8-Ingredient Broccoli Rice Casserole

Broccoli rice casserole recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings

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 entrée when you want a lighter, vegetarian dinner.

The casserole can be adapted in a variety of ways and become as cheesy as you like. Inside, use either shredded cheddar, Cheez Whiz, or Velveeta. You can also top the casserole with as much cheese as you like and add breadcrumbs, pimentos, or garlic to make it even more interesting.

1:30

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1 (10 1/2-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

  • 2/3 cup cheez whiz or 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup cooked rice

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen broccoli, cooked and drained

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Optional:

    1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, for topping

  • Optional:

    1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

  • Optional:

    1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas Mark 4.

    Ingredients for making a broccoli and rice casserole
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  2. Butter a 1- to 1 1/2-quart baking dish.

    A buttered baking dish
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  3. In a skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat, sauté the onion in butter until it becomes translucent.

    Sautéed onion in butter in the skillet
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  4. 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.

    Mixing in the cream of mushroom soup
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  5. 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. 

    Combining the rice and cooked broccoli with the cheese sauce
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  6. Spoon the broccoli mixture into the prepared baking dish.

    Spoon the broccoli mixture to the buttered baking dish
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  7. Bake the casserole for about 20 to 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated and bubbly around the edges.

    bake the broccoli rice casserole
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  8. If using, top with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese followed by half of the breadcrumbs, the red bell pepper slices, and the remaining breadcrumbs. Continue baking for a few minutes, just until the cheese has melted.

    add shredded cheese to the top of the casserole
    The Spruce

Glass Bakeware Warning

For premade casseroles or leftovers that are in a glass baking dish and have been refrigerated, do not place directly into a hot oven as the glass can shatter. Instead, place any cold glass bakeware into a cold oven to warm up while it preheats. Or allow the bakeware to rest outside of the fridge for 30 minutes to reach room temperature while the oven preheats.

Tips

  • If you don't have Cheez Whiz but want a similarly creamy and flavorful result, 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.
  • This casserole can be frozen for later. Wrap the unbaked casserole very well and freeze. Before baking, defrost in the fridge and add a few minutes to the baking time.

Recipe Variations

  • Add a buttered breadcrumb topping to the casserole. Toss 1 cup of fresh soft breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the casserole just before it goes into the oven. Grated Parmesan cheese and toasted almonds are other great toppings.
  • Add a few tablespoons of drained, chopped pimentos 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.
  • Cooked white rice or brown rice will work for this recipe.