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Best Rice Casserole: vegan broccoli bake recipe

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The best quick and easy rice casserole – vegan Mediterranean casserole recipes at its best! Imagine a warm, inviting vegan broccoli rice casserole dish that wraps you in a comforting embrace with every spoonful. That’s the magic of a delicious vegan rice casserole for the whole family. This delicious easy Mediterranean bake casserole is a great recipe for busy weeknights. The cheesy rice is pretty hands-off. Just dump the ingredients, extra broccoli, and chickpeas into a large casserole dish, bake until golden brown and serve as a main dish or with your preferred side. With minimal effort you will have a great addition to the dinner table!

Picture this: tender, fluffy cheesy broccoli rice casserole, perfectly cooked and infused with a symphony of flavors. Each grain is a canvas, eagerly soaking up the richness of aromatic herbs like oregano and basil, the gentle warmth of paprika, and the subtle hints of garlic and onion. It’s like a savory melody that dances on your taste buds.

Now, let’s talk about the star players of a good casserole—nutrient-packed chickpeas and vibrant broccoli florets. The chickpeas bring a satisfying, meaty texture, while the broccoli adds a fresh, slightly crisp bite. Together, they create a harmonious balance of flavors and textures that keeps you coming back for more.

But wait, there’s more! We’ve added the sweet, sun-kissed notes of red bell peppers to the cheesy broccoli rice casserole mix. They bring a burst of color and a hint of sweetness that beautifully complements the savory goodness of the dish.

Creamy dairy free rice casserole secret ingredient

And here’s the secret weapon: creamy coconut milk. It weaves a luxurious, dairy-free tapestry that blankets each ingredient with velvety goodness. It’s like a cozy, comforting hug in a bowl.

If you’re feeling a bit indulgent, sprinkle some vegan shredded cheese on top. It melts into a golden, gooey masterpiece that’s impossible to resist. Imagine that irresistible cheesy pull as you scoop up a spoonful.

This vegan rice casserole isn’t just a meal; it’s an experience. It’s the warmth of a homemade dinner on a chilly evening. And the explosion of flavors that make you close your eyes in delight. It’s the kind of dish that leaves you craving one more bite, long after you’ve cleaned your plate.

So, why wait? Give in to the temptation and let this delicious vegan rice casserole transport you to a world of flavor, comfort, and satisfaction. Your taste buds will thank you, and you’ll find yourself coming back for seconds, guaranteed! 

Embrace Wholesome Comfort: Vegan Chickpea and Broccoli Mediterranean Rice Casserole Recipe

In the world of comforting and nutritious one-dish wonders, vegan rice casseroles reign supreme. These hearty, flavor-packed creations have captured the hearts (and taste buds) of food enthusiasts worldwide. Today, we’re diving into the realm of plant-based deliciousness with a recipe that not only celebrates the goodness of a vegan diet but also transports you to the heart of the Mediterranean.

Imagine a dish that’s not only incredibly delicious but also brimming with the cozy comfort of a homemade meal. Our Vegan Chickpea and Broccoli Mediterranean Rice Casserole is a testament to the magic that happens when you combine simple ingredients with a dash of Mediterranean flair. Trust us; this is a must-make recipe that’ll have your family and friends asking for seconds!

Mediterranean Flavors That Speak to Your Soul

There’s something undeniably captivating about the flavors of the Mediterranean. It’s a cuisine that celebrates fresh produce, aromatic herbs, and the luscious richness of olive oil. And in our vegan rice casserole, all these elements come together to create a symphony of taste that dances on your palate.

We’ve taken the humble long-grain white rice and turned it into a canvas for the vibrant colors and flavors of the Mediterranean. Picture tender chickpeas, vibrant broccoli florets, and the sweet crunch of red bell peppers. Imagine the delightful fragrance of garlic, dried oregano, and basil weaving their aromatic spell. Feel the subtle warmth of paprika and the gentle seasoning of salt and black pepper. It’s like a Mediterranean vacation for your taste buds, right at your dining table!

A Creamy Vegan Twist

In this recipe, we’ve embraced the beauty of vegan cooking by using creamy coconut milk as our secret ingredient. It adds a luxurious and dairy-free creaminess that blankets each grain of rice and coats every chickpea and broccoli floret. It’s this harmonious blend of flavors and textures that makes our casserole so irresistible.

And if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, we’ve left a little room for some optional vegan shredded cheese on top. This creates a golden, melty crust that’s the crowning glory of this dish. It’s a testament to the fact that vegan cooking can be incredibly comforting and decadent.

So, whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply someone looking to explore the world of plant-based goodness, our Vegan Chickpea and Broccoli Mediterranean Rice Casserole is a recipe you’ll want to keep in your culinary repertoire. It’s a deliciously cozy and flavorful journey that reminds us all that hearty comfort food can be kind to both our bodies and the planet. Let’s embark on this delightful cooking adventure together!

What is vegan rice casserole

Exploring the World of Flavorful Vegan Rice Casseroles: Mediterranean Magic on Your Plate

Vegan rice casserole, often referred to as a “one-dish wonder,” is a versatile and hearty dish that brings together a delightful medley of plant-based ingredients, herbs, and spices. It’s a celebration of wholesome flavors and textures, all in one comforting dish.

What Makes a Vegan Rice Casserole?

At its core, a vegan rice casserole typically includes:

1. Rice: Rice serves as the heart and soul of the casserole. It can be long-grain white rice, brown rice, instant rice, or even a wild rice blend. The choice of rice can significantly impact the texture and flavor of the dish.

2. Vegetables: A vibrant assortment of vegetables, such as bell peppers, broccoli, onions, and garlic, adds color, nutrition, and depth of flavor to the casserole.

3. Protein: For that satisfying and filling element, vegan rice casseroles often feature plant-based proteins like chickpeas or tofu. For a different type of protein you can substitute the chickpeas with white beans, pinto beans, or your preferred type of beans. These ingredients not only provide a protein boost but also contribute to the overall texture.

4. Herbs and Spices: Mediterranean-inspired casserole recipes frequently incorporate aromatic herbs like oregano and basil, along with spices like paprika, to infuse the dish with a rich and captivating flavor profile.

5. Sauces and Broths: Vegan sauces, often tomato-based, and non-dairy broths or liquids like coconut milk, are key components. They bring moisture, creaminess, and flavor to the casserole, binding all the ingredients together.

6. Toppings: If you’re feeling indulgent, vegan shredded cheese can be a delectable topping. It adds a melty, cheesy layer that elevates the dish to another level of indulgence.

Mediterranean Casserole: A Journey of Mediterranean Flavors

When we talk about Mediterranean casserole recipes, we’re embarking on a culinary adventure through the sun-kissed lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. This cuisine is famous for its vibrant and fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and heart-healthy aspects.

In a Mediterranean rice casserole, you can expect:

1. Aromatic Herbs: Herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary bring a bouquet of aromas and elevate the taste.

2. Vibrant Veggies: Mediterranean cuisine thrives on fresh produce, so expect a rainbow of vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant to make an appearance.

3. Olive Oil: A drizzle of high-quality olive oil is a staple in Mediterranean cooking, adding richness and a hint of fruity flavor.

4. Olives and Capers: These savory bites introduce briny notes that contrast beautifully with the other ingredients.

5. Citrus and Herbs: Lemon, lime, and fresh herbs like mint and parsley often grace Mediterranean dishes, providing a refreshing and zesty twist.

6. Whole Grains: In addition to rice, you might encounter other grains like couscous or bulgur in Mediterranean casseroles, adding a delightful chewiness.

The Beauty of Vegan Mediterranean Rice Casserole

When you bring vegan and Mediterranean elements together in a rice casserole, you’re creating a masterpiece of flavor harmony. The medley of herbs, vegetables, and aromatic ingredients meld with the creaminess of coconut milk or tomato sauce, offering a symphony of tastes and textures.

Whether you’re serving it up in your trusty oven, a handy toaster oven, an air fryer, a slow cooker (crockpot), or an Instant Pot, the result is a warm and comforting dish that’s perfect for weeknight dinners or special occasions.

So, grab your favorite kitchen equipment, gather your ingredients, and let the magic of vegan Mediterranean rice casserole whisk you away to the sun-drenched shores of the Mediterranean. It’s a culinary journey worth savoring!

Equipment needed to make Mediterranean inspired rice bake

Equipment Needed: Your Path to Creating the Perfect Vegan Mediterranean Rice Casserole

Making this delectable Vegan Mediterranean Rice Casserole is easier than ever with the right kitchen tools. Whether you opt for the oven, toaster oven, air fryer, slow cooker (crockpot), or Instant Pot, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Basic Recipe (Oven):

  • Oven
  • Large ovenproof skillet or casserole dish with a lid or aluminum foil
  • Stovetop for sautéing

Toaster Oven:

  • Toaster oven suitable for baking
  • Ovenproof dish with a lid or aluminum foil

Air Fryer:

  • Air fryer
  • Ovenproof dish suitable for your air fryer

Slow Cooker (Crockpot):

  • Slow cooker (crockpot)

Instant Pot:

  • Instant Pot (pressure cooker)

With the right equipment and these detailed instructions, you’ll effortlessly whip up a sensational Vegan Mediterranean Rice Casserole that’s sure to be a hit at your dining table. Happy cooking!

Dump and bake chickpea casserole ingredients

Mouthwatering Mediterranean Vegan Rice Casserole Ingredients: Unveiling the Secrets of Flavorful Plant-Based Cooking

1. Long-Grain White Rice (1 cup / 200g): This forms the hearty base of our casserole, providing a comforting and filling element. Alternatively you can use brown rice, short grain rice, Mexican rice, or even parboiled rice if you prefer to make this easy Mexican casserole recipe. 

2. Vegetable Broth (2 cups / 480ml): It infuses the rice with rich flavor and ensures a delightful, savory taste throughout the dish.

3. Chickpeas (1 can / 15 oz or 400g, drained and rinsed): These protein-packed legumes add a satisfying and meaty texture to your casserole, making it substantial and satisfying.

4. Broccoli Florets (2 cups / 200g): The vibrant green broccoli not only contributes to the visual appeal but also brings a refreshing and slightly crunchy texture to balance the dish.

5. Red Bell Pepper (Diced): With its vibrant color and sweet flavor, the red bell pepper adds a pop of sweetness and a hint of Mediterranean sunshine to your casserole.

6. Red Onion (Finely Chopped): This ingredient serves as the aromatic base, infusing your casserole with irresistible savory notes and depth of flavor.

7. Garlic (Minced): These little cloves of magic provide a burst of aromatic and garlicky goodness, enhancing the overall taste profile. Alternatively you can substitute the fresh garlic cloves with 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder.

Seasonings

8. Dried Oregano (1 teaspoon): An aromatic herb that brings Mediterranean authenticity, offering a warm and earthy flavor to your casserole.

9. Dried Basil (1 teaspoon): This herb brings a subtle yet delightful herbal note, complementing the other flavors perfectly.

10. Paprika (2 teaspoons): Adding a hint of smokiness and mild spice, paprika elevates the taste profile with a touch of warmth.

11. Salt (1/2 teaspoon) and Black Pepper (1/4 teaspoon): These seasonings are your best friends, enhancing and balancing the flavors in your casserole.

12. Tomato Sauce (1 cup / 240ml): The vibrant and tangy tomato sauce provides a rich and savory backdrop, tying all the ingredients together. For a quick option you can substitute the tomato sauce with passata…and for extra flavor you can substitute it with fire roasted canned tomatoes blended into a sauce with 1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning. 

13. Coconut Milk (1 cup / 240ml): This creamy non-dairy alternative introduces a luscious and comforting element to your vegan casserole. Alternatively you can use almond milk, soy milk or soy cream, oat milk, cashew milk, or your preferred plant milk for the creamy rice casserole. 

14. Vegan Shredded Cheese (Optional, 1 cup / 100g): For those looking to indulge, this brings a melty, cheesy layer that crowns your casserole with irresistible decadence. The cheese will melt in with the plant milk to create a delicious creamy vegan cheese sauc.

15. Fresh Parsley (For Garnish): A final flourish of fresh parsley not only adds a pop of green but also introduces a subtle herbal note to your casserole.

Incorporating these thoughtfully chosen ingredients ensures a tantalizing and nutritious vegan Mediterranean rice casserole that’s bound to impress your taste buds and keep you coming back for more. Enjoy a sumptuous plant-based feast that’s both delectable and wholesome!

Quick and Easy vegan casserole recipe

Get ready for the ultimate, delicious Mediterranean-inspired Vegan Chickpea and Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe that serves four people. This cozy and comforting dish is easy to make and packed with flavor:

Mediterranean rice casserole vegan Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups (480ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 oz or 400g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups (200g) broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 cup (240ml) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (240ml) coconut milk (or any non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1 cup (100g) vegan shredded cheese (optional, for topping)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

How to make quick and easy vegan casserole Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. In a large ovenproof skillet or casserole dish, sauté the chopped red onion and minced garlic over medium heat until they become fragrant and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.

3. Add the rice to the skillet and stir for another 2-3 minutes to lightly toast the rice.

4. Pour in the vegetable broth, and add the dried oregano, dried basil, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to combine.

5. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or until the rice is partially cooked.

6. Stir in the chickpeas, broccoli florets, and diced red bell pepper.

7. In a separate bowl, mix the tomato sauce and coconut milk until well combined. Pour this mixture over the rice and vegetable mixture in the skillet. Stir everything together.

Rice casserole Bake instructions

8. Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and transfer it to the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender, and the liquid is absorbed.

9. If desired, in the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle the vegan shredded cheese over the top of the casserole and return it to the oven until the cheese melts and turns slightly golden.

10. Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh parsley, and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

This Vegan Chickpea and Broccoli Rice Casserole is a hearty and comforting meal with Mediterranean flavors that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds. Enjoy!

How to bake rice casserole in Toaster Oven:

    1.    Follow the recipe instructions up to step 8 (before baking in the oven).

    2.    Preheat your toaster oven to 375°F (190°C).

    3.    Transfer the casserole mixture from your skillet or casserole dish into an ovenproof dish suitable for your toaster oven. Cover it with a lid or aluminum foil.

    4.    Place the covered dish in the preheated toaster oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

    5.    If using vegan shredded cheese, sprinkle it on top during the last few minutes of baking and let it melt.

    6.    Remove from the toaster oven, garnish with fresh parsley, and let it cool slightly before serving.

Air fryer vegan rice casserole recipe – Air Fryer:

    1.    Follow the recipe instructions up to step 8 (before baking in the oven).

    2.    Transfer the casserole mixture to an ovenproof dish suitable for your air fryer. Make sure it fits comfortably in the air fryer basket.

    3.    Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C).

    4.    Place the dish with the casserole into the air fryer basket.

    5.    Air fry for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. You may want to check and stir the casserole halfway through to ensure even cooking.

    6.    If using vegan shredded cheese, sprinkle it on top during the last few minutes of air frying and let it melt.

    7.    Remove from the air fryer, garnish with fresh parsley, and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Slow cooker rice casserole – Crockpot (Slow Cooker):

    1.    Follow the recipe instructions up to step 7 (when you combine all ingredients in the skillet).

    2.    Transfer the mixture to your slow cooker.

    3.    Cook on the low setting for 2-3 hours or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. The exact time may vary depending on your slow cooker.

    4.    If using vegan shredded cheese, sprinkle it on top during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking and let it melt.

    5.    Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

Instant Pot Mediterranean rice casserole with chickpeas:

    1.    Follow the recipe instructions up to step 6 (after adding chickpeas, broccoli, and bell pepper).

    2.    Transfer the mixture to your Instant Pot.

    3.    Close the Instant Pot lid and set it to Manual/Pressure Cook mode. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.

    4.    Allow for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, and then carefully do a quick release for any remaining pressure.

    5.    Open the Instant Pot, stir in the tomato sauce and coconut milk, and select the “Sauté” function. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the casserole thickens.

    6.    If using vegan shredded cheese, sprinkle it on top, and cover with the lid for a few minutes to let it melt.

7. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Now you can enjoy this Vegan Chickpea and Broccoli Rice Casserole using the cooking method that suits your kitchen appliances and preferences.

Best rice for Mediterranean casserole recipes

The Perfect Rice for Mediterranean Casseroles: Exploring Your Options

When it comes to crafting a mouthwatering Mediterranean casserole, the choice of rice is a crucial decision that can make or break your dish. Rice not only serves as a canvas for absorbing the rich flavors of the Mediterranean, but it also contributes its own unique texture and taste to the recipe. Let’s take a culinary journey through the world of rice varieties and discover which types work best in these delectable casseroles.

1. Basmati Rice

Flavor Profile: Basmati rice is renowned for its delicate, nutty flavor and fragrant aroma. It adds a subtle aromatic dimension to your casserole.

Texture: These long, slender grains remain separate and fluffy when cooked, making them perfect for Mediterranean casseroles where you want distinct rice grains.

2. Jasmine Rice

Flavor Profile: Jasmine rice boasts a slightly sweet and floral aroma, enhancing the overall taste of your casserole.

Texture: It’s similar to Basmati rice, with a fluffy, moist texture that absorbs flavors beautifully.

3. Arborio Rice

Flavor Profile: Arborio rice has a creamy, starchy quality that adds richness and thickness to your casserole, making it ideal for Mediterranean dishes with a more risotto-like consistency.

Texture: It’s a short-grain rice that becomes tender and creamy as it cooks.

4. Long-Grain Rice

Flavor Profile: Long-grain rice varieties, like American long-grain or Carolina rice, offer a neutral flavor, allowing other Mediterranean ingredients and spices to shine.

Texture: These rice types stay separate and have a slightly firmer texture when cooked, providing a pleasant contrast in your casserole.

5. Brown Rice

Flavor Profile: Brown rice is nuttier and earthier in flavor compared to white rice, making it a wholesome addition to Mediterranean casseroles.

Texture: It’s chewier and has a firmer texture, adding a hearty element to your dish.

6. Wild Rice

Flavor Profile: Wild rice has a distinct, nutty taste and a delightful chewiness that complements Mediterranean ingredients beautifully.

Texture: It retains its shape and texture even when cooked, making it an excellent choice for adding variety to your casserole.

7. Mediterranean Rice Blends

Flavor Profile: Some rice blends specifically marketed for Mediterranean cuisine may contain a mix of grains, herbs, and spices that are tailored to enhance Mediterranean flavors.

Texture: These blends often offer a balanced texture and flavor profile for your casserole.

In the end, the choice of rice for your Mediterranean casserole largely depends on the specific recipe and your personal preferences. Basmati and Jasmine rice are popular choices for their aromatic qualities and fluffy textures, while Arborio rice can create a creamy and comforting consistency. Experiment with different rice varieties to find the one that elevates your Mediterranean casserole to culinary perfection.

Tips and tricks for making the best vegan rice casserole – broccoli and chickpea recipe

Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your Vegan Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Chickpeas turns out absolutely delicious:

1. Use High-Quality Rice: Start with good quality long-grain white rice or your preferred variety. High-quality rice ensures the best texture and flavor.

2. Precook the Rice: Lightly toast the rice in the skillet before adding the liquid. This step enhances the nutty flavor of the rice. You can also opt for using leftover rice to make this delicious rice casserole recipe.

3. Choose Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh broccoli and ripe red bell peppers for the best taste and texture. Fresh vegetables elevate the overall quality of the casserole.

4. Properly Prep Vegetables: Chop the vegetables uniformly to ensure even cooking. Overcooked or undercooked veggies can affect the dish’s texture.

5. Season Generously: Don’t skimp on herbs and spices. Mediterranean flavors shine with oregano, basil, paprika, and garlic. Seasoning adds depth and complexity.

6. Saute the Aromatics: Sautéing onions and garlic until fragrant and translucent releases their full flavor potential. It’s a crucial step for building flavor.

7. Use Vegetable Broth: Opt for a high-quality vegetable broth or make your own for added depth of flavor. It’s a key component in vegan cooking.

Extra tips to make the best dairy free rice casserole

8. Simmer Rice Gently: When simmering the rice, cover the skillet to trap steam and ensure even cooking. Keep the heat low to prevent overcooking or sticking.

9. Stir Sparingly: Avoid excessive stirring once you’ve added the rice, chickpeas, and vegetables. Over-stirring can make the rice gummy.

10. Monitor Cooking Time: Keep an eye on the casserole in the oven or other cooking methods. Cooking times can vary based on your equipment and the thickness of your casserole.

11. Add the Tomato-Coconut Mixture: The combination of tomato sauce and coconut milk creates a creamy, tangy, and luscious sauce. Mix them thoroughly before pouring over the casserole.

12. Optional Vegan Cheese: If you choose to use vegan shredded cheese, add it towards the end of baking to prevent it from overcooking or burning.

13. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: A sprinkle of fresh parsley or basil just before serving adds a burst of color and a burst of fresh flavor.

14. Let it Rest: After baking, allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes. This helps the flavors meld and makes serving easier.

15. Experiment and Customize: Don’t hesitate to personalize your casserole with your favorite Mediterranean ingredients like olives, capers, or sun-dried tomatoes. Make it your own!

With these tips and tricks in mind, your Vegan Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Chickpeas will turn out as a flavorful, hearty, and satisfying dish that everyone will love. Enjoy your culinary adventure!

Delicious vegan rice casserole variations

Vegan rice casserole variations are limited only by your creativity. Here are some delicious ideas to inspire you:

1. Vegan Mexican Rice Casserole: Incorporate Mexican-inspired flavors with ingredients like black beans, corn, diced tomatoes with green chilies, and a blend of Mexican spices. Top it with dairy-free cheese and fresh cilantro.

2. Vegan Curry Rice Casserole: Add curry powder, coconut milk, and your choice of vegetables (e.g., peas, carrots, and bell peppers) to infuse your casserole with a delightful curry aroma. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

3. Vegan Mediterranean Rice Casserole: Stick to the Mediterranean theme by adding kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach. Flavor with herbs like thyme and rosemary.

4. Vegan Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole: Swap white rice for wild rice and pair it with a medley of sautéed mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Create a creamy sauce using cashew cream or a dairy-free roux.

5. Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole with “Cheesy” Sauce: Make a dairy-free cheese sauce using nutritional yeast, cashews, or plant-based cheese. Combine it with steamed broccoli florets and cooked rice for a comforting and cheesy casserole.

6. Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Rice Casserole: Mix cooked rice with a creamy spinach and artichoke dip (vegan, of course) for a delectable and indulgent casserole. Top with breadcrumbs or vegan parmesan for a crispy finish.

7. Vegan Lemon Herb Rice Casserole: Add a zesty twist with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and a medley of fresh herbs like parsley, dill, and chives. It’s a refreshing and fragrant variation.

More tasty rice casserole variations

8. Vegan Cajun Rice Casserole: Spice things up with Cajun seasoning, andouille-style vegan sausage, bell peppers, and celery. The result is a bold and flavorful dish with a Southern kick.

9. Vegan Thai Coconut Rice Casserole: Infuse your casserole with Thai flavors by using jasmine rice, coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, and a mix of vegetables like bell peppers, peas, and carrots. Garnish with fresh basil and lime wedges.

10. Vegan Teriyaki Rice Casserole: Create an Asian-inspired casserole by using cooked rice, broccoli, and tofu or tempeh, all coated in a homemade teriyaki sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions for added flair.

11. Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Rice Casserole: Make a spicy and tangy casserole with cauliflower florets coated in buffalo sauce, mixed with cooked rice, and topped with vegan ranch dressing.

12. Vegan Ratatouille Rice Casserole: Combine rice with the flavors of the classic French dish Ratatouille by layering sliced tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers over the rice. Season with herbs like thyme and rosemary.

Feel free to experiment with these ideas, mix and match ingredients, and create your own unique vegan rice casserole variations. It’s an excellent way to enjoy diverse flavors and make the most of seasonal ingredients.

How to store leftover rice casserole

Storing and reheating leftover rice casserole is a breeze with a few simple steps. Here’s how to do it safely and maintain the delicious flavors:

Storing Leftover Rice Casserole:

1. Cooling: Allow the leftover rice casserole to cool to room temperature before storing. Do not leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours to prevent bacterial growth.

2. Divide into Portions: If you have a large batch of leftover casserole, consider dividing it into smaller portions. This makes it easier to reheat only what you need later.

3. Airtight Container: Transfer the cooled casserole to an airtight container. Glass or plastic containers with secure lids work well. Make sure the container is clean and dry before adding the casserole.

4. Refrigeration: Store the container in the refrigerator. Leftover rice casseroles can typically be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Label the container with the date to help keep track of freshness.

Reheating Leftover Rice Casserole:

There are several methods you can use to reheat leftover rice casserole, depending on your preference and available equipment:

1. Oven (Recommended for Large Batches):

   – Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

   – Transfer the desired portion of the casserole to an oven-safe dish.

   – Cover the dish with aluminum foil to prevent drying out.

   – Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Stir occasionally for even heating.

2. Microwave (Quick Individual Servings):

   – Place the portion of casserole you want to reheat in a microwave-safe container.

   – Cover the container with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving a small vent to allow steam to escape.

   – Heat in 1-minute intervals, checking and stirring between each interval until it’s hot all the way through.

3. Stovetop (Maintains Texture):

   – Heat a non-stick skillet or pan over medium heat.

   – Add a small amount of oil or water to the pan to prevent sticking.

   – Transfer the casserole to the pan and stir frequently until it’s heated to your liking.

4. Toaster Oven (Small Batches):

   – Preheat your toaster oven to 350°F (175°C).

   – Place the portion of casserole on an ovenproof dish.

   – Cover with aluminum foil or a toaster oven-safe lid.

   – Heat for about 10-15 minutes or until it’s heated through.

Important Tips:

– When reheating, make sure the casserole reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.

– You may want to add a splash of water or vegetable broth before reheating to maintain moisture and prevent dryness.

– Stirring or mixing the casserole during reheating helps distribute heat evenly.

– Leftover rice casseroles may lose some moisture upon reheating. You can add a bit of extra sauce or liquid to restore moisture if needed.

Enjoy your reheated rice casserole once it’s hot and delicious. Just be sure to handle and store leftovers safely to maintain their quality.

How to meal prep rice casseroles

Freezing and reheating rice casseroles is an excellent way to prepare meals in advance for quick and convenient dining later. Here’s how to freeze and reheat your rice casseroles:

Freezing Rice Casseroles:

1. Cool the Casserole: Allow the rice casserole to cool to room temperature after cooking. Do not leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours.

2. Portion Control: Divide the casserole into individual serving-sized portions, using freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. This makes it easier to thaw and reheat only what you need.

3. Wrap Securely: If using containers, make sure they have tight-fitting lids. If using freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing. You can also double-bag for added protection against freezer burn.

4. Label and Date: Label each container or bag with the contents and the date you froze it. This helps you keep track of freshness.

5. Freeze Quickly: Place the containers or bags in the freezer, ensuring they are positioned flat. Quick freezing helps preserve the quality of the casserole.

Reheating Frozen Rice Casseroles:

1. Thawing: When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen rice casserole, you have a few options for thawing:

   – Refrigerator Thawing: Transfer the frozen portion from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you plan to reheat it. This slow thawing method ensures even thawing and maintains the best texture.

   – Microwave Thawing: If you’re in a hurry, you can use the defrost setting on your microwave to thaw the casserole. Use a microwave-safe dish and follow your microwave’s instructions for defrosting.

   – Cold-Water Thawing: If you didn’t plan ahead, you can use the cold-water thawing method. Seal the frozen portion in an airtight bag and submerge it in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until it’s thawed.

2. Reheating Options:

   – Oven: Preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C). Transfer the thawed casserole portion to an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

   – Microwave: For a quick reheat, use the microwave. Place the thawed casserole in a microwave-safe dish, cover, and heat in one-minute intervals, stirring between each interval, until it’s hot.

   – Stovetop: You can also reheat on the stovetop by transferring the thawed casserole to a pan or skillet. Heat on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s thoroughly heated.

3. Check Temperature: Ensure the reheated casserole reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.

4. Serve: Once your rice casserole is heated through, it’s ready to serve and enjoy!

By following these freezing and reheating steps, you can have delicious rice casseroles ready to enjoy whenever you need a quick and convenient meal.

What to eat with rice casserole – vegan and vegetarian sides

Complementing your vegan or vegetarian rice casserole with the right sides can elevate your meal to a delightful dining experience. Here are some tasty side dishes to consider:

1. Green Salad: A fresh green salad with a variety of leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and a zesty vinaigrette provides a refreshing contrast to the richness of the casserole.

2. Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like carrots, zucchini, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts seasoned with herbs and olive oil add a satisfying and nutritious element to your meal.

3. Hummus and Pita Bread: A classic combo of creamy hummus and warm, toasted pita bread makes for a fantastic side that complements the Mediterranean flavors of the casserole.

4. Tzatziki Sauce: This Greek yogurt and cucumber dip is cooling and pairs wonderfully with Mediterranean-inspired rice casseroles.

5. Tabbouleh: A refreshing parsley and bulgur salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and lemon dressing adds a burst of brightness to your plate.

6. Garlic Bread: Warm, crusty garlic bread is a crowd-pleaser that goes well with almost any casserole. You can use vegan butter and garlic for a plant-based option.

7. Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmas): These Mediterranean delights filled with seasoned rice and herbs make for a delectable and complementary side dish.

More delicious sides to serve with rice casserole – vegan Mediterranean rice

8. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes provide a comforting and hearty pairing with your casserole. You can make them vegan with non-dairy milk and vegan butter.

9. Fruit Salad: A colorful fruit salad with a mix of seasonal fruits offers a sweet and refreshing contrast to the savory casserole.

10. Grilled Corn on the Cob: Seasoned grilled corn on the cob adds a touch of smokiness and a delightful crunch to your meal.

11. Coleslaw: Creamy coleslaw with shredded cabbage and a tangy dressing can be a refreshing and textural accompaniment.

12. Quinoa Salad: A quinoa salad with chopped vegetables, herbs, and a citrus vinaigrette offers a protein-packed and nutritious side.

13. Ratatouille: A classic French vegetable stew made with eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes is a flavorful side that pairs well with Mediterranean-inspired casseroles.

14. Greek Salad: A classic Greek salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red onions, and feta cheese (or a vegan alternative) complements Mediterranean flavors beautifully.

15. Cucumber Dill Salad: Slices of cucumber and red onion tossed in a dill-infused dressing create a crisp and flavorful side dish.

Choose sides that resonate with your taste preferences and the flavors of your rice casserole. Whether you opt for something light and refreshing or hearty and comforting, these side dishes will complete your meal and delight your palate.

Mexican rice vs White rice

White rice and Mexican rice can both be used in casseroles, but they bring different flavors and textures to the dish, so the choice depends on the specific flavor profile you want to achieve.

Mexican Rice:

Flavor Profile: Mexican rice, also known as Spanish rice, is typically seasoned with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and various spices like cumin and chili powder. It has a savory, slightly tangy, and spicy flavor that can add depth and complexity to your casserole.

Texture: Mexican rice is often cooked to be slightly more moist and sticky compared to plain white rice, which can contribute to a creamier texture in your casserole.

White Rice:

Flavor Profile: White rice, in its plain form, has a neutral and mild flavor. It won’t overpower the other ingredients in your casserole, allowing them to shine.

Texture: White rice is usually cooked to be fluffy and separate, so it maintains its distinct grains in the casserole, providing a light and airy texture.

So, if you’re aiming for a casserole with a Mexican or Southwestern flavor profile, using Mexican rice can be an excellent choice. It will infuse your casserole with those distinctive spices and a hint of tomato flavor. On the other hand, if you want a milder base for your casserole that allows other ingredients to take the spotlight, white rice is a suitable option. Ultimately, your choice should align with the overall taste you desire for your dish.

Rice casserole – vegan FAQs

Best rice for casseroles

In Mediterranean casserole recipes, it’s common to use medium or long-grain rice varieties like Basmati or Jasmine rice. These rice types tend to absorb flavors well and maintain a nice texture when baked in casseroles. However, you can also use short-grain rice like Arborio if you prefer a creamier texture. Ultimately, the choice of rice may depend on the specific recipe and your personal preference, but Basmati and Jasmine rice are good starting points for Mediterranean casseroles.

What is a vegan rice casserole?

A vegan rice casserole is a baked dish that typically includes rice as its main ingredient along with a variety of vegan-friendly ingredients. These can include vegetables, legumes, spices, and a creamy sauce, all combined and baked to create a hearty, plant-based meal.

What type of rice is best for vegan rice casseroles?

 Long-grain white rice or brown rice works well for most vegan rice casserole recipes. Brown rice offers more nutritional value, while white rice tends to be fluffier. The choice depends on your preference and the recipe.

How do I make my vegan rice casserole creamy without dairy?

You can achieve creaminess in vegan rice casseroles by using dairy-free alternatives like coconut milk, cashew cream, almond milk, or vegan cheese. These options add richness and creaminess without using dairy products.

 

Plant based Rice casserole FAQs

Can I prepare vegan rice casseroles in advance?

Yes, you can prepare vegan rice casseroles in advance. Cook and assemble the casserole, then refrigerate it before baking. When ready to enjoy, simply bake according to the recipe instructions.

How do I store leftover vegan rice casserole?

To store leftover casserole, allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days or freeze for longer-term storage.

Can I freeze vegan rice casseroles?

Yes, you can freeze vegan rice casseroles. Portion them into individual servings, use freezer-safe containers or bags, and label with the date. Properly frozen, they can last for several months.

What are some vegan cheese options for topping rice casseroles?

You can use vegan shredded cheese, nutritional yeast, or homemade dairy-free cheese sauces made from ingredients like cashews or potatoes for a cheesy topping.

Are vegan rice casseroles gluten-free?

Vegan rice casseroles can be gluten-free, depending on the ingredients used. If you need a gluten-free version, ensure that all the components, including sauces and seasonings, are gluten-free.

More Dairy free Rice Casserole variation FAQs

How can I add protein to my vegan rice casserole?

To boost protein content, add ingredients like chickpeas, black beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, or seitan. These plant-based protein sources can make your casserole more filling and nutritious.

Can I customize vegan rice casserole recipes with different vegetables and spices?

Absolutely! Vegan rice casseroles are highly customizable. Feel free to swap or add vegetables, herbs, and spices to suit your taste preferences and create unique flavor profiles.

Rice FAQs

Is basmati rice low carb?

No, basmati rice is not considered low in carbohydrates. It is a type of long-grain rice with a moderately high carbohydrate content. A 1-cup serving of cooked basmati rice typically contains around 45-50 grams of carbohydrates. If you’re following a low-carb diet, you may want to choose cauliflower rice or other low-carb alternatives instead.

Is basmati rice vegan?

Yes, basmati rice is vegan. It is a plant-based food and does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. It’s a suitable choice for vegans and vegetarians.

Can you freeze Mexican rice?

Yes, you can freeze Mexican rice. To freeze it, allow the rice to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Properly frozen, Mexican rice can be stored in the freezer for up to 3-4 months. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator and reheat as needed.

Ideas for what to serve with Dairy Free Rice Casserole

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Quick and Easy vegan casserole recipe

The best quick and easy rice casserole – vegan Mediterranean casserole recipes at its best! Imagine a warm, inviting vegan broccoli rice casserole dish that wraps you in a comforting embrace with every spoonful. That's the magic of a delicious vegan rice casserole for the whole family. This delicious easy Mediterranean bake casserole is a great recipe for busy weeknights. The cheesy rice is pretty hands-off. Just dump the ingredients, extra broccoli, and chickpeas into a large casserole dish, bake until golden brown and serve as a main dish or with your preferred side. With minimal effort you will have a great addition to the dinner table!
Course Dinner, Side Dish, Vegan Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Side dish, vegan dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 320kcal
Author Simone – Muncyesta

Ingredients

Mediterranean rice casserole vegan Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) long-grain white rice or rice of your choice (can be leftover rice)
  • 2 cups (480ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15oz/400g) chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups (200g) broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup (240ml) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (240ml) coconut milk (or any non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1 cup (100g) vegan shredded cheese (optional, for topping)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

How to make quick and easy vegan casserole Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a large ovenproof skillet or casserole dish, sauté the chopped red onion and minced garlic over medium heat until they become fragrant and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the rice to the skillet and stir for another 2-3 minutes to lightly toast the rice.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth, and add the dried oregano, dried basil, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or until the rice is partially cooked.
  • Stir in the chickpeas, broccoli florets, and diced red bell pepper.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the tomato sauce and coconut milk until well combined. Pour this mixture over the rice and vegetable mixture in the skillet. Stir everything together.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and transfer it to the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender, and the liquid is absorbed.
  • If desired, in the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle the vegan shredded cheese over the top of the casserole and return it to the oven until the cheese melts and turns slightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh parsley, and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • This Vegan Chickpea and Broccoli Rice Casserole is a hearty and comforting meal with Mediterranean flavors that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds. Enjoy!

How to bake rice casserole in Toaster Oven:

  • Follow the recipe instructions up to step 8 (before baking in the oven).
  • Preheat your toaster oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Transfer the casserole mixture from your skillet or casserole dish into an ovenproof dish suitable for your toaster oven. Cover it with a lid or aluminum foil.
  • Place the covered dish in the preheated toaster oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  • If using vegan shredded cheese, sprinkle it on top during the last few minutes of baking and let it melt.
  • Remove from the toaster oven, garnish with fresh parsley, and let it cool slightly before serving.

Air fryer vegan rice casserole recipe – Air Fryer:

  • Follow the recipe instructions up to step 8 (before baking in the oven).
  • Transfer the casserole mixture to an ovenproof dish suitable for your air fryer. Make sure it fits comfortably in the air fryer basket.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  • Place the dish with the casserole into the air fryer basket.
  • Air fry for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. You may want to check and stir the casserole halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  • If using vegan shredded cheese, sprinkle it on top during the last few minutes of air frying and let it melt.
  • Remove from the air fryer, garnish with fresh parsley, and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Slow cooker rice casserole – Crockpot (Slow Cooker):

  • Follow the recipe instructions up to step 7 (when you combine all ingredients in the skillet).
  • Transfer the mixture to your slow cooker.
  • Cook on the low setting for 2-3 hours or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. The exact time may vary depending on your slow cooker.
  • If using vegan shredded cheese, sprinkle it on top during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking and let it melt.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

Instant Pot Mediterranean rice casserole with chickpeas:

  • Follow the recipe instructions up to step 6 (after adding chickpeas, broccoli, and bell pepper).
  • Transfer the mixture to your Instant Pot.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid and set it to Manual/Pressure Cook mode. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • Allow for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, and then carefully do a quick release for any remaining pressure.
  • Open the Instant Pot, stir in the tomato sauce and coconut milk, and select the “Sauté” function. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the casserole thickens.
  • If using vegan shredded cheese, sprinkle it on top, and cover with the lid for a few minutes to let it melt.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
  • Now you can enjoy this Vegan Chickpea and Broccoli Rice Casserole using the cooking method that suits your kitchen appliances and preferences.

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