This creamy, cheesy broccoli rice casserole is vegan, dairy-free, and made with whole food ingredients! It's also incredibly easy to make—just dump and bake! Perfect for meal prep or busy weeknights and a recipe the whole family will love!
Why this recipe works
If you love the classic cheesy broccoli rice casserole, you're going to love this vegan version! It's made with whole food ingredients so you can feel good about it and it's good for you!
The cheesy flavor comes from nutritional yeast without needing to use mock cheeses. If you prefer the gooey texture, feel free to use a store-bought vegan cheese.
If you'd like to keep it simple but can't find nutritional yeast, here's a list of substitutes you can use instead. For this recipe, cashews would probably work best.
You're going to love this dairy-free broccoli rice casserole. It makes the perfect side dish to accompany any protein, or serve it on its own!
It's so easy to make—just dump and bake (no need to cook rice ahead of time)! And even picky eaters love it!
This vegan casserole only requires 9 easy to find ingredients (including salt!). Short and sweet! Reference the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements.
Basmati rice—cooks quickly making this perfect for dump-and-bake style recipes (no pre-cooking required!).
Want to make this whole food plant-based? Use brown basmati rice instead and allow it to cook for 45-50 minutes until the rice is soft.
Nutritional yeast—gives this casserole that delicious "cheesy" flavor without the need for dairy or mock cheeses! Can use chopped cashews instead.
Coconut milk—provides the creaminess. Make sure to use coconut milk from a can, not a carton.
How to make
This step by step walk-through shows the process of making this cheesy vegan broccoli rice casserole recipe. Exact times and temperatures are available in the recipe card at the bottom.
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
In a large casserole dish, combine rice with seasonings and mix well to evenly distribute. Then flatten out the rice mixture into an even layer.
2. Top with an even layer of broccoli.
3. Heat broth until just boiling, then immediately pour oven the broccoli rice. This helps to speed up the cooking time in the oven.
Then pour oven the coconut milk.
4. Mix together the breadcrumb ingredients in a small bowl, then evenly distribute over the top of the broccoli rice casserole.
5. Cover with foil and bake on the center rack in the oven for 20 minutes, then uncover and continue baking for another 8-10 minutes until the rice is soft and has absorbed all the liquid.
Optional: When the casserole is done baking, move it to the top rack in the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown (keep a close eye on it to avoid burning).
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Best enjoyed immediately but can be prepared ahead of time and reheated in the oven or in single servings in the microwave.
Make sure you're using Basmati rice which cooks faster than other rice varieties. If you would like to use another rice, you may need to add an additional 10-15 minutes to the bake time depending on the type.
Use boiling broth to help speed up the cook time. If you forget to heat your broth beforehand, no worries—you'll just need to leave the casserole in the oven a little longer to make sure all the liquid is absorbed.
How to store
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheat single servings in a microwave for 1-2 minutes until heated through. You can also reheat the dish in an oven at 350F for 5-10 minutes if needing to reheat multiple servings.
This vegan casserole also freezes well. You can store the entire dish in the freezer and allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Or store individual servings in the freezer and reheat in the microwave as needed.
What to serve with this vegan broccoli rice casserole
This casserole makes a great side or main dish!
To make it a more filling main dish, add 1 cup of cooked chickpeas before adding the breadcrumbs and baking.
More vegan casseroles
Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 1 cup basmati rice, or brown basmati rice, see notes for adjusted cooking time
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, optional for color
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, boiling
- 13.5 oz canned coconut milk
- 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon paprika, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a large casserole dish, combine rice with seasonings and mix well to evenly distribute. Then flatten out the rice mixture into an even layer.1 cup basmati rice, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Top with an even layer of broccoli.6 cups broccoli florets
- Heat broth in microwave for 1-2 minutes until just boiling, or on stove. Then immediately pour over the broccoli rice. This helps to speed up the cooking time in the oven.2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- Then pour oven the coconut milk. Shake the can vigorously before opening if it feels like some of the milk has solidified before pouring it over.13.5 oz canned coconut milk
- Mix together the breadcrumb ingredients in a small bowl, then evenly distribute over the top of the broccoli rice casserole.1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs, ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper, 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast, ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Cover with foil and bake on the center rack in the oven for 20 minutes, then uncover and continue baking for another 8-10 minutes. Optional: Once done cooking, move casserole to the top rack in the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown (keep a close eye on it to avoid burning). Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving .
- Best enjoyed immediately but can be prepared ahead of time and reheated in the oven or in single servings in the microwave.