Easy, tasty, and frugal are just a few words that describe this broccoli rice casserole recipe. It can be a side dish or an entree.
We love this classic and comforting broccoli rice casserole with cheese for easy weeknight meals at our homestead. Freezer-friendly and reheats well for leftovers. Perfect for a vegetarian household that needs a change from pasta.
I’m starting this recipe with a confession.
I am not known for my astounding cooking abilities. I can grow it, I can preserve it, but I tend to be a disaster in the kitchen. Why am I sharing this? Why am I letting you know that I’m real? Because that way you know you can handle any recipe I share here on The 104 Homestead. This broccoli rice casserole is a perfect example.
My mom shared this recipe with me. I think she knew I was destined for a lifetime of casseroles. It was her go-to when she had company because it looked more complex than it really was. Well, we had friends stop by so of course I made her famous broccoli, rice, and cheese casserole.
No sooner did I lay the completed casserole on the table, one of my babies woke from a nap. I encouraged everyone to start without me while I went and got my small child.
I come back and everyone is eating bread, with untouched casserole sitting on their plates. Not a word was spoken. I sat down and served myself up some broccoli, cheese, and rice and took a nice big bite.
OMG! It was like cheesy sand!
Yeah, I hadn’t cooked the rice long enough. It was horrible! Thank goodness for homemade bread and freshly churned butter. I am happy to announce that I now understand how to properly steam rice.
How much water do I need for 1 cup of rice?
Measure 1-1/2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of olive oil or butter for every cup of uncooked rice. 1 cup dry rice yields about 3 cups cooked.
What is the 10-5-5 rule for cooking rice?
The 10-5-5 rule lets you cook rice in 20 minutes without the use of a rice cooker. Here’s how it goes: Let the rice come to a boil. 10 minutes at medium-high heat. 5 minutes at medium-low heat. 5 minutes off heat.
Making Non-Sand Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole
So as you may have gathered, you’ll want well-cooked rice. You can use whatever rice you prefer (though I can only sign off on white rice — instant or slow cook — with my experience). Brown might be a nice and healthier choice.
- 3 cups of fresh or thawed broccoli (chopped or minced to your liking)
- 3 cups of rice, pre-cooked
- 2 ½ cups of chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups of milk
- ¾ cup of flour
- 10 ounces of cheddar cheese, shredded; I prefer extra-sharp
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- 1 pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Pour your chicken broth into a large saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Whisk in the flour very slowly and then whisk in the milk. Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and thick (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
Saute onions in butter until soft. Put the onions in the broth mixture and put the stovetop on low. Toss in the broccoli, pre-cooked rice, and about 2/3 of the cheese. Stir until the cheese is mostly melted.
If you are interested in adding protein, now is the time. Baked chicken is the most common, but turkey or ham works as well. How much you want to add is completely up to you.
Add your seasonings and then transfer into a 9×13″ baking dish. Smooth in the dish and then top with remaining cheese. You could also add a dusting of paprika if you’re feeling artsy.
Bake at 350ºF (uncovered) for 1 hour. The casserole is done when the edges and the top have begun to brown.
What to do if my rice is undercooked in a casserole?
If your rice still seems too hard after pre-cooking and baking for an hour, cover the casserole dish with tin foil and place it back into the oven with the heat off. The residual heat in the oven will continue to cook the dish and the cover will prevent moisture from being lost, allowing the rice to continue steaming.
This casserole is freezer-friendly!
Make as directed above, but freeze before baking. Allow the broccoli rice casserole to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then cook as directed. It reheats nicely as well.
How long is broccoli rice casserole good for?
Store your casserole in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Then pop it in the microwave for about one minute when you want to eat.
Easy Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole
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- Pour chicken broth in a large saucepan and bring to a low boil. Slowly whisk in flour and then whisk in milk. Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and thick (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
- Saute onions in butter until soft. Add to the broth mixture.
- Put broth mixture on low and toss in broccoli, rice, and about 2/3 of the cheese. Stir until the cheese is mostly melted.
- Add your seasonings and then transfer into a 9×13″ baking dish. Smooth in the dish and then top with remaining cheese.
- Bake at 350ºF (uncovered) for 1 hour.
It reheats nicely as well.
What goes with broccoli rice casserole?
Broccoli Rice Casserole as an Entree
Creamy Tomato Soup
This homemade creamy tomato soup is satisfying and comes together quickly with a few pantry staples like canned tomatoes and olive oil.
Herbed Dinner Rolls
Soft and fluffy garlic herb dinner rolls delivered in one hour. They are brushed with garlic and herb butter when they’re hot out of the oven and they’re easy enough for weeknights. Homemade potato bread would be pretty fabulous, too, if I do say so myself.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
If you love roasted vegetables, then this sweet potato roasting method will be a fast favorite in your home. They have natural sweetness, crispy outsides, and meltingly creamy insides.
Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
The classic cucumber and tomato salad just got better with the addition of avocado, a light and flavorful lemon dressing, and the freshness of cilantro.
Broccoli Rice Casserole as a Side Dish
This version is made in the oven but with the same addicting seasoning you expect in a rotisserie chicken. And it’s easy to make!
This chicken soup recipe is made with bone-in chicken thighs simmered into a flavorful broth and filled with tender onions, carrots, celery, and juicy shredded chicken.
Air Fryer Kielbasa
Every bite of this air fryer kielbasa is a dream. It’s sweet, savory, crispy, and juicy, and it’s made in just 10 minutes. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
The deep earthy flavors of a classic homemade cream of mushroom soup recipe can’t be beaten, especially when it’s ready in minutes.
For more quick and easy weekday meals, check out my favorite instant pot and slow cooker meals.