How to make broccoli and rice not boring: just add cheese!
I could eat this every day.
This meal is basically chickpeas + broccoli + rice + cheese. It’s super easy and very satisfying for lunch and/or dinner!
Not into broccoli?
You can swap out broccoli for green beans, kale, spinach, peas, asparagus, brussels sprouts, chopped bell pepper, cherry tomatoes… the list goes on.
Basically, any vegetable you could eat with rice and cheese will work in this recipe!
Not into rice?
Ok, full disclosure, I would not try this with quinoa. I think quinoa is a little too delicate for all the cheese and stuff.
Orzo and farro might work well though if you have to skip the rice for any reason. Want to turn this into a mac and cheese situation? Use my basic mac and cheese recipe here and add broccoli and chickpeas.
Of course, you can use any rice you want. Here, I used regular long-grain white rice.
Change up the chickpeas:
If you’re not into legumes, you can absolutely use tofu, tempeh or ground “meat” crumbles in this meal. Veggie sausage links would also be perfect.
If you replace the chickpeas with any of the above, cook the veg protein in the pan BEFORE the rice goes in, after step 1 and before step 2. Then remove it from the pan and add it back after the rice is cooked. It will be easier, trust me.
If you’re vegan…
Vegan shredded cheese + non-dairy milk is your best friend in this recipe! I think you could actually skip the non-dairy milk completely and replace it with water or more veggie stock.
Since the cheese is the star of the dish… I wouldn’t skip that. Daiya is my favorite non-dairy cheese! Nutritional yeast would also be a great addition in terms of flavor, but keep in mind it doesn’t give you that melted cheese texture.
How to double or add more volume to this recipe:
To double this recipe, simply double the ingredients! Allow for more time to cook the rice (the more you cook at once, the longer it takes) but that’s the only thing that will really change.
To add more volume, start with veggies as always. I recommend throwing in some peas or a frozen veg mix or greens along with the broccoli. Then think about adding extra protein.
Storage & reheating notes:
This cheesy rice skillet meal can last in the fridge for up to 4 days. While I did not test it in the freezer, I think that it would be freezer friendly!
It reheats really well in the microwave or on the stove. Avoid reheating it in the oven.
One Pan Cheesy Rice And Broccoli Skillet With Chickpeas
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3/4 cup rice
- 1 1/4 cup milk of your choice
- 1 1/2 cup broth or water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 15 oz can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 broccoli large head, chopped into florets
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese non-dairy cheese works well
- Add 1 TBSP oil to a large skillet over medium heat, followed by minced garlic. Saute and stir for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the rice to the skillet and let it toast for about 2 minutes. Then pour in the milk and veggie stock, and add salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good stir and bring it to a boil. Then simmer, cover and let cook for about 15-20 minutes depending on the type of rice you used (the liquid should be almost all soaked up and the rice should be cooked through).
- Add the chopped broccoli and chickpeas if using to the pan. If you used chicken, add it back to the pan at this point as well. Mix everything together, season with more salt and pepper. Cover and cook on medium/low heat until the broccoli is bright green and cooked to your desired firmness/softness.
- Turn the heat down and add the cheese to the skillet. Stir until it's fully incorporated with the rice and veggies. Turn off the heat.
- Assemble: Divide the rice mixture between 3 meal prep containers. That's it!