Do you have any good vegan casseroles? Something that feels comfy and can be made in advance or frozen? I’ve been asked that a lot over the years. This vegan broccoli and rice casserole can serve as a side dish or a complete meal. This reminds me of comfort food. I enjoy taking recipes and turning theme into vegan plant based dishes. Also, this broccoli and rice cheesy dish is oil free and gluten free.
If you meal prep or batch cook this recipe comes together quickly. If you’re short on time during the week this may be for you. You can make a batch of rice and store in the refrigerator or the freezer to make this dish. Also, the cheese sauce can be made in advance. You can also make the whole dish, freeze it and warm it up in the oven when you’re ready.
Broccoli… fresh or frozen?
You can use whatever type you have on hand. From a nutritional stand point, frozen vs. fresh veggies are basically the same. It’s been proven that frozen may contain more vitamins at the time of freezing. Here is an article called. “Frozen Vegetables are Hot”, if you would like more information.
When I’m making a casserole, stir fry, or other dishes involving steamed veggies, I’ll use fresh or frozen depending what I have in the refrigerator and how much time I have. I find it easier some times to just open a bag of frozen vegetables. But I do love fresh broccoli from farm markets. It’s a win either way :).
Quick Recipe Tips:
For this recipe you can use fresh or frozen broccoli. The only difference is with fresh broccoli I suggest adding a little water to the pan to allow the broccoli to soften. The frozen broccoli already has some water from the broccoli being frozen. I suggest adding about 1 tbsp of water if the veggies start to stick. Cover the broccoli for a few minutes and stir often.
Chop the broccoli into bite size pieces if you’re using frozen broccoli and the broccoli slices are large. You can remove the broccoli from the pan and slice the broccoli into smaller pieces and add back to the pan. This is optional.
Short on time? Make the cheese sauce and rice in advance. The casserole can be ready to bake in the oven in under 15 minutes if those ingredients are prepared in advance.
Is the recipe freezer friendly? Yes, if you want to freeze the Broccoli Rice Casserole for a later time. Make the recipe, cover and freeze. Don’t bake the casserole until you are ready to serve.
Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole Ingredients
- Broccoli (Fresh or Frozen)
- Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Brown Rice
How to make the Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole?
The sauce that is used for the broccoli rice casserole is a cashew based cheese sauce. Here is a link to the Cashew Cheese Sauce. This sauce is very versatile. I use it in my mac n cheese and as a dip with chips.
Make the rice according to the directions. I like to rinse the brown rice before I add it to the water. Removing any dirt.
Next… Saute the onion, garlic and broccoli
Sauté the onion with a little water until soft and translucent. Next add in the garlic and stir for about minute.
Add the broccoli to the mixture and stir. For frozen broccoli, stir and cover for about 5 minutes until the broccoli is almost fork tender.
For fresh broccoli, add the broccoli to the pan with a little bit of water (2-3 tbsps), stir and cover. Let the broccoli steam and soften. Approximately 3-4 minutes.
Next… add in the brown rice and mix.
Pour in the cheese sauce.
Mix all the ingredients together. Pour the mixture into a casserole pan.
Add to a medium casserole dish. I used a 12×9 casserole dish. Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and let bake an additional 5 minutes for browning.
Click Here: Cashew Cheese Sauce Recipe
P.S. If you make this recipe, leave a comment below, share your pictures on Instagram and tag me with @plantbasedfoodylife … I’d love to see what you make!!!
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 10.8 oz bag frozen broccoli or 1 head fresh broccoli about 3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced about 1 tbsp
- 2½ cup vegan cheese sauce
- 1/4 cup water use as needed for the sauting of the vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Rinse the rice before cooking. Cook the brown rice based on instructions.
- In a medium hot pan add the onion and a little water (1-2 tbsp) to pan and stir. Continue stirring for a bout 3-5 minutes until the onions soften. Add in the garlic and stir. Add in the broccoli florets.
- If using frozen broccoli, stir in the pan and cover until the broccoli softens. About 5 minutes. Stir every minute or two.
- If using fresh broccolli add to the pan stir and a little water. Cover and stir often. Allow to steam for about 3-4 minutes until broccoli start to soften Turn off the heat and add in the rice and the cheese and stir.
- Turn off the heat and add in the rice and the cheese sauce and stir.
- Pour into a medium 12x9 casserole dish and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and allow to bake for an additional 5 minutes to let brown.
- Remove from the oven and serve.