Cheesy Zucchini Brown Rice and Chickpea Casserole

This was tonight’s dinner!

I love making casseroles because you can load them with so much goodness. Taco Casserole is one of our absolute favorite dinners. I usually just make that, but decided that I wanted to try something a little different. Something that had more vegetables and was topped with cheese.

This did not disappoint.

Cheesy Zucchini Brown Rice and Chickpea Casserole

A delicious vegan casserole made with brown rice and chickpeas. Loaded with vegetables bathed in rich tomato sauce and covered with melted cheese.


  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 3 handfuls fresh spinach, chopped (4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 (540 ml) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 package (284 g) soy mozzarella or cheddar cheese (2 cups grated)*

* I use Earth Island vegan soy cheese. You could use whatever vegan cheese you like.


Heat the oil a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and garlic and saute 3-5 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add the diced pepper and zucchini and continue to cook 8-10 minutes until the zucchini and peppers have softened. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Add the chopped spinach, lime juice, chili powder, paprika and sea salt. Continue to cook until the spinach has wilted.

Add the pasta sauce, nutritional yeast, chickpeas and cooked brown rice. Cook a few minutes more until the entire mixture is hot.

Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.

Top with grated soy mozzarella cheese, cover and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven and uncover. Return the casserole to the oven uncovered and broil an additional 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese.

And this was Serafina in her hippo chair after dinner.