This easy Southern recipe for Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole is a delicious side dish for barbecue chicken, pork chops, or even meatloaf. A creamy rice dish using fresh broccoli and mushrooms, this casserole also uses both cheddar and Parmesan cheese for extra cheesy goodness!
Fresh and delicious, this recipe does not use canned mushroom soup like a lot of casseroles. Instead, this casserole is made with fresh sautéed mushrooms and a homemade cream soup. Yep, homemade cream soup takes a little more prep time, but in my opinion the tasty outcome is worth the extra 10 minutes.
Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole
Remember the days before Pinterest? When we clipped recipes from magazines and collected index cards with handwritten recipes? I know… I’m showing my age!
Anyway, last week as I was looking through my old recipe card file, I came across a recipe for Broccoli Rice and Cheese casserole given to me years ago by a co-worker. I’d actually forgotten about it, but instantly remembered it being especially tasty and knew it was time to try it again.
The original recipe used frozen broccoli, a can of mushroom soup, and Velveeta cheese. The last few years, I have steered away from canned condensed soups because they kind of gross me out. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who feels this way…am I right?!
Making it fresh!
Whenever possible, I also prefer to use fresh ingredients. I know frozen vegetables sound convenient — and they are — but fresh tastes so much better.
Using a microwave steamer basket makes cooking casseroles with fresh ingredients pretty easy. You can steam broccoli florets in just five minutes and it takes at least that long when you use frozen.
- Start by steaming the broccoli and giving it a rough chop.
- Make the cream soup by making a roux of melted butter and flour over medium heat. Slowly add milk and chicken broth and cook until the mixture is thickened, then season with salt and pepper. EASY! And not gross!
- Cook one cup of instant white rice per package directions.
- Sauté a cup of chopped mushrooms and onions in a little butter until soft.
- Mix all the ingredients together — steamed broccoli, cooked rice, sautéed veggies, the homemade cream soup, and cheddar cheese — and pour into a lightly greased casserole dish.
- Top with more shredded cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese and bake until hot and bubbly.
- Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole — Chunks of chicken in a creamy sauce with a crunchy topping of Ritz crackers, poppy seeds, and almonds.
- Creamy Spinach Spaghetti Squash Casserole — Made with sautéed spinach, red pepper, garlic, and three kinds of cheese. Keto-friendly recipe, too!
- Chicken Broccoli Casserole — Curry powder and a little mayo added to the sauce in this chicken casserole blend together for an unexpected, but delicious flavor.
- Cheesy Chicken Mac Casserole — rotini pasta tossed together with juicy rotisserie chicken in a homemade cheddar cheese sauce with a crunchy topping…pure comfort!
There’s nothing more comforting than a good cheesy casserole. Today’s recipe makes a good side dish for so many different main courses and is a perfect dish to bring to a pot-luck event.
Change up the recipe by using whatever cheese you have on hand (or a combination of cheeses) and even add a cracker crumb topping or french fried onions.
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- 2 cups uncooked instant white rice
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups broccoli (cooked and chopped)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Homemade Cream Soup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Cook rice in 2 cups boiling water per package instructions. Fluff and place in a large bowl.
- Steam broccoli in a microwave steamer basket for 5 minutes; then roughly chop and add to bowl with the rice.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped onions and mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add veggies to the bowl with the broccoli and rice.
- Add 2 cups cheddar cheese to the bowl along with the homemade cream soup. Stir until well combined, then spoon into the casserole dish.
- Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cup of cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Homemade Cream Soup
- In a small saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and chicken bouillon until smooth. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add milk, whisking continually until mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in black pepper.
- This recipe can be easily halved.
- Change up the recipe by using whatever cheese you have on hand (or a combination of cheeses) and even add a cracker crumb topping or french fried onions.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 440mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 16g
Sheila Thigpen, author of The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. A Southern girl living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters, are active in their church, love to travel, and are over-the-moon excited about becoming grandparents last year. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!