Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole is a simple yet delicious dish you can enjoy as a main course. It is easy to make and is very wholesome. This dish is made using broccoli and brown rice and therefore is a very healthy dish. The casserole comes together with a vegan cheese sauce made using cashews. It is super easy, rich, creamy, and tasteful.
I am a lover of casseroles. They are not just easy to make but are fuss-free. They come in a single dish which makes them very convenient to eat and to store as well.
You will find several casserole recipes on my website, but this one is particularly my favorite. That’s because it is easy to make and is loaded with healthy nutrients.
Also, check out, Vegan Broccoli Cheese Casserole, Jerk Seasoning, and Vegan Mac And Cheese
Is vegan broccoli rice casserole healthy?
We all know that broccoli is known for its richness in antioxidants. However, using brown rice in this recipe adds another healthy ingredient to this dish. Brown rice is a whole grain and therefore has many nutrients that white rice doesn’t have. It is high in fiber and thus keeps your digestive system on track. Moreover, it also improves heart health.
Also, this casserole uses cashews for the vegan sauce, which is also a very nutritional ingredient. It is rich in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. As a result, it aids in weight loss, improves heart health, and control sugar level in the blood.
In short, we are safe to say that this casserole is a very healthy dish that you can enjoy over and over again.
You can easily make this vegan broccoli rice casserole by dividing the recipe into two parts, i.e., the casserole and the vegan cheese sauce. Here is everything you will need for each part:
For the Casserole
- Olive oil: Start this casserole by using olive oil. It is rich in healthy fats and therefore is a good choice. You can, however, use avocado oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil as well.
- Onion: Onion has a savory flavor which sets the base for this casserole. You can either use red or white onion for this recipe.
- Garlic: I love adding garlic to my dishes because of its deep, savory, and prominent flavor. It makes the casserole more flavorsome.
- Brown rice: Brown rice is a whole grain that is loaded with nutrients and health benefits. It is readily available from any grocery store. Brown rice has an earthy and nutty flavor. When using brown rice for this casserole recipe, make sure it is already cooked.
- Broccoli florets: The main vegetable for this recipe is broccoli. This green vegetable has a unique flavor and a slightly crunchy texture. It is easy to cook and is loaded with nutrients.
For the Sauce
- Raw cashews: This sauce is nut-based, and that’s why I have chosen raw cashews. It is the main ingredient for this vegan cheese sauce. Raw cashews, when soaked and blended, have a creamy texture which serves the purpose very well.
- Water: You will need water to adjust the consistency of this vegan cheese sauce.
- Nutritional yeast flakes: It adds umami, and cheesy flavor to this sauce, making it a perfect vegan ingredient for this cheese sauce.
- Onion: Onion will add a slightly sweet yet savory flavor to this sauce.
- Garlic: Add garlic for a deep savory flavor into the sauce.
- Tapioca starch: Tapioca starch is tasteless, but it acts as a thickening agent in this sauce. Once the sauce starts to bubble in the oven, the tapioca starch will come into play.
- Salt: Adjust the flavors by adding salt as per your liking.
How to make Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole?
Here are simple steps you have to follow to make this tasteful and wholesome vegan broccoli rice casserole:
Step 1: First of all, prepare the cashew cheese sauce. For that, soak the raw cashews for about 20 minutes in warm water. Drain the cashews and place them in a high-speed blender jug. Add the rest of the ingredients, i.e., water, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic, onion powder, tapioca starch, and salt. Blend at medium to high speed until you get a smooth consistency. You can add more water to adjust the consistency according to your liking. Once done. Set it aside.
Step 2: Place a skillet over medium heat. Add oil and once it is heated, add chopped onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Next, add garlic and cook for a few seconds as well.
Step 3: Add broccoli florets and cook for no more than a minute or 2 or until the broccoli gets a beautiful bright green color.
Step 4: Add cooked brown rice and prepared cashew cheese sauce. Mix well so that the sauce coats the ingredients completely.
Step 5: Grease the casserole dish with olive oil and pour the prepared casserole mixture into the dish. Spread it evenly using the back of a spoon.
Step 6: Place this casserole in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until the top gets a golden color.
Step 7: Serve hot!
Tips to remember
Here are a few tips you must remember when making this vegan casserole:
- Although you can use any cooking oil to make this casserole base, if you want an oil-free dish, you can skip adding it and use water instead. The onions will soften up in the water.
- You can replace raw cashews with blanched raw almonds as well. Blanch raw almonds by soaking them in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Next, peel the skin off and use than just as you have used cashews.
- You can use cornstarch or arrowroot starch instead of tapioca starch as well.
- You can use white rice if you don’t want to use brown rice.
You can add more flavors to this delicious casserole by adding the following ingredients:
- Vegan meat: Adding vegan meat-like vegan sausages, Seitan or even tofu can enhance the flavor and improve the texture of this casserole. Plus, it will make the casserole more wholesome.
- White beans: You can add white beans to add more protein and a rich nutty flavor to this casserole.
- Vegetables: You can make your love for vegetables come into play by adding more vegetables along with broccoli. Add carrots, potatoes, corns, green beans, etc., and enjoy.
- Spices: Add more spices and seasonings like old bay seasoning. Cajun seasoning etc., to make this casserole more flavorful.
- Vegan cheese: Sprinkle vegan cheese on top to get a cheesier flavor.
Vegan Chickpea Curry or Zucchini and Peas Curry, taste amazing with this easy vegan broccoli rice casserole dish.
How to store Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole?
Store it just as you store any other casserole. Once the casserole reaches room temperature, you can place it in an air-tight container and refrigerate it. It will last for five days in the refrigerator.
Moreover, you can also freeze this cooked casserole. You can either place the whole casserole dish in the freezer or divide the casserole into portions, place each portion in a freezer-safe zip lock bag and freeze. It will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. Simply take it out, let it thaw, reheat it in the microwave or oven and enjoy!
If you love rice, check out these other amazing rice recipes:
- Turmeric Coconut Rice
- Vegetable Pelav Instant Pot Recipe
- Spinach Rice
- Jamaican Rice And Peas
- Baked Plantains
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- Categories: Gluten-Free, Vegan
- Courses: Entrée, Main Course
- Cuisines: American, Italian
- Energy: 326 kcal / 1363 kJ
- Fat: 11 g
- Protein: 10 g
- Carbs: 49 g
- Cooking: 40 min
- Ready in: 40 min
- For: 8 Servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or 2 tablespoons water
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked (make sure the rice is already cooked)
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup raw cashews or, blanched raw almond
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Preheat oven 400 degrees. Lightly spray or brush casserole dish (9x13 pan) with oil and set aside.
- Prepare cashew sauce, In a high-speed blender, place cashew or almond and water and process until smooth. Add nutritional yeast flakes, onion, tapioca starch, garlic, and sea salt and process until creamy. Set aside.
- Heat a large heavy duty skillet with oil over medium high, saute onion and garlic until soft. Add broccoli florets and cook for about a minute.
- Add rice and sauce, stirring until fully coated and thicken and fully combined. Scoop broccoli rice casserole into the prepared casserole dish, cover and bake for 35-40 minutes or until slightly golden.
- You can use frozen broccoli or prepackaged broccoli florets to save time.
- You can keep leftover rice in the freezer for up to 6 months, I normally freezer 2-4 cup portions. For this dish, you just defrost rice ahead of time.
- For the sauce, you can use either cashew or blanch almond. To blanch almond, bring water to boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add raw almonds to boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain immediately using a colander and rinse with cold water. Using fingers and squeeze almonds to remove skin. Discard skin and now your almonds are ready.
I love this recipe! My family loves the non-vegan version I used to make, but this year making your vegan version for Thanksgiving left me without leftovers! Because I was serving my extended family who are slowly trying vegan dishes, I tried to make this as close as possible to my non-vegan version, so I used white rice (I haven’t mastered making brown rice), I doubled the cheese sauce, added chopped celery to sauté with the onions, and used vegan butter instead of oil. I cannot wait to try more of your recipes…thank you!
Rach, I’m so happy your family enjoyed it, I love your adjustments. My post titled How To Cook Jasmine Brown Rice has excellent tips for mastering brown rice https://healthiersteps.com/recipe/how-to-cook-brown-jasmine-rice/ Thank you for sharing your feedback.
in canada we use celsius,what would it be?
From memory, it’s about 180 degrees Celcius but you can type it in Google to confirm.
Hi…can you freeze this a few days ahead and then bake? thinking of being prepared for Thanksgiving!!
Lori, yes you can freeze it for a few days ahead.
About the rice. Is it 2 cups uncooked rice then I cook them or is it 2 cups of cooked rice so more like 1 cup uncooked?
Yes its 2 cups of cooked rice, so the rice is already cooked.
Thank you! I’m making this tomorrow for thanksgiving and I just made the sauce to have some of my prep work done. I only have been off diary about 3 weeks for breastfeeding baby and my husband and I both think the sauce is definitely cheese like. I did however use a bit extra of the nutritional yeast maybe a teaspoon more. Will report back after the dish is ready. :)
Very good! I doubled the recipe and instead of using a second cup of cashews and water, I used a can of low sodium white beans with liquid to replace it and blended that into my creamy cheese sauce. This was in order to lower the fat/calorie content and it still had enough fat to satisfy the non-vegan cheese eaters in my family. The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars was because I felt the recipe needed a kick. Next time I make this (and there will definitely be a next time), I’m going to add either red pepper flakes to the veggies during the saute process or a generous splash of hot sauce to the “cheeze” sauce. This is in addition to the smoked paprika I sprinkled over the top just before baking.
Thanks for a great recipe! It’s super versatile and I can see lots of delicious variations in our future!
Andrea, thank you for your detailed feedback, love how you made it your own.
Made it. Faboulos. It goes to our recepies collection.
thanks 4 sharing.🤗
I’m happy you enjoyed it Anna, thank you for leaving your feedback.
Great recipes easy to make I wanted the Vegan Cheese Broccoli and rice recipe Casserole .Rating on a scale 1-10 .I will give it a 10.Thank You.
Thank you Beatrice, I’m happy you enjoyed it and thank you very much for your rating.
So you don’t soak the cashews before blending them in the food processor?
Never mind—I just saw the response below!
I’ve made this a couple of times now but used quinoa instead of rice and my kids love it! I also added a pinch of smoked paprika for color and flavor. Thank you for this simple and delicious recipe! :)
That’s wonderful to know Cynthia, I love that your kids love it. Thank you for sharing your adjustments.
Made this tonight served it with asparagus and a salad. WOW soo good. I am picky when it comes to vegan cheesy/creamy dishes but this was perfection. Even hubs loved it. It was exactly what I have been craving. Thanks for the great recipe. I will be looking for others to try from your page. Take care!
Hi Jordy, I’m so happy you enjoyed it, thank you very much for your feedback, I’m happy your husband loved it as well. Thank you for trying it.
We absolutely love this dish. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
I’m very happy you all enjoyed it. Thank you very much for sharing your feedback.