Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole
Best Broccoli and Rice Casserole Recipe – We kick up a classic broccoli rice and cheese casserole with green chiles and crushed red pepper for a spicy, delicious, and satisfying vegetarian side or main dish!
Why We Love this Broccoli and Rice Casserole Recipe
Tender rice and broccoli baked all snug with melty cheese… Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole is the definition of comfort food! It’s a classic vegetarian American dish that has been popular for generations because it is both budget-friendly and simply delicious. Even the most picky eaters come back for seconds!
In this easy recipe, we add crushed red pepper flakes and green chiles (your choice of mild and spicy) for a delightful kick of heat. The blend of cream cheese and cheddar cheese helps to balance the spice, so you get this WOW combination of unique flavors in every scoop.
The casserole is quick to put together in about 15 minutes, so it’s great to prep right after work. Then pop it in the oven for 30-40 minutes and go unwind from the day. By the time you are settled in your comfy clothes, the piping hot broccoli casserole is ready to serve as a hearty side or main dish!
Ingredients You Need
- Butter – unsalted
- Onion – peeled and chopped
- Garlic – minced
- Rice – long-grain white rice
- Vegetable broth – or chicken broth, if you like
- Chopped green chiles – your choice of mild or spicy
- Spices – salt, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper
- Broccoli florets – fresh chopped
- Cream cheese – softened
- Sharp Cheddar cheese – shredded
How to Make Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Place a large pot over medium heat. Melt the butter. Then add the onions and garlic. Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes. Then stir in the rice, 6 cups broth, green chiles, salt, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper.
Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Allow the rice to cook for 15-20 minutes covered, until steam holes are evident on the surface and the broth has absorbed.
Stir the small broccoli florets, cream cheese, 4 cups shredded cheddar, and remaining 1 cup broth into the rice.
Get the Complete (Printable) Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Stir until the cream cheese melts into the mixture.
Spoon the rice mixture into the casserole dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Then top the rice with the remaining shredded cheddar and place back in the oven for 5 minutes.
Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe Variations
- Rice – swap long-grain white rice with short-grain rice or brown rice
- Cheese – cheddar cheese is classic, but feel free to substitute or do a combination with shredded Colby jack, Mexican blend, Italian blend, or spicy pepper jack cheese
- Veggies – try swapping broccoli with cauliflower florets for a different taste with the same veg-goodness you love
- Meat – mix in cooked ground beef or shredded chicken after stirring the cream cheese into the rice
- Mild broccoli cheese casserole – if you aren’t a fan of spicy foods feel free to simply omit the crushed red pepper
- Crunch – If you want a crunchy top, you can sprinkle panko bread crumbs, crushed Ritz crackers, or crispy fried onions over the dish before baking!
This casserole has starchy rice, protein-rich cheeses, and broccoli… Essentially, it is an entire meal by itself!
Make it the main feature of dinner and serve with your choice of side dishes. Can’t get enough veggies? Neither can we! Broccoli and cheese casserole is great to pair with savory Sautéed Mushrooms, Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts or Carrots, Creamed Spinach, or a simple green salad.
Because it’s both a vegetable and carb-y casserole, this is also a terrific all-in-one side dish. Serve alongside meaty main dishes like Baked Ham, Smoked or Sous Vide Pork Chops, Grilled Chicken, or any protein you like!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the rice is cooked on the stovetop. Then it is combined with the veggies and cheese, spread into the pan, and baked.
Fresh tastes best, definitely. However, you can technically use frozen broccoli florets. Do not thaw them before stirring into the rice mixture.
This broccoli and cheese casserole is great for meal prepping! Let the dish cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap or transferring the leftovers to an airtight container. Leftovers will keep well for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Yes, you can. But note that the texture and taste will change slightly after freezing and reheating. Let the casserole cool completely before transferring to an airtight container, or wrapping the freezer-safe container in aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before baking.
Looking for More Classic Casserole Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Broccoli Cheese Casserole Mini Pies
- Cheesy Hominy Casserole
- Old-Fashioned Zucchini Casserole
- Savory Butternut Squash Casserole
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole Recipe
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups long grain rice
- 7 cups vegetable broth divided (or chicken broth)
- 2 cans chopped green chiles mild or hot (9oz total)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 7 cups broccoli florets very small
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 5 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the butter, onions and garlic. Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes. Then stir in the rice, 6 cups broth, green chiles, salt, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Allow the rice to cook for 15-20 minutes, covered, until steam holes are evident on the surface and the broth has absorbed.
- Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Allow the rice to cook for 15-20 minutes, covered, until steam holes are evident on the surface and the broth has absorbed.
- Stir the small broccoli florets, cream cheese, 4 cups shredded cheddar, and remaining 1 cup broth into the rice. Stir until the cream cheese melts into the mixture.
- Spoon the rice mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Then top the rice with the remaining shredded cheddar and place back in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm.