top image - broccoli rice casserole being served. Bottom image - prepared broccoli rice casserole with writing.

This Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe is made from scratch with no condensed soup! Fresh broccoli cooked until tender crisp and fluffy rice come together in a creamy cheesy homemade sauce to create a family favorite side dish!

This cheesy broccoli rice casserole is great served alongside our Crispy Baked Chicken with a tossed salad for the perfect easy meal!

Broccoli Rice Casserole baked with cheese on top

If you’re looking for a side dish your whole family is going to love, this broccoli rice casserole is the answer!  I’ve combined my favorite velvety cheese sauce with a combination of broccoli & rice and baked it until bubbly.  The result is a side (or a quick meatless meal that my whole family loves)!

How Do You Make Broccoli Rice Casserole?

Don’t let the homemade sauce scare you away from giving this recipe a try, this from scratch cheese sauce tastes amazing (much better than just adding in a can of soup)!

Creamy cheese sauce ingredients in a sauce pan.

  1. The sauce for this recipe starts with a roux (which is just butter and flour cooked and milk added). Let the butter and flour cook for a few minutes before adding milk for the best flavor.
  2. Slowly stir in milk a bit at a time while whisking and cook until thick and bubbly. Add cheeses and stir until melted and creamy.
  3. Toss cheese sauce with broccoli and rice and bake in a casserole dish.

Broccoli Rice Casserole ingredients in a bowl.

Variations on Broccoli Rice Casserole

  • Lighten it up: To lighten this up a little bit you can use light cheese and lowfat milk with great results. We’ve also subbed in brown rice or quinoa (or even Cauliflower Rice) with amazing results.
  • Add protein: We very often add in chicken to make a chicken and rice casserole (the perfect way to enjoy your leftover baked chicken breasts).  Turkey or ham work great too.
  • Swap the Cheeses: Out of cheddar?  Use swiss, monterey jack or whatever you have on hand.
  • Add veggies: Add in cauliflower or whatever other veggies you have on hand to turn it from a side into a whole meal!

Two images showing the broccoli rice casserole before and after being baked.

Serving Suggestions

Broccoli Rice Casserole is great as an entrée for vegetarians, but if you are a meat-eater, it goes perfectly with any kind of protein! It’s a perfect complement to roasted chicken, pork chops, or even a beef roast!

Add a crunchy, cold salad, some dinner rolls with butter!

Cheesy Dishes You’ll Love

Broccoli rice casserole in a casserole dish
4.94 from 875 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch

This Broccoli Rice Casserole is made from scratch (and contains no condensed soup). Fresh crisp broccoli and fluffy rice come together in a creamy cheesy homemade sauce to create a family favorite side dish!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 6 cups fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups cooked white rice


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup onion diced (about 1 small)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ teaspoon each garlic & black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cook onion and butter on medium-low heat until softened and translucent. Stir in flour, garlic powder and pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
  • Gradually pour in milk while whisking. Continue whisking over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add dry mustard, paprika, cream cheese and 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  • Place broccoli in boiling water for about 2 minutes. You still want it slightly crisp as it cooks more in the oven.
  • Stir together rice, broccoli and cheese sauce. Place in a greased 2 qt casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake 35 minutes or until bubbly and cheese lightly browned.


4.94 from 875 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 287 | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 384mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1090IU | Vitamin C: 62mg | Calcium: 325mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Top image - close up of broccoli rice casserole. Bottom image - broccoli rice casserole before being baked.
Close up of broccoli rice casserole.
Close up of broccoli rice casserole.



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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


    1. Yes! This can be made ahead of time. If you can, I would remove it from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking. If it is very cold, you may need to allow a few extra minutes of cook time.

    1. Hi Ashely, a 9×13 only has a 3 quart volume so this recipe might be best split into two casserole dishes if doubling.

  1. Sorry, a variation on other questions. If I wanted to make this the day before and then cook it the next day, would simply refrigerating it overnight be OK in terms of texture once baked?

    1. The texture will be just fine if baking the next day. Rice may soak up a little of the sauce, you can stir in a little bit of milk before baking.

    1. Hi Debra, you can use frozen broccoli in this recipe. It will change the texture slightly but the dish will still be delicious. If defrosted it should be fine to add directly to the casserole, if still frozen you may want to boil it (or run it under hot water) for a minute or so to defrost it before adding it in, but don’t cook too long as frozen broccoli tends to get soft!

  2. Not sure how to rate this. I cook almost all of our meals from home – so I’m used to taking a recipe and adding to it after following the recipe to suit it to our tastes. I will rate the recipe high when i don’t have to tweak it much. I, personally, did not care for this dish. But, dh, who has high expectations, and the kids, seemed to like it. He suggested maybe half the nutmeg next time. I really had high hopes for this recipe, but when it comes to cheesy “roux” (or whatever the next step is after adding something to a roux is called) i will probably go to a different recipe. But I usually love your recipes – like the chicken wild rice soup! – so I definitely want to end this on a positive note. :)

    1. Other readers have frozen this recipe before or after baking with success. If freezing before baking I would thaw in the fridge 24hrs or overnight before baking.

  3. I think you meant bechamel, not roux, above where it says “roux (which is just butter and flour cooked and milk added)”. A roux is just the fat and flour. Adding milk to a roux turns it into a bechamel. Adding cheese to a bechamel turns it into a Mornay sauce, which is what this is. I learned this decades ago, maybe from one of Julia Child’s cooking programs where she was talking about the different classic French sauces? I always thought it was very interesting that these are basically just one additional ingredient added to make the next one! .5 stars

    1. Great tip on the evolution of the sauce, thanks for sharing!

      The roux is the fat and flour part which is the base of many dishes including a béchamel, it was one of the mother sauces I learned at our local culinary school. You’re correct that a béchamel has milk added! Mornay is so delicious, one of my favorites for sure!

  4. Can you use heavy whipping cream in place of the milk?
    If I want to add cauliflower how long would it need to cook?

    1. Hi Donna, this recipe should be fine with heavy whipping cream in place of milk. If using cauliflower you will want to boil it in step 4 just like the broccoli until slightly crisp.

    1. Other readers have frozen this recipe before or after baking with success. If freezing before baking I would thaw in the fridge 24hrs or overnight before baking.

  5. The OG. I see so many “wannabe copycats” of this very recipe. This is the OG. Love it, and I’ve come back to it again and again. I will go leave 1 star reviews for the people copying this recipe, and literally changing 1/4 teaspoon of something just to try to make it theirs. this recipe is awesome and it’s the original. THANK YOU!5 stars

  6. I think it’s really important to add salt to each layer/step of this dish or it will be too bland. It definitely needs a big bit of salt. Just keep that in mind. I also think it needs a sharp cheddar for flavor. I used a caramelized onion cheddar from Trader Joe’s and that was really good!
    Enjoy!4 stars