How about a vegan broccoli casserole with a ‘cheesy’ sauce made from tofu? This comforting, wholesome dish is perfect for special occasions and family dinners during the colder months. It’s also gluten-free and packed full of vegetables!
I love casserole – a lot. What surprises me is that I don’t make it more often, especially as a blogger who’s know for her love for wholesome vegan comfort food. But after developing this broccoli casserole, I know for sure that they’ll start making an appearance on my table much more often. And I’m definitely not ashamed to admit that usually, I eat the whole thing in one sitting!
As I’m writing this, the colder months are almost around the corner. I’m not looking forward to cold weather, but fall and winter always spring up the best dishes, and plenty of opportunity for creative vegan cooking. And if you need a new recipe to impress your family with, that’s on the healthier side and incredibly yummy every time, you’re in the right place.
Vegan broccoli casserole
Where do I even start with this deliciousness?! Well, let’s start with the fact that it will, undoubtedly, turn into your new favourite way to eat broccoli. And vegetables in general – there are plenty of them in there! We’re also adding rice for another layer of comfort and texture – it absorbs the flavours of the sauce so well, and turns even softer and fluffier during the baking process.
Now, about the sauce. The hidden ingredient here is tofu. I love blending tofu to make various sauces, as it results in a super smooth, silky and creamy texture. Plus, a tofu-based sauce will take on whatever flavour you add, as tofu in itself has a neutral taste.
This particular casserole sauce is cheesy and rich, pairing well with the broccoli in particular. It’s also a great alternative for cashew-based sauces.
I also added vegan cheese on top, for some additional indulgence. But, this step is optional as the tofu sauce in itself has a strong wow-factor. You can serve the casserole as a main course or as a side dish. If choosing the latter, enjoy it on its own or serve together with a side salad.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Rice of your choice. I usually use Basmati rice as the texture is very fluffy and soft.
- Extra-firm tofu. I personally use extra firm tofu for the sauce as the resulting texture is very thick, but you can use silken tofu too (in particular if you’re not using a high speed blender).
- Coconut milk from a can. Use either full fat or reduced fat coconut milk.
- Lemon juice.
- Red onion.
- Broccoli florets.
- Red bell pepper.
- Yellow bell pepper.
- Tamari. You can use soy sauce if not avoiding gluten, or coconut aminos for a soy-free version.
- Grated vegan cheese. This is optional, but highly recommended!
How to make the best vegan broccoli casserole
Firstly, cook the rice according to packaging instructions. This usually takes around 15 minutes. Around 5 minutes before it’s done, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F).
Prepare the sauce by adding the tofu, coconut milk, lemon juice and salt to a blender or food processor and blending until very smooth. Set aside.
Now, add the onion, broccoli, red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper to a saucepan together with 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for around 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Next add the cooked rice, paprika, cumin and tamari.
Transfer the vegetable and rice mixture to a rectangular or oval casserole dish. Pour the sauce over the top of the casserole and add a layer of vegan cheese if using.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
How to store a vegan casserole
You can keep this broccoli casserole in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days and reheat in the microwave or in the oven as required.
Other vegan side dishes you might love
- Vegan baked mac and cheese
- Hasselback potatoes with avocado sauce
- Potato salad with smoky tempeh
- Crispy lemon potatoes
- Cold spaghetti salad with balsamic tofu
Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite comfort food? If you give this vegan broccoli casserole a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthfmariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below.
Vegan Broccoli Casserole (Gluten-free)
- Conventional oven
- Blender or food processor
- Frying pan
- Casserole dish
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 10 oz extra firm tofu
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 3 cups broccoli chopped into florets
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper diced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1/4 cup vegan cheese grated (optional)
- Cook the rice according to packaging instructions, draining and rinsing when done. This usually takes around 15 minutes. Around 5 minutes before it's done, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F).
- Prepare the sauce by adding the tofu, coconut milk, lemon juice and salt to a blender or food processor and blending until very smooth. Set aside.
- Now, add the onion, broccoli, red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper to a saucepan together with 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for around 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Next add the cooked rice, paprika, cumin and tamari.
- Transfer the vegetable and rice mixture to a rectangular or oval casserole dish. Pour the sauce over the top of the casserole and add a layer of vegan cheese if using.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
- You can add any other vegetables of your choice. For instance, zucchini and aubergine also work really well.
- This casserole keeps in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.