Vegan Cheesy Rice and Broccoli Casserole

What do you look forward to when you get back from a vacation?  Is flying home on your birthday only to discover that you have to throw away everything in your fridge and freezer?  Because that’s what I got. There were some bad storms in Michigan while I was gone and the power was out for several days. Silver lining: I missed having to go 3 days without electricity!  Other than that, I had a great time and I’ll probably post some pictures later.  I’m not usually one to carry a camera with me, so we didn’t take too many.  Mostly of some adorable animals we saw while in Florida pre- and post- cruise.

Vegan Cheesy Rice Casserole

I originally posted this cheesy rice and broccoli casserole on Hannah’s blog earlier this year.  I put a placeholder on my blog directing would-be-eaters over there and it has been getting a LOT of traffic lately, presumably from vegans looking for a swap for a pretty common Thanksgiving casserole.  Sadly, less than 20% were clicking the link to Hannah’s page to see the recipe.  I’m not sure if it was just a matter of laziness, but I wanted everyone to see and eat this tasty casserole this holiday season!  Okay, and I’m also feeling a little lazy — what do you cook when you have literally nothing in your fridge? Not even ketchup!

Vegan Cheesy Rice Casserole

This recipe reminds me of Thanksgiving at my Grandma Koeppendoerfer’s house.  Not just Thanksgiving.  Someone would inevitably make this recipe for each of our monthly gatherings.  While the original recipe is vegetarian, it involves canned condensed soup and is just not very healthy.  I vegan-ed it up and it tastes even better.  Pro Tip: This is amazing drizzled with buffalo sauce or hot sauce.  If you aren’t feeling rice, this would work well with quinoa, riced cauliflower, and even couscous.  You could also cut the amount of broccoli in half and add cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, any veggie your heart desires.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Vegan Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole
Serves: 8

  • 2 c brown rice, cooked
  • 12 oz broccoli, steamed with 1½ c steaming water reserved
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • ⅔ c nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. liquid smoke
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • ¼ tsp turmeric (for color)
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat reserved steaming water in a medium sauce pan. Sauté garlic and mushrooms until soft and the mushrooms have released liquid (the water will turn a light brown color, similar to a mushroom broth).
  3. Add milk and yeast and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch, liquid aminos, liquid smoke, and 2 tbsp. water. Add cornstarch mixture to the pan and bring to medium-high heat.
  4. Cook sauce until slightly thickened and add turmeric, paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir together the rice, broccoli and sauce and spread into a casserole dish (spritz with nonstick spray). Bake until all liquid has been absorbed, about 10 – 20 minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

This serves 8 as a side dish or 4 as a meal. Nutritional estimate is for 8 servings.
Use liquid aminos or gluten free soy sauce for a gluten free dish (some soy sauces contain gluten).

Nutrition Information
Calories: 250 Fat: 3 Carbohydrates: 49 Fiber: 7 Protein: 12 Cholesterol: 0



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    Susan Duke Oct 22, 2016

    We loved this casserole! In fact, next time I need to double the recipe as our very hungry 18 year old ate over half by himself! I only subbed onion for mushrooms because we didn’t have any. This recipe is a keeper- thank you!!

      Kelly Jan 15, 2017

      Glad you like it!

    Annie @ Natural Sweet Recipes Feb 27, 2015

    This looks really good! I have to admit, I really like nutritional yeast but haven’t found many casseroles or mac and cheese recipes that I love. This looks soo delicious and I think I have to give it a try because there are other ingredients in there to bulk it up so it’s not just “cheese”. It looks so good I bet my meat loving husband would like it! Also I love your place mat!

      Kelly Feb 27, 2015

      Thanks, Annie. I’m not normally a big fan of casseroles that JUST have nutritional yeast — too much and the flavor gets a little weird for me. I think having mushrooms and broccoli really rounds it out.

    Sue k Jan 01, 2015

    You forgot to mention what to do with the liquid smoke

      Kelly Jan 05, 2015

      Add it at the same time as the soy sauce/liquid aminos 🙂

    Sheree Dec 24, 2014

    I just made this recipe (taking to family for Christmas tomorrow) and wanted to thank you for creating it! I love that everything is pretty much “pre-cooked” so the cook can take what she wants as a treat beforehand, lol! It’s absolutely delicious and it’s my new go-to side dish for when I am invited to a dinner. Thanks so much!

      Kelly Dec 29, 2014

      Sorry for my slow response, Sheree. I’m SO glad you liked it! Love getting comments like these 🙂

    Heather Gray Apr 04, 2014

    Yay! I found your blog and I’m going to make this! Im going to try it with quinoa. Let me know if you have a good recipe for “cheesy” potatoes.

      Kelly Apr 05, 2014

      After we talked about cheesy potatoes, they’re all I can think about! I’ll have to work on a recipe

        Heather Gray Apr 05, 2014


    Brittney La Flore Jan 17, 2014

    I’m attempting to make this but I do not have turmeric, will this ruin the meal if I leave it out?

      Kelly Jan 17, 2014

      Not one bit! Tumeric is there mainly to give it more of an orange cheesey color. Let me know how it turns out!

    The Domestic Rebel Dec 11, 2013

    Three days without power? Don’t tell my ex boyfriend I said this, but dude, when I was with him and his family would lose power at their house, they flipped their crap. Not because it was inconvenient, dangerous, or whatever.. but because they didn’t have TV or access to internet to play computer games. I’m not even kidding! Whereas I was over there screaming “SAVE THE FOOD!!” Haha. This is the PERFECT meal to cozy up to after a traumatic power outage… or a life-saving breakup, ahaha 🙂

      Kelly Dec 11, 2013

      While they were distracted with electronics, I hope you snuck to the freezer and ate all the ice cream before they even had a chance.

    Abbie Dec 01, 2013

    Ahh, three days without power! I know what that is like. NOT FUN. And throwing away food totally sucks, too. This past summer we had a power outage and everything in our freezer started melting – but it was the best excuse for us to eat half a tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream; I mean, it was melting. And you can’t throw away ice cream, right? haha.
    This casserole looks so good! Sadly I’m intolerant of real cheese, so this dish is sounding perfect right now!

    Joanne Nov 30, 2013

    Gah I hate having to throw things away! Boo. But yay to this casserole!! Total comfort food.

    Jackie {TheBeeroness} Nov 27, 2013

    This looks like the perfect pre and post thanksgiving day meal. Something thats both warm and comforting but also healthy. Fabulous job!