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BROCCOLI RICE CASSEROLE

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe

Introduction

This Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole is a delightful dish featuring fresh broccoli, creamy cheddar cheese sauce, and aromatic onions and garlic. It’s a perfect complement to roasted chicken, turkey, or pork chops, offering a comforting blend of flavors and textures that will please the whole family.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups broccoli florets, large stems removed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
  • 2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preparation: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Blanch the Broccoli: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 2 minutes. Immediately transfer the broccoli to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process. Drain the broccoli in a colander.
  3. Make the Cheese Sauce: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the minced garlic, and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add Flour and Milk: Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while stirring continuously until the mixture thickens slightly.
  5. Season the Sauce: Mix in the dry mustard, paprika, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Add the cubes of cream cheese and stir gently until melted. Gradually add 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until smooth.
  6. Assemble the Casserole: In a large bowl, combine the blanched broccoli, cooked rice, and cheese sauce. Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish.
  7. Bake: Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges are lightly browned.
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Tips

  • Frozen Broccoli: You can use frozen broccoli for convenience; skip the blanching step since it’s already blanched.
  • Prepping Broccoli: Remove the large stems and cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces before blanching for optimal texture.
  • Variations: Substitute or add sautéed mushrooms for a different flavor profile.
  • Rice Options: Any type of white rice can be used, such as jasmine, basmati, long grain, or instant rice.
  • Avoid Overcooking: Bake the casserole just until the cheese is melted and the edges are lightly browned for the best texture.

FAQs

Can I make this casserole ahead of time?
Yes, you can assemble the casserole and refrigerate it for up to a day before baking. Let it come to room temperature before baking as directed.

Can I freeze leftovers?
This casserole can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Can I use different cheeses in this recipe?
Feel free to experiment with different cheese combinations based on your preferences. Gouda, mozzarella, or Gruyere can also work well.

What can I serve with this casserole?
It pairs beautifully with roasted chicken, turkey, pork chops, or as a vegetarian main dish alongside a green salad.