Enough to Please a Crowd!
Growing up my mom would make a broccoli and rice casserole that became an all time favorite of mine. She would make it for family get-togethers and holidays. When I found a version of this on Pinterest, I decided to modify it to bring out more of that creamy comfort food taste that I remember from my childhood. Link to the Original Recipe.
I found with the addition of olive oil and vegetable stock instead of water or plant based milk I was able to kick up the taste factor. Also, I included rice in my version which helped with thickening the sauce and adding a creaminess that the original version was lacking.
When I first made the sauce, I always used cashews. Having a child who has milk allergies has caused me to have multiple kinds of nuts in bulk as a kitchen staple for making sauces. I would normally always use cashews to make cream sauces, but I didn’t have enough one particular morning. My time was limited that day, and I wasn’t able to swing by the grocery store. I had only about a 1 1/2 cup of cashews. I did have a bag of pine nuts left in the cupboard, too, but not 2 cups worth. I decided to make up the 1/2 cup of cashews that I didn’t have with the pine nuts. I figured the pine nuts were a mild soft nut just like the cashews, so it shouldn’t effect the taste or consistency of the sauce. Low and behold, I was right! The sauce’s taste and texture was the same. Then the next time I made this dish, I decided to make it with just pine nuts, and no one in my family noticed the difference. Now, I pick up whichever is on sale that week. It’s always good to have options!
Printer Friendly Version Broccoli Casserole Done My Way PDF
Here is the list of ingredients:
- 1 – 32 oz. bag frozen broccoli cuts
- 2 cups pine nuts or cashews (soak for 2-8 hours, then drain and rinse)
- 3 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 1 – 10 oz bag frozen rice (your choice of white rice or jasmine rice)
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 8 oz. carton of button or crimini mushrooms diced
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 sleeve of salty crackers (Ritz, Townhouse, Saltine, or whatever your favorite)
- Place the frozen broccoli in a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish and put it in the oven turning it to 425 degrees F to preheat. Set your timer to cook for 15-20 minutes. Once timer goes off, reset oven to 350 degrees F, and remove broccoli from oven.
- While you are waiting for the broccoli to cook in the oven. Put the olive oil in a pan and place on medium to medium high heat. Clean and dice the mushrooms and onions. Then add the mushrooms and onions, and a dash of salt and pepper to the pan. Cook until mushrooms and onions are brown and soft.
- In a food processor or high-speed blender add the pine nuts or cashews, vegetable stock, nutritional yeast, and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth.
- Spread the mushrooms and onions evenly over the broccoli in the casserole dish followed by the rice, and lastly, the pine nut sauce from the food processor. The casserole dish will be very full, and the sauce will be very thin, so mix gently. The sauce will thicken during the baking process.
- Crush crackers and sprinkle evenly on the top of your broccoli mixture.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes uncovered on the middle rack. Remove when sauce is thickened, and the cracker topping is golden. Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.
Voila! Let’s Eat!