Optimize mornings with actionable tools and techniques, nourishing breakfast recipes & more!
My first e-book, Morning Light, is out now! You'll learn how to make the most of every morning, maximize your body's natural rhythms, improve your health and become more of a morning person. Plus, 15+ balanced breakfast recipes!
*this page may contain affiliate links, which means I will make a small commission for products purchased through my link.
This vegan Cheezy Baked Rice and Broccoli is a creamy and comforting dish that’s perfect for a chilly winter night. Made with nut-free “cheeze” sauce and fluffy white rice!
Cheese and broccoli are a natural pairing. I love Vegan Broccoli “Cheese” Soup, so I thought I’d make a heartier version using rice. This baked rice and broccoli casserole is coated in a super savory dairy-free cheeze sauce made with a secret ingredient: sunflower seeds.
Because so many vegan cheese sauce recipes rely on nuts like cashews, I wanted to make a nut-free version that’s just as creamy, flavorful, and cheesy. Whether you’re avoiding nuts or not, I think you’re going to love this vegetable-packed, super savory cheese sauce.
Here’s what you need to make this cheezy rice and broccoli, starting with the nut-free vegan cheese sauce:
Sunflower seeds. Use shelled, unroasted and unsalted seeds.
Onion. I use yellow onion, but white will also work.
Carrots. These add to the cheesy color of the sauce and add a nice amount of sweetness.
Garlic. For added savory flavor.
Nutritional yeast. This adds the signature cheesy flavor without dairy.
White miso paste. Make sure to use white, as darker miso will give your cheeze sauce an odd color.
Vegetable broth. You can use low-sodium store-bought broth or make your own.
Jasmine rice. I recommend long-grain rice for this recipe. Other varieties of rice may change the cooking time!
Broccoli. Cut your broccoli into bite-sized florets for even cooking.
Tips for Making Baked Cheezy Rice and Broccoli
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making this recipe:
Make sure to soak your sunflower seeds thoroughly. At room temperature, they’ll take about three hours. If you’re short on time, you can do a quick soak by simmering the seeds in water. They should be soft and pliable before you start cooking.
I recommend using a high-speed blender. However, a food processor will also work in a pinch.
Make sure to cover your baking dish with foil or a lid. Otherwise, the liquid will evaporate too quickly and the rice may burn.
If you’re worried about food sticking to the baking dish, spray it with non-stick cooking spray first.
If you like, you can garnish the dish with vegan cheese and a dusting of chopped fresh chives.
Other Ingredient Ideas
If you want to mix things up, feel free to add or swap in your favorite veggies or even proteins. Here are some ideas to add to the mix:
Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or other cruciferous vegetables
Greens like spinach, kale or bok choy
Protein such as cubes of tofu, vegan meal alternatives or white beans
Store leftover baked cheezy rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. You can also simply cover the baking dish and pop it into the fridge. You can reheat leftovers on the stove or in the microwave. This is a great meal prep recipe!
Add your sunflower seeds to a large jar or bowl and cover with filtered water. Allow to soak for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Alternatively, you can quickly boil them to soften and strain.
Preheat your oven to 375F and prepare an oven save baking dish (mine measured roughly 11×7″)
Heat a sauce pan with a touch of neutral oil and quickly sauté carrots, followed by onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil then lower to a simmer until the carrots are fork tender.
Transfer all of the mixture into a blender, add soaked and drained sunflower seeds, miso paste, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and season to taste.
Add your rice to the baking fish, followed by the broccoli florets and then cover with your blended sauce. Use a spatula to gently stir to evenly distribute then cover with foil and pop in the oven for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove from the oven, gently stir again and bake for another 10-15 minutes uncovered. You may need to add additional time if the rice isn’t cooked all the way through. At this point, you can also opt to add a sprinkle of vegan cheese shreds to top!
To finish, garnish with chives, cracked pepper and enjoy.
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
Some brands I’ve had the pleasure of working with…