This easy broccoli and rice casserole is a great recipe to have on hand when you need a quick and delicious dish. It makes a nice side for any meal and can serve as an entree when you want a lighter dinner.
The casserole can be adapted in a variety of ways and become as cheesy as you like. Inside, use either shredded cheddar or Cheez Whiz. If you're not a fan of that cheese product, you'll find a simple substitute below the recipe. You can also top the casserole with as much cheese as you like and add bread crumbs, pimientos, or garlic to make it even more interesting.
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 2/3 cup Cheez Whiz (4 ounces, or 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese)
- 1 cup rice (cooked)
- 1 package (10 ounces) broccoli (frozen, cooked and drained)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (for topping)
- Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4).
- Butter a 1- to 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
- In a skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat, sauté the onion in butter until it becomes translucent.
- Add the cream of mushroom soup and the Cheez Whiz or cheddar. Continue cooking, stirring, until the sauce is smooth and the cheese has melted.
- In a large bowl, combine the hot cooked rice and cooked broccoli with the cheese sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Gently stir to combine.
- Spoon the broccoli mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake the casserole for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until thoroughly heated and bubbly around the edges.
- If desired, top with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and continue baking for a few minutes, just until the cheese has melted.
- If you don't have Cheez Whiz, you can make a substitute with Velveeta or cheddar cheese. Combine 4 ounces of Velveeta cheese or cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon of butter, a dash of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard. Add a dash of cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce, if desired. Stir over low heat until the mixture has melted.
- To thaw frozen broccoli, place it in a colander under cool running water until thawed. If you prefer fresh broccoli, use about 10 to 12 ounces of florets. To cook either, put the broccoli in a saucepan with 1 inch of water or in a steaming basket over 1 inch of water. Steam for about 5 minutes, or until just tender.
- Add a breadcrumb topping to the casserole. Toss 1 cup of fresh soft bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle the buttered bread crumbs over the casserole just before it goes into the oven. Grated Parmesan cheese and toasted almonds are other great toppings to consider.
- Add a few tablespoons of drained chopped pimientos (a red sweet pepper) to the broccoli mixture for some extra color and flavor.
- Rub the cut side of half a garlic clove over the inside of the casserole dish, or add 1 finely minced clove of garlic to the butter along with the chopped onion.
- Make the casserole with half cauliflower and half broccoli.