Broccoli Rice Casserole is a staple side dish for our Christmas dinner. Make this broccoli cheese casserole from scratch with easy ingredients.

Broccoli Rice Casserole with a serving on a fork
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This Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole for an easy side dish. This casserole is made completely from scratch and no cream of chicken soup is needed. This comfort food casserole is a must with our Christmas dinner.

We love that this broccoli cheese casserole is made from scratch. It is always a family favorite and easy to make. This Christmas casserole recipe is easy to prepare ahead of time to save time with all your holiday cooking.

Why We Love This Recipe

This casserole is the perfect recipe for family gatherings. This casserole taste amazing and is the perfect casserole to make ahead of time. We love to serve it for the holidays but is a great side dish recipe for any occasion.

Ingredients

Ingredients needed - broccoli, rice, butter, onion, flour, milk, mustard powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper, cheese, cream cheese
  • Broccoli cut into bite size pieces
  • White Rice cooked
  • Butter
  • Onion. diced finely
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Whole Milk
  • Dry Mustard Powder
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • Cream Cheese softened at room temperature

For the full list of ingredients and recipe, scroll to the bottom of the post for the recipe card.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Broccoli – We used fresh broccoli in this recipe, but you can easily use frozen broccoli. We just recommend not overcooking the broccoli before adding it to the casserole.
  • Cheese – Feel free to use different types of cheese. We have even used low fat cheese and had great results. Mix different types of cheese together such as adding in Monterrey Jack Cheese.
  • Milk – We used whole milk in this recipe, but if you prefer you can use a low fat option. Nut milk is another option if you unable to have regular milk. Chicken broth can also be used as a substitute to the milk.
  • Rice – You can use brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice if you prefer. We used white rice, but these option are a great healthy alternative. You can even use minute rice for an easy option.
  • Add Meat – If you would like to make this dish hearty, add in cooked shredded chicken breast, ham or turkey. This casserole would be great to use leftover meat after the holidays. You can also use rotisserie chicken.
  • Other Vegetables – In addition to the broccoli sneak in some other vegetables. Chop up some cauliflower or peppers for added flavor and texture.
  • Toppings – For a crunchy topping, add some French fried onions. This is one of my favorite toppings.

How to Make Broccoli and Rice Casserole:

  • Step 1 – Heat Oven and Prepare baking dish – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 baking pan with a non-stick cooking spray.
  • Step 2 – Cook Broccoli – Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.  Put the broccoli florets in the boiling water and cook it for 2 minutes.
Cooked Broccoli in a pan with ice and water

Step 3 – Immediately place the broccoli in a bowl with ice cold water. This keeps the broccoli from over cooking. Then set broccoli aside to rest.

Cooking the onions in a skillet and adding in the flour and seasoning

Step 4 – Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the diced onions and sauté the onions until they are translucent and soft. Then whisk in the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Whisk and cook for an additional 2 minutes. 

Adding in the shredded cheese, cream cheese, seasoning to the flour mixture

Step 5 – Next, slowly whisk in the milk until all the milk is combined.  Continue whisking over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Then remove the mixture from heat and stir in the ingredients. This includes the dry mustard powder, paprika, cream cheese and 1 ½ cup of the cheddar cheese. 

Spreading broccoli mixture into baking dish and topping with shredded cheese

Step 6 – Continue to stir until the mixture is combined and the cheese is fully melted. Then gently stir the cooked rice and broccoli into the cheese sauce in the skillet. Spread the mixture into the 9X13 baking pan. 

  • Step 10 – Bake – Top the mixture with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes to 35 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly. Bake until the top of the casserole is slightly golden browned.

Recipe Tips

  • Cooking the Broccoli – After cooking the broccoli, make sure to place in a bowl of ice cold water. This prevents the broccoli from overcooking.
  • Shredding the Cheese – We recommend shredding the cheese yourself instead of using pre-shredded cheese. Pre-Shredded cheese contains other ingredients and doesn’t melt as well as shredded cheese from hunk cheese.
  • Save time – To save time, you can prepare the broccoli and rice ahead of time. Add in the rice and broccoli to the creamy sauce on cooking day.
  • Casserole Dish – Bake the casserole in a casserole dish. If you wanting leftovers, you can place in two different dish and refrigerate the other one.

Can you Make Broccoli Rice Casserole Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make easy broccoli rice casserole ahead of time. The holidays are so busy preparing all the recipes. I like to be able to prepare what I can ahead of time.

This casserole is the perfect recipe to prepare in advance. Simple combine the ingredients as indicated in the recipe and then place in the fridge. Then when you are ready to serve, let the casserole come to room temperature.

Then bake the casserole in the oven. You may need to allow the casserole to bake a little longer since it has been in the fridge.

Broccoli Rice Casserole in a casserole dish

How to Store

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. When we prepare this dish for the holidays, we always have so much leftover.

We like to serve with turkey and ham leftovers, that we eat on it for several days.

How to Freeze Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole

We recommend freezing the broccoli rice casserole unbaked. Prepare the casserole as indicated in the recipe and then pour in the casserole dish.

Make sure to store in a freezer safe container and it will last about 3 months. If doubling the recipe, freeze in individual serving containers.

Then when ready to bake, allow casserole to thaw in the fridge overnight and then bake.

Broccoli Rice Casserole with a serving on a fork

More Casserole Dishes

If you make this broccoli cheese rice casserole for your next family gathering, make sure to leave us a comment.

Broccoli Rice Casserole

4.29 from 7 votes
Broccoli Rice Casserole is a staple side dish for our Christmas dinner. Make this broccoli cheese casserole from scratch with easy ingredients.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Side Dish
Calories 418

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Broccoli cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups White Rice cooked
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/2 Onion diced finely
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Mustard Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup Cream Cheese softened at room temperature
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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9X13 baking pan with a non-stick cooking spray.
  • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.  Put the broccoli in the boiling water and cook it for 2 minutes.
  • Immediately place the broccoli in a bowl with ice cold water to keep the broccoli from over cooking. Then set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the diced onions and sauté the onions until they are translucent and soft.
  • Then whisk in the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Whisk and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Next, slowly whisk in the milk until all the milk is combined.  Continue whisking over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
  • Then remove the mixture from heat and stir in the dry mustard powder, paprika, cream cheese and 1 ½ cup of the cheddar cheese.
  • Continue to stir until the mixture is combined and the cheese is fully melted. Then gently stir the rice and broccoli into the cheese sauce in the skillet.
  • Spread the mixture into the 9X13 baking pan.
  • Top the mixture with the remaining shredded cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the top of the casserole is slightly browned.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 418kcal, Carbohydrates 29g, Protein 16g, Fat 27g, Saturated Fat 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 6g, Trans Fat 0.3g, Cholesterol 78mg, Sodium 612mg, Potassium 408mg, Fiber 2g, Sugar 6g, Vitamin A 1333IU, Vitamin C 55mg, Calcium 416mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi! We are Carrie and Christina! Welcome to Christmas on a Dime!

We  are sisters and love everything about Christmas. We are here to help you celebrate the magic of Christmas all year long!

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