The ultimate veggie bake, in the Ninja Foodi. Your favourite cheesy vegetable bake got a Ninja Foodi makeover. Its much faster, its healthier and its perfect for a quick veggie side dish and best of all it freezes well.
If you grew up on the yummy vegetable bake, then you will love it in the Ninja Foodi, you can mix and match favourite vegetables and you can make my healthier cheese sauce in just a couple of seconds.
I am a total veggie bake addict. It started in childhood as a vegetarian and a wonderful side dish that my mum would always serve for us as part of our Christmas dinner.
I always insisted that on the Christmas dinner table that the veggie bake was positioned as close to me as possible and would love the smell of it as my mum made a homemade veggie bake with loads of cheese sauce.
The cheese was always Cathedral mature cheddar and always tasted so good.
It was the first thing, that I learnt to cook and would serve veggie bake to my chef boyfriend to impress him.
Well, it must have worked because we have been married for 19 years now!
But as the years have passed by, I have found that flour has made me more and more bloated, and I can not eat carbs like I did when I was 18.
That is why I converted my favourite veggie bake (a few years ago now) to a gluten free healthy veggie bake.
Even better, I have since converted it to my kitchen gadgets to make it healthy and fast and today I want to share with you my yummy healthy veggie make in the Ninja Foodi.
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What Is A Veggie Bake?
I know many of you outside of the UK, are probably wondering what a veggie bake is, after all its very much a British thing.
Well, imagine you swap the pasta in a mac and cheese for seasonal vegetables and then you have a classic vegetable bake.
You might call it baked vegetables with cheese, baked mixed vegetables with cheese, creamy vegetable hotpot, vegetable bake with cheese sauce, creamy cheese vegetable casserole or a similar name. But it is all one of the same!
Note that it is comfort food at its best and often includes a variety of potatoes, carrots, swede (rutabaga), parsnips, leeks, broccoli and cauliflower. It can be all of these or just certain ones.
Is Vegetable Bake Healthy?
Vegetable bake in its old school way, is not what I would call healthy. There is a lot of flour and butter going into the cheese sauce.
But the modern version is a cheesy vegetable bake made with soft cheese such as Philadelphia Light and some milk or vegetable stock to make into a cheese sauce.
Quick Vegetable Bake
I remember my mum making a vegetable bake when I was growing up. It was always a pan for the HUGE cheese sauce. Then there was one of those old school super size pans that would boil the vegetables.
Then the vegetables would be drained and added to the cheese sauce.
Then oven cooked to make a delicious baked veggie bake.
But my Ninja Foodi version has everything cooking in one pot. We are making it a quick vegetable bake by steaming the veggies in the Ninja using the pressure cooker (this keeps nutrients on the veggies), then using the veggie stock from steaming the veggies to make the cheese sauce.
From veggies being chopped and loaded into the Ninja Foodi to your veggie bake being served you are talking less than 10 minutes.
Recipes Using Frozen Broccoli Cauliflower & Carrots
I often get asked for frozen recipes using broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Most ask me after reading our air fryer frozen broccoli, air fryer frozen cauliflower or air fryer frozen vegetables video.
I always say make a soup such as our instant pot frozen vegetable soup or cover the veggies in cheese sauce like I am showing you now.
So, if you would rather use frozen, you can and just avoid the peeling step and set the cook time to 0 minutes.
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Vegetable Bake Recipe Ingredients
Veggies – For my veggies, I had bought a box from Riverford. With the plan to buy their boxes every week. Unfortunately, for the price I paid I was not impressed with their service after the first box so only ever ordered three. Then I found an amazing market trader for the local green grocers and swapped it for them. But any veggies you have will be fine.
Potatoes – I prefer my vegetable bake recipe with some white potatoes. You can do the same, though it’s totally optional.
Stock – Because its going to become your cheese sauce I recommend using our instant pot veggie stock rather than just adding water. It makes your veggie bake more healthy and more flavoursome.
Cheese – I recommend mixing the cheese up for more flavour and going with some variety. Firstly, you will need soft cheese such as Philadelphia to make a creamy potato and vegetable bake. Secondly, you will need some hard cheese for the melted cheese. You can go with red Leicester, double Gloucester, cheddar, etc.
Seasoning – I love some herbs in my healthy vegetable bake. I will usually include salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and parsley.
Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this veggie bake recipe it has just been our Ninja Foodi. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of veggie loaded recipes.
Plus, we recommend you head over to our Ninja Foodi Recipes category as we have a growing collection of tried and tested Ninja Foodi recipes and have been air frying for 10 years, pressure cooking for 5 years and owned Ninja Foodi’s for 2 years.
How To Cook A Cheesy Vegetable Bake?
- Veggies. Start by prepping your vegetables. Peel and dice and clean them all and then place them into your steamer basket for the Ninja.
- Load. Next load your vegetable stock into the Ninja Foodi and then add your steamer basket over it.
- Cook. Then pressure cook for 2 minutes if doing broccoli and cauliflower or 3 minutes for root vegetables.
- Sauce. After a quick pressure release remove the steamer with the vegetables and turn the Ninja Foodi onto saute. Add in your cheeses and seasoning and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a creamy cheese sauce.
- Pour. Then add your veggies into a dish and pour over cheese sauce.
- Optional. Decorate with halved cherry tomatoes and extra basil.
And I am sure you can see now how easy it is to cook a simple vegetable using the Ninja Foodi or any electric pressure cooker and why you should be doing it too!
How Long To Cook Veggies In The Ninja Foodi?
From many years of testing pressure cooker veggies, we have found that 2 minutes for faster cooking such as broccoli and cauliflower works perfectly. Or 0 minutes if you are pressure cooking frozen vegetables.
Then for root vegetables such as carrots, swede, parsnips etc a 3 minute cook time is perfect.
Cheesy Vegetable Bake Recipe Tips & Tricks
- If doing a mix of root vegetables and broccoli and cauliflower, do it as two batches. That way you don’t have some veggies overly mushy.
- You can swap frozen veggies for fresh veggies. Simply put the cook time down to 0 minutes.
- You can mix and match with any of your favourite cheeses. Just go for a cheese that melts well.
- If on Slimming World or Weight Watchers swap for reduced fat cheeses as they don’t use as many points.
Can you freeze veggie bake? Yes, you sure can. Veggie bake freezes perfectly. In fact, in the Milner house we have just used up the leftover veggie bake we made at Christmas.
More Cheese Sauce Ideas
- Slimming World Cheese Sauce
- Cheesy Leeks In The Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Brussel Sprouts Gratin
- Pie Maker Veggie Bake Pies
Your veggie bake recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.
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Ninja Foodi Veggie Bake
- Add your vegetable stock to the bottom of your Ninja Foodi cooking pot.
- Peel and dice and clean your vegetables and load into a steamer basket and load the steamer basket into the Ninja Foodi. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Place the lid on the Ninja Foodi set the valve to sealing and pressure cook for 3 minutes. Do a quick pressure release and remove the steamer basket with the veggies.
- Place the Ninja Foodi on sauté. Add the seasonings, soft cheese and your grated cheese and mix with a wooden spoon until you have a thick creamy cheese sauce.
- Place the veggies in a serving dish (or back in the cooking pot) and then either mix the veggies into the cheese sauce or pour the cheese sauce over.
- Decorate your dish with halved cherry tomatoes and sprinkle of basil before serving.