A new lunch box favorite, these broccoli cheese rice casserole Mini Pies! These cozy little side dishes make amazing leftovers, perfect for packing and surprising your sweeties for back to school.
There’s nothing quite as comforting as homemade broccoli cheese rice casserole. My kids love eating it at southern restaurants and beg me to make it at home.
Once school is back in session, they need a little extra comfort after long days and piles of homework. Heck, I need a little comfort as well. Let’s be honest, as much as I’m ready to send them back to school at the end of the summer… The moment they are gone I feel a sense of remorse.
Did we cherish every last summer moment? Did we make enough happy memories to counter-act mommy’s back-to-school shopping irritations?
I hope so.
These perfectly packaged broccoli cheese rice casserole mini pies are a little reminder of just how much I love them. They make a marvelous side dish to any meal, as well as a surprise lunch box meal on a tough day.
The mini pies start with creamy gooey broccoli cheese rice casserole, made on the stove top.
Sauté onions and broccoli florets in a skillet with a little butter. Then once they are just barely tender, I add in cooked rice, nutty California Cheddar Cheese, and silky California heavy cream.
The rich melting cheese and touch of cream make the texture of the broccoli cheese rice casserole something to experience.
Using dairy produced in California means that you’re getting products made with 100% California milk, from the more than 1500 dairy families in California. California dairy products are available nationwide and can be identified with the California Milk and California Cheese seals on packaging.
The kids love helping place the puff pastry into muffins tins, then scooping in the creamy rice filling into each pie.
We top them off with a bit of extra cheese, then bake them until golden-brown.
Served hot or at room temperature, these little babies are as cozy as a fuzzy blanket.
Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:40 minutes
An easy mini pie recipe with all the comfort of classic broccoli cheese rice casserole.
- 1 cup dried basmati rice
- 3 cups chicken stock, divided
- 2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 Tb. California butter
- 2 cup California shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup California heavy cream
- 3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 12-cup muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray, every other cup. Meanwhile, place 2 cups chicken stock and rice in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the rice for 15-20 minutes, until the stock absorbs and air holes form on the top. Fluff the rice with a fork and set aside.
- Cut each puff pastry sheet into 4 equal squares and place a square down into the sprayed muffin cups, leaving the points up.
- While the rice is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onion and broccoli to the skillet. Saute for 3-4 minutes until the broccoli is vibrant green and slightly soft. Add the cooked rice to the broccoli, then add 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Stir to combine. Then add 1 cup of chicken stock and 1/4 cups heavy cream. Stir until the cheese has melted to form a sauce.
- Spoon the broccoli rice filling into the puff pastry cups. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then gently lift out. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board. All opinions are my own.