This is reminiscent of those old-fashioned casseroles you’d find in those spiral-bound community cookbooks. But hey, there’s a reason why these kinds of comfort casseroles are so popular. Now, with meltable non-dairy cheese, there’s a way to make them vegan. With plenty of broccoli and parsley along with brown rice, this is wholesome as well as somewhat addictive! Make sure to have your brown rice cooked ahead of time, and this whole enterprise becomes a snap. Since you have the oven going at 400º F., consider roasting a pan of root vegetables to go with this.
Vegan Cheddar and Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegan buttery spread like Earth Balance
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 large celery stalk finely diced
- 4 cups finely chopped broccoli florets some stem is fine
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill optional
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 cups grated vegan cheddar-style cheese
- 1/2 cup unsweetened rice milk or other nondairy milk
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Wheat germ sesame seeds, and/or paprika for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Heat the oil or vegan buttery spread in a large skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden.
- Add the celery and broccoli along with just a bit of water to keep the pan moist. Cover and cook until the broccoli is just past tender-crisp, but still bright green.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients except the toppings.
- Transfer the mixture to an oiled 2-quart round or oblong casserole dish. Pat in evenly and top with wheat germ, sesame seeds, and/or paprika.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the edges become a bit crusty and the top is golden.
- Allow the casserole to stand for 5 minutes or so, then serve. Either cut into neat segments or just spoon it out. It all works and it will disappear quickly!
- Here are more contemporary casseroles.