Broccoli and Brown Rice Casserole with Chickpeas

Broccoli and some pantry staples are all you need to make this comforting rice casserole, which has a subtly creamy texture thanks to a slurry of oat flour and plant milk. Dial up the chili powder and paprika if you like more heat. This recipe is gluten-free if you use certified gluten-free oats.

For more comforting casserole recipes, check out our Vegan Casserole Recipes for Cold Nights.

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,


  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons mild chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1½ cups unsweetened, unflavored plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • 1½ teaspoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas (1½ cups), rinsed and drained
  • 1 tomato, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Place broccoli in a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Add water to saucepan to just below basket. Bring to boiling. Steam, covered, about 4 minutes or until tender.
  • Heat a skillet over high. Add onion, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, and ¼ cup water. Cook about 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, place rolled oats in a spice grinder or food processor; grind or pulse until the consistency of flour. In a small bowl whisk together oat flour, milk, and ½ cup water.
  • Stir milk mixture into skillet. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove sauce from heat.
  • In a baking dish combine broccoli, rice, and chickpeas. Spread evenly. Pour sauce over rice mixture.
  • Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with tomato and parsley. Serve warm.

Comments (60)

(4 from 24 votes)

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After reading the reviews, I'm thinking about using the vegan queso sauce in this dish when I make it. I'll try it and report back:)

Heidi Van Buskirk

Good flavor combo. I sautéed the onion and seasonings(sweet paprika instead of chili powder) in a large skillet with about a half cup of water. I placed the uncooked broccoli florets on top of the onions, covered with a lid and let it steam until fork tender(to avoid washing another pan). Topped with the pre-cooked brown rice. Layered a can of undrained finely diced canned tomatoes (as suggested by others -thank you) Then I used the almond milk in the blender with 3T nutritional yeast added the chickpeas and blended until smooth to create the sauce! My peeps aren’t fans of parsley so we omitted it. A sprinkling of shredded cheese to trick the non-vegans into enjoying the “cheesy” sauce poured evenly over the top! Served directly from the skillet and avoided dirtying another dish Didn’t bake! -oops realized I forgot the vinegar. Loved it! Will make again.


How many servings does this make? How much is a serving?


I followed the recipe and every single suggestion in the comments. We agree it’s a great starter but missing something. As far as the guys were concerned it was nothing sriracha couldn’t fix. Lol


I came to this recipe by following a link in one of your meal plans. The plan asks you to cook the brown rice the day before for use in several recipes in the next couple of days. My question is - isn't it really dangerous to reheat rice? I thought there is a risk of food poisoning from bacillus cereus especially if the rice was cooked >1 day before. Would like to clarify as the meal plan looked brilliant and very doable when working.

Megan Edwards

Hi Libby, Good question! We actually asked a WFPB expert about this exact subject in the fall 2022 issue of our magazine. Here is her response: How long does cooked rice stay good in the fridge? "Stored in shallow dishes in the refrigerator at 40°F or colder, cooked rice will be safe to eat for 3 to 4 days. Frozen, it will last 3 to 4 months. Be sure to store it promptly: When left out at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F for more than an hour, cooked rice can grow microbes that may lead to foodborne illness, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. To further protect against foodborne illness, reheat leftover rice to at least 165°F measured by a food thermometer in the center of the rice mass." —Stephanie Polizzi, MPH, RDN, DipACLM, associate professor of practice at the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University As long as the dish is stored properly and reheated you should be totally fine. Hope this helps!


Thank you SO much for clarifying that. Really appreciated.


This was delicious but I took all the reviews into account and spiced it up. In addition to adding oregano and a bay leaf when cooking the sauce I also added a can of diced tomatoes with chilies on top before baking. A really good filling meal and something to bring to a potluck dinner.

LeeAnn Calleon

I was hopeful but this definitely needs some additional flavor!! I added Nutritional Yeast but that did not add enough additional flavor.. Now trying to figure out what I can do to make this casserole editable!!!

Jill Fry

I’ll never make this again.


Great for using leftovers up on our self catering holiday / if you don’t have chilli then do as we did - added some chorizo or similar spicy meat, ndjua, pepperoni etc


Most people looking for recipes here eat vegan, so thanks, but no thanks ;p


This took a lot of prep (and clean up) and did not turn out very good. I had to add additional seasonings and can diced tomatoes to give it flavor. I will not be making this again.


How much is considered a serving ?


How much rice? Thank you.


It says 2 cups of cooked brown rice


I think maybe this should be used as not a recipe but as a base to add more of what spices and flavorings a person prefers. And there are vegan based chorizo and ground soy based for using in plane of ground meat and meat- based chorizo to make it more "meaty."


I enjoyed this very much. Sprinkled with Nacho nutritional yeast upon plating. Will make again.

Joy Rapp

I was surprised to find my husband and I loved this dish! I had to use what I had on hand and we were out of tomatoes, so I drained a small can of RoTel tomatoes and sprinkled over the top. It really added some spice, in a good way. We do tend to like our food on the spicier side, so that made all the difference for us with this dish. Came together very quickly for a casserole, as well.

Cassie Dehmer

This is just a comment that can relate to any wfpb dish.. when you switch from a standard American diet, there is a period of time (different length for everyone) that your tastebuds transition not unlike when someone quits smoking and over time their taste changes as the nicotine and tar leave their body. So what may be a bland dish for some could be a totally different experience for others..just something to keep in mind.


I was thinking the same thing. I am about to make this dish as part of the one week vegan meal plan and I’m already considering cutting the spice amounts in half for some of the recipes. Not to be controversial, but I also read a study that correlated negative food reviews with rising Covid rates; remember, loss of the sense of taste is one of the symptoms.


I made this dish and it was really good. I followed the receipe as it was presented. I had to add a little more salt overall to add flavor. I am pleased with this receipe. It was my first time, so pots and dishes were everywhere. I would recommend trying different ways to add like I added red and orange bell pepper to the top along with the tomatos. It worked out fine. Be creative and this can be a real 5 star dish. I like it because it is a complete meal. Brown rice was really fluffy. I soak it for 1 hour before cooking it in a rice cooker.

Melissa Lloyd

I want to try this one too.

Scotty B.

Another one that has some serious potential. This dish could have benefited from herbs. Since it had the smoked paprika (and tomatoes at the end) I felt it had a base of cuisine from Spain. I chose oregano. I much prefer fresh, but if you have dried, it will do. (if you use dried, add it right to the 1 1/2 cups of milk so it starts hydrating right away.) If fresh, add it when you add the milk in the directions. Add a bay leaf. That will also help infuse the milk while it's heating up and thickening. Although it calls for garlic powder already, I enhance it with a couple of cloves of fresh garlic cloves. (Just increase the powder by 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon if you don't feel like chopping fresh garlic.) Increase the acid. The vinegar is fine but increase the amount to 2 TBlsp spoons. So either use more vinegar even better. Juice a lemon and add the fresh juice to the sauce. I think it will taste a bit more "Fresh" if you omit the vinegar and just use lemon only as your acid.


You really have to know your own tolerance for spice. Many comments said that this wasn't flavorful, but I used the exact amount, and thought it was too much. When I make this the next time, I will use less paprika and chili. And I might even wait and not put it in until I am thickening the sauce. You are totally stuck if you add it in the beginning. I wound up adding more milk and a bit of nutritional yeast. We liked this overall, and will try it again. I think it would also be great with peas instead of broccoli.


Surprisingly delicious and it keeps me satiated. Definitely was not expecting for it to be as good as I thought it would be. This dish is always in rotation, even my Wife likes it.

Jeff McVicker

How much oat milk am I supposed to use? It's not listed in the ingredients list.


1 1/2 cups

Dani Marshall

Thank goodness I read the reviews before making! The casserole sauce is VERY bland. You’ll need to jazz it up a lot. I added a can of diced tomatoes, nutritional yeast and significantly more spices, and it still was too bland for me. I topped it with whole grain bread crumbs for a little crispy top and added some hot sauce when plated. If you like flavor you can def make a rendition of this but you’ll need to put your own twist on it. It was delicious after I doctored it!


Agreed. FOK recipes are often too healthy for their own good. I added lots of salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. The nooch really did it for me as I was expecting a "cheesier" sauce.


FYI I have found that almost all the plant-based recipes do not have enough herbs and spices so I always ramp up what's listed as well as adding my own choices.


For sure, everyone's tastes are different. Add or delete spices to your own preferences.


I am interested in trying this for the holidays. Can you make this ahead freeze the dish?

Maria Steele

do you drain the chickpeas?

Courtney Davison

Hi Maria, yes, you should drain and rinse the chickpeas. I'm sorry we left that note out originally. We've updated the recipe accordingly. Thank you!


I doubled up on the spices based on all the comments, I added cumin and italian seasoning, I steamed the broccoli in the microwave for 1 minute, mixed everything together before putting it in the casserole dish, mashed the chickpeas before adding, added nutritional yeast, cut up a large heirloom tomato and used half in the mix for oven and half on top after baking, and used mirin (or white wine) in place of some of the water. Seemed to result in a tasty, creamy mixture.


I like the idea of adding tomato inside as well as on top. Thanks for the tip!

Elizabeth Kadziolka

Overall this recipe turned out quite tasty. I don't have a steamer basket, so I just steamed the broccoli in the microwave for 4 minutes, and it worked great! I used red pepper chili flakes, and only a few flakes, because I didn't have chili powder. The recipe did say to add salt and pepper and taste, which I did to make it not so bland. At the end of baking, I added yellow pepper instead of tomato and it was delicious. I made it in a regular size Corningware casserole dish and I will make this again.


Does a plant-based diet mean "no flavor"? This recipe sounded so promising, but as soon as I started making the sauce, I could tell it was going to be disappointing. Yes, it will fill your tummy, but your tastebuds will be left thinking, "That's it? After all that chopping and whisking and 4 pans to wash?" I love broccoli. Brown rice and garbanzos are great. But this recipe needs WAY more seasoning. Especially salt and pepper, but perhaps basil? Italian seasonings? Red pepper flakes? Something, it really needs something. Get creative with the sauce, and you might have a winner. If you're a fan of blah beige food, though, you'll like it just fine.


Totally agree. Taste like dry broccoli and rice. Way too much effort with no compliments. Deleted this one and won’t make it again.

J. Moore

Umph, umph, umph.... This recipe must be for advanced cooks. It did not state the size of the dish and it took 30-40 minutes before the rice dish was done. Taste okay and did not look like the picture.

Margaret Barringer

Do the oats have to be blitzed or can they be used whole?

Julia. Chavez

Souns fantastic, I’m going to try it

Fleur Brown

PLEASE PLEASE make your ingredient measurements use friendly for Europe - we don’t use cups and fl oz. as you are sending recipes to us in Europe and the U.K. please use a converter on your computers to convert to grams Otherwise it is difficult to use your delicious sounding recipes here in Europe Thanks

Josie Jentes

Hi Fleur. I feel your pain. When I’m in Europe I have trouble converting to metrics. 1 cup dry = 250 mL; 1 cup fluid is 8 fluid ounces = 250 mL; 12 fluid ounces = 1 1/2 cups = 375 mL; 1 teaspoon = 5 mL; 1/2 teaspoon = 2 mL; 1/4 teaspoon = 1 mL; 1 tablespoon = 15 mL. I hope this helps. Remember when you see an American struggling please help them out.

Michael Malec

Not creamy enough. Double the cream sauce and mix everything together first, then place it in casserole dish to bake. The rice mix is dry at the bottom and middle.. That's what I would do next time

Eleanor Reynolds

Can’t wait to try it. Not much of a meat eater, love the plant food ideas.

Andrew Welsby

Great recipe, but in future can we have the ingredients in metric too?

Fleur Brown

Totally agree - just posted a comment asking for metric measurement. We In Europe have no idea what “cups “ are - tea cup, mug, huge cup, espresso cup ??????

Cindy Lemire

I say the same thing when I read recipes in metic. I have an app called Units that I use to make the needed adjustments so I can make a recipe.


Maybe this will help: a measuring cup is equal to 8 ounces or 240 ml.

Kathryn Odell

I agree! I'm American, but prefer to use a food scale and weigh in grams. Metric measurements are more discrete. I use lots of FOK recipes, and really appreciate the variety! I also tend to experiment with spices. If it's not spicy enough, add some. I really enjoy cooking much more now that I have given myself the freedom to make changes to a recipe.

Christine Anderson

Americans are preferring metric measurements in recipes, too! Much more precise...

Teresa Farquhar

Loved the dish, but am going to add more chili powder and paprika to spice it up a bit like suggested. I'm not much of a cook (I am taking the FOK PBWF food cooking course) but I'm wondering if a plant based flour could be substituted for the oatmeal flour? I have a pestle and mortar, but still couldn't make the oatmeal fine enough to be a flour. Anyhow, I'm going to try the flour and see how it does!


If you have a high speed blender put old fashioned rolled oats into it and blend on high for perfect oatmeal flour

Kiri Hill

Very nice, rather like a risotto. The chilli was a touch hot but the tomato took the edge off it.

Becki Henderson

The flavors in this are great, but I found that the broccoli was overcooked and mushy by the time the casserole was done. When I made it again, I chose to omit the broccoli and serve it on the side.


Literally only steam the broccoli for 3 min by adding it to the steamer when the water is boiling high and it turns a vibrant green, then take it off heat and use it. Should not turn to mush then…


My husband surprised me with this for lunch today. It's all about the smoked paprika. We will certainly make this again.


Karyn you are so right. I'm not sure I even let it go 3 minutes. Broccoli should be tender-crisp, not mushy! After I cooked it, I rinsed it in cold water to stop it from continuing to cook. I'd also use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder.

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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