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 1016 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
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  • 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 all-purpose 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.


4.95 from 1016 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 Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.95 from 1016 votes (854 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Excellent dish and very easy to make. I will be making this over and over again. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.5 stars

    1. Hi Cynthia, 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. We loved it! I was in a hurry so I used frozen, steamed Jasmine rice but it worked well. I also made some extra sauce and added a cut up rotisserie chicken. I realized I didn’t top it cheese, but I did a quick cracker crumble with melted butter and it was still good.5 stars

  3. Have not made this recipe but considering it for Christmas. How do you think cauliflower rice would work in this recipe?

  4. This turned out, so delicious. My husband doesn’t even like broccoli and he loved it! The only thing I did different was added, crunched up Ritz crackers that had been sautéed in butter, to the top of it.
    Gave it a little more flavor. Delicious5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried this with Minute Rice but I do think it would work. Please let us know how it goes if you try it.

    1. Hi Barbara, 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. Why is it so bland? I added way more seasoning and it still tasted like an early bird special at Piccadilly. It was also lacking something and it was not rich enough. I think I will use soup next time.

  6. I made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it. This is definitely a keeper. Thanks for the delicious recipe!5 stars

  7. For 2/4 people….cut recipe in 1/2 and consume at the time you make it. Why…in my experience…It is delicious BUT it’s just me & the hubby and the leftover portion congealed like a rubber ball in the fridge & didn’t microwave well at all. Uggh5 stars

  8. Thank you for this recipe! Easy to follow, and easy to adapt for your own personal preferences – I was able to use what I had on hand (frozen brocolli) and make it vegan. I’m not sure why so many are bugged about spices – food should always be tasted as you cook and adjusted as needed and desired for one’s own palate.4 stars

  9. Made this tonight as a meatless Monday dinner and it was perfect. So tasty and can’t wait for leftovers. Thanks Holly!5 stars

    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.

  10. Had some leftover rice I wanted to use. Added chopped frozen broccoli to the roux and a small packet of velveeta cheese sauce. Had some scallion cream cheese & put that in too, but I did up the pepper (Penzeys CA pepper) garlic powder (Penzeys), paprika , and garlic salt (Penzeys). I eyeballed it bc there’s only me and divided it into 2 small casserole dishes. Just what I needed! Homemade (ish) comfort food that’s delish! Thanks!4 stars

  11. Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch was exactly what the name implied! Exactly what I was looking for. The first time I made this was for a group of 50 (I know–risky!) Delicious. I used American cheese which was given to me, leftover from another church meal. I knew it would melt perfectly. I did the math and multiplied the ingredients for the 8 servings by 7. I also used your multiplier which didn’t match my calculations. I should have used yours because I had almost double what we needed! We froze it so the next cook won’t have to work so hard for our Community meal. :-)5 stars

  12. Very thick and needs more seasoning. I’m wondering about the amount of rice. Is that 2 cups of rice before it is cooked or 2 cups after preparing the rice?4 stars

    1. Hi Vicky, it is 2 cups of cooked white rice, so after it is prepared. Hope that helps!