Broccoli Casserole with Cheddar and Rice

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This casserole has found its place at potluck dinners, Sunday dinners, weeknight meals, and beyond for many generations.

We are going to step things up a bit and forgo the processed cheese and canned condensed soup and replace them with quality cheddar cheese and easy homemade cream of mushroom soup. The difference in taste is night and day and is completely worth the little bit of extra effort it takes.


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How To Make Broccoli Casserole with Cheddar and Rice

We’re taking this iconic casserole to the next level.

All it takes is a little prep work, and then it all comes together very quickly. 

A white dinner plate filled with a large helping of broccoli casserole next to carrots nubs and a sliced grilled breast of chicken.

How To Blanch Broccoli

Even when we’re using frozen broccoli (you didn’t hear us say that😉), we always blanch our broccoli florets.

There are multiple methods for blanching, but we use the process of quickly adding vegetables (ie, broccoli) to boiling water for about 1 minute, and then draining and quickly transferring to an ice bath.

EXPERT TIP: Blanching the broccoli softens the vegetable just enough so after the casserole bakes, it’s fork-tender: not too tough, yet not too mushy. Transferring to an ice bath ensures the broccoli won’t continue to cook, even after it’s been drained.

Broccoli florets being dropped from a glass bowl into a pot of boiling water and then the florets being transferred into an ice batch.

Elevating the Flavor Profile

The combination of broccoli and cheddar cheese is truly a match mead in heaven. In fact, check out our: Broccoli Cheddar Quiche and Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

We love to get two 8 oz. blocks of good quality cheddar, medium-sharp, regular-sharp, or extra-sharp, and then use either our food processor or a box grater to shred the cheese. Bagged cheddar will always be drier and not as loaded with flavor.

Perfectly steamed rice adds a nice texture and taste to the broccoli casserole that is noticeably better than fast-boil rice.

EXPERT TIP: But what really brings the epic casserole together is the homemade cream of mushroom soup. It can easily be made days in advance and is honestly what puts the dish over the top. And we promise: It’s easy to prepare!

Mix all the ingredients (except the buttery Panko bread crumbs) together in a large bowl or pot.

A 4-cup measuring with cream of mushroom soup being pouted in a large bowl filled with cooked broccoli florets, steamed white rice, shredded cheddar cheese.

Every good casserole needs a crunchy topping.

We find the mixing Panko bread crumbs with a couple of tablespoons of melted butter make the most amazing topping ever.

Sprinkle the top of the casserole with Parmesan cheese, and then top with the Panko/butter mixture.

A person sprinkling bread crumbs over the top of an uncooked broccoli casserole in a large oval baking dish.

How To Serve and How To Store

This casserole is perfect for serving a crowd, such as a potluck dinner.

Soon after it’s out of the oven, cover with foil, and it will stay warm for 30 minutes to an hour.

EXPERT TIP: Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 1 week. The casserole reheats wonderfully in an oven preheated to 350° for about 20 minutes. The casserole can be prepared up to 3 days in advance of baking. If making in advance, wait until just before baking to add the Panko/butter topping.

A large oval baking dish filled with broccoli casserole with cheddar and rice fresh out of the oven.

What To Serve With Broccoli Casserole

This casserole is pure comfort food.

Because we’ve elevated the flavor profile, it’s perfect for a side dish on your holiday table.

It’s the perfect side to Roast Turkey, Baked Ham, or Perfect Loin Roast. You can use any leftover Cream of Mushroom Soup to make our Gourmet Green Bean Casserole! Side dish extravaganza!

A large silver spoon lifting up a steaming helping of broccoli casserole over a dish of the same.

If you’re looking to step up the game on a classic dish, that still won’t take endless hours in the kitchen, look no further.

Every time we serve this dish to guests, people can not get over the taste and always want the recipe (and leftovers to take home).

It elevates the ordinary to extraordinary in an amazing way.

A large oval baking dish filled with broccoli casserole with part of it missing and a large serving spoon sitting in the dish.

Ready to make a side dish that quite possibly will be the star of the show? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A large silver spoon lifting up a steaming helping of broccoli casserole over a dish of the same.

Broccoli Casserole with Cheddar and Rice

Broccoli Casserole is a classic dish that has been making its way onto potluck dinners and Sunday meals at home for generations. Well, we just elevated this dish to levels your guests will be talking about for days. And the whole thing can be prepared a day in advance (before baking).
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli casserole with cheese and rice recipe, how to make broccoli casserole from scratch, Thanksgiving side dish recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Making the Soup: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 463kcal

Equipment

  • 9"x13" baking dish (or similar size)

Ingredients

  • 4 cup cream of mushroom soup click the link for easy recipe
  • 2 heads broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 lb cheddar cheese grated
  • 2 cups steamed rice click the link for easy recipe
  • ½ cup scallions chopped
  • tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted, plus extra for greasing dish
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Make-Ahead

  • Cream of mushroom soup (see link in the ingredients list)

Prepare the Casserole

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with water and add ice. Carefully add the broccoli florets to the boiling water. Bring back to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Drain and transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking. Discard the ice and drain again.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Grease a 9x13" baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, add the blanched broccoli, cheddar cheese, cooked rice, scallions, salt, and pepper. Pour the cream of mushroom soup over the top. Use a large wooden spoon to mix everything together.
  • In a small bowl, pour the melted butter over the Panko bread crumbs. Use a fork to mix together.
  • Transfer the broccoli mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top, and then top with the bread crumbs.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Increase the temperature to 425°F and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned on top and the casserole is bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Notes

NOTE:  See the video near the top of the blog post for visual reference.  If you enjoyed the video, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel
The homemade cream of mushroom soup really puts this dish over the top.  It can be made days in advance.  See the link for the recipe in the ingredients list.
If using frozen broccoli, we still recommend blanching it for 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water first.  
The casserole can be assembled up to adding the bread crumbs up to a day in advance.  Keep in the fridge and cover with foil.  Add the breadcrumb mixture just before baking. 
Leftovers will keep in an air-tight container with a lid for up to 1 week.  And the casserole can be frozen (baked or unbaked) for up to 2 months.  If unbaked, allow to thaw and then bake according to recipe directions.  If baked, then allow to thaw, cover with foil, and reheat in a 350°F oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. 

Nutrition

Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 1811mg | Potassium: 740mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1691IU | Vitamin C: 137mg | Calcium: 540mg | Iron: 3mg
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