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Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

As with all good things from Pinterest, I found a recipe for a homemade broccoli-rice casserole. Made from scratch, this recipe takes a classic side-dish like Knorr’s rice packets, and shows you how to make a homemade version with fresh ingredients.

Broccoli Rice Casserole Ingredients

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The ingredients for this casserole you probably have on-hand. You can make a cheat-version for during the week by using frozen veggies and a bag of shredded cheese. Or you can use fresh veggies and grate the cheese by hand, whichever you have time for.

I only had to run to the store to buy the Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup. I got them on sale, so I bought three cans to have for the future.

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole Instructions

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You spend most of your time measuring and prepping the ingredients. If you use frozen broccoli, this means thawing it and chopping it. If you use fresh broccoli, break and boil the florets until they’re softer. Then dice them into medium-sized pieces.

I used frozen broccoli florets since that’s what I already had in the freezer. I think I would’ve preferred to use fresh, so that there was a bit more texture in the casserole.

The Final Product

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Texture and Flavor

I was pleased overall with the final cheesy broccoli rice casserole. I served this as a side dish for my crab cake poppers.

The everyday 7-minute rice packets inspired me to cook a homemade casserole. I always look at the dried seasoning packet you add to the boiling water and think — I could make this from scratch.

As I mentioned above, I would leave the broccoli al dente when you chop and add it to the rice, so that there’s still some texture to the casserole when you serve it.

I cooked the rice perfectly, so it was more of a binder for the cheese and broccoli, than a distinguishable texture.

I thought there was enough creamy, cheesy flavor — though next time I’ll experiment with two types of cheeses. I would also add more seasonings — especially garlic and black pepper (though that’s my preference).

I will say, that I was surprised I didn’t taste the cream of mushroom soup more. Maybe if it wasn’t in this recipe, I would’ve said it was bland…but, including it and all, I didn’t feel like: Wow, this mushroom soup is spectacular! Maybe next time I’ll add some fresh mushrooms too.

Thoughts on Baking

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I was worried that such a long dish pan would dry out the casserole. Baking in a 9x13 turned out fine, but I would consider switching to a smaller pan. I’m not sure how that would affect the baking time, but considering most of the ingredients are already cooked through, it seems like baking it gels the flavors together.

Serving the Casserole

Even though my casserole layer was thin and cheesy, it didn’t lift out of the pan in one beautiful square. So, I served the broccoli rice casserole in decorative bowls.

I forgot to buy the onion crisps when I went to the store for the mushroom soup, but adding those on top of the casserole would’ve helped add a crunch of texture and additional decoration.

Recipe Score

I would give this cheesy broccoli rice casserole a 8/10 for the following:

  • Recipe Level

    • Beginners: This is a great I’m-new-to-cooking recipe. It’s one bowl and one pan. There’s minimal preparation. If you use frozen ingredients it can be extra easy to make, which is great for weeknight cooking.

  • Ingredients

    • Fresh but not expensive ingredients make this a healthier version of cost-effective side dishes. If you buy multiple ingredients when they’re on sale (like the cans of soup), you can save even more money when cooking this recipe.

  • Prep

    • ~20-minutes: There’s hardly any prep for this casserole. Aside from shopping, it’s defrosting broccoli, shredding cheese, chopping onion, and measuring the seasoning. You could prep this step in-advance on the weekend, and then throw everything in a bowl to mix on a weeknight.

  • Flavor

    • 8/10: Flavor as advertised in the original recipe. Better, fresher, and healthier than the dried rice packets from the store. I personally would tweak this recipe to bolster some of the spices and play around with the cheese combinations to make this casserole have a “wow"-factor.

K. Martinelli Makes Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

Thanks for Watching!

Do you have a favorite homemade side? Or casserole recipe? Leave a comment with your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.

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