Broccoli Rice Casserole

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This broccoli rice casserole is the classic casserole we all grew up with but made from scratch (no mushroom soup cans in sight, crazy, right?) Nothing is more comforting, homey, and filling than a good casserole dish. However, you can easily get tired of the same old recipes – what if you want something comforting and filling that doesn’t contain endless meat or hard to find ingredients?

This broccoli rice casserole is just that; simple, easy to make, and extremely budget-friendly and is a great side dish for the holidays – and any day really.Broccoli Rice Casserole

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Broccoli Rice Casserole 

I was just asked the other day for an interview how I do the broccoli recipes here on The Kitchen Magpie with my (adult onset) broccoli allergy. Well I taste the sauce, I taste the rice and the topping, and then my mind remembers how broccoli tastes, so I know it’s a good one. Not only that, this got rave reviews from my family of taste-testers! I only have a few broccoli recipes on the website, like my bacon broccoli salad and my broccoli cheese soup. I have a few more coming up, I bought a big bag at Costco and made the family a few recipes, while I sadly ate soup and watched them enjoy it haha!

How to Make Broccoli Rice Casserole 

Nothing says classic North American recipe like a rice and canned soup recipe! While the Brits might have their Sheppard’s pies and the French their Cassoulets for special occasions, a casserole is a mainstay dish all over America! Combining whatever ingredients, you have, typically meat and vegetables, with a simple béchamel sauce and a breadcrumb topping creates an ooey, gooey and cheesy meal that fills you up and tastes great at the same time.

For a healthier casserole twist, this uses broccoli and rice instead of meat, and doesn’t use the canned soups (hey, I like a good canned soup but sometimes a recipe is better without them).

Ingredients:

Homemade Cheese Sauce

  •  butter
  • finely minced garlic
  • flour
  •  milk
  • chicken bouillon powder
  • freshly shredded cheese (Note: do NOT use pre-shredded cheese! The starch coating on the shredded cheese will make the sauce grainy.)
  • onion powder
  • Black pepper and salt

Casserole Ingredients

  •  broccoli florets (blanch this in the microwave for about 3 minutes)
  • cooked white rice

Cheesy Panko Topping

  • Panko breadcrumbs
  •  salted butter, melted
  •  Parmesan cheese, shredded
  •  paprika

Directions

  • To get started, first preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit, and grease a 9×13 baking pan, and set aside.

 

Blanching the Broccoli

  • To blanch your broccoli, place your broccoli in a lidded, microwave-safe casserole dish. To blanch them, pour in 1 cup of water and microwave for 3-4 minutes until the broccoli starts to become completely tender.
  • Remove from the microwave container and drain the water.

Cheese Sauce

  • Place your butter and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat to melt your butter. Make sure your butter doesn’t burn; you just want to lightly toast it until the garlic is aromatic and the butter completely melted.
  • Add your flour and cook it for about two minutes, stirring continuously until it starts to smell like cooked pie crust. You’ve just made a roux!
  • Dissolve your chicken bouillon powder into the milk, and then slowly pour that mixture into the now-cooked roux while whisking constantly and rapidly to ensure you don’t end up with lumps.
  • Cook this mixture for about 8 to ten minutes until the mixture has reached a gentle simmer and thickened up. You’ve just made a béchamel!
  • Once thickened, add in your cheese and onion powder.
  • Stir constantly until your cheese has completely melted.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper – though your cheese is salty, you will probably need at least a teaspoon of salt here, if not more.
  • Remove from the heat and then stir in your blanched broccoli and rice until everything is completely combined.
  • In a small bowl, mix your Panko breadcrumbs, melted butter, Parmesan cheese, and paprika.
  • Sprinkle some extra shredded cheese over the top of your casserole and then sprinkle the Panko mixture over the top of the cheese, creating the perfect breadcrumb layer that will crisp up wonderfully.
  • Bake in your preheated oven until it is bubbly, golden brown, and smells amazing – about 30 minutes.
  • Serve Immediately

Reheating Broccoli Casserole

This dish is so filling and packed with nutrients that you might find yourself unable to finish it in one meal, no matter how big your family is. The best thing to do is to simply have it again tomorrow; however, watch out how you reheat it. A casserole like this is likely to dry out if simply baked in the oven on its own.

For the best quality when reheating it, tent the dish with foil to ensure it doesn’t get too dry. Make sure you also reheat it slowly at a lower temperature, around 300 °F to help ensure it doesn’t lose too much of its natural moisture.

This recipe makes me miss broccoli, no word of a lie. The cheese sauce is DIVINE, let me tell you, and I think I might make this with asparagus (such a similar taste to broccoli!) and enjoy it myself! This is also a fantastic way to use up leftover rice, by the way, just like my ham fried rice!

Happy cooking! Now, here’s my main question: do you consider this a main meal or a side dish? I think it can go either way!

Love,

Karlynn

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This broccoli rice casserole is the classic casserole redone with a homemade cheese sauce and crispy Parmesan Panko topping! #casserole #broccoli #rice #sidedish

 

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Broccoli Rice Casserole

This broccoli rice casserole is the classic casserole redone with a homemade cheese sauce and crispy Parmesan Panko topping!

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Course
Side Dish
Cuisine
American
Servings
8
Calories
447
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients

Homemade Cheese Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese do NOT use pre-shredded, it makes the sauce grainy!
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • black pepper and salt to taste

Casserole Ingredients

  • 6 cups fresh broccoli florets blanched in the microwave for 3 minutes
  • 3 cups cooked white rice

Cheesy Panko Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup salted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.

Blanching the Broccoli

  1. To blanch the broccoli, place the broccoli in a lidded microwave-safe casserole dish, pour in 1 cup of water, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the broccoli starts to become tender. Remove and drain the water completely and set aside.

Cheese Sauce

  1. Place the butter and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter and cook the garlic in it for 2 minutes.

  2. Add your flour and cook it for about two minutes, stirring continuously until it starts to smell like cooked pie crust.

  3. Dissolve the chicken bouillon into the milk, then slowly pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, whisking rapidly to ensure that there are no lumps.

  4. Cook this mixture for about 8 to ten minutes until the mixture has reached a gentle simmer and thickened up.

  5. Add in the cheese and onion powder. Cook, stirring constantly until the cheese has melted in.
  6. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Once ready, remove from the heat and stir in the blanched broccoli and rice until everything is combined completely.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the panko crumbs, melted butter, Parmesan cheese, and paprika. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over top of the casserole, then sprinkle the Panko mixture over the top of the cheese.

  9. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Feel free to sub in asparagus or even cauliflower instead of broccoli, both will be amazing! 
  • For the best taste, use a sharp, flavorful cheddar cheese 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 447kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 515mg, Potassium: 393mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1266IU, Vitamin C: 61mg, Calcium: 428mg, Iron: 2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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