This easy vegan broccoli casserole bakes up tender broccoli florets smothered in a homemade vegan cheese sauce. This is an easy make-ahead dish that you can reheat for a weeknight dinner or a fancy holiday meal.
Everyone loves great side dishes, such as this vegan corn casserole.
Every year there is a casserole at our family holiday dinner. And my sister always made a vegan version for us. That’s why I
stole borrowed her recipe for vegan broccoli rice casserole so I could share it with you. My sister also calls it a vegan broccoli bake.
Whatever you call it, be sure to call me for dinner!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Creating a rich, creamy vegan cheese sauce yields delicious flavor to this dish
- Using frozen broccoli keeps this recipe easy to make and yet still fresh and tasty
- Adding cooked rice gives texture to every bite, making this an undeniably delightful side dish casserole
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Vegan butter — Any dairy-free butter or margarine will work here. You can even make your own vegan butter.
- Onion — I use a yellow onion, but you could substitute white onion.
- Flour — You can use all-purpose flour or substitute gluten-free flour.
- Garlic powder — I prefer the subtle flavor of garlic powder, but you could substitute 2 or 3 cloves of freshly minced garlic or mash a few garlic confit cloves.
- Spices — We’ll use a combination of dry mustard powder, paprika, and ground turmeric
- Plant-based Milk — I prefer soy milk, but whatever milk you use, be sure it’s plain (not vanilla) and unsweetened.
- Vegan cheddar shreds — I most often use Daiya or Follow Your Heart, but I know there are more vegan cheddar options on the market these days.
- Vegan cream cheese — Use any vegan cream cheese, such as Daiya or Tofutti.
- Broccoli florets and pieces — This recipe shows how to use either fresh or frozen. I prefer using a 12-ounce bag of frozen broccoli because it keeps this recipe simple.
- Cooked Rice — You can use either brown or white rice, but I prefer the added fiber from cooked brown rice. Substitute any of these for the rice: cooked quinoa, cauliflower rice (for lower carbs), or cooked cubed potatoes (I prefer golden potatoes for this recipe).
- Salt and pepper — Finish the dish by adding some salt and pepper to taste.
Make this into a plant-based meal by adding vegan chicken or a can of drained chickpeas. This adds protein and fiber, making it a complete and satisfying dinner option.
How to Make Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Cook onions in a skillet with melted vegan butter.
- Stir in the flour, garlic, and spices. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Pour in the plant-based milk and cheddar shreds, stirring it until it comes to a simmer (low boil). Cook until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.
- Pour the cooked rice and broccoli in with the remaining cheese sauce and stir it together.
- Transfer it to a casserole dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s golden brown around the edges.
- Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions for this vegan broccoli cheese casserole:
Step One: Cook Onions
Melt vegan butter in a skillet over medium heat. Then add the chopped onions and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
Once the onions are tender, stir in the flour, garlic, mustard powder, turmeric, and paprika. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
Note: For a vegan broccoli mushroom casserole, add 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms as you’re cooking the onions.
Step Two: Make the Sauce
Pour in the milk and cheddar shreds. Stir this together and bring it to a simmer (low boil). Continue cooking and stirring until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.
Step Three: Prepare Broccoli
Keep it simple by using frozen broccoli. To do so, set the bag out to let it thaw slightly.
If you’re using fresh broccoli:
- Wash the broccoli and cut it into bite-size broccoli florets and pieces. You’ll need around 6 cups.
- Add the florets and pieces to boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until just becoming tender. It will cook more as it bakes.
- Remove it from heat. Place a colander in the sink and pour the broccoli into it to drain the water. Be careful because the water will be hot.
Step Four: Finishing Touches and Baking
Pour the cooked rice and broccoli in with the cheese sauce and stir it together. Transfer it to a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown around the edges.
Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
This vegan cheesy broccoli rice dish is perfect to serve for a big holiday dinner or as a side dish any time of year. Have some vegan parmesan on the side to sprinkle over individual servings. I also love adding some croutons or even chopped tempeh bacon on top.
Store any leftovers in a covered dish or transfer it to an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Transfer it to the fridge the night before serving it to allow it to thaw, and then heat and serve.
Vegan Side Dishes
Vegan Broccoli Recipes
That’s it for this vegan broccoli casserole recipe. Enjoy!
Vegan Broccoli Casserole
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ⅕ teaspoon ground tumeric
- 2 cups soy milk (see notes)
- 2 cups vegan cheddar shreds
- 3 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
- 12 oz pacakge frozen broccoli florets and pieces (see notes)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Then, stir in the flour, garlic, mustard powder, turmeric, and paprika. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Pour in the milk and cheddar shreds. Stir this together over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.
- For frozen broccoli: set it out to let it thaw slightly. For fresh broccoli: add bite-size broccoli florets and pieces to boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until just becoming tender. It will cook more as it bakes. Remove it from heat and pour it over a colander in the sink to drain the water. Be careful because the water will be hot.
- Portion out 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce mixture. Pour the cooked rice and broccoli in with the remaining cheese sauce and stir it together. Transfer it to a casserole dish. Drizzle the reserved sauce over the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown around the edges. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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- Cooked quinoa
- Cooked cubed potatoes
- Cauliflower rice (for lower carbs)
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.