Vegetarian Broccoli Rice Casserole

By Sandhya Hariharan

Easter dinner can indeed become quite hectic, especially with a multitude of dishes to prepare for friends and family. But don’t you worry! I've got you covered with one of the easiest and most delicious vegetarian mains – Broccoli Rice Casserole. What makes this recipe a lifesaver is its simplicity and flexibility. You can even prepare the sauce and rice a day or two in advance, making the day of the feast a breeze.

And here's the magic – you can assemble the entire dish the night before, then simply bake it quickly just before serving. It's practically effortless! I've used a 28cm oval casserole dish.

This recipe is incredibly versatile. Feel free to customise it with some sautéed mushrooms or a handful of spinach. Want it spicier? Add a little more cayenne pepper or some diced jalapeños. Enjoy this Broccoli Rice Casserole and make your holidays even more special.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 4


  • 500g broccoli, separated to florets (4 cups)
  • 350g cooked long grain rice (2 cups)

Cheese Sauce:

  • 3tbsp butter
  • 3tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 75 g mature cheddar cheese, grated


  • 50 g red Leicester cheese
  • 50 g cheddar cheese
  • Chives for garnishing


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Place the broccoli in a pan of boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Transfer to ice cold water, then drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture forms a smooth paste.
  4. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens and becomes smooth.
  5. Stir in salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper, and continue cooking until the sauce is bubbling.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the grated cheddar cheese until it's completely melted, and the sauce is well combined.
  7. In a casserole dish, combine the blanched broccoli and cooked rice.
  8. Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli and rice, ensuring they are fully coated.
  9. Scatter the red Leicester cheese and cheddar cheese over the top.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbling.
  11. Remove from the oven, garnish with chives, and serve hot.

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