Here’s a simple and delicious way to use your leftover rice. This vegan broccoli casserole is creamy, “cheesy”, and oozing with absolute deliciousness. Leftover rice and fresh broccoli florets are smothered in a rich and velvety vegan cheese sauce and baked to bubbly perfection.
This dish is a simple one to prepare and an absolutely incredible recipe for leftover rice.
If you don’t have leftover rice, no worries. You can make some as you prepare the other ingredients.
This oh-so cheesy, yet vegan broccoli casserole is not only vegan and vegetarian friendly, but it’s also gluten free, oil free, and soy free. So it’s free from MOST allergens.
Bonus! It’s kid friendly and husband approved! I mean, who doesn’t like a dreamy, stretchy, cheesy plate of deliciousness?
How to make this cheesy vegan broccoli casserole with rice
Preheat your oven and then gather all your ingredients for the cheese sauce and measure out the cooked rice and broccoli needed for your casserole.
To make the sauce, add all its ingredients to a high speed blender and process until smooth. (photos 1-2)
The sauce will be very runny, but don’t worry, it will thicken in the oven.
NOTE: If you do not have a high speed blender, soak the cashews in boiling hot water for 30 minutes, then drain and add to your blender. This will soften them up, making it easier for your blender to process.
Now add your cooked rice and raw broccoli florets to an oven safe dish. (Mine is 8×12, but any similar size will work.) Then pour the cheese sauce you just made over top. (photos 3-4)
Mix well to evenly coat and distribute the sauce through your broccoli and rice. (photo 5)
Then bake your vegan broccoli casserole in your preheated oven for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. (photo 6)
Optional: Broil the top for a couple of minutes for a crusty, bubbly texture.
If you skip the broiling step, the broccoli casserole will be a little more creamy and gooey in texture.
If you want a firmer top, bubbly top, return to the oven on broil for a few minutes.
Garnish with vegan parmesan cheese, chili flakes, or just enjoy as is. This dish is best enjoyed when freshly made, as the “cheese” will thicken and harden as it sits and cools.
To return it to its creamy state, just pop it back in the oven and reheat.
Expert tips for the best vegan broccoli casserole
- If you do not have a high speed blender, soak your cashews in boiling hot water for 30 minutes before making your cheese sauce. Then drain them and add to your blender with the remaining ingredients. This quick soak method will allow the cashews to expand and soften, making them easier to break down.
- If you still have loose bits of cashews once blended, you may strain them using a nut milk bag. (Affiliate link.) However, bits of cashews won’t affect the overall flavour of your broccoli casserole.
- As your dish is baking, if the cheese gets too thick, you may thin it out with a splash or two of nut milk and mix well.
- Once cooled, the cheese will harden, but you can return your vegan broccoli casserole to its stretchy, gooey consistency by reheating, so just pop it back in the oven to heat through.
More vegan “cheesy” recipes
- Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Walnut Cheese Sauce
- I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan Poutine
- Cheesy Lentil Quinoa Casserole
- Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
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- 8x12 Oven Safe Baking Dish (or similar)
- 2 cups leftover cooked brown rice if you don't have cooked rice, start cooking as you prepare the remaining ingredients
- 3.5-4 cups broccoli florets approx 1 small head of broccoli cut into bite size florets
For the Cheese
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup tapioca starch also known as tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk or almond milk
- 1.5 cup water
- 1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder for flavour, not heat
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Add all the cheese ingredients to a high speed blender and process until smooth. It will be very runny.
- Place the cooked rice and broccoli florets in an oven safe dish, measuring 8x12, or similar. Then pour the cheese sauce over the rice and broccoli, and mix well to evenly coat and distribute.
- Bake for 20 minutes, mixing at the halfway point. Add a touch more milk if your cheese sauce gets too thick.
- Optional but recommended: Broil your casserole for 2-3 minutes to brown the top.