liking.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.