Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Sides,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Broccoli “Cheddar” Brown Rice Risotto (Vegan+GF)

I don’t think it’s possible to not be in the mood for cozy comfort food, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Even with it getting into Spring here, a big one-pot dish of warm and creamy happiness is always welcome, and I know it is for all of you going into Fall.

My Aunt and cousin are still here and it’s been so great having them, but also extra busy. I’m getting better at busy, but I definitely still have a lot of room for improvement. We’re all having so much fun watching my aunt experience another culture. the first day she was here she put powdered sugar in her coffee because, obviously all of my ingredients are in Spanish, and she didn’t read the label. That was no biggy since powdered sugar really just dissolves faster than granular, but she got a kick out of it anyway. Then two days ago, God love her, she made the same mistake…but with my bag of sal gruesa (salt). Yep, not quite as harmless, but we’re still laughing about it. So hilarious.

Quiet moments have been few and far between with three boys together in one house. My great grandpa used to have a saying, “One boy is a boy, two boys is half a boy, and three boys is no boy at all.” It’s one of those quotes that’s been used my whole life and it’s the first thing that comes to mind when I see them being crazy. I always add to the end of the saying that “four boys is negative boys.” because that is so true also, as is proved every time they have a friend over. Surprisingly, they’ve been less wild and crazy than I would have expected, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still boys.

I’m also torn between appreciating their “help” in my recipe testing and feeling guilty that the amount of sweets disappearing has grown exponentially with them all together. Oh my goodness, the other night we were playing a game and there were a few times that they broke into fits of laughing at things that only preteen boys would find so funny. It was totally one of those times where someone’s laugh is way funnier than the joke. Yeah, I’m pretty sure the extra sugar intake from my part isn’t helping anything.

They’re having fun though, and it’s been a whole year since they’ve been together so I think that let’s them get away with more rambunctiousnesses (<- No way, I didn’t think this was actually a word. Totally using it everyday now!) than usual. But, with all of their mindless snacking on 294 cookies each, I’ve been trying to at least get them to eat some vegetation, and anyone who has brothers or sons knows that it’s not that easy most of the time.

One of the things I really like about this recipe is that it has the whole grain brown rice to add heartiness, and other than the broccoli, I added grated carrots to add more color. They hide so easily in a cheddar cheese dish so even the carrot haters ate this. You can also add chicken or other meat to make it more filling for a meal, but otherwise it makes a great lunch or side. It’s a really simple one-pot dinner that everyone in my family will actually eat, so I love that.

Risotto seems like it’s something that is known as being difficult for some reason, but it’s really no big deal to make it you guys. I used white cheddar because they don’t add coloring to it here, which is awesome, but that’s part of why the added color of the carrots makes this seem even cheesier than it already is. Comfort food at it’s best, right here.


Broccoli "Cheddar" Brown Rice Risotto (Vegan+GF)

Sometimes the simplest things are the best. This simple rice dish is the perfect side or main for a cozy evening meal.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 - 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cups short- or medium-grain brown rice
  • 1 head of broccoli florets roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots shredded
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • more salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded non-dairy cheese (such as Daiya or Follow Your Heart brand) optional


  1. Heat oil in medium high-sided pan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until browned and fragrant. Add brown rice and stir over heat for about 5 minutes until starting to brown. Pour in wine and add broccoli and carrots; cook until wine is mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add salt and 2 cups of water to pan. Reduce heat to medium low and cover for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
  2. Start adding stock 1/2 cup at a time and stir gently while keeping heat about medium high. When the liquid is almost completely absorbed add another 1/2 cup. Continue adding stock until all has been added and rice is mostly soft, you can add a bit more water if needed.
  3. Add milk and lemon last and stir constantly until absorbed. Remove pan from heat and add nutritional yeast, then salt and pepper to taste. If desired, garnish with additional grated carrots. Serve hot.


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