This casserole reminds me of my childhood.
I used to love my mom’s homemade Broccoli and Rice casserole, which was a simple combination of sauteed onions, tender broccoli, white rice and cheddar cheese. It was the ultimate comfort food for my picky taste buds!
This version is similar to my mom’s, but I’ve upgraded the ingredients to give it a nutritional boost. Instead of rice, it features protein-rich quinoa, and in lieu of cheddar cheese, it’s smothered in a creamy, cheese-like sauce made out of sweet potatoes! I hope you like this dairy-free version as much as I do.
“Cheesy” Broccoli & Quinoa Casserole (Vegan)
For the “cheese” sauce:
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
1.5 cups water
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
5 cups broccoli florets
Preheat your oven to 350F. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the quinoa and water to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low for 15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and the moisture has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
While the quinoa is cooking, saute the chopped onion in a large saute pan (preferably with a lid) in the coconut oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in the broccoli florets and a splash of water to prevent sticking, then cover the pan and allow to steam for about 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is fork-tender.
To prepare the “cheese” sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Keep in mind that this sauce will be diluted over the entire batch of quinoa and broccoli, so it may be on the salty-side to taste.
If your large saute pan is oven-safe, you can save yourself from cleaning an extra dish by assembling the casserole directly over the sauteed onion and broccoli. Add in the cooked quinoa, then pour over the cheese sauce, and stir to mix well. Adjust any seasonings to taste, then use the back of a large spoon to smooth the top.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until bubbly hot! Serve immediately, and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
"Cheesy" Broccoli & Quinoa Casserole (Vegan)
For the cheese sauce:
- 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
- 1.5 cups water
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup dry quinoa , rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/2 yellow onion , chopped
- 5 cups broccoli florets
- Preheat your oven to 350F. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the quinoa and water to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low for 15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and the moisture has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- While the quinoa is cooking, saute the chopped onion in a large saute pan (preferably with a lid) in the coconut oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in the broccoli florets and a splash of water to prevent sticking, then cover the pan and allow to steam for about 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is fork-tender.
- To prepare the "cheese" sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Keep in mind that this sauce will be diluted over the entire batch of quinoa and broccoli, so it may be on the salty-side to taste.
- If your large saute pan is oven-safe, you can save yourself from cleaning an extra dish by assembling the casserole directly over the sauteed onion and broccoli. Add in the cooked quinoa, then pour over the cheese sauce, and stir to mix well. Adjust any seasonings to taste, then use the back of a large spoon to smooth the top.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until bubbly hot! Serve immediately, and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Per Serving: Calories: 250, Fat: 4g, Carbohydrates: 44g, Fiber: 8g, Protein: 11g
Reader Feedback: What was your favorite childhood dish?
Questions and Reviews
Fall has begun as the weather is chilly today this meal is perfect!
love love love this recipe! Also I forgot to write on yesterdays post but congrats on your new bundle of joy. I’m so thrilled for you!
You are a genius at the creative ways you come up with your recipe ideas!
Congratulations on your new addition!!
I wanted to ask you what brand of nutritional yeast you used. I wondered also, if you had ever used any other brand and if you noticed that some brands yielded a cheesier flavor than others.
It’s great that you’re back!!
The best nutritional yeast is Bob’s Red Mill 🙂
Looks yummy! Does the sweet potato in the sauce off-set the savory of the nutritional yeast? When I think of a broccoli casserole, I think savory, but is this one a bit sweeter?
Never mind; I just noticed the 2 teaspoons of salt, so I’m sure that helps make it more savory 😉
Can we sub real cheese in for the nutritional yeast if we don’t have/can’t find any?
I am SO excited about this..my mom always made a creamy chicken, broccoli and rice dish when I was little that I adored. This version is MUCH healthier–can’t wait to try!
This looks amazing! I’m suck a sucker for anything “cheesy” flavored with nutritional yeast. I made a vegan quinoa mac and cheese dish and it’s been my go to lately. So good, and I love that this is made with sweet potato too!
HOW do you have time (or brain cells) to post on your blog?! Infinitely impressed. With that as well as the recipe, as usual. :). Hope you are all doing well, and getting at least a little rest…! :).
This is definitely what I’m whipping up for lunch! Btw you’ve inspired me to start at IIN this October! Thank you so much for that!
YOU’RE A GENIUS! I’m totally having this for dinner tomorrow!
from the looks of the picture you have totally perfected the “cheese” sauce substitute !
this is irresistible ! ill def be giving the recipe a try this evening 🙂
thanks as always.
I love that this is creative and fun while being simple to make! Thank you!
Favorite childhood dishes….there were so many. My mom’s potato salad, scalloped potatoes, chipped beef on toast, my mom’s french toast, boy, looks like a theme here – carbs! But, I did like veggies too. I loved broccoli with cheese sauce & this looks like it as well– so yummy. My husband can’t do dairy so this will be perfect. I also loved when my mom made lasagna which is what I would request for my birthdays – yummy.
Hope you are having fun with your new bundle of joy!
Hi Megan. I was wondering if I can have nutritional yeast when I am doing the Candida Diet? I have never used it before in anything. We made your cauliflower pizza last night and it was wonderful.
Awesome recipe! I can’t wait to try this : )
WOW as always, this looks incredible!! I am going to make this ASAP 🙂
This looks amazing!!:) You’re so talented and I’m so happy for you and your new little one!!:)
Yum, this looks so comforting. Perfect for Fall 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Mmm, I’m excited to try this! I just bought some quinoa… I’ve recently started cooking healthier and making it a life change. Your site has been my go-to for recipes! Thank you 🙂 Can’t wait to try this one! I love your cashew mac n cheese.
I have made this twice already, because it is fabulous!!! The first time I didnt have broccoli so i used peas and it was still yum! The second time I didnt have enough sweet potato so I did half a cup of sweet potato and half a cup of butternut squash – also amazing. Thank you for another delicious recipe!
I just made this recipe, and absolutely love it! This will definitely be a new healthy staple in my house!
Oh my word and it LOOKS like cheese sauce too!! Can’t wait to try it!
Made this the other night!!!! I was actually worried because the sauce looked too think but it turned out amazing! It was really delicious. The perfect fall weather dinner 😉
Loved this!! I’ll definitely be making again. As someone else mentioned, I was afraid I had made the sauce too thin when pouring over top but it baked up nicely with the quinoa and broccoli. Thank you!
I really enjoyed this tonight, thanks! I think I’ll cut the salt down a little next time.
I also topped my serving with some Cholula hot sauce for a kick 🙂
Hi Megan! I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago and WOW, every dish I try is so amazing, including this one! Even my cheese loving boyfriend loves it!!! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes, it’s almost like magic!!! I’ve been telling everyone I know about your blog and how amazing you are!! Also congrats your new baby!!
I made this last night and it was awesome! I will make this again for sure!
I made this for dinner last night, Very yummy!! Enjoying it again for lunch today. Used some green beans because I didn’t have enough broccoli and it worked well. Thanks!
WOW! This is GOOD. Obviously this remains to be seen if I feel the same way tomorrow when I’m sober, but for right now, this is an AWESOME end to a drunken Led Zeppelin-a-thon 🙂
Okay, in all seriousness (or as serious as I can be at the moment)….I’m not sure I’d call this “cheesy” and for those like me who hate onions, it’s heavy on the onion flavor. I left out the actual onion and just used the powder that was called for and if you’re an onion hater, this is definitely the way to go. But this is VERY tasty…now you’ll have to forgive me, Jimmy Page just broke out into another solo, so I must be going. But definitely make this. It’s quite worth it.
Made this tonight & it is so good! I used tri-colored quinoa from Trader Joe’s. I baked a sweet potato & threw it into the Vitamix to make the sauce. My husband went for seconds so I will definitely make this again! Thank you so much for these amazing recipes (love the vegan mac-n-cheese made with cashews!) & congrats on your baby!
Made this last night and loved it! My husband said: this could be served at Thanksgiving. Congrats on your new addition! I’m doing a detox to help shed the last of my baby weight and your site has been super valuable! Thanks!!
Hey 😀 Just wanted to say, I’m SO GLAD I found this website and ths awesome recipe! This is healthy, comforting and so good! thank u!
I noticed I can only access this recipe by opening up the specific email that I got from you. Is there a reason this isn’t under main dishes or am I missing it?
You can always find any recipe on my website by searching for it using the “Search Recipes” area in the top left column of my website. I’m currently on maternity leave, so I’m not updating any of my recipes pages for another few weeks.
I made it,it was delicious! I’m thinking of making it with spinach next time!
Just made this…it is in the oven finishing up…but so far, so AMAZING. I actually used a few pita chips to scoop up leftover “cheese” sauce from my vitamix. So good!
Just gave this a shot and loved it! It was my first time making a vegan cheese sauce and this was a great introduction to it all. If my cheese sauce was more on the liquid-y side would you suggest adding some sort of flour to help thicken it up or more sweet potato? Thanks for sharing.
Had this for Thanksgiving and it was awsome! I’m going to try the vegan Mac ‘n Cheese soon and hope its as good.
Super satisfying and yummy. Texturally, it totally brings back memories of a similar dish my mom made growing up. I think she added tons of mayo though, and I was missing that particular flavour, haha. Next time maybe I’ll add some brown mustard and olive oil into the dressing… hmm. Simply scrummy as-is though!
I am about to go on a business trip but I have some broccoli and sweet potatoes that need to be used STAT! This is the perfect recipe, but have you had any success with freezing the casserole?
How many calories do you believe are in each serving?
I make this all the time (and I am not vegan). So yummy.
This time I simmered a bay leaf in the water, before making the sauce. In retrospect, I probably could have simmered it with the quinoa. I also used Old Bay n place of the salt. Yummy.
Next time I will try using tikki masala spice mix in lieu of the salt and chili powder.
Julia Childs (or someone) said you should master 4-5 recipes, with 3-4 adaptations of each, and you will have a strong repertoire. So, does anyone have any more ideas for how to change the profile of this fabulous basic recipe? Thanks.
Do you think you can substitute brown rice in this dish and if so home much cooked rice should you use. Thank you!
Sure, I don’t see why not! I’d just substitute it 1:1 with the quinoa.
Brown rice goes great in this dish. I always have left over frozen brown rice in the freezer. This is perfect to use it for.
let me tell you, it was a very tasty meal and my fam love it.
I made this last week and it was so good! I recently stopped eating dairy and this sauce is the perfect cheese sauce replacement. Thanks!
This is so yummy!!!
Can spinach be added to broccoli? Have some in the fridge. ..
I rated it five stars!
Not sure why it’s showing up as two
This was good…like really good.