Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole is a comforting dish of rice and broccoli combined with a creamy cheese sauce. Buttery Ritz crackers create the perfect crispy topping.
Casseroles are the perfect comfort food… and comfort food is high on my list of cravings when the weather starts to turn cold. This casserole combines broccoli and rice in a slightly spicy, cheesy sauce. Buttery Ritz crackers create a crispy topping that really makes this recipe special.
How to make Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole
This casserole is made from scratch – you will not find any condensed soup in this recipe. Fresh broccoli florets and cooked white rice are combined with a slightly spicy cheese sauce. Before baking, the casserole is topped with crushed Ritz crackers. And we all know, the crunchy topping is really the best part!
- Blanche the broccoli florets before adding to the casserole. This dish is just baked long enough to heat through, so blanching ensures the broccoli is perfectly tender.
- Add your favorite white rice to this recipe. Cook the rice according to package directions.
- Grating the onion helps it to melt into the other ingredients while still adding great onion flavor.
- Velveeta cheese gives the sauce a smooth and creamy consistency. Pepperjack cheese adds a little bit of spice. Alternatively, if you are not a fan of spice, Monterey jack can be used instead.
- Ground mustard and a touch of cayenne pepper add depth of flavor to the cheese sauce.
- Combine crushed Ritz crackers with melted butter for the ultimate crunchy topping.
- Bake the casserole for 30 minutes (20 minutes covered, 10 minutes uncovered) until heated through and crispy on top.
Can I make broccoli rice casserole ahead of time?
This casserole can be prepared ahead of time and baked when needed. Prepare according to the recipe. Let the ingredients cool completely before covering the baking dish tightly and refrigerating. When ready to serve, bring the casserole to room temperature and bake according to the recipe.
How do I reheat broccoli rice casserole?
The casserole can be reheated in the oven. Bring the dish to room temperature, cover tightly with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until warm. Smaller or single portions reheat well in the microwave. The amount of time needed is dependent on the wattage of your microwave oven.
How do I Serve broccoli rice casserole?
Serve broccoli cheese rice casserole as a side dish with chicken, beef, or pork. Add cooked chicken to take this from side dish to main dish. Serve this casserole as a side dish during the holidays or bring it to a potluck. No matter how you serve this dish, your family is sure to love this comforting casserole. If you try this recipe, please leave me a comment below and tag me on Instagram @mycasualpantry so I can see what you are creating in your kitchen.
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Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole with Ritz Cracker Topping
- 4 cups broccoli florets (about 2 large stalks, trimmed)
- 3 cups white rice, cooked
- 1/2 medium onion, grated
- 3 cups whole milk
- 6 ounces Velveeta processed cheese, cubed
- 6 ounces Pepperjack cheese, shredded
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 26 Ritz crackers, crushed (2 Fresh stacks)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2.5 or 3-quart baking dish. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water. Add the broccoli to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and transfer the broccoli to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium-low heat. Add the Velveeta and Pepperjack cheeses in two batches, whisking while melting to ensure a smooth consistency. When the cheese is fully melted, add the ground mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir to incorporate.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the broccoli, rice, grated onion, and the cheese sauce. Fold together until the sauce is evenly incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- In a bowl, combine the melted butter with the crushed crackers. Top the casserole with the cracker mixture. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes or until heated through and bubbling around the edges.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated. Cool the dish completely, cover tightly and refrigerate.