Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe
Hello my friends! Come on into my kitchen and join me in making this Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole today. Boy does this broccoli rice casserole ever bring back the memories! I’m sure it probably brings back some memories for you as well seeing as how this broccoli casserole is pretty much a Thanksgiving and Christmas side dish staple around the country. Today I wanted to share a special (and quite humorous) memory this Broccoli Rice Casserole brings back. Sorry for telling your secrets, Mom! haha! Our story begins in a small Oklahoma town in the kitchen of my mother, circa Thanksgiving Eve of around the year, 1999. This fateful Thanksgiving, my dear mother decided she was tossing out the old tried and true Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole recipe and was going to try the newer, more glamorous “Bread Casserole”.
Needless did she know that this “Bread Casserole” would become infamous and haunt her for the rest of her days. But let’s get back to our story. It’s Thanksgiving Eve and Mom is in the kitchen whipping up her Slow Cooker Holiday Ham . Mom also has one of her tried and true, faded and worn cookbooks open on the kitchen counter and she is puzzling over a recipe I’ve never seen before – “Bread Casserole”. I asked what she was doing and she proudly informed me (with great enthusiasm) that she had decided to replace the Broccoli Rice Casserole with Bread Casserole. I was pretty disappointed about this change in plans since Broccoli Cheese and Rice casserole has always been one of my favorite holiday side dishes, but I tried to hide my disappoint in light of Mom’s excitement over the new culinary adventure.
No More Broccoli Rice Casserole!
I watched with fascination as Mom carefully read over the new recipe and followed it letter by letter. First she laid twelve slices of white bread in a cake pan, then she added twelve slices of American cheese. The American cheese was followed by twelve more slices of white bread, then more cheese, one cup of milk, and jalapeno slices. I didn’t want to break it to my Mom, but this new casserole did not look near as delicious as our usual Broccoli Rice Casserole! She finished the layering process, then popped the new casserole in the oven with a little flourish and a “There!” About thirty minutes later, the moment of truth arrived and we all got to see and taste this new “Bread Casserole”.
It came out of the oven looking like a pan full of toasted bread topped with American cheese and large jalapeno slices. Can you guess what it tasted like? Yep, a large pan of bread with melted cheese and jalapeno slices. Definitely not the culinary wonder my Mom was hoping for! I think she would’ve did bodily harm to the person that wrote that recipe had she been able to find them at that moment. haha! The new recipe adventure wasn’t a success but we had many great laughs out of that experience and still remind her of it to this day! haha!
How to Make a Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole
From that year forward, my Mom never wavered in her intention to make Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole for Thanksgiving and Christmas again. In fact, to this day we still have it every year and anyone who suggests something different is given “The Look”. There are several different ways you can approach making the rice for this Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole. I used 1 cup of long-grain white rice and cooked it in my Instant Pot according to the package directions and on the “rice” setting which yielded 2 cups of cooked rice. You could also cook 1 cup of white Minute Rice or use a rice steamer to make the rice or even boil it on the stove.
How to Make Broccoli Cheese and Rice
If you choose to use a pressure cooker like I did to make the rice, just add 1 cup of uncooked long-grain rice and 2 cups water to the Instant Pot and lock the lid in place. Set the steam release valve to the sealing position and select the pre-set “rice” cooking feature.
The Perfect Rice in the Instant Pot
Once the cooking time is complete, use a long handled spoon or spatula to move the steam release valve to the open position and quick release the pressure. After the pressure has been released, remove the lid and use a spoon or spatula to stir and fluff the rice.
Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole
Now that the rice has been cooked to perfection, transfer it from the Instant Pot insert or the pan you boiled it in and place it in a large mixing bowl. Make sure your mixing bowl is extra-large because you’ll be adding several more ingredients in it!
How to Make the Perfect Steamed Broccoli
The rice is cooked and transferred to a large mixing bowl, so now let’s just use that same Instant Pot insert and add in two 10 ounce bags of frozen broccoli florets. Once the broccoli florets are in the Instant Pot, add in 1/2 cup of water. You can also use fresh broccoli florets and can cook them in a pressure cooker or boil them until tender on the stovetop.
Perfect Broccoli in the Instant Pot
If you use the Instant Pot like I did, place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the steam release valve to the sealing position. Set the Instant Pot to cook on manual for 3 minutes on high pressure.
Creamy Broccoli Rice Casserole
While the broccoli is cooking to perfection in the Instant Pot (or on the stovetop), add 1 family-sized can of Healthy Cream of Chicken Soup to the cooked rice in your large mixing bowl. If you don’t have the cream of chicken soup on hand or only have a 10.5 ounce can, you can combine cream of mushroom or cream of celery with the cream of chicken.
Velveeta Broccoli Rice Casserole
After adding the Healthy Cream of Chicken Soup to the cooked rice, add in one 15 ounce jar of Cheese Whiz. If you’re not a Cheese Whiz fan you can add the equivalent of cubed Velveeta cheese. If you’re using Velveeta cheese, make sure your cubes are really small so that they will melt well when cooked.
How to Make the Perfect Broccoli Rice Casserole
Stir the cooked rice, Healthy Cream of Chicken soup, and the Cheese Whiz together in the large mixing bowl until well combined. This creamy mixture is so delicious combined with steamed broccoli!
Thanksgiving Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe
Now that your other ingredients are combined and waiting on the steamed broccoli, the cooking time is probably complete in the Instant Pot. Move the steam release valve to the venting position using a long-handled spatula or spoon and step back while the pressure is released. Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and drain all of the water from the cooked broccoli.
Combine All Ingredients for the Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole
Add your steamed broccoli to the other ingredients in the large mixing bowl and stir it all in really well. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with your spoon or spatula to gather any loose clumps of rice and blend it all in.
Easy Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole Recipe
Once all of your ingredients are stirred together in your mixing bowl, let’s season this Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole up a tad. I like to add 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder. If you want to make this broccoli casserole a complete meal, now is a good time to add in 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken. The easiest way to get the chicken ready and in quickly is to use an already cooked rotisserie chicken.
Southern Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole
Now that your broccoli cheese casserole is ready to cook, grab a 9×13 casserole dish and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the casserole into the casserole dish and use a mixing spoon or spatula to spread it out evenly in the dish. Place the casserole in the oven and bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until completely heated through. If you used cubed Velveeta cheese instead of Cheese Whiz the baking process will take longer since you’ll have to wait for the cheese to melt.
Christmas Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe
Once the cooking time is complete and the casserole is heated through and bubbly, carefully remove it from the oven. This Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole is sure to have a place of honor on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table, right alongside the Slow Cooker Holiday Turkey.
How to Store Leftover Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole
If you have any leftovers of this broccoli casserole (which is highly doubtful!) you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also place the leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw out, place the container in the fridge and then microwave or heat in the oven to warm.
I hope you have enjoyed your time in my kitchen today as I shared memories and this recipe with you. I hope and pray that each and every one of you has a happy and blessed Holiday season this year! Don’t forget to stop back by soon to see what I’m cooking up in my kitchen!
Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole
Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole is a cheesy, delightful, Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish with tender broccoli, steamed rice, and creamy American cheese.
- 1 cup white rice uncooked
- 2 10 oz bags frozen broccoli florets
- 2 10.5ozs can healthy cream of chicken soup
- 1 15oz jar Cheese Whiz
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
Boil broccoli until tender and drain water or use a steamer or pressure cooker to steam the broccoli for 3 minutes until tender. Place in a large mixing bowl once cooked.
Cook rice according to package directions on the stove top or in a pressure cooker or rice steamer. One cup of uncooked long grain white rice will yield 2 cups when cooked. Add to the mixing bowl with the broccoli.
Combine cream of chicken soup and Cheese Whiz in the large mixing bowl with the rice and broccoli and stir until well combined.
Add ground black pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder to the ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and pour mixture into the dish.
Spread the casserole out evenly in the casserole dish and bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until heated through and bubbling.
Serve hot and enjoy!
NOTE: 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken can be added to this casserole in step 4 to make it a complete meal.