This broccoli and brown rice casserole 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, healthy Vegan Broccoli & Rice Casserole that keeps the whole family happy.
Both me and my husband 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.
Made with onions, garlic, broccoli, red bell pepper, celery, chickpeas, brown rice, and spices, this recipe has a punch of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Nutrition in Chickpeas
As a legume, chickpeas are considered both a vegetable and protein food, helping you hit two important food groups at once. These nutty beans are rich in a number of important nutrients that keep you well — including protein, vitamins and minerals — and they provide fiber too. Including chickpeas in your diet may play a role in reducing your risk of a number of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Chickpeas aren’t super low in calories like most veggies, but they’re rich in a number of good-for-you nutrients. A 1-cup serving of boiled chickpeas has 270 calories, 45 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber. That same 1-cup serving also meets 70 percent of the daily value for folate and 26 percent of the DV for iron. It’s also a good source of a number of other minerals including manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper, as well some other B-vitamins, including thiamine and vitamin B-6.–LiveStrong
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, it’s also drizzled over the top before baking.
Casseroles just make things easier! I can put this Vegan Broccoli and Rice 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!
Other Great Plant-Based Broccoli Recipes Include:
- 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
- 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
Make the Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce first using directions below.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper.
In a medium sized sauce pan, saute onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and celery in veggie broth. Cook until slightly tender, approximately 3 minutes.
Add the broccoli florets and cook another 3 minutes.
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.
Mix thoroughly and remove from heat.
Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, pressing in with 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.
Once completely cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool.
Serve warm and enjoy!
In 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.
When veggies are tender, drain and place them in blender. NOTE: reserve 1 cup of the broth, and add to blender. Add all the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.
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 up to 2 weeks.
Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links. When you buy something through my links, I receive a commission that helps support this site which is greatly appreciated.