Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole (Crock-Pot)

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I’m constantly working on recipes that will be easy as well as delicious. This recipe is both and 100% comfort food.

I admit, this isn’t the same dairy and fat-filled Broccoli and Rice Casserole I used to make in our omni days but for any of you who have tried my other Broccoli and Rice Casserole I think you’ll love this. Also, you can change-up the veggies for a little variety.

Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole


  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour*
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups plant-milk (I use rice milk)
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli (or other veggies)


  1. Pour all ingredients into your crock-pot and give everything a good stir.
  2. Set crock-pot to low and cook for 3-4 hours. I gave it a stir about once an hour.ย 


This is great as a main dish. It is comforting and filling, perfect for cold weather.

*If you don’t have brown rice flour you can use wheat flour instead.

If you like this recipe try my Easy Crock Pot Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole!

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  1. Looks delicious and easy…. Just what I like! I think my daughter would love this! It’s just perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Why is it called cheesy? Sorry – I am new to the plant-based diet.

    • Polly, Nutritional Yeast gives food a slightly cheesy flavor. It will not taste like a dairy filled casserole but for those who have been plant-based for a while it will help satisfy their cravings.
      I recently served it to my Healthy Cravings group and they all loved it, even those who are not plant-based.

  3. Could this be cooked longer than 3-4 hours? Or for a shorter time on high? I work a typical 8 hour workday, and it would be nice if this could be cooking all day while I’m gone, or my kids could turn it on when they get home from school.

    • Hi Katrina,
      It may be able to be in the crock pot longer but you would need to add more liquid. The rice would get “mushy” and some people don’t like that. I don’t mind it mushy, it is a casserole after all. ๐Ÿ™‚
      You could also try having it all combined (in the fridge) and have your kids turn it on after school. Just cook it on high for 3 hours, without adding extra liquid. I noticed this recipe works best with short-grain brown rice instead of long grain.
      You might have better luck baking it in the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in a casserole dish.

  4. This is such a neat idea! Can’t wait to try! For those new to avoiding gluten though, this recipe is not gluten free with most mainstream brands of Rice Milk, which contains barley malt. Loving your site!

    • I hope you try it! We love it here, it really fills the “comfort food” cravings. We always buy gluten-free rice milk, usually the organic Costco brand. My son is allergic to gluten so we always read the labels so we can buy gluten-free products.

  5. Would frozen broccoli work in this recipe? I would like to make it today. Thank you!


    I love this recipe and would love to try this, but can I make this without the flour?

    • YES! I’ve been experimenting with different variations. I prefer it without the flour. I’ve also made it with broth instead of nutritional yeast. Try it, I think you’ll like it.

      • We’re doing this at our cooking workshop tomorrow, Holly. If we use broth instead of nooch AND eliminate the flour, that’s 3/4 c less dry ingredients. Do you use less liquid when you omit the flour and nooch? Also wondering why you prefer the short grain rice. When I made it the first time, as the original recipe is written, it was delicious, but the color was a little grey. Could my using almond milk and long grain brown rice have caused that?

        • Hi Anne,
          I don’t change the measurements and it seems to be very forgiving. Since you’ll be on a deadline you could cut back a little. I was just trying to find faster and easier ways to make it. Depending on how flavorful the broth is you may need more seasoning. A few times I cooked it a little too long and had to add a lot of liquid but it “soaked” it up quickly so you could always be a little more conservative with the liquid then add more if it’s needed later.

          This recipe is kind of grey. It’s just not too pretty. I’ve added other veggies to spruce it up but we always have broccoli so it’s my “go to” veggie for this. I switched to short grain rice just as a personal reference. I preferred the way it felt when I was eating it and we could buy it in bulk at Costco. Either would work though but I’m partial to short grain these days.

  7. Kim in MA says:

    Hi holly, I just read elsewhere on your blog that you have now made this recipe in your new instant pot. Would you be willing to update and post directions on how to do that? I’m always afraid to try without a recipe. Maybe that’s an idea for a new post, too–how to adapt recipes to use i. The instant pot! I love mine but don’t use it enough! Thanks, love your blog!

    • Hi Kim, It was one of the first things I made. I will warn you, I felt like that nutritional yeast and Broccoli combination left a permanent smell in the sealing ring that I don’t enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚ For that recipe, I followed the measurements and cooked it on manual for 28 minutes with a quick release. I’m planning to adapt lots of my recipes for the Instant Pot and I’ve created some new ones as well.

  8. Holly, have you tried this in the InstantPot yet? If so, do you have that recipe? I’ve tried googling it, but can’t find it. Thanks!

    • Oh my, sorry Holly, I see you answered that same question to the lady just above me (Kim)… but, now I’m afraid to try this due to that smell… what do you think? I’ve done broccoli once and there was no smell, so wonder if we left the nutritional yeast out and added it after-the-fact? What ya think?

  9. Holly, if you get this in time, any suggestions? My I.P. is telling me that there’s burnt food and it’s overheating. Trying the Cheesy Broccoli Casserole. I’ve let it cool down and tried again but still I get the same message & have to stop it. I’m pressed for time as we are going away in 3 hours. It is 2:30 Irish time on Sunday right now. I “think” your PST, so we are 8 hours ahead of you. Your time would be 6:30am.

    • Hi Nancy,
      I’m sorry I’m just seeing this. I try to take a little time away from the computer on the weekends.
      I’ve heard that using milk (even non-dairy) can cause things to stick to the bottom and give the burnt food/overheating message. I haven’t experienced it myself.
      I will post my “official” IP version soon.
      I adapt it sometimes and use 2 cups rice, 5 cups water/broth, use the same amount of spices and veggies but skip the plant-milk and flour. If using water instead of broth you may want some extra seasoning. You could also add the nutritional yeast after it is finished cooking but it may not mix together as well. I cook it on Manual for 28 minutes.

  10. Jessica says:

    How many does this feed? Could you double the recipe?

    • It depends on the size of the appetites but this would feed four people. We usually fed 3 adults and 2 kids with some leftovers. You could also double it but my Crock Pot isn’t big enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Tastes delicious, but it has been in my crockpot for 5 hours and the rice is still crunchy!

    • Some Crock Pots take longer than others. Older Crock Pots typically cook hotter than newer versions. I have an old one.
      If there is still lots of water try letting it cook for another hour. If not add more water and let it cook. The rice needs plenty of liquid to soften up. Make sure to leave the lid on too. Go ahead and stir it every hour or so. That can help the rice cook more evenly.

  12. This looks delicious and I love that it’s easy and healthy. I posted it on my fb page to share because I know so many people are looking for healthy yet easy recipes. I’ve got it in the crock pot now. Excited to try it tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

  13. Kristine says:

    Made this this weekend.. SO GOOD. Took quite a bit longer because I only had long grain rice, but it is delicious. This will be a staple come fall/winter!

  14. Could I adapt this to an Instant Pot? Just found out we’re taking a road trip tomorrow and I need hotel friendly IP recipes!

  15. Can chopped onions and garlic be used instead of the powder?

    • Yes, I just used powder for ease. You might need to add extra spices to make sure the flavor is added. Sometimes fresh doesn’t bring enough flavor for me.

  16. Not cooked at all after 4 hours on low in my newer crock pot – I’m trying on high for 2 hours stirring frequently. Do you think that might help? I followed the Mexican casserole with no problems so surprised it’s not cooking as indicated by the recipe

    • My crock pot is really old, and I’ve heard old crock pots cook hotter. For a new crock pot try 3 hours on high. I wouldn’t stir at all. You want to keep all the heat trapped in.
      Let me know if that works for you.

  17. Thanks so much! It did cook with stirring on high for two additional hours and tastes great!

    • I’m glad it worked. I should probably get a new crock pot, I doubt anyone uses one as old as mine. My Instant Pot has a slow cooking feature but I’m not sure how closely it compares.

  18. ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re trying the Taco Soup tonight. We’ve tried three recipes and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I really love how simple and very tasty everything has been. Great job! I’ve only been vegan since December although vegetarian 20 + years and it’s difficult to find recipes that are simple and everyone enjoys. Thanks again!

  19. Hello! I’m assuming you didn’t use instant type brown rice – is that right? Have you ever used barley, with modifications? I have some I want to use and it seems like it might work. Thank you!

  20. Have much older crock pot and 4 hours on low itโ€™s still like soup! Guess we will have something different for dinner tonight ๐Ÿ™. Put it on high, hopefully for tomorrowโ€™s meal…

  21. Do I put 1 1/2 cups of nutritional yeast? It says 1/2 cups (plural). Didnโ€™t know if that was a misprint or not.

What do YOU think?