Cheesy Broccoli Rice

We’re members of the local community garden and every Wednesday night, we have a potluck & garden work night. This week, Mike suggested that we make cheesy broccoli rice casserole. It sounded like a great idea, since I knew it would feed a lot of people, and who would think to make that on a warm night in June? Plus, it’s once of Mike’s favorites.

Mike has loved “broccoli cheesy rice casserole” for as long as I can remember. It has to be made with Velveeta, or some sort of plain old American/Cheddar cheese, but not nacho cheese – because it’s sheer and utter disappointment. I suppose it’s just one of those comfort foods he always grew up on. But here’s a confession for you: we’ve been married for almost 5 years, and I believe this is the first time I’ve made this dish. Sad, right? I know damn well that he loves it, but I guess I just never got around to making it. Wife of the half-decade right here!

When I went to the store to get ingredients, I started to panic, as I could not seem to find that sinful block of processed cheese food – the main ingredient in the dish! Thank God for iPhones, as before you knew it, I had a substitute for Velveeta that tasted better, and was probably a bit more healthier. And I’m glad for that because the block of processed cheese food kinda grosses me out.

This is a great dish that is easily multiplied for potlucks, or kept simple for a weeknight side dish. You could even eat this as a meal in itself if you really wanted to. And the best part? No processed, rubbery cheese food 🙂

Cheesy Broccoli Rice – adapted from Betty Crocker and MOMables

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped (you want about 1 cup total)
  • 1 8oz bag of cheddar blend shredded cheese
  • 1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cream of *whatever* soup
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups broccoli florets – fresh or frozen
  • bread crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*. Cook rice in water according to package directions (or, use a rice cooker).
  2. While the rice is cooking, melt the better into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until the onions are tender, but still have a bit of a crunch to them.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium/medium-low and add the soup, milk, pepper, and cheese. Simmer, stirring often, until the cheese is melted and the mixture thickens.
  4. Add broccoli and rice. Mix well and spoon into a 9×13 baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the casserole.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes until the edges turn light brown and the casserole is nice and bubbly.
Perfect leftovers for a special someone tomorrow :)

Perfect leftovers for a special someone tomorrow 🙂

The casserole was a big hit at our potluck. I doubled the recipe and the above was all that was left – the perfect amount for someone’s lunch. My toughest critic said that he missed the ‘taste’ of the Velveeta, but that it still tasted pretty good. I’ll take that as a win. Not only because I was able to create a Velveeta substitute, but because I finally made one of my husband’s favorite dishes that has gotten overlooked over the years – recipe SAVED!


One thought on “Cheesy Broccoli Rice

  1. Pingback: Fresh Fork: Transitioning to Winter! | The Spicy Simmer

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