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Cheesy Vegetable and Brown Rice Casserole

Cheesy Vegetable and Brown Rice Casserole is here for all your side dish needs! This creamy, cheesy combination of rice and vegetables is a surefire way of getting kids to eat their veggies and is also just a marvelous delight to enjoy alongside your main dish.

Cheesy Vegetable Brown Rice Casserole - Cheesy Vegetable and Brown Rice Casserole is here for all your side dish needs! This creamy, cheesy combination of rice and vegetables is a surefire way of getting kids to eat their veggies and is also just a marvelous delight to enjoy alongside your main dish.

Casserole season! How many have you made so far?

With the holiday season upon us and a chill in the air, I’ve been getting a lot of use out of my casserole dish. 

Whether I’m making a full meal or a side dish, I find casseroles to be so convenient, and they are virtually impossible to mess up.

#JustAddCheese 

…Or bacon.

…Even better: both.

My Creamy Cauliflower Casserole, Creamy Brussel Sprout Casserole, and Healthy Green Bean Casserole that I whipped up last holiday season were a huge hit with my friends and family as well as my readers.

Cheesy Vegetable and Brown Rice Casserole is here for all your side dish needs! This creamy, cheesy combination of rice and vegetables is a surefire way of getting kids to eat their veggies and is also just a marvelous delight to enjoy alongside your main dish.

What I love about this cheesy vegetable and brown rice casserole is it combines two things I eat at virtually every meal – rice and veggies – and ties it all together with creamy deliciousness.

Plus, it’s made in bulk which makes meal prepping for me an absolute cinch.

Whether you’re looking for a side dish to share with guests during the fall and winter months (hello, holidays!), or simple make-ahead recipes to incorporate into your weekly meal plan, this casserole has your back!

This side dish is incredibly versatile in the sense that you can change up the vegetables, cheese, and rice selection to your heart’s delight. Select your favorite vegetables, mix up the cheese to make it extra fancy, throw in some bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and/or artichoke hearts to give it a Mediterranean vibe…you name it!

Let’s chat about the ingredients.

Cheesy Vegetable Brown Rice Casserole with hearty vegetables, creamy rice and cheese. A delicious yet healthier side dish perfect for any meal.

Ingredients for Cheesy Vegetable and Brown Rice Casserole:

Brown Rice: The starch and complex carb that makes this casserole so inviting. I use one cup of uncooked brown rice, which makes about 3 cups of cooked brown rice. You can swap the brown for white or wild rice if you’d like. You can also cook the rice several days in advance if you want to make this recipe in parts.

Vegetables: Onion, garlic, broccoli, carrots, and peas. I love this combination of vegetables because they not only individually add their own unique flavor, but they are also very hearty which is ideal for a casserole like this. Feel free to incorporate your favorite hearty vegetables, such as cauliflower, celery, corn, bell pepper, butternut squash, sweet potato, turnips, etc.

Can you use frozen vegetables? Absolutely! Simply choose your favorite combination of frozen veggies and you’ll be off and running.

Sauce: Coconut milk, all-purpose flour, cider vinegar. This combination makes for a rich and creamy sauce with a nice tang, similar to a cream-based sauce. The reason I use coconut milk is because fresh dairy messes with my digestion, but cheese works just fine. Many people are in the same boat as I, so I use this trick a lot in casseroles.

Cheese: Parmesan cheese + colby jack cheese are what give this side dish its creamy appeal and richness. The parmesan gets mixed into the casserole and the colby jack gets sprinkled on top. Switch up the cheese selection based on what you love!

Creamy Cheesy Brown Rice Casserole with Vegetables - a healthier fresh casserole recipe loaded with veggies

How to Make Cheesy Vegetable and Brown Rice Casserole:

Cook the brown rice according to package instructions. Note: if you have broth on hand, cooking the brown rice in broth instead of water will give it a nice flavor. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add the avocado oil to a large skillet or pot and heat to medium-high. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. 

Sauté the onion until translucent

Stir in the carrots, cover, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until carrots begin to soften. Add the garlic and broccoli. Cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until the broccoli is soft but still slightly al dente.

Add the carrots and broccoli and continue cooking

Add the coconut milk, flour, cider vinegar, and sea salt, stir well and bring to a full boil. Stir in the frozen peas and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Until combined.

Add the coconut milk and flour and bring to a full boil

Transfer the rice to a 13” x 9” casserole dish.

Transfer the rice to a 13” x 9” casserole dish.

Pour the vegetable sauce mixture over the rice and stir well until everything is well-combined.

Add the vegetables and sauce

Stir in the vegetables and sauce into the rice

Sprinkle the vegetables and rice with grated colby jack cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Sprinkle the vegetables and rice with grated colby jack cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Serve the vegetable and brown rice casserole with your main dish and enjoy!

Brown Rice Casserole with creamy vegetables and cheese

Dig in!

This lovely casserole goes well alongside any main dish.

Creamy Cheesy Brown Rice Casserole with vegetables. A healthy side dish to go alongside any main dish

Also be sure to check out my Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole recipe. It has been one of my most popular side dishes ever since I posted it years ago.

If you make this casserole recipe, feel free to share a photo on Instagram and tag @The.Roasted.Root

Cheesy Vegetable Brown Rice Casserole - Cheesy Vegetable and Brown Rice Casserole is here for all your side dish needs! This creamy, cheesy combination of rice and vegetables is a surefire way of getting kids to eat their veggies and is also just a marvelous delight to enjoy alongside your main dish.

Cheesy Vegetable and Brown Rice Casserole

Yield: 10 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A creamy, cheesy healthier casserole with brown rice and veggies is amazing alongside any main dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large crown broccoli, chopped into florets (3 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 (15-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk*
  • 2 Tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour**
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • 1 (10-oz) bag frozen peas
  • 3 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups grated Colby Jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the brown rice according to package instructions. Note: if you have broth on hand, cooking the brown rice in broth instead of water will give it a nice flavor. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Add the avocado oil to a large skillet or pot and heat to medium-high. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the carrots, cover, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until carrots begin to soften.
  4. Add the garlic and broccoli. Cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until the broccoli is soft but still slightly al dente.
  5. Add the coconut milk, flour, cider vinegar, and sea salt, stir well and bring to a full boil. Stir in the frozen peas and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Until combined.
  6. Transfer the rice to a 13” x 9” casserole dish.
  7. Pour the vegetable sauce mixture over the rice and stir well until everything is well-combined.
  8. Sprinkle the vegetables and rice with grated colby jack cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
  9. Serve the vegetable and brown rice casserole with your main dish and enjoy!

Notes

*or 1 ⅔ cup half & half

**or tapioca flour

Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1 of 10
Amount Per Serving Calories 411Total Fat 25gCarbohydrates 28gNet Carbohydrates 25gFiber 3gSugar 5gProtein 9g
Cheesy Brown Rice and Vegetable Casserole is a hearty, flavorful side dish perfect for weeknight eating or entertaining guests

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Danielle

Friday 12th of November 2021

May i use regular milk? If so should i omit the vinegar?

Julia

Friday 12th of November 2021

Hi Danielle,

Yes, absolutely! I would recommend a higher fat milk like whole milk or half & half. And yes, feel free to omit the vinegar! xoxox

Nancy Jenkins

Friday 12th of November 2021

Can you suggest anything to substitute the vinegar to sstill give the tangy flavor?

Julia

Friday 12th of November 2021

Hi Nancy! Lemon juice, lime juice, soy sauce, or mustard will work! Hope you enjoy! xoxoxo :D

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