This Cheesy Broccoli Rice Vegan Casserole is the ultimate comfort food! It combines vegan chicken (or chickpeas) with rice, broccoli, and dairy-free cheese in one skillet and is ready to eat in just 30 minutes.

Looking for more easy-to-make vegan casseroles? The whole family will love my Vegan Enchilada Casserole, Vegan Baked Mac and Chees, and Vegan Tater Tot Casserole!

a wooden spoon in a cheese-covered broccoli and rice vegan casserole.

Kid-approved vegan casserole

My favorite thing about this casserole recipe is how easy and fast it is to make. Even on the busiest nights, I can whip this family friendly meal up in no time. Everything cooks together in the same skillet in about 30 minutes, saving you a ton of time on prep and cleanup!

I turn to this quick and easy vegan casserole recipe when the kids and I are craving the goodness of broccoli and cheese but need something quicker than my Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup or Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Twice Baked Potatoes. We rarely leave leftovers behind, making it safe to claim this recipe as kid-friendly and picky eater-approved!

Make your own cheese sauce (or not)

If you want to skip the store bought vegan cheese, make your own! My Favorite Cashew Cheese Sauce would be incredible in this recipe. For nut free, make my Nut Free Vegan Cheese Sauce.

A scoop of a cheese-covered broccoli and rice vegan casserole on a small grey plate.

My readers have also been loving this weeknight dish for years. Here’s what they’re saying:

“I just made this last night for my fussy vegan kids. One hates broccoli and the other hates mock meat. Both asked for seconds and cleaned their plates!!!! Cant wait to try more of your recipies, you are a life saver!!!!!” – Chen

“Yummy recipe! My non-vegan dad even liked it. Will definitely be making this again. 🙂” – Bella

“Seriously the best chicken rice casserole ever. Our toddler loved it. Definitely going to make this again and again.” – Anna

Why you’ll love this vegan broccoli rice casserole

  • An easy one-skillet recipe – Everything from the vegan chicken to the rice to the broccoli is cooked in one skillet on the stove.
  • Kid-approved – Believe it or not, kids don’t mind eating broccoli when it’s baked in this casserole. They’re too busy enjoying the cheesy, meaty bites!
  • You’d never know it’s vegan – Despite being completely dairy and meat-free, this hearty vegan casserole is super indulgent and meaty! Even the pickiest eaters will love it.
a cheese-covered broccoli and rice vegan casserole in a large skillet.

Frequently asked questions

What should you serve with this vegan rice casserole?

Make this cheesy casserole the star of your next easy family dinner! It’s a hearty and filling main dish you can pair with simple sides, like my Kale Caesar Salad, Vegan Garlic Bread, and Air Fryer Asparagus. The kids won’t be able to resist these Eggless Brownies or this Apple and Blueberry Crumble for dessert, either!

Alternatively, make the casserole for weekday lunches you’ll actually look forward to. The individual portions last for a few days in the fridge or even longer in the freezer.

What kind of vegan chicken is best for this recipe?

I like using my Seitan Chicken (cut into small pieces) best, but I don’t often have the time to make it. You could also use a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, soy curls (soaked in vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth ahead of time), or store-bought vegan chicken (I like the Daring brand, but readers have also had good results using Tofurky, Gardein, LiteLife, and Sweet Earth brands).

Can you bake it instead?

Absolutely! For a true baked casserole, cook the “chicken” and garlic as normal and dump them into a lightly greased glass casserole dish along with the rice, vegetable broth, vegan cream, and broccoli florets. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350ºF for 20 to 25 minutes.

Stir 1 cup of the vegan cheese into the casserole and sprinkle the rest on top. Continue baking, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the rice and broccoli are tender.

Can you make this vegan broccoli casserole ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the casserole ahead of time. Wait for it to cool to room temperature before transferring the whole batch or single servings to airtight containers. Keep them in the fridge for 2 or 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

How do you store the leftovers? Can you freeze them?

After the leftover casserole has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the leftovers for about 1 month. Allow the leftovers to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating in a 350ºF oven the next day.

close up on a forkful of a vegan chicken broccoli rice casserole.
a wooden spoon in a cheese-covered broccoli and rice vegan casserole.
4.97 stars (51 ratings)

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Vegan Casserole

This Cheesy Broccoli Rice Vegan Casserole is the ultimate comfort food! It combines vegan chicken (or chickpeas) with rice, broccoli, and dairy-free cheese in one skillet and is ready to eat in just 30 minutes.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces vegan chicken chopped, see Notes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth + more as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan cream see Notes
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups vegan shredded cheddar cheese or homemade cheese sauce
  • salt, to taste

Instructions 

  • In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the vegan chicken pieces for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add the rice, vegetable broth and vegan cream. Stir and bring to a boil, then cover, lower the heat and simmer for 12 minutes.
  • After 12 minutes, add the broccoli and stir it in. If the mixture doesn't have any liquid left, add about 1 cup more of broth (or even water). Cover and simmer for 8 minutes.
  • Uncover and add 1 cup of the cheese and stir it in, then sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Cover and simmer until the cheese on top has melted and the broccoli is tender.
  • Taste, and if needed add a bit of salt. I don't find it needs any added with the broth and salt from the cheese. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

  1. Vegan Chicken – You can use my homemade seitan Vegan Chicken (you will only need about 1/2 the recipe), store bought vegan chicken (I love Daring brand!) or a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas.
  2. To sub brown rice for white: It will take a lot longer to cook the rice, about 40 minutes. Add more vegetable broth or water as needed, you will probably need 4-5 cups of broth.
  3. For the cream – I like Ripple’s Half and Half for cream. You can also use full fat coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk or homemade cashew cream.
  4. Cheese – I used Follow Your Heart cheddar. If you want to make your own vegan cheese sauce, I love my Favorite Cashew Cheese Sauce or Nut Free Vegan Cheese.
  5. Leftovers – Leftovers will keep in a covered container in the fridge for 4 days. It can also be frozen.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1042mg | Potassium: 377mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 628IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

*This recipe was first published in March 2020 and has been updated in 2024 with new photos and an easier recipe.

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Comments

  1. This came out SO good. I happened to have made your Alfredo sauce last night and had leftover (the perfect amount!) so I used that and it was incredibly delicious. Used Follow Your Heart cheddar. Made broth with organic Better Than Bouillon. I went with chickpeas and also cooked some Alpha chicken on the side, since not everyone in my family will eat the chicken. Crazy good!! Def going to make this again!!
    Even my very picky 9yo that hates rice ate it and liked it, (picked around the chickpeas, haha.) The only thing that was a bummer was that despite me cooking it as low as I could it burned/stuck on the bottom, so lost a lot of it. Weird because I used the pan that’s our pancake pan!?! Not sure why it stuck so badly, so strange. But anyway, GREAT recipe. I want to keep eating and eating but I’ll make myself sick! Lol

    1. Hi Briana. What fun and delicious ideas! Thanks for sharing them! I’m so glad that you loved the casserole recipe! Hopefully next time it won’t stick so badly.

  2. Just made this with the very recent update. Used a full can of Coconut milk and a bag of Chao cheese shreds it was super creamy. Might add 1 more cup broccoli next time as it seems it can accommodate that just fine.

  3. Very easy to throw together and tasted yummy. I used oat milk, Daring chicken, Violife cheddar. Next time I think I would make my own cheese sauce though, it was a little heavy on the Violife taste.

  4. So delicious and easy. Comfort food and definitely will make its way to a holiday gathering. No changes to the recipe. I love the Daring chick’n. Used TJ full fat coconut cream, Daiya shredded cheddar and thawed frozen broccoli florets.

  5. This is such a great recipe. Both my young children like it and it comes together quickly. I use Nora’s chick’n seitan recipe and oat milk instead of coconut. Thanks!

  6. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I used the Whole Foods 365 btmrand of shredded vegan Cheddar, my own homemade chick’n seitan, doubled the garlic, and added lots of black pepper and 3 teaspoons of Italian seasoning. It was so creamy and tasty, and makes a great comfort food meal. I will definitely be adding this to my rotation. Thanks, Nora! Every single one of recipes I’ve used from your site has been wonderful, I appreciate you. ❤️

    1. Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement, Michelle! It is such a reward to know you are loving my recipes! I appreciate you using my recipes, and taking time to share!

  7. Seriously the best chicken rice casserole ever. Our toddler loved it. Definitely going to make this again and again

    1. I’m thrilled the casserole is a hit with your toddler! Thanks for your wonderful review! Happy cooking!

  8. This recipe sounds delicious, Nora. Can I make it a couple of days ahead and keep it refrigerated, and can the leftovers be frozen in single serving sizes? Although I’m not vegan, I’ve made several of your recipes for my vegan guest and she enjoyed everyone of them, without exception. Thank you.

    1. I’m happy to hear your vegan guest has enjoyed the recipes you’ve made, and how kind of you to prepare delicious food for her. Yes, you can make it a few days ahead of time, perhaps 2 or 3 days ahead. And the leftovers can be frozen into single serving sizes.

  9. Excellent recipe! I cut it in half for the 2 of us and used 3 pieces of Beyond Chicken tenders that I cut into smallish pieces, and VioLife Cheddar. I cooked the whole thing in my 2 quart covered Lodge Cast Iron casserole dish. It was the perfect size. It made 2 generous helpings, and because of that, I’m going to reduce the rice to 1/2 cup and up the broccoli a bit (to save calories). Do you think lite coconut milk would work? (In an effort to cut a few more calories.) Thanks much for this recipe!!

    1. Hi Suzy. I’m thrilled you liked the casserole! Yes, I think lite coconut milk should be fine. The consistency might thin a bit and won’t be as rich but it will still be tasty. Thank you for your wonderful review and feedback!

  10. Could I use this if I just want a Broccoli & Rice Casserole? How much Broccoli should I add to
    replace the chicken? Will I need to increase the amount of broth?

    1. You can simply leave out the vegan chicken. No need to make other adjustments. If you want to add a little more broccoli you could, but it’s not necessary.

  11. Nora you are amazing!
    Your vegan recipes have been down to earth tried and tested and they NEVER fail.
    Love from Australia. You are appreciated for your simplicity, experience (obvious) 😁… and the way you just make everything seem easy and feel good in your recipes.
    This recipe is loved by my 80+ parents as well as kids randomly at our table.
    I always return to your recipes ❤️

    1. Hi Petra. Your comments are so inspiring! Easy and delicious food is my goal! Thank you for sharing your comments! I am thrilled you are loving my recipes – thank you for using them! Happy cooking in Australia!

  12. Delicious as always! Do you think it would work to use a homemade vegan cheese sauce, like your vegan nacho cheese or something similar instead of the bag of vegan cheese? I try to minimize the processed cheeses with my toddler. thank you!!

    1. Yes, I think a homemade cheese sauce should work well, although it hasn’t been tested. Use a little less cheese sauce (1/2 to 3/4 cup) to prevent too much liquid from being in the casserole.

  13. Yum!!! What I like about this casserole is that it’s ONE pot, quick, easy and totally delish. I put the cheese in it and bread crumbs on top. It was even BETTER the next day.
    Thanks Nora!

    1. You could make it ahead of time, perhaps 2 days before, then keep in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, warm it up in the oven (or microwave I guess).

  14. I haven’t made this yet but am thinking of including it in my holiday menu. The holiday will include my parents too though, and my stepdad doesn’t like his meals to be sweet. This was his reason for not liking curry, which is coconut milk based, but I don’t want to use plant milk if it will make it too soupy, so I had the thought of using silken tofu? I won’t add the meat substitutes either, unless I use chickpeas, because this will be a side dish. Just wondering what your thoughts or suggestions would be on this idea?

    1. The coconut milk makes this dish rich and creamy, not sweet. Still, you can definitely try it with blended silken tofu or unsweetened non-dairy milk. It might not be as creamy, but it shouldn’t be soupy.

  15. This is so delicious! Creamy, hearty and SO flavourful. I used black beans and it tasted amazing as well. I also added nutritional yeast for added flavour and nutrition.

    1. Hi Serra. Your casserole sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing your baking experience for this recipe, and your fabulous review!

  16. The recipe itself was tasty, but I don’t know how big your cast iron is, because mine was nowhere big enough. I ended up having to transfer to a pot and made a huge mess.

    1. Hi Kris. I noted in the recipe instructions that I made the casserole in a 12-inch cast iron skillet, and that a large pot could be used instead. Still, I’m glad you liked the flavor!

    2. I had this same problem! I took out my 12in cast iron pan and it wasn’t big enough either. Ended up transferring to my dutch oven. Still a good recipe

      1. Delicious, and my dairy/egg free toddler loved it! We subbed real chicken (rotisserie), and it worked perfectly. Is this a recipe that would be safe to freeze in small portions and reheat?

    1. It should not be soupy but it shouldn’t be dry either. Sometimes I have to add more broth if my heat was a bit too high. If it’s really soupy, try turning the heat up a bit.

  17. This was so good! I had some cooked brown rice on hand so I used that instead of cooking new rice. I also used broth soaked soy curls for the chicken and added some chicken seasoning into the soy curls. Even my picky kids enjoyed it. Thank you!

    1. You are welcome, Hannah! How fantastic that you guys enjoyed the casserole! Thanks for taking time to share your wonderful feedback and review!

    2. Thanks for posting your results Hannah! I really wanted to know about using soy curls and brown rice. Thanks for Sharing. Thanks to you Nora for posting this recipe!

  18. This is one of the first vegan recipes my husband and I ever tried!
    Now we use this recipe often. I also now use your chicken and your cheddar cheese. Soooo good! Both my girls, 2.5 & 4.5, love it!

  19. We aren’t vegan so we subbed chicken, but we have a lot of allergies and can’t use dairy, egg or nuts. This was great for my allergy kids. I was able to make this with ingredients we had at home which was great.

    1. Hi Amy. I’m so glad that you and your family enjoyed the casserole! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful feedback!

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