Creamy, cheesy, and comforting, this Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole is favorite easy main or side dish the whole family will love! Gluten free, dairy free, oil free, and made from scratch with plant based ingredients, it’s a great dish to bring to potlucks and gatherings.
I love a good casserole, and I love anything cheesy! So when we realized we had bought a large amount of broccoli when there were already a few heads in the refrigerator, I knew what I wanted to make. Broccoli Rice Casserole!
I have a delicious baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe on my blog. So I thought, “Why not take that cheese sauce, combine it with some brown rice and broccoli florets and see what happens?”
Broccoli and cheese sauce go so well together, but who needs all that saturated fat from dairy cheese? My cheese sauce worked perfectly!
Delicious, creamy, cheesy broccoli rice casserole with no dairy or oil!
And since I love a crispy topping on my baked casseroles, I decided to top it off with a bit of Panko. So good!
Casseroles are a comforting dish in the fall and winter, and are ideal dishes to bring to potlucks and gatherings. This broccoli rice casserole will be a hit wherever you choose to share it!
Ingredients for Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Cooked brown rice – if you have a lot of leftover cooked rice, this is a good use for it.
- Broccoli – I cut up the stems as well as the florets for this casserole
- Potatoes – I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes, but red or russet will also work
- Onion– white or yellow
- Raw cashews
- Nutritional yeast
- Soy milk
- White vinegar
- Ground mustard powder
- Breadcrumbs or Panko – be sure to use gluten free breadcrumbs (or omit them) if you are following a gluten free lifestyle.
How to make the broccoli casserole
Place the potatoes, onion, and carrot in a medium sauce pan with the two cups of water. Bring to a boil; then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 12 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Steam the broccoli for about 3 minutes, just until bright green.
Transfer the cooked vegetables (except the broccoli) and cooking water to a blender. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, and blend until smooth.
Note: If you don’t have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, boil the cashews along with the vegetables to soften them.
Mix together the cooked brown rice, the broccoli florets, and the cheese sauce in a large bowl. Transfer to a casserole dish, and sprinkle the top of the casserole with breadcrumbs or Panko and a bit of paprika.
Bake for 35 minutes at 350 F, until it is heated through. If desired, switch the oven to broil and brown the top of the casserole. Just look at this crispy browned topping!
Frequently asked questions
You can use unsalted sunflower seeds in place of the raw cashews for a nut free casserole. This will change the flavor a bit. Another option is to replace the cashews with white beans. This will result in a less creamy, but still delicious, sauce.
Yes! This is a perfect make ahead recipe! The assembled casserole can be made the day before baking and kept covered in the refrigerator. Add 10 minutes to the baking time if you have refrigerated your casserole.
You can also make the cheese sauce and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before assembling the casserole.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. This casserole can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
For more delicious casserole recipes, see:
If you’re looking for more great potluck dishes for Thanksgiving or Christmas, check out my roundup of 35+ Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes.
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Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 6 cups cooked brown rice
- 4 cups chopped broccoli
- 2 cups cubed yellow potato
- 1 cup diced onion
- ½ cup diced carrot
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3 cloves garlic
- ⅔ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ cup soy milk
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon paprika plus extra for sprinkling on top
- ½ cup Panko or other breadcrumbs for topping
- Place the potatoes, onions, carrots, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Steam the broccoli for about 3 minutes, just until bright green. It will continue cooking in the casserole.
- Pour the cooked vegetables and cooking water into a blender. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, and blend until smooth. (See note below, if you don't have a high speed blender.)
- Place the cooked brown rice and the broccoli in a large mixing bowl and add in the cheese sauce.
- Transfer the rice mixture to a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish. Top with the Panko or breadcrumbs and the additional paprika.
- Bake at 350° F for 30 to 35 minutes, until the center is hot. If you wish, broil the casserole for a couple of minutes to brown the topping.
Nutrition calculations are approximate.