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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Broccoli Casserole with Cheddar and Rice
- 9"x13" baking dish (or similar size)
- 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
- 1½ 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
- 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.
Hi Guys making this recipe now for the 3rd time. Thats how yummy it is. With Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup it is just as good. Trying it this time with cream of chicken soup. This time just with broccoli and cauliflower. Cauliflower is a fabulous addition. So is chicken. It worked perfectly. Thinking next time of substituting chicken Rice a Roni instead of plain rice. That should be very good. This is a fabulous recipe that you can make anyway you like it. Thanks so much.
Hi Jim!! Please forgive the late response!! We agree that going with canned soup is really great, too! Cauliflower and chicken are fantastic additions! A meal in one dish!!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Kris & Wesley
Just made this for the first time just put it in the oven. Also added cauliflower and some chicken breast chunks that I had. Made your mushroom soup recipe. The mixture bowl had to be cleaned out licked to the very bottom after the contents were put in the casserole dish. Yummy. Need I say more. This will be Christmas Eve dinner. Its coming out of the oven in 2 minutes.
Hi Jim! So sorry for the delayed response! Wow! We LOVE the addition of cauliflower and chicken to the casserole! That is definitely a meal in itself! We hope it turned out great and we truly hope you and your loved ones had a beautiful Christmas! Happy New Year!! Kris & Wesley
Hey guys, do you have any ideas on a cream of mushroom substitute? Cream of broccoli or chicken maybe?
Hi Colleen! Cream of broccoli or chicken would work great. Cream of celery is a nice option, too. Let us know if you make the casserole and what you think!!! Best, Kris & Wesley
This looks like the ideal casserole. Nice chunks of broccoli and lots of cheddar cheese, most people skimp on the cheese because of the cost. You can never have enough cheese. It has occurred to me that an ideal addition to this if you are not a vegetarian would be chunks of chicken breast. Going to make this recipe soon.
Many thanks for this,
Hi Jim! We agree about the cheese! This casserole needs to be good and cheesy! And the addition of chicken would be fantastic! Best, Kris & Wesley