A cozy recipe inspired by the kind you’d find in spiral-bound community cookbooks, this cheesy vegan broccoli rice casserole is easy to transform from the original version. With plenty of broccoli and parsley, this plant-based green rice casserole is wholesome as well as somewhat addictive! It’s equally good made with fresh or frozen broccoli.
Though this recipe calls for brown rice, you can use white if that’s what you prefer. I often like to cook white rice with a smaller portion of quinoa together — 2 parts rice to 1 part quinoa — which is a nice alternative to brown rice if you’re not a fan.
Complete the meal: Since you have the oven going at 400º F, consider roasting a pan of root vegetables to go with the casserole. A simple salad or slaw is all you need to round out the meal; or, a platter of raw vegetables and dip (like Vegan Ranch).
Recipe is adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 1 1/2 cups raw brown rice, any variety, rinsed (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large celery stalk, finely diced
- 5 cups finely chopped broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 cups vegan cheddar-style cheese shreds
- 1/2 cup plain unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Wheat germ or fine breadcrumbs
- Combine the rice with 4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes. If you prefer a more tender grain, add 1/2 cup additional broth or water, and cook until absorbed.
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Heat the oil or vegan butter in a large skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onion and celery and sauté over medium heat until golden.
- Add the broccoli along with just a bit of water to keep the pan moist. Cover and cook until the broccoli is just beyond tender-crisp, but still bright green.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cooked rice and all the remaining ingredients except the toppings. If your pan doesn’t hold everything comfortably, transfer to a mixing bowl. Either way, stir everything together.
- Transfer the mixture to an oiled 2-quart casserole dish. Pat in evenly and sprinkle the optional toppings, if using.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the edges become a bit crusty and the top is golden.
- Allow the casserole to stand for 5 minutes to 10 minutes. Either cut into neat segments or just spoon it out.
If you prefer to use white rice or a white rice/quinoa combo, start with 3 1/2 cups water. Proceed to cook as directed.
If you like this rice casserole, you might also enjoy …
Lots more cozy, family-friendly vegan casseroles