Broccoli Rice Casserole is an all in one dish made with broccoli, rice, and a creamy cheese sauce. It is a perfectly full and satisfying meal, that your family or guests will love!
Easy Broccoli Rice Casserole
Broccoli Rice Casserole is super easy to make, with a few simple ingredients, and ready in under one hour. It is a great dish to make especially during busy weekdays. All you need is to basically throw together the ingredients, and bake them together.
The fresh broccoli is cooked until tender-crisp and the rice is super fluffy. The addition of cheese and sauce elevate this casserole to another level. This recipe always turns out delicious and is our go-to dish when it comes to a quick family meal.
Also, we love serving this for parties, as it can easily feed a larger crowd. It is also very versatile as you can add other ingredients to it. For a protein-rich meal, add some chicken into the mix, it will be even more delicious!
You can also use pearled farro instead of rice to make something different but equally flavorful! To know more about farro, check out our recipe for Farro Salad Recipe. If you plan on using farro instead, just simply follow this recipe and add one cup of pearled farro.
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI RICE AND CHEESE CASSEROLE?
This is one simple dish to make, and quite delicious!
- First, make your white sauce. Then, add in your cream cheese, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.
- Next, prepare your broccoli and add it to a two-quart oven-safe glass dish. Then, add in the rice and cheesy white sauce.
- Last, mix it all together and place it in a preheated oven. We bake this for twenty to thirty minutes or until bubbly around the edges!
Variations on Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Make it healthier: To make it healthier, use more broccoli, and reduce the cheese amount. Also, go with light cheese and low-fat milk with great results. Similarly, feel free to substitute white rice with brown rice or quinoa. Another option would be to use cauliflower rice.
- Add protein: Feel free to add some shredded chicken, cubed baked chicken breast, leftover turkey, ham, or even sausage. Go with what you like here.
- Swap the Cheeses: I love using shredded cheddar cheese here because it is flavorful and it pairs well with the rest of the ingredients. However, if you want to use your favorite type, go ahead. Anything from Monterey jack, gouda, swiss, parmesan, will work.
- Add more veggies: Add in other veggies, such as bell pepper, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, peas, etc.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN BROCCOLI AND RICE CASSEROLE?
As noted above, this is a very adjustable dish. You can add your favorite ingredients and top to it. If you like chicken, simply add one or two cups of steamed or boiled flaked chicken breast to the mix, then bake. It is that easy!
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI RICE AND CHEESE CASSEROLE WITH VELVEETA?
Velveeta is a velvety and gooey mess but so popular with the kids! If you want to use Velveeta instead of cheddar cheese, simply replace the amount of cheese with it!
HOW DO YOU COOK BROCCOLI FOR BROCCOLI RICE CASSEROLE?
- We cook our broccoli first before adding it to the rice and sauce. We like steaming it because this cooking method retains the nutrients packed in it! There are two ways to steam it.
- First, add one inch of water in a large saucepan. Place your broccoli in a steamer basket and settle it in the saucepan. Cover and cook the broccoli for five to six minutes.
- Another way to steam it is by cooking in a saucepan without the use of a steamer basket. Simply add water to cover the bottom of the saucepan. Add in your broccoli and cook it for five to six minutes. It is better to steam it before baking this casserole.
Also, you can quickly steam broccoli in the Instant Pot.
CAN YOU MAKE it WITH FROZEN BROCCOLI?
Certainly! But you do not have to thaw out the frozen broccoli before adding it to the recipe. Simply mix with the rest of the ingredients.
CAN YOU MAKE it IN ADVANCE?
Absolutely! You can just heat it up in the oven for 10 minutes or until the edge of the casserole is bubbly and you are good to go!
WHAT CHEESE TO USE IN BROCCOLI RICE CASSEROLE?
In this recipe, we use cheddar cheese. But you can play around with it by adding different kinds of cheeses like mozzarella, or a combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Go with what you have on hand, or what you like most. Any cheeses will work just fine here.
HOW TO STORE it?
Prior to sorting, ensure the dish is completely cooled. Then, place it in airtight containers and put the leftover in the refrigerator. It will last for four to five days in the refrigerator.
HOW TO FREEZE it?
After cooling down completely, place the casserole in airtight containers and place them in the freezer. This will last for up to three months in the freezer.
To defrost it, simply remove the frozen casserole from the freezer the day before you need it and place it in the refrigerator. Before serving place in a preheated oven and heat up until the sides are bubbly.
More casserole recipes you will love:
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Hamburger Casserole
- Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
- Mashed Potato Casserole
- Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
- Buy the freshest broccoli in the market, with steams and some of the leaves still intact. Also, avoid buying them if they are already cut up.
- This recipe can be made with other meats, such as beef, turkey, or even lamb.
- If you like a spicier kick to it, add some red pepper flakes, or some sliced jalapeno to the mix prior to baking it.
- Use whatever cheese you like the most or a mix of a few varieties.
- Also, for a crunchier texture, toss 1 cup of breadcrumbs on top of the dish.
Best Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 6 cups broccoli (cut into 1-2 inch pieces; you can also use leftover steamed broccoli)
- 2 cups cooked white rice (I used basmati)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion (diced)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk (whole or light works)
- 1 cup heavy cream (light cream works as well)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (room temperature)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and set aside.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat, add butter and melt it. Once melted, add diced onion and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Stir in flour and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Gradually add the milk, stirring it all the time. Next, gradually stir in the cream.
- Add the dry mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper. Whisk, reduce heat to low and simmer the mixture until thick and bubbly.
- Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese, sour cream and 1 cup of cheddar cheese, until fully melted.
- In a large bowl stir together the broccoli, rice, and the sauce ingredients.
- Transfer to the prepared casserole dish.
- Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is slightly browned.