Your whole family will love this Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole from scratch. It’s total comfort food, and it's made with only fresh ingredients, no canned soup!
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Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch
This time of year is all about comfort food, as far as I'm concerned. And the cheesier, the better!
I especially love a good casserole, but I don't like all the junk in some of them. Cream of whatever soup, I'm looking at you.
There's nothing wrong with a recipe shortcut. But I also don't mind putting in a little extra effort for recipes with fresher ingredients and fewer preservatives.
This Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole is exactly what I'm talking about. Unlike the classic recipe, this Broccoli Rice Casserole has no soup added. Yet, it's still easy to make and totally delicious!
How to Make Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch
This Broccoli, Rice, and Cheese Casserole with no canned soup is about to become your new favorite side dish. Heck, it even makes great vegetarian main course ... this recipe is so versatile!
You'll start by making the rice. I used white rice, but feel free to use brown rice instead for extra nutrition (just remember to adjust the cooking time and water). This homemade Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe is also a great way to use up leftover rice (you'd need 3 cups cooked rice).
Once the rice is started, you'll saute some onions and mushrooms. They're going to add lots of flavor to your finished dish.
Then, it's time for the broccoli. Spread your broccoli florets over the cooked onions and mushrooms. Then, add a little water, cover the pan, and steam the broccoli until crisp-tender.
Make sure to use a large skillet for this, otherwise the broccoli won't cook evenly. I used my fave Calphalon Skillet, and it worked perfectly.
Save yourself some dishes and use the same skillet for the cheese sauce as you did for the veggies. Just wipe it out really well first.
If you've never made a cheese sauce before, don't worry. This one is really simple ... and cheesy, so cheesy!
Just follow the recipe directions, and you should have no problems.
This easy, cheesy white sauce replaces the canned soup that's normally found in Broccoli Rice Casserole. And it's sooo good. Try not to eat it all that yummy sauce before you assemble the casserole!
You're going to combine the veggies, cheese sauce, and rice, then transfer everything to a baking dish. Some extra cheddar cheese and crunchy panko breadcrumbs are the finishing touch.
Bake your homemade Broccoli Rice Casserole until it's nice and golden.
Then, it's time to for the best part ... time to dig in!
My fresh Broccoli Rice Casserole would be the perfect addition to any meal or even a holiday buffet. It's a yummy vegetarian side (or even main course) that your whole family is sure to love.
Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch
- 1 cup white rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 6 cups small broccoli florets
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (medium or sharp)
- nonstick cooking spray
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine rice, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 ¾ cups water in a large heavy bottom pot.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook rice for about 12 minutes or until tender (do not overcook). Set rice aside and keep covered.
- While rice is cooking, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat.
- Add onions to pan. Season with salt and pepper, then cook for a few minutes or until they start to turn translucent, stirring frequently.
- Mix mushrooms into onions and cook, stirring often, until any liquid they've released has evaporated, and they are starting to brown. Season with salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat to medium, then spread broccoli florets over onions and mushrooms. Add 2 tablespoons water to pan and cover immediately.
- Steam broccoli for 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. (There should be no water left in the pan when the broccoli is done.) Sprinkle broccoli lightly with salt, then transfer broccoli mixture to a large bowl.
- Wipe out skillet used to saute veggies and return to stove over medium heat.
- Melt butter in skillet, then add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring constantly.
- Whisk flour into butter and cook, stirring constantly, for a couple minutes or until lightly golden.
- Slowly pour milk into butter mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring to boil, then immediately reduce heat and cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens (it should coat the back of a spoon).
- Remove sauce from heat, then whisk in 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese (in two batches) until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Pour cheese sauce over veggies and mix well.
- Fluff rice with a fork, then fold into veggies (be careful not to over mix or the rice will get mushy).
- Transfer veggie-rice mixture to baking dish, then sprinkle with ½ cup cheddar cheese.
- Mix together panko, olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle over casserole.
- Transfer casserole to oven and bake until hot, bubbly, and browned on top (about 25 minutes).
- Serve casserole hot. Enjoy!
Don't you just want to dig right in to this cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole from scratch?
It doesn't get much creamier or cheesier.
And those breadcrumbs on top add the perfect amount of crunch to every bite. Yum!
If you like this cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole from scratch, make sure to check out my Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower Gratin, too.
It's so tasty, and all that cheese sauce is the perfect way to get your kids to eat their veggies!
What is your favorite casserole recipe?