Broccoli-Rice Casserole

March 12, 2018
Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Casserole is a perfectly tasty side dish for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or everyday dinner.  It's classic creamy, cheesy comfort food at its best.

Broccoli-Rice Casserole Image

I'm a true lover of those little local cookbooks put together by church and local charity groups.  I just can't get enough of them, and seem to constantly be buying more ... despite the fact there's no way on this Earth I need yet another cookbook.  However, I just can't seem to help myself.

Some of my favorites?

Carolina Blessings from Children's Home Society of North Carolina tops the list, for sure.  Along with You're Invited from the Junior League of Raleigh, NC and Seaboard to Sideboard from the Junior League of Wilmington, NC.  I just adore the "homey" local recipes shared in these types of books.

This is a perfectly tasty side dish for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or everyday dinner.  It's classic creamy, cheesy comfort food at its best.

And in these types of little local cookbooks, you'd be hard-pressed not to find a recipe for a version of "homey" broccoli-rice casserole.  It's a comfort food classic that sure makes its appearance in more than its fair share of cookbooks, church suppers, potlucks, and holiday dinners alike.

Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Casserole Image ~ A perfectly tasty side dish for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or everyday dinner. Classic creamy, cheesy comfort food at its best!

But I've always had just one complaint about most broccoli-rice casseroles ~ they can tend to be on the bland side when it comes to flavor.

To quote our sweet 7-year-old Little Miss H., "Mommy, that's because rice steals flavor."

Very astute for a 7-year-old.  And I think she's absolutely right.

In making this  version of broccoli-rice casserole, I set out to amp up the flavor factor over many of the recipes I've tried.  I made three changes to help increase flavor. 

When mixed in a casserole, rice tends to "dull" the flavors of the other ingredients.  I've always found the non-rice version of broccoli casserole to be more flavorful than rice versions.

So in making this  version of broccoli-rice casserole, I set out to amp up the flavor factor over many of the recipes I've tried.  I made three changes to help increase flavor:

1.  Increased the ratio of broccoli - Most of the classic broccoli-rice casserole recipes I read called for a 10-ounce package of frozen broccoli for 3 cups of cooked rice.  In my opinion, this was way too little broccoli for that much rice.

I increased the broccoli to a full 16-ounce package, and used broccoli florets instead of chopped broccoli.  I think the florets deliver up more flavor, and create a more attractive look in the finished dish than chopped broccoli stalk pieces.  I was much more pleased with this higher ratio of broccoli.

2.  Upped the salt & pepper - Such a simple change can make a big impact on flavor.  When you think about it, this casserole has a lot of rice that needs to get a little jolt of flavor added to it.  I found a full teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper were just what was needed to amp up the flavor factor.

If you're hesitant to put that much, add what you think would be good for you and then taste a little of the mixture before putting it into the baking dish.  Since there is no raw egg in the mixture, it's okay to taste it before it's baked.  Then, just increase the salt and pepper a little at a time if you think it needs adjusting.

3.  Added a touch of garlic powder - Just a small touch of garlic powder ... 1/4 teaspoon ... gave a good little boost of flavor, too.

How to Make Broccoli-Rice Casserole Image

With these three little changes, broccoli-rice casserole got just the little flavor boost I was looking for.  No more too-bland rice for me.

So whether it's for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or an everyday dinner this Broccoli-Rice Casserole is a perfectly tasty side dish to serve up.  It's truly classic creamy, cheesy comfort food at its best.

Broccoli-Rice Casserole with Cheese Image
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Broccoli-Rice Casserole
(Printable recipe)
  • 3 c. cooked rice (about 1 c. uncooked)
  • 1 (16 oz.) package frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp.  salt
  • 1/2 tsp.  black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 2 c. shredded mild or medium cheddar cheese, divided
  1. Thaw broccoli and warm broccoli in the microwave for about 5 minutes; drain very well. Cut any large florets into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a bowl, combine warm cooked rice, onion, cream of mushroom soup, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and 1 cup of the shredded cheddar.  Stir together until well mixed.  Fold in broccoli. 
  3.  Spoon into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 for 35 - 40 minutes until bubbly and cheese is just beginning to get some golden brown spots.

- Frozen chopped broccoli can be used instead of the florets, if desired.  I just prefer the florets.
- Casserole may be prepared ahead.  Place the broccoli mixture in the casserole dish, top with the cheese, and refrigerate until ready to bake.  Increase baking time to 60 - 75 minutes.  Cover loosely with foil partway through baking if cheese begins to brown too much.


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This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.


  1. I love this casserole! Have a great first week of spring and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with FULL PLATE THURSDAY!
    Miz Helen

  2. Could you use fresh broccoli?

  3. My family would love this broccoli rice casserole. Thanks for sharing your recipe at the #HomeMattersParty linky.

  4. I made this tonight and it was amazing. I didn't have cream of mushroom so used cream of chicken and used fresh broccoli instead of frozen. It was so good!!!!

  5. I was reading the provided article with a great interest!


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