Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch

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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
4.95 from 429 votes
Review Recipe

Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
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!

Ingredients

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

SAUCE

  • 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

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Instructions

  • 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

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.)

Keyword broccoli rice casserole
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.
About the author

Holly

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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!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. I just made this for dinner and it’s delicious and easy to make. I will make this again but I’ll be adding a little more cheese into the rice mixture since we love cheese. Thanks for sharing with us.5 stars

  2. I just made this for dinner and it’s delicious and simple to make. I followed instructions exactly but I think I’ll add a little more cheese into the rice mixture next time. Thanks for sharing with us!5 stars

  3. Can you use frozen broccoli with this recipe and will taste the same or change the instructions at all? Thank you.

    1. 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 softer.

  4. This recipe is so quick and easy. I doubled it to have leftovers (some of which I froze for a future dinner). I did not measure my ingredients except for the rue / liquid ratio, which makes this even easier to throw together without worrying about being exact. I omitted the dry mustard and paprika but we added red pepper flakes to taste after the casserole was cooked to add some heat. Everyone in my family loved this – it will be in our regular rotation!5 stars

  5. Thanks for the delicious recipe! The only thing I did different was add 1/2 tsp. salt and used Gluten Free flour, & unflavored almond flour. It turned out great!5 stars

  6. This recipe is amazing! I added chicken, and my entire family loved it. Was even better reheated the next day!
    I do however have a question, would this freeze well?5 stars

    1. Hi Rachel, 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.

  7. This recipe is a Godsend! The sauce is the BOMB! I’m here to share my variation, which is really only about the rice, as follows: 1) I used Brown Jasmine rice that includes sauteed onions, garlic, and mushrooms! 2) I also throw mushroom powder in there, and 3) cook the rice in an instapot. This way, I feel a little better about offering more fiber and whole foods, and the combination is flavorful. I feel like the mushrooms and mushroom powder bring a little more of that canned soup mushroomy goodness without the nastiness of whatever else lurks in the can. MY KIDS LOVE THIS DISH! I never have leftovers. I only have kids begging more MOAR!

  8. This dish is amazing. I will NEVER use canned soup again for this casserole. We finished it and wanted more.
    (I topped with 4 crisp bacon slices broken up)5 stars

  9. We LOVED this casserole. I put in an 8 oz. package of finely diced ham to make it a one pot dinner. I took left overs the next day for lunch at work. Mmmm mmmm good!5 stars

  10. I will never be without this recipe. The secret is the homemade sauce. I believe you could change up the veggies in this recipe. I used frozen broccoli/cauliflower and fresh zucchini and yellow squash. I live alone, I had enough to share plus freeze for work lunches. The next time I make this I will be using green beans and steamed carrots. I never do this but I had 3 small servings when I made this…it is just that good.5 stars

    1. So glad you enjoyed this Wendy! Especially since you ended up with leftovers. Those variations sound delicious though. You’ll have to let us know what your favorite combination is.

  11. I just put this together for Christmas tomorrow. I tasted a small amount in a ramekin to check seasonings and this is divine! I can’t wait to have more tomorrow. Thanks for this recipe!5 stars

  12. You had me at “no cream of anything soup”. Can’t wait to make this for Christmas dinner. Thank you for sharing!

  13. I made the recipe the sauce came out beautiful the dlicious put a little seasoning and it was delicious.Thank you so much

    1. Yes this can be made ahead of time. 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.

  14. Gonna try this again because I think I messed it up lol. So the 2 cups of cooked rice is after cooking right? Not cook 2 cups dry rice and then use what it makes? I just want to make sure because the broccoli seems like a lot.