Here’s a simple and delicious way to use your leftover rice. This vegan broccoli rice casserole is creamy, “cheesy”, and utterly delicious. 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 remaining ingredients.
This oh-so cheesy broccoli rice casserole is not only vegan and vegetarian friendly, but it’s also gluten free, oil free, and soy free. The sauce is made using healthy and nutritious ingredients like raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and the perfect blend of seasoning. There is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about when digging in to this one!
Bonus! It’s kid friendly and husband approved! I mean, who doesn’t like a dreamy, stretchy, cheesy plate of deliciousness?
How to make cheesy vegan broccoli with rice casserole
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 cheese, process all the cheese ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
The sauce will be very runny, but don’t worry, it will thicken in the oven.
Now place your cooked rice and raw broccoli florets in an oven safe dish. Mine is 8×12, but any similar size will work.
Pour your cheese sauce mixture over top.
Mix well to evenly coat and distribute the sauce through your broccoli and rice.
Then bake for 20 minutes, mixing at the halfway point.
Remove from the oven and enjoy as is, in its creamy, gooey, cheesy state or return to the oven on broil to brown the top.
Once baked, I do recommend broiling your casserole for about 2-3 minutes to brown and crisp up the top.
Although optional, this step will add some delicious texture to your dish. If you prefer it smoother and creamier, skip this step.
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.
Helpful tips for the best broccoli rice 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 this dish.
- As your casserole 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 it to its stretchy, gooey consistency by reheating, so just pop it back in the oven to heat through.
Want more leftover rice ideas?
More “Cheesy” Recipes
- Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Walnut Cheese Sauce
- I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan Poutine
- Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- 8x12 Oven Safe Baking Dish (or similar)
- 2 cups leftover 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.