This cheesy vegan Broccoli Quinoa Casserole recipe is inspired by the classic comfort dish "Broccoli Rice Casserole". But this version is a healthier remake that leaves out the butter and condensed soup. Plus it's also dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free!
This vegan Broccoli Quinoa Casserole is a healthier version of the classic comfort dish Broccoli Rice Casserole.
But this recipe leaves out the butter, cans of condensed soup, and uses quinoa instead of rice for a little nutrition boost.
Then we toss it with a homemade "cheese" sauce made quick + easy right in the blender.
The result is so satisfying and savory!
Ingredients for Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
For this recipe, you will combine in a baking dish then bake in the oven:
- White quinoa: Quinoa is a good source of protein, fiber, and many other nutrients. It is also a complete protein which means it contains all nine essential amino acids. It works great in this casserole as a rice substitute.
- Fresh broccoli florets: I use one large head of broccoli for this recipe, which is about 4-5 cups broccoli florets.
- Mushrooms: These are optional, so simply omit if you are not a fan. I use cremini mushrooms, but you can also use white button, shiitake, etc.
- Yellow onion: Or you can use white onion or sweet onion instead.
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Plant milk: Be sure to use plain and unsweetened milk. Any dairy-free milk should work. Most of the time I use homemade cashew milk, but soy milk or almond milk will work too.
- All-purpose flour: Use gluten-free if needed. (Bob's Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour blend works well.) This is to help thicken the cheese sauce.
- Nutritional yeast: We include this for the cheesy, savory flavor.
- Onion powder + garlic powder
- Ground mustard: This is also known as dry mustard powder.
- Salt: I use fine-grain salt for this recipe. You can also add black pepper to taste.
Cheese shreds: Feel free to omit the homemade cheese sauce for your own favorite vegan cheddar cheese shreds instead. When I first posted this recipe, I stirred in 1.5 cups cheese shreds to the mixture instead of the blender sauce. Or you can use the homemade sauce, and also sprinkle the top with dairy-free cheese shreds for an extra-cheesy version.
Texture notes: This recipe is not your typical super creamy casserole. However adding flax eggs to the mixture helps achieve more of a creamy consistency if that's what you desire. Simply include 1 or 2 flax eggs. (To make a flax egg, combine 1 tablespoon ground flax with 3 tablespoons water. Let it sit a few minutes to thicken, then add with the rest of the quinoa mixture before baking.)
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. We find they keep for about 4-5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave when ready to enjoy.
Healthy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
- 1 1/2 cups white quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 large head broccoli (about 4 cups broccoli florets)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 6 oz. mushrooms (I use cremini)
- 3 cloves garlic
For the vegan cheese sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups plant milk, plain + unsweetened
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free if desired)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt (more/less to taste)
- Cook quinoa: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add quinoa (rinsed and drained) with 2 1/2 cups water. (Or use vegetable broth for more flavor.) Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Meanwhile, make cheese sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend to combine.*
- Chop broccoli into small florets. Set aside. Dice onion and slice mushrooms. Mince garlic.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion and mushrooms for about 6 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for no-oil sauté method, adding more as needed.)
- When onions are soft, add garlic and broccoli. Stir and sauté for 4 more minutes.
- Add cooked quinoa and broccoli mixture to a 9"x13" baking dish (lightly sprayed if desired). Pour cheese sauce on top. Then toss to thoroughly combine and spread out evenly, lightly pressing down. Sprinkle optional shredded cheese on top if desired.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
If you are enjoying this cheesy vegan Broccoli Quinoa Casserole, also check out:
- Broccoli Cashew Stir Fry
- Loaded Black Bean Quesadillas with Veggies
- Asian Style Toasted Quinoa with Mushrooms