Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole
This vegan broccoli rice dish is great for a special dinner, broccoli and brown rice smothered in a creamy cheese sauce and baked until golden brown. It's so easy to prepare, healthy and so tasty!
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1.5 cups of milk (2% or whole)
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 medium onion (about 2 cups chopped)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 4 oz of gouda cheese (freshly grated)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese (freshly grated)
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice optional
- 1 / 4-1 / 3 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
- 3-4 cups of cooked rice
- 1 lb fresh broccoli (I used the tops and 2/3 of the stems)
- 1 tablespoon of butter (separated from the top)
- chopped fresh parsley optional for garnish
First cook your rice using your preferred method. I have used my Instant Pot and you can also use a rice cooker or some reliable stovetop method to puff up rice!
Then, while the rice is cooking, roughly chop the broccoli florets and chop the stems too! I usually cut the lower part of the stem and dice the rest. You will need a total pound that you can usually get out of a large head of broccoli! Cook according to your preferred method. I blanched mine in boiling water until the top turned bright green. Steaming works great too!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the onion into small cubes and mince the garlic.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the butter, onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are tender and tender, then add the flour and incorporate into a dough. Keep stirring and cook the dough for about two minutes, or until it turns lightly golden. I use a whisk and I keep this step to avoid burning. Browning cooks all four tastes and will help us make our sauce nice and thick.
Whisk the milk and vegetable broth into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk the mixture as it heats, allowing it to simmer and thicken. Remove from fire.
Season with salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper. If you're a nutmeg fan, add a pinch here. Allspice works great if you are not a fan of nutmeg! Gradually add half of your grated cheese and mix well. Give it a taste and add more seasoning if you like. Since we don't season broccoli or rice, all the flavor will come from our dreamy, creamy cheese sauce!
Pour the sauce over the rice, broccoli and cheese and stir until everything is evenly coated with the sauce. Coat an 8x8 or 9x9 casserole dish with non-stick spray, then distribute the casserole mixture evenly in the dish. Top with remaining grated cheese.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan and add the breadcrumbs. Stir constantly while toasting, then sprinkle over the pan.
Bake the casserole dish for 35 minutes or until you get a light browning around the edges and top. Happy Cooking Time.