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This Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe combines rice and broccoli in a creamy, cheesy sauce for a dish that’s always a hit, whether you serve it for a weeknight dinner or bring it to a potluck! It’s a classic casserole you’ll make again and again.

casserole dish with cheesy broccoli rice casserole

When you think of classic American casseroles, what comes to mind? Probably Hashbrown Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, and maybe also Broccoli Rice Casserole. This is one of those recipes that almost everyone has had at some point in their lives, and you might have even cooked it once or twice too!

The fun thing about these classic casseroles is that every family has their own version, with their own little tweaks and variations. Maybe your family uses brown rice instead of white, or maybe you use fresh garlic cloves instead of garlic powder. Today I’m sharing my favorite version of Broccoli Rice Casserole!

serving of cheesy broccoli rice casserole served in a white round bowl
This easy Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe combines rice and broccoli in a creamy, cheesy sauce for a side dish that’s always a hit!

Easy Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe

There are a few things I really love about this Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe. First, there’s a very high broccoli-to-rice ratio here, which makes it a little less carb heavy, and more veggie-forward, which I like. (Don’t get me wrong, I love carbs! But I’d rather have lots of broccoli than have it overwhelmed by all the rice.)

Another difference between this Broccoli Rice Casserole compared to some other versions is that it incorporates cream cheese into the sauce. This keeps the sauce rich and creamy without using heavy cream—and it keeps the cheese sauce from separating while the casserole bakes. It also means it’s loaded with cheesy flavor!

I make Broccoli Rice Casserole for weeknight dinners, but it’s also perfect for potlucks and even as a Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish alongside other favorites like Sweet Potato Casserole and Cranberry Sauce. You can easily assemble it in advance so on the day of your party, you just have to pop it in the oven!

ingredients to make cheesy broccoli rice casserole

Ingredients

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Unsalted butter
  • Onion – Use a white or yellow onion here.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Whole milk – Whole milk is important for a rich, creamy consistency.
  • Dijon mustard
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Shredded cheddar cheese – I highly recommend shredding your own cheese off the block, rather than buying a bag of pre-shredded cheese. Bagged shredded cheese has anti-caking agents added to it to keep it from clumping together in the bag, and this means it doesn’t melt as smoothly.
  • Cream cheese
  • Fresh broccoli florets – Cut them into bite-sized pieces and blanch them so they’re perfectly tender once the casserole is finished cooking.
  • White rice – Cook long-grain rice according to the package instructions. Brown rice can be used instead if you prefer.
  • Salt & black pepper

Recipe Variations

  • Cook once, eat twice. You can make steamed broccoli and Instant Pot white rice the night before you plan on making this Broccoli Rice Casserole; reserve what you need for this recipe, then serve the rest with Sesame Ginger Asian Chicken or another protein.
  • Swap the broccoli for cauliflower. Or you can use a combination of both.
  • Add more veggies. Try stirring shredded carrots into the rice mixture before baking, or add sautéed mushrooms.
  • Make it a one-dish dinner. Fold in rotisserie chicken (or leftover Baked Chicken Breasts) and you’ve got an all-in-one Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole.
  • Add a crispy topping. Stir panko breadcrumbs or crumbled Ritz crackers with melted garlic butter and add those to the top of the casserole, or try French fried onions (like the ones you put on green bean casserole).
steps to make cheesy broccoli rice casserole

How to Make Broccoli Rice Casserole

1. Prepare

Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or butter.

2. Make the Sauce

Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they’re soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it’s golden brown. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly to create a smooth sauce. Continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and comes to a simmer; this should take about 6 minutes.

3. Assemble the Casserole

Whisk 1 cup of cheddar cheese and the cream cheese into the sauce. Once the cheeses have melted, add the broccoli and cooked rice, then stir to combine. Season to taste, then pour the mixture into the casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

4. Bake

Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 

close up wooden spoonful of cheesy broccoli rice casserole

Serving Suggestions

You just need to add a protein and you’ve got a complete meal! I like to serve Broccoli Rice Casserole with:

How to Store Leftover Broccoli Rice Casserole

Leftover Broccoli Rice Casserole can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let the casserole thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheat individual servings of Broccoli Rice Casserole in the microwave until warmed through. For a larger portion, cover and reheat in a 350ºF oven.

FAQs

Can you put raw broccoli in a casserole?

No, you should usually cook fresh, raw broccoli before adding it to a casserole, unless your recipe states otherwise. Broccoli can be boiled, steamed, or roasted. For this recipe, I recommend blanching the broccoli so it’s tender but still has some bite.

What kind of crackers go on a broccoli casserole?

This version of Broccoli Rice Casserole isn’t made with a cracker topping, but if you want to add one, Ritz crackers (or another buttery cracker) is the most popular choice! 

Do you cook rice before adding it to a casserole?

Yes, rice should always be cooked before adding it to a casserole. For this recipe, I recommend using Instant Pot rice so it’s extra fluffy. You want to avoid rice that’s soggy and water-logged, as it will water down the sauce.

Can I substitute frozen broccoli for fresh in a casserole?

Yes, you can substitute frozen broccoli for fresh in this casserole. There’s no need to thaw the broccoli before adding it to the casserole.

More Veggie Side Dish Recipes

Broccoli Rice Casserole

This Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe combines rice and broccoli in a creamy, cheesy sauce for a dish that’s always a hit, whether you serve it for a weeknight dinner or bring it to a potluck!
4 from 1 vote
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients  

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 3-4 cups broccoli florets blanched and shocked
  • 3 cups white rice cooked
  • salt & black pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the flour and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. While whisking, add the milk and stir to combine. Continue to whisk until thickened and simmering, about 6 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of the cheddar cheese and the cream cheese and whisk to melt thoroughly. Add the broccoli and rice and stir to combine. Season to taste.
  • Pour into the prepared baking dish. Cover with remaining cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Nutrition

Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1001IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 344mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: broccoli rice casserole, casserole dish
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

Comments

  1. Fran Pennell says:

    I see each serving is 532 calories but I’m wondering how many ounces in a serving? I’m baking it now and I’ve already tasted how delicious it is!

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