Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole

Today’s Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole goodness is sponsored by Minute® Rice, makers of the 10-minute brown rice that got coated in the dreamiest of vegan cheese sauces.

Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

First though, it’s confession time. You know those frozen bags of broccoli that come with a packet of “cheese” sauce? [I’m putting that instance of cheese in quotation marks because that stuff is even less cheese than the non-dairy cheese sauce I’m sharing here.] I kind of used to secretly like that broccoli. Are you judging me? I’m judging me too. My parents never bought those types of pseudo-foods growing up, and I never bought them when I lived on my own, but I didn’t hate it when my roommates or friends made frozen broccoli with “cheese” sauce. I know, gross.

Not too long ago, I made a Protein-Packed Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, which both Aaron and I became a little obsessed with and it seems quite a few of you did too. Side note: thank you for letting me know when you love a particular recipe! It’s helpful feedback and it makes me so, so happy.

After I had stuffed myself with a big ol’ bowl of comforting mac & cheese,  my mind immediately went to covering a big ol’ bowl of broccoli and brown rice in that can’t-get-enough butternut squash cheese sauce. And that’s how this Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole came to be. It’s rich-tasting, filling, and satisfying, but it’s also loaded to the brim with vegetables and light on the oil. No vegan buttery spread or pseudo-foods here: just tons of veggies, whole grain Minute® Rice Brown Rice, protein from cannellini beans that get blended into the creamy cheese sauce, plus a bit of extra virgin olive oil for some healthy fats.

Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

The Minute® Rice Brown Rice cooks in only 10 minutes, saving a solid 35 minutes in cook time compared to other brown rice. During the holidays (or any busy day), that can often mean the difference between making a wholesome, home-cooked meal, or opting for not-so-healthy take-out. What’s especially nice if that you can make this casserole a day or so ahead of time and pop it in the oven half an hour before you’re ready to serve it. It’s perfect for family get-togethers and potluck dinners.

Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

When baked, the creamy butternut squash cheese sauce becomes bubbly and delicious, the Minute® Rice Brown Rice rice gets perfectly coated in the sauce, the breadcrumbs become all toasty golden brown, and the broccoli cooks through yet retains a bit of crunch. No soggy vegetables here!

Whether you need to serve a hungry crowd or batch cooking and leftovers are your jam, this casserole checks all of the boxes. Protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grain carbs. Wholesome, comforting, easy, and filling. This dish has the nostalgia of a classic cheesy rice casserole, with all the feel-good benefits of a whole foods, plant-based style of eating.

Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Minute® Rice.

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Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole

Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole

Gluten Free, Vegan,

Serves: 6-8


Cook Time: 30 mins

Whether you need to feed a hungry crowd or you're into batch cooking and leftovers, this Make-Ahead Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole checks all of the boxes. Protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grain carbs. Wholesome, comforting, easy, and filling.

Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option) | picklesnhoney.com

Make-Ahead Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound broccoli, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 4 servings (2 2/3 cups) cooked Minute® Rice Brown Rice
  • 1 batch protein-packed butternut squash 'cheese' sauce
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (gluten-free if needed)

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan Servings: 6-8

Cook Time: 30 mins

Whether you need to feed a hungry crowd or you're into batch cooking and leftovers, this Make-Ahead Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole checks all of the boxes. Protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grain carbs. Wholesome, comforting, easy, and filling.

Instructions

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  • When the skillet is hot, add the broccoli, carrots, celery, and onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened.
  • Add the cooked vegetables, mushrooms, and cooked rice to a large casserole dish. Stir in the butternut squash 'cheese' sauce.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs in an even layer on top of the casserole.
  • Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to bake. To bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve hot.

Copyright © 2020 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. Ohh I loved broccoli and rice cheese casserole, so I am ON this!

    1. Amanda says

      Let me know what you think if you give it a try!

    1. Amanda says

      It’s total comfort food. 🙂

  2. Nicole says

    This sounds amazing, Amanda. I LOVE broccoli and cheese and I bet this is even better. I’m particularly impressed by the make-ahead factor, and also the fact that your cheese sauce doesn’t require cashews (my husband is allergic) so I think I’m going to have to give this a try! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Amanda says

      I love the make-ahead factor, especially around the holidays. The butternut squash cheese sauce is lighter than cashew-based sauces (which I like), and the cannellini beans really help to make it creamy. I hope you and your husband love it as much as we do!

  3. Mmm, this looks awesome! Broccoli and (vegan) cheese always go together and I love how easy this is!

  4. Tammy says

    Good morning! Do you bake the casserole covered or uncovered? Great recipe!

    1. Good morning, Tammy! You bake the casserole uncovered. I’ve updated the recipe instructions to clarify this. 🙂

      1. Tammy says

        Thank you for responding, and thank you for an awesome recipe! I made it for my company Thanksgiving potluck, and it was DEVOURED!

      2. I’m so happy to hear that, Tammy! Happy Thanksgiving!

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