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We love this classic and comforting broccoli rice and cheese casserole 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.
Funny story. My mom taught me this recipe (I think she knew I was destined to a lifetime of casseroles). It was my go-to when we had company because it looked more complex than it really was. Well, we had friends stop by so of course I made my 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.
Making Non-Sand Broccoli, Rice, and 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.
Pour your chicken broth in 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 stove top on low. Toss in the broccoli, precooked 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. 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.
- 3 c. fresh or thawed broccoli chopped or minced to your liking
- 3 c. rice precooked
- 2 1/2 c. chicken broth
- 1 1/2 c. milk
- 3/4 c. flour
- 10 oz. cheddar cheese shredded; I prefer extra-sharp
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper optional
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.
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.
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.
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