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 425 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!


  • 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

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  • 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


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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


  1. This sounds amazing I’m making it tonight. Was wondering if it’d work with cauliflower rice. I have a head I need to use.5 stars

  2. I have made this before and my god it’s absolutely delicious, but i just made it again last night, and yall…. do not forget that onion! ITS ESSENTIAL!! but this is such a sweet/savory light meal; one of the new family favorites!5 stars

    1. Hi Jennifer, 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.

      1. Hi Melissa, 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!

  3. This was TERRIFIC. I followed the recipe almost to a T. I had two 90 second bags of rice (one regular, one basmati) so I zapped those and threw them in. Scrumptious. I wasn’t in the mood for meat and my hubby was so I poached a chicken breast for him to have with it on the side.
    Love all your recipes, keep cookin!!!5 stars

  4. This recipe was a big hit in my house. It’s delicious – pure comfort food. I had 3 cups of cooked rice instead of 2, and when I saw how saucy the mixture was, I added the 3rd cup of rice – really glad I did. I also added plenty of sea salt as well as bit of nutmeg for depth of flavor. Will definitely be returning to this recipes on the regular! I grew up eating a made-from-scratch broccoli rice cheese casserole that my mom used to make (she cooked everything from scratch), and I’ve tried for years to find something that came close to the one she made that I loved so much. This one is IT. Very grateful to have finally landed on one!5 stars

  5. Made tonight and it was delicious! Everyone loved it and went back for seconds. Will definitely make again. Will have to double next time! Thank you!5 stars

  6. So good! I like many recipes you post and this is no exception, my whole family loved it.

    For those of you wondering how much uncooked rice = 2 cups cooked, I used 2/3 cup and it was perfect.

  7. It was delicious! I added 1/4 tsp nutmeg- which creates a deeper complex flavor that I love! Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

    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.

  8. So Good! Im usually one that follows recipes to a tee, but I made a few small changes. I used plant based milk, butter, and cream cheese. I used a fiesta cheese blend (real cheese… I pick my spots) and I added your sautéed mushroom recipe (cooked them, then chopped them) to the mix.

    So far I have only tried these two recipes and both were so good that Im looking forward to trying more.

    Thank you.5 stars

  9. This was so yummy! I threw in some shredded chicken and also used green cauliflower (in addition to the broccoli). I was craving this so bad and can’t believe how quickly I flew it. Can’t wait to make again.5 stars

    1. SA, this broccoli rice casserole recipe makes 8 servings. You can find the number of servings for each of our recipes on the recipe card right near the recipe title. Enjoy!