We know the importance of an easy meal at the end of a hard day. As summer turns to fall and schoolwork resumes, the need for quick dinners is even more pressing. Jeanette’s cheesy broccoli and rice casserole answers the call for any busy family with the ultimate savory side dish. We’ll share the simple recipe along with some tasty pairings for a nourishing meal.
Side Dish Solutions: Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Finding easy but appetizing side dishes that can accompany a variety of main courses can be harder than it seems. This broccoli and rice casserole offers a fresh bite of vegetables with the cheesy creaminess of rice to pair with meat and fish. Plus, it can be assembled in advance as the ultimate time-saver on a busy day.
What Is a Casserole?
A casserole originally got its name from the shallow dish or pan in which it’s baked. This baked dish usually consists of a vegetable and starch in a creamy sauce with a cheesy or crunchy topping. While the addition of a protein can make it a one-pot meal, easy-to-make casseroles are also widely used as a side dish.
What Goes Well with Broccoli and Rice Casserole?
The best casserole dish pairs easily with a variety of meats and fish and broccoli rice casserole is no exception. We recommend serving this tasty side dish with grilled pork or salmon or roasted chicken for a quick weeknight dinner. It’s also decadent enough to accompany a savory baked ham for a holiday gathering, especially when paired with a crisp chardonnay.
Looking for a little freshness to round out the meal? We recommend serving broccoli and rice casserole with a simple lettuce salad, green beans, or asparagus.
Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole Recipe
Our favorite casserole recipes have to be easy to make with basic ingredients and rich flavor. This recipe checks off every box and can even be assembled in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake. Here’s how to prepare Jeanette’s cheesy broccoli and rice casserole:
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 8
- 5 c. chopped fresh broccoli
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 1 c. diced onion
- ⅓ c. diced celery
- 1 c. sliced white mushrooms
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ c. flour
- 2 c. milk
- ⅓ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ⅛ tsp. Cayenne pepper
- 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- ⅓ c. sour cream
- ⅓ c. mayonnaise
- 2 ½ c. cooked long-grain rice
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 1 c. Panko breadcrumbs or crushed Ritz crackers
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt butter and add celery, onion, and mushrooms. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic powder and flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually add milk and simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and half of the shredded cheddar cheese. Remove from heat and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in sour cream and mayonnaise. When combined, stir in rice and broccoli.
Pour into greased, 9×13 inch baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Mix breadcrumbs or crushed crackers with butter and sprinkle mixture over cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes until casserole is bubbling.
We think this broccoli and rice casserole can be the perfect accompaniment for both weeknight dinners and holiday gatherings. Need additional pairings for this versatile side dish? Try Jeanette’s Baked Pork Tenderloin for a delicious main course and her Brownies with Cookie Dough Frosting for a sweet ending.