The casserole by itself is a filling and surprising meal. Surprising? Yes! You won’t believe it’s not real rice! The sweet potato rice cooks to a perfect consistency in 40 minutes in the oven and the savory flavors from the vegan mozzarella and pesto pair well with the sweetness that comes from the potato when roasting. The broccoli gives the casserole substance and the pesto adheres and soaks into the florets for a big “bang for your buck” bite.
Sweet Potato ‘Rice’ Casserole [Vegan]
For the Pesto:
- 2 1/2 cups basil leaves, packed
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil (if you like it thicker, less olive oil)
- 5 cranks of a sea salt grinder
- 5 cranks of a peppercorn grinder
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
For the Rest:
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled, and spiralized
- Pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups shredded vegan mozzarella (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place all of the ingredients for the pesto into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste and just, if necessary. Pour half of the pesto out into a bowl and add in the broccoli. Toss until broccoli is coated with the pesto. Set the broccoli and remaining pesto aside.
- In the bottom of the casserole, spread out a thin layer of pesto. Then, spread out a layer of the sweet potato rice. Then, add the broccoli. Then, add the rest of the rice to cover the broccoli. Drizzle the remaining pesto over the rice. Then, pour over the vegetable broth. Season with pepper. If using mozzarella, spread over in an even layer over the rice to cover.
- Cover the casserole with tinfoil and bake for 40 minutes.