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Vegan Broccoli Casserole

Warm, creamy, and cheesy, this vegan Broccoli Casserole is amazingly delicious and perfect for dinner or taking to social functions.

vegan broccoli casserole serving on colorful plate with casserole dish in background

This broccoli casserole with rice was inspired by a recipe I came across from Susan Voisin with Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen. Since I have my own Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce, I used it and tweaked a few of the spices to make this delicious, broccoli rice recipe that keeps the whole family happy.

We love this vegan casserole because it’s…

  • Perfect for family gatherings
  • Easy to make a day ahead
  • Can even be made in a crockpot
  • Vegetable-Packed
  • Super filling
  • Crowd-pleasing
  • Simply delicious

Both my husband and I come from big families that get together for lunch after church on Sundays. Everyone brings a couple of dishes, and we enjoy time eating, laughing, and playing with the kids and grandkids. Casseroles are perfect for those kinds of days!

overhead photo of broccoli casserole on colorful plate and another smaller blue plate with bowl of broccoli at top

Broccoli casserole ingredients

Made with onions, garlic, broccoli, red bell pepper, celery, chickpeas, brown rice, and spices, and no-cheese sauce, this recipe has a punch of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

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slice of vegan broccoli casserole on colorful plate with whole casserole dish in background

How to make vegan broccoli casserole

This healthy broccoli casserole takes just a little bit of time to prepare and is well worth the effort.

A full list of ingredients, measurements, instructions, and a print button can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Making vegan cheese sauce

Personally, I think the magic ingredient is my Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce because it adds such a nutty, cheesy, creamy texture and taste. Not only is it combined in the actual ingredients, but it’s also drizzled over the top before baking.

You will want to make this cheese sauce first thing. It’s really easy to make and even freezes well. I usually already have some on hand in my freezer which shortens the steps to making any of my recipes that require cheese such as nachoshash brown casserole, and scalloped potatoes.

Making this terrific cheese sauce is as simple as boiling a pot of potatoes, onions, and carrots, adding them to a blender with cashews (or white beans), spices, and blending it until smooth. 

vegan cheese sauce in blender

I have a Vitamix blender and so don’t take the time to soak my cashews. That thing is powerful and everything that goes into it comes out creamy. However, if your blender isn’t jet engine speed, soaking the cashews in warm water for at least 30-minutes before adding to this recipe will help this recipe come out more creamy. 

This recipe makes a little more sauce than you actually need for the casserole, so you’ll have some leftover to try with other recipes.

Once the cheese sauce is complete, set it to the side.

Making the broccoli casserole

Begin by fully cooking the brown rice and, if you aren’t using already cooked canned chickpeas, you will need to cook the beans as well.

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with parchment paper. If making in a crockpot, select low heat. 

parchment paper lining an empty casserole dish

Dice the veggies that you’re going to need for this recipe.

I am often asked what knives I use and recommend for cooking, and my favorite brand is Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery. Yes, that’s the same company that makes the Swiss Army Knife. These knives come with a lifetime guarantee and are very reasonably priced. I absolutely love mine.

In a medium-sized saucepan, saute the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and celery in veggie broth. Cook until slightly tender, approximately 3 minutes.

diced celerly, onion, garlic, red bell pepper in stainless pan

Add the broccoli florets and cook another 3 minutes.

Stir in cooked chickpeas, brown rice, 2 cups of the cheese sauce, almonds (if using), and spices. Save the remaining 1 cup of cheese sauce for topping.

rice, broccoli, chickpeas, veggies, and vegan cheese sauce in pan

Mix thoroughly and remove from heat.

Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish, pressing in with a spoon to fill the pan. Drizzle the remaining 1 cup of cheese sauce over the top. I like to sprinkle a little more smoked paprika on top.

broccoli casserole in glass baking dish before baked white background

Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. If making in a slow cooker, set to low and allow to cook for approximately 1-1/2 hours.

Once completely cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool a bit. Serve warm and enjoy!

overhead shot of casserole dish filled with vegan broccoli and rice casserole cooked

Vegan casseroles

Vegan casseroles just make things easier! I can put this casserole together a day ahead and just pop it in the oven Sunday morning without all of the fuss, rushing around, and clean up. It makes the day more enjoyable, and unhurried time with family is precious!

If preferred, it can even be cooking in a crockpot. That way you can leave and go to church or to do errands and come back to a fully cooked dish ready to eat.

broccoli and rice casserol on green plate with broccoli in background
Vegan Broccoli Casserole

*Originally published November 29, 2017.

Tips for making this recipe

Assemble this vegan broccoli casserole ahead of time and refrigerate for baking later. I love to do this on Saturdays because it makes Sunday lunch after church a breeze to pull together.

Use any leftover cheese sauce on baked potatoes, steamed veggies, pizza, and anything else you can think of.

Cheese sauce keeps in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 7+ days.

vegan broccoli casserole served on colorful plate on wooden table

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Other great broccoli recipes include:

vegan broccoli casserole serving on colorful plate with casserole dish in background

Vegan Broccoli Casserole

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Casseroles just make things easier! I can make this vegan broccoli casserole recipe a day ahead and just pop it in the oven Sunday morning without all of the fuss, rushing around, and clean up.

Ingredients

Casserole

  • 4 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 3/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 3-4 Tbps veggie broth
  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
  • 3 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 3 cups Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce, (recipe below)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry steak seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp slivered almonds, optional
  • salt & pepper to taste

Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1 cup broth from veggies
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (or 1/2 cup white beans)
  • 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 1/2 pinch cayenne pepper, optional

Instructions

Casserole

  1. Make the Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce first using directions below.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper. If making in a crockpot, select low heat. 
  3. In a medium-sized saucepan, saute onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and celery in veggie broth. Cook until slightly tender, approximately 3 minutes.
  4. Add the broccoli florets and cook another 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in chickpeas, brown rice, 2 cups of the cheese sauce, almonds (if using), and spices. Save the remaining 1 cup of cheese sauce for topping.
  6. Mix thoroughly and remove from heat.
  7. Pour mixture into a prepared baking dish, pressing in with a spoon to fill the pan. Drizzle the remaining 1 cup of cheese sauce over the top. I like to sprinkle a little more smoked paprika on top. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. If making in a slow cooker, set to low and allow to cook for approximately 1-1/2 hours.
  8. Once completely cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  9. Serve warm and enjoy!

Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce

  1. In a medium pot, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in pot and allow to cook until veggies are tender, approximately 15 minutes. Cooking time will vary based on how small the veggies are diced.
  2. When veggies are tender, drain and place them in a blender. NOTE: reserve 1 cup of the broth, and add to blender. Add all the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.
  3. Now, it's ready to use in this casserole or anything else you need a creamy, cheesy sauce in. It makes approximately 1 quart and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

 


Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 4.2gCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 11gProtein: 16.6g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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carol walker

Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Hi Terri i to stumbled upon your recipe boy am i glad i did, could not stop eating it the grand kids also loved it. I will keep this recipeThanks so much

Terri Edwards

Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Hi Carol- I'm so glad you stumbled your way to my site, and I LOVE that your grandchildren love the casserole recipe. Thanks so much for letting me know!

Robyn

Wednesday 20th of May 2020

Hi Terri, So glad I stumbled upon your site. I am enjoying trying your recipes. Your BBQ Lil Smokies are in the Crock Pot as I write this.

I was wondering if you have you ever tried freezing this recipe for later use. I wanted to make ahead of time for a trip we are planning. I will have an oven button all the other items I would need. Thanks so much.

Terri Edwards

Wednesday 20th of May 2020

Hi Robyn- I'm so glad you stumbled upon my site as well. Welcome! Though I haven't tried freezing the lil smokey carrots, I don't see any reason that would be a problem. I would love to hear how they turn out if you give it a try.

Tyler

Monday 18th of May 2020

I love this recipe!! The cheese sauce is so good and easy - it can be used for so many different things! I love mushrooms so I added 1lb of mushrooms and cut the rice to 2 cups

Nan

Sunday 17th of May 2020

Although everyone will probably say that there are never any leftovers, I was wondering if anyone had experience with freezing the leftovers? Thanks.

Nan

Friday 8th of May 2020

I was looking for a new and different recipe to try than the regular rotation I've been making during the stay-at-home coronavirus time. This was excellent! It is a multiple step recipe with cooking rice, making sauce, cooking vegetables, and baking the casserole, but worth the effort in the end.

Terri Edwards

Saturday 9th of May 2020

Hi Nan- I'm so glad you liked it!