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!
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)!
- 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.
- 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.
- Toss cheese sauce with broccoli and rice and bake in a casserole dish.
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!
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 Cheese Soup – ready in 20 mins!
- Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole – made without condensed soup
- Cheese Grits – deliciously creamy side dish!
- Broccoli Cheese Casserole with Ham – quick & easy cheese sauce!
- Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole – rich, creamy casserole
Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch
- 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.
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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This turned out great but my husband and I agree with most comments, it needs extra flavor. Next time I will season my rice with salt & pepper to bump up the flavor. Other than that, we loved it.
Excellent! Made it a second time and used sharp cheddar to bump up the flavor. Only made a half recipe both times and it’s great as a leftover. Used broccoli once and broccolini the other time. Love casseroles that do not use canned soup…thank you!
Made this last night. It had no flavor. I followed the recipe exactly, used sharp cheddar shredded off the block, fresh broccoli and kept dumping in salt. Not sure what went wrong, but it was just…blah. Does anyone have tips about adding a little extra flavor?
(I’m not a professional, so take this all with a grain of salt) I think when I make this I’m going to bump up the amount of seasonings that I put on. I know higher quality seasonings go much further with lesser amounts, but since I often times just use the store brand seasonings I will throw in as much as twice as much.
I just doubled the paprika and dried mustard, but you could add a bit of a chicken dry rub. The dry rub I have already has the mustard and paprika in it, so I’d use just a bit.
leftover cooked rice? not specified, but would make sense. otherwise, this recipe is very specific and I am trying it right now.
Any cooked rice, whether leftover or freshly cooked, will work just fine in this recipe! Enjoy Jeanie!
Absolutely delish, kids liked it and will definitely become a regular side item for us! I was nervous about this because of the comments about it being bland… Ok, let’s address this. I’m not a beginner cook, but I am a home cook. If you’re not experienced, please read this and take this advice: Taste and season as you go. In the ingredient list, it lists, “salt to taste.” However, in the recipe steps, I never saw where salt would be added. Without any salt, yes, this dish would be painfully bland. I salted the onions as they cooked. (As I always do with this type of dish/step.) Please, you do NOT need to add more garlic powder, paprika, or mustard powder – I do not think that is a good idea here. It simply needs salt. Salt enhances the flavor of other spices! I tasted the sauce and added at least 2 Tablespoons of kosher salt to it. Then I tasted it again. If you are an inexperienced cook, the best advice I could ever give you is to taste as you go and add salt at multiple steps as needed. This dish was DELICIOUS. And to the commenters that said it was bland… You did it wrong. Sorry.
I used ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese, and added some parmesan. Added asparagus along with the broccoli, and added chicken. I ate mine with a few pickled jalapeno – my son ate his on its own – we both loved this casserole!
Amazing. Substituted the milk for chicken broth, and it was a winner!!!
I see your recipe look a bit complex to me. I made it as my first time. I ended up tasting a bit bland because of not mentioning how much salt measured. No knorr chicken consomé seasoning, no chicken broth. You mentioned any kind of cheese. Instead, I used shredded fiesta cheese from Walmart but I realized it is really gooey. I suggest it considers not using as substituted. I think white cheddar or Colby is best. I did my experiment how I made. I suggest you should add chicken consume seasoning and chicken broth that should help tastier. Asparagus, celery, and cauliflower are the best veggie for rice casseroles, not just broccoli. Shredded chicken should be fine.
Warnings-the suggestion is 1-day-old cooked rice which can be best. If the rice cooks for a last min, it will be too sticky and doesn’t help tasty. Or use instant rice better.
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I was hoping to love this recipe… and my comments are only to help others possibly make adjustments if they choose. It was very bland, needed more of the spices. I used 1 1/2 cups rice, and 4 cups of broccoli (only because that’s what I had). and everything else was as written. I thought it would just have more sauce, but instead it was thick and mushy, not creamy as I imagined it would be. It could have been too much flour, or maybe the cream cheese, and/or possibly baked too long (I took it out at 30 min). I baked it uncovered, as the recipe does not say, but maybe it would be better covered for the first 15 min?