From scratch, super-easy, Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole with creamy rice, tender broccoli and surprise sausage-y bites. Put everything in the dish raw then bake. Minimal prep, minimal hands on time, maximum comfort!
So you love rice casseroles too? Great! We are on the same team so gather round and let's hear all about my new Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole.
We're talking a from scratch, easy one pan type affair that's loaded with rice, broccoli, some surprise vegan sausage, and a creamy "instant" sauce that's made by mixing the flour into the dry rice in like 20 seconds flat. Because you're awesome like that and it works perfectly for creating the creamy texture that casseroles are known for. Also we must not forget a big handful or two of vegan cheese for the ultimate topping situation.
Comfort food to the MAX!
And I know I'll get asked so I'll mention it here and now. Everything goes in uncooked. Even the rice. No pre-cooking of anything is required. Just like when you make my Oven Baked Garlic Mushroom Rice.
This is comfort food for lazy people and it is ridiculously easy. I mean, yeah, it takes a while to cook. We're talking about an hour give or take. But it takes literally 5 minutes to throw together and the rest is all hands off.
Love Love Love.
So, here's the run down on what's going on here and it's all basic store cupboard stuff:
- Rice - it's a rice casserole so it's pretty essential. I have not tested this recipe with brown rice or any other grain.
- Broccoli - and a lot of it too. You might think I've lost the plot as it looks like a mini forest when you're adding it all, but it doesn't look nearly as much once it's all cooked and stirred in so go with me.
- Garlic, salt & pepper - flavour, flavour, flavour
- Flour - it thickens everything up as it cooks and makes it all nice and creamy. All purpose gluten free flour will be ok instead. Maybe cornstarch but I haven't tried it. And pleased don't use coconut flour. There have been an influx of people using it instead of all purpose flour recently with disastrous results. It will not work as a direct replacement for regular flour in any recipe. In case you are tempted this blog post about it by Blissful Basil stresses my point and is hilarious ----->> It's Not You, It's Coconut Flour: 19 Times Coconut Flour Destroyed Something Delicious.
- Nutritional Yeast - Makes the rice taste cheesy without needing to add a ton of vegan cheese. Also adds umami flavour. I don't recommend skipping it.
- Vegan Sausages - Field Roast Italian if at all possible. They are my first choice for this recipe. If not, any that are herby and flavourful with a good texture. It adds flavour and the sausage-y bites throughout are so good!
- Vegan Milk - unsweetened is essential. Cooks together with the flour to make a creamy sauce .
- Stock - A key ingredient for flavour and also needed for the rice to absorb and cook properly. Whatever one you use make sure it's nice and tasty!
- Vegan Butter - optional but recommended for richness and extra comfort food points.
- Vegan Cheese - for topping. That oozy, cheese pulling situation on top of all that goodness is on point. You are welcome.
How to make Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole
FOR INGREDIENTS & FULL INSTRUCTIONS PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST
Combine the milk and stock into a pan and warm on the stove top or in a microwave until it's really hot and almost about to boil.
While that's happening, put the dry rice in the casserole. Add the other dry ingredients. All of them. Then stir it up.
Sprinkle over the sausage pieces then pour over the heated liquid and stir.
Plant the trees, i.e lay the broccoli all over the top, stalk down until it looks like you've got a little forest going on. Dot some vegan butter over the top, and oops I forgot to photograph that bit .....
Bake uncovered until the rice is just tender with a little bite, then give it a stir.
Sprinkle over the cheese and cover with tin foil or a tight fitting lid and put it back in the oven for a little while. The foil/lid helps trap steam and encourages the cheese to melt and the rice to become softer.
Remove the foil and serve!
It's almost like a risotto without the work. The rice turns out cooked beautifully and the broccoli still retains some bite and is not soggy in the slightest. And that delicious sausage kind of melts into the rice leaving little surprise chunks.
How to store/reheat
Cool leftovers quickly and store them covered in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3 days.
To reheat, add a drop of water for moistness (just a couple tablespoons), then reheat covered in the oven on 350°F (175°C). How long depends on how much you are reheating but at least 15 minutes. Possibly up to 25. Just make sure it is piping hot.
You can also use a microwave to reheat it. Again, just make sure it is piping hot.
- Use a 3 quart/ 2.8 litre ceramic or glass oven proof dish that is approximately 9 x 13 x 2 inches in size. Any significant change to this, like using a smaller, deeper dish, could make the rice take longer to cook. And don't use anything smaller than 3 quarts because it won't all fit in. Metal pans or disposable aluminum pans won't radiate the heat effectively and you will have problems getting the rice to cook evenly and thoroughly.
- Follow the recipe exactly for ultimate results.
- Don't use frozen broccoli. It will turn to mush. Fresh is best.
- The initial bake must be uncovered. You only need to cover it in the final 10 minutes to finish off the rice and melt the cheese. If you were to bake it covered the entire time it would end up too liquidy and the broccoli would steam and get really soggy.
- Try your best to get hold of Field Roast Italian sausages. They are really, really good in this.
- For ultimate richness don't skip the butter
- Costco sell big bags of pre-prepped broccoli florets and they are just the right size for this and make it even quicker and easier :O)
So there we are. This food, fall in general, is my happy place and this is what you call EASY vegan comfort cooking!
Chuck it all in. Bake. Cheese it up. Serve.
Yay. Winning at life.
Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 3¼ cup / 780 ml unsweetened vegan milk of choice
- 4 cups / 960 ml flavourful broth/stock
- 2 cups / 400 g uncooked white long grain rice * see notes for alternatives
- ⅓ cup / 42 g all purpose flour , (plain flour in the UK). For GF use an all purpose GF flour.
- ½ cup / 56 g nutritional yeast
- 4 cloves garlic , very finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 / 184 g Field Roast Italian Sausages ** see notes for alternatives
- 2 large heads fresh broccoli ***
- 1 cup / 112 g vegan cheese shreds ****
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter ***** optional
- Preheat oven to 375 °F (180 c) and have a 3 quart / 2.8 L ceramic or glass ovenproof dish (roughly 9x13x2inch) ready.
- Wash and cut the broccoli up into florets. You can leave quite a long stalky bit on each one to save wasting it.
- Combine the vegan milk and stock in a pan and warm over a medium heat on the stove top until very hot, almost about to boil.
- Meanwhile, add the rice, flour, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt and pepper to the oven proof dish. Stir together to combine.
- Slice the sausages into thin rounds and scatter them across the top of the rice mixture.
- Once the liquid is hot, pour it over the top of the rice and sausage mixture.
- Cover the entire top in broccoli florets. Plant them stalk down in the rice-y liquid. Then if you are using the butter, dot little blobs all over. Doesn't matter where.
- Put in the oven uncovered and bake for 50 - 55 minutes. Use a spoon to dig under the broccoli and taste a piece of rice. It should be soft, or almost cooked, with just a little bit of bite. If it's at that stage continue to the next step. If it's still hard, cover the dish with tin foil or a lid and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Then continue.
- Stir it well so the broccoli becomes mixed up through the rice, then sprinkle over the vegan cheese. Cover with tin foil and return to the oven for 10 minutes so the cheese can melt and the rice can continue cooking just a little bit more.
- Remove from the oven, remove the foil and serve up immediately.
Cool leftovers quickly and store them covered in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3 days. To reheat, add a drop of water for moistness (just 2 tablespoons), then reheat covered in the oven on 350°F (175°C). How long depends on how much of it you are reheating, but it will be at least 15 minutes. Possibly up to 25. Just make sure it is piping hot before serving. You can also use a microwave to reheat it. Again, just make sure it is piping hot.