Get ready to dig into this mouthwatering Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole that's perfect for any occasion! This recipe is all about simplicity and flavor. We've combined tender broccoli, fluffy rice, and a creamy, cheesy sauce to create a dish that's sure to please the whole family.
Side dishes are often the show-stoppers at holiday dinners. This recipe is a must for our holiday gatherings, along with green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, creamy mashed potatoes and corn casserole.....to name a few!
This is one of our family's favorite recipes. I've tweaked the ingredients and method to make it quick, easy and delicious.
No need to sauté onions before mixing the casserole. Simply toss them right in. This saves time....and means less dishes to wash!
Why you'll love this broccoli rice cheese casserole
- simplified for busy moms! The best part is the prep work is minimal!
- can be prepped in advance to save you time.
- perfect for potluck dinners, this cheesy casserole is comfort food at its best!
Love easy casseroles? Check out these next!
Ingredients for cheesy broccoli rice casserole
- long-grain rice, cooked - this is a rice bake recipe and the type of rice that you use will make all the difference. Long grain rice that is cooked on the stovetop is best. Instant rice will simply not result in a great casserole. You can also substitute cooked brown rice. Instant rice can have a tendency to turn mushy.
- fresh broccoli florets - I've written notes in the recipe card at the bottom of this page about using frozen broccoli. It is also suitable in this dish. I cut them into bite-size pieces and you can also add in the broccoli spears. We love them! You can also add up to 2 more cups of broccoli to this recipe.
- Chopped onion- we LOVE sweet Vidalia onions and they are delicious in this casserole. You can also use yellow cooking onions as a substitute.
- Cream of chicken soup - you can also subsitute cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup.
- Milk - you can use whole milk, 2% or 1%
- Salt & Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Sharp Cheddar cheese -
- Ritz Crackers - add delicious flavor and create the perfect crunchy buttery topping.
- Butter - you can use salted or unsalted butter
- Optional - sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving.
Can i add chicken to broccoli rice casserole?
Sure! Stir in 2 to 3 cups of cubed or shredded cooked chicken to the broccoli mixture and continue with the recipe.
You can also use rotisserie chicken and leftover chicken works too! If adding in more than 2 cups of chicken, you will want to add an extra can of cream of chicken soup (not diluted).
How to make Broccoli Rice Casserole
You can find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this page. I've included some step by step photos below with instructions and tips to asssist with the recipe as you're making it.
STEP 1 - Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish.
STEP 2 - Cook rice according to package directions. Remove from heat and set aside, keeping it warm by leaving it in the cooking pot.
STEP 3 - Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli florets in a large pot of boiling water. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
STEP 4 - In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, chopped onion, cream of chicken soup, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprike and 1 and ½ cups of the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until well combined.
STEP 5 - Gently stir in the blanched broccoli florets.
STEP 6 - Transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish.
STEP 7 - In a small bowl, combined the crushed Ritz crackers with melted butter. Stir well to combine.
STEP 8 - Sprinkle the buttery crumb mixture on top of the casserole.
STEP 9 - Bake in 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
TOPPING VARIATION: You can also opt for a cornflakes topping like the one in my cheesy potato casserole!
Can I make this dish ahead of time?
Yes, this is a great recipe to prep in advance. Pepare the casserole, then store it covered in plastic wrap for up to three days.
Allow the casserole to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, the bake as directed.
Make-Ahead & Freezing Instructions
Prepare the casserole, the cover tightly with plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. You can freeze the unbaked casserole for up to three months.
To cook, thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight prior to baking. Uncover and proceed with baking instructions as directed.
Storage & Reheating Instructions
Broccoli cheese rice casserole can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Cover casserole dish with plastic wrap, or transfer leftovers to an airtight container and place in refrigerator.
Can i freeze broccoli rice casserole?
Yes you can! Place the cooled casserole in an airtight, freezersafe container for up to three months. To reheat, thaw the frozen casserole overnight in the fridge, then reheat in the microwave at 30 second intervals.
Related: See my full resource for how to reheat a casserole!