Broccoli Cheese & Rice Casserole

Broccoli Cheese & Rice Casserole

Most people love casseroles because they are simple and they usually involve fewer dishes which means less cleanup. What’s better than combining a few of your favorite ingredients into a single dish where the flavors get to spend lots of time mingling and getting acquainted? Combining a few of your favorite ingredients to make a casserole that is 100% made from scratch! Making that canned condensed soup…you know the seasoned gloop that is wildly convenient but still a little suspect, is a breeze. It only adds about 15 minutes of cooking time and makes the finished casserole 10x better. You can even make it days in advance and store it until it’s time to make this broccoli cheese & rice casserole recipe.

Ingredients you’ll need

Produce

  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli crowns

Baking & Pantry Items

  • Low-sodium chicken broth (optional, but recommended)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Your favorite seasoned salt (I used Creole seasoning)
  • Ground mustard (optional)
  • Ground nutmeg (optional)
  • Rice

Dairy

  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese

Other

Equipment you’ll need

  • Rice cooker (not necessary, but rice does need to be cooked before being used in this recipe)
  • Medium-sized pot
  • Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  • 9×9″ casserole dish

How to make cream of chicken soup

Cream of chicken is made by first sauteing aromatics and making a roux (butter and flour) then adding broth and milk to make a thick sauce. Chicken broth gives cream of chicken soup its flavor, but variations like cream of mushroom soup are made by sauteing mushrooms with the aromatics. Click here for more about How to Make Cream of (Whatever) Soup.

Can I use frozen broccoli?

You sure can! Using fresh broccoli ensures that the final product won’t be mushy, but frozen is the next best thing. It is incredibly convenient as well since it’s often already broken down into perfect-sized florets.

What kinds of cheeses to use

Sharp cheddar is a must. Whether it’s regular sharp cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, or white cheddar, is up to you. For the other more melty cheese, mozzarella is perfect. The flavor develops after a little broiling is unmatched. For a bit of spice and flare, pepper jack cheese.

Ways to add some flare to your broccoli cheese & rice casserole

  • Season and/or garnish with red pepper flakes to add some spice
  • Add spinach or artichoke hearts to the mix
  • Use homemade cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken
  • Experiment with the cheeses – try gruyere, white cheddar cheese, or gouda

broccoli cheese and rice with chicken and cornbread

Broccoli Cheese & Rice Casserole

Fluffy rice, tangy cheddar cheese, stringy mozzarella, and tender bites of fresh broccoli combine in a creamy casserole that's ready in less than 45 minutes.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • Medium to large saucepan or pot
  • 9×9" casserole dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1.5 cups of homemade cream of chicken soup or 1-10.5 oz can of cream of chicken
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt or seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9×9” casserole dish with butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a medium to large saucepan or pot. Add onion and cook until they are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute or so.
  • Stir in cream of chicken soup and bring to a simmer. Add broccoli and stir to coat. Continue cooking until broccoli begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add cooked rice to the pot then stir in chicken broth and stir to combine. Stir in half of both of the cheeses. Season with salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, and ground mustard. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Pour the contents of the pot into a casserole dish and spread even with a rubber spatula.
  • Add the remaining cheese to the top of the casserole then bake for 20 and the cheese is melted.
  • Turn the oven to broil and cook for 2-3 more minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.

Notes

  • Frozen broccoli can be used instead of fresh broccoli.
  • Canned condensed cream of chicken soup can be used instead of the cream of chicken that is made from scratch.
Keyword Broccoli, Casserole, Cheddar Cheese, Cheese, Rice

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