If you're looking for guilt-free comfort food, look no further than this vegetable casserole recipe! This gluten-free Vegan Bean Casserole is creamy and delicious. Packed with brown rice, broccoli, carrots, and celery, it is perfect for a hearty and easy meal any night of the week.
Why Casseroles Are Awesome
Casseroles are the perfect comfort food. I make them a few times a month when the weather is cooler to warm me up. I happen to love this particular casserole because it is packed with healthy veggies, is super filling because of the beans, and tastes rich and creamy.
This vegan bean casserole is also something that you can toss together and throw in the oven. I love a good set-it-and-forget-it meal! If one-pot dishes are your jam, be sure to also check out my Easy Mushroom Risotto and Southwest Quinoa.
Just look how scrumptious that looks! Trust me, you're going to want to make this easy Bean & Vegetable Casserole while sweater season is upon us.
Vegan Bean Casserole
Okay so maybe this recipe doesn't have the most exciting name. And maybe it doesn't look as fancy as some of my other recipes. But it tastes really good. That's all that matters, right??
While it tastes decadently creamy and delicious, you'll get a good serving of nutrients from the vegetables, complex carbs from the brown rice, and protein from the beans.
The topping is optional, but I love a little crunch on my casseroles so I added some gluten-free breadcrumbs to top it off. I mean, who doesn't want crispy, buttery tasting breadcrumbs on their casserole?
TIP: If you don't care about gluten, feel free to use any breadcrumbs you have on hand! I particularly like the crisp you get from using panko, but that's just me. You can also easily make your own breadcrumbs using up the stale bits or heels of your bread!
The other thing I love about this vegan bean casserole is how adaptable it is. Feel free to substitute other veggies for the ones I have used. I think cauliflower, green beans or peas would all make wonderful additions or substitutions.
How to make a Vegetable Casserole
Step 1: Add olive oil, onion, garlic, and celery to saute pan and cook for 5 mins.
Step 2: Add vegetable broth, carrots, and broccoli, cover, and cook for another 10 mins.
Step 3: Mix in vegan cream cheese or cashew cream, nutritional yeast, tamari, rice, and beans.
Step 4: Place the mixture in an oven-safe dish.
Step 5: In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs and olive oil then sprinkle it over casserole.
Step 6: Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Vegetable Bean Casserole Nutrition
This bean and vegetable casserole is full of fiber which our bodies need to be healthy. Fiber can be found in every element of this dish! It's in the beans, rice and veggies.
Fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, help lower blood sugar levels, and assist in weight loss - all of which aid in fighting chronic disease like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The beans, rice, and veggies also contain protein, so you don't have to worry about getting enough protein while eating a plant based delight. Oh, and the protein in this is a complete protein, too.
TIP: Did you know that eating rice and beans together makes a complete protein? That means all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are present. Awesome, right?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best kind of rice to choose?
Brown rice, regardless of variety, is what you want to aim for in most situations. Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning it is generally more nutritious than white rice. It has tons of fiber, magnesium and other nutrients, whereas white rice has been refined, meaning a lot of that goodness has been removed.
In terms of texture and aroma, there are lots of different styles of rice to choose from. There are four types of brown rice - short, medium and long grain rices as well as light brown rice. I generally tend to reach for long grain brown rice for this recipe, but check out this informational post to see what kind you gravitate towards.
What's the deal with nutritional yeast?
If you're not yet in the know about nutritional yeast, your life is about to change for the better. Nutritional yeast is one of the most delicious substances around, despite its awful name. Seriously, whoever branded it should be fired.
That said, the little yellow flakes are highly nutritious (as the name implies), boasting protein, vitamins (like B12), minerals and antioxidants that some studies indicate can help to boost your immune system and lower cholesterol. And they taste like cheese. Seriously.
If you are just starting out on your plant based journey and are missing that container of Kraft Parmesan, don't fret. Nutritional yeast can do everything that can do, and it can do it all better.
If you're looking for more ways to use it outside of this healthy vegetable casserole recipe, try sprinkling it on popcorn for a cheesy tasting treat. Or try making your own vegan cheese with it (check out my vegan queso and vegan parmesan)! Or use it to make some vegan mac and cheese! Do yourself a favor and get some pronto.
Can I make this bean & veggie casserole ahead of time?
Hey, I'm all for getting things crossed off my checklist ahead of time. I'm here for it! This veggie casserole can be prepped ahead of time without adding the breadcrumb topping. Just add the breadcrumbs halfway into baking if frozen.
Feel free to refrigerate it (unbaked but covered) for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to three months. Prior to baking, defrost it and add those yummy breadcrumbs to get all the satisfying crunch.
TIP: If you use cashew cream for this recipe prior to freezing, it *might* have a tendency to break on you. If this happens, just add a bit of liquid and stir it prior to adding the breadcrumb topping.
I'm not a vegan... will I still like this dish?
Yes! Vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores all have enjoyed this recipe. It is so creamy and yummy that I can nearly guarantee that anyone will love it.
That said, you're welcome to "beef" it up a bit by subbing in some Impossible or Beyond Burger crumbles instead of the beans. See what I did there?? 😉
What size dish should I use?
I'd recommend using an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 dish for the casserole. That said, you can definitely sub in a 9" round cake tin if that's what you have on hand. If you double the recipe, it should be enough for a 9 x 13.
What other vegetables can I use?
The great thing about this veggie casserole is that you can customize it to your liking. Basically any chopped vegetable will taste awesome in it. Some suggestions would be:
- Green Beans
- Green Peas
- Brussels Sprouts
What should I serve this casserole with?
I personally love eating this casserole as my entire meal - comfort food is kinda my thing.
That said, this would be an excellent dish for any kind of potluck or buffet setting. Add it to your Thanksgiving or Christmas spread to make sure you have plenty of yums to munch on around your omni friends and family.
If serving it as a side dish, it would go well with some baked or grilled tofu and a side salad.
You can even add extra protein to this meal by adding some tempeh crumbles right into the casserole.
More cozy recipes
And check out these Healthy Vegan Casserole Recipes too!
If you make this recipe and LOVE IT, please give it 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!
Vegan Bean Casserole
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil sub water or vegetable broth if you don't use oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 small carrot chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 2 cups broccoli chopped small
- 1.5 cups vegetable broth
- 8 oz container vegan cream cheese or 1 cup cashew cream*
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce if not gf)
- 1 can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups pre-cooked brown rice
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add olive oil, onion, garlic and celery to saute pan and cook for 5 mins.
- Add vegetable broth, carrots and broccoli, cover and cook for another 10 mins.
- Mix in vegan cream cheese or cashew cream, nutritional yeast, tamari, rice and beans.
- Place in 8x8 or 9x9 oven safe dish.
- In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs and olive oil (if using) then sprinkle it over casserole. See notes for oil-free baking.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden.
PLEASE NOTE: Nutritional information data is computer generated and only an estimate so it should be used only as a guide.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel clear and confident about what is uniquely nourishing to them. Mary Ellen's recipes and nutrition information have been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more.