Creamy, CHEESY Broccoli Rice Recipe


TRY MY NEW Vegan Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole - It's WAY BETTER!

This cheesy broccoli and rice recipe was a BIG HIT with the family.  It made a perfect side to a batch of crispy, chicken.  It, also, made a filling vegetarian lunch the next day.  I thought it was even better the next day.
Broccoli rice recipes I've tried in the past left me with overcooked broccoli and dried out rice.  I like my broccoli to have a bite and I want the rice to blend with the creamy cheese sauce that holds it all together.

Well, I was so impressed with the creaminess of the Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Mac with Spinach recipe, I thought I'd follow it again to make my own creamy, cheesy broccoli rice recipe. The results yielded a dish full of broccoli goodness and soul satisfying creaminess.

Precooking the long grain rice gave me control to have a moist, fluffy and flavorful rice.  Blanching the broccoli ensured I would have the right bite to my vegetable.  Then baking it off in the oven for 20 minutes brought all the ingredients together under a topping of sharp cheddar cheese.  Mmmmm...


  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3 small to medium crowns of broccoli, cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces

First, fill a large saucepan with water, set to boil over medium-high heat for blanching the broccoli.

In a medium saucepan, lightly brown rice and sliced garlic in oil for 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat; constantly stirring.  Add hot water, stir; cover with lid.  Reduce heat to low and cook 12 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

PREHEAT OVEN 400ºF. Grease 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan.

While you're waiting for the rice to absorb the water, blanch the broccoli. Blanch 4 minutes in boiling water.  Use a slotted spoon to lift out broccoli to a strainer set over a bowl to drain.  Allow broccoli to cool enough to handle.  Roughly chop into small pieces about 3/4 to 1-inch in size. Transfer to large mixing bowl.

Bring it all together.

  • cooked rice from above
  • 1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Monterrey jack cheese, grated
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons  yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

In the mixing bowl with the broccoli, add measured rice, 1 cup cheddar, all the jack cheese, evaporated milk, onion, salt and pepper.  Transfer to 8-inch pan.  Top with remaining cheddar.
Bake 20 minutes.

  • Susan

    As always you have the greatest recipes! I am going to try the Fiesta salad next time we have company. Hmmmmm, now who could we invite to supper? And I looooove Cheesy Broccoli casseroles! Looking forward to trying that one soon! Susan

  • This recipe is filling and satisfying enough to be called “Dinner.” I love veggie plates and my family happily eats cheesy broccoli and rice all by itself.

    For folks that have to have a meat on their plate, I wouldn’t hesitate to add a box of fried chicken to the menu. Make the cheesy broccoli and rice ahead of time then pick up a box of fried chicken on your way home. If you made enough, it could cover two or three meals. There’s no way anyone could tire of eating this combination.

  • joni lynch

    Pleeeze tell us the numer of sevings these recipe make!

    Also, do you have the capacity to change the number of ingredients to serve a
    large crowd?

    • Good morning Joni!

      Well the number of servings depends on if the recipe is eaten as a main dish or a side.

      Since it fits inside an 8-inch by 8-inch pan:

      – 4 servings as a main dish

      – 6 servings as a side dish

      If you’re planning to serve a hungry bunch that loves this sort of dish, I would double the recipe and bake it in a 13-inch by 9-inch casserole dish.
      It keeps very well as a leftover and is easily reheated in the microwave for quick lunches for work.

      • I just saw your second question. I have asked my web developer about implementing such a tool into SDR. It’s on the SDR Updates List, but I can’t say when it will be up and running right now.

  • thank you .just too good we loved it

  • Micaela

    We use jasmine rice for all our cooking, do you think it will work for this recipe?

  • Honestly, Micaela, I’ve not eaten Jasmine rice, so I don’t know how much different it is in it’s texture and nuttiness to long-grain rice.

    Who can help Micaela here?

  • Susan

    Good morning, Jill and Micaela

    JASMINE RICE is a specialty or gourmet rice with a slight jasmine aroma after cooking and cooks to nice firm rice. It is just slightly sticky when compared to Basmati, which is not sticky at all.

    Jasmine rice should work just fine for this recipe.


      I’m missing you. I need to plan a Mom’s day out and head your way for another day of tea & salad at your shop.

      • Susan

        We will be looking forward to your visit! We have been playing with some new salads and have a very yummy new sandwich….
        I combine mayo with a Pepper Jam slathered on bread, slices of roast beef, swiss cheese, sliced bell peppers, herbs and spices, toasted in the oven! Served with a fresh salad and fresh fruit, and a glass of Organic Peach Ice tea! Heaven on a plate! See you soon!

        • Winnsboro and the Art & Espresso Cafe is so lucky to have you!

  • samantha

    Can you use regular milk as opposed to evaporated? I like to cook with “whole” foods.

    • Hi Samantha!

      I’ll tell ya, if you can get your hands on some fresh-from-the-cow whole milk (Non-homogenized, Low or non-pasteurized) you will be set.
      Let the fresh milk sit in the icebox for a day, which will allow the cream to come to the top. Then, pour off 1 1/2 cups of that fresh cream and add that to the recipe instead of the evaporated milk. You will have a wonderful creaminess to this dish, plus all the real nutrition that comes from consuming fresh dairy.

  • Deborah R

    Can this recipe be made ahead and frozen?

    • I don’t see why not, Deborah. When it came time to bake it, I would allow it to thaw first. Then, I would cover it with heavy foil and bake at the suggested temperature. As far as the baking time, you may need to extend it by 10 to 15 minutes, depending how long the dish was allowed to thaw.

      I haven’t tried freezing it for a make-ahead meal. Please let me know how it works out for you.

  • nora-leah

    this looks yum. can you suggest directions if i wanted to add chicken breast in the recipe?

    • Let’s see, if I were to add chicken to this recipe, I would try cutting two partially frozen chicken boobs into bit size cubes. Finely chop a small yellow onion, too. Saute them together in olive oil over medium heat; cook until chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.

      Toss the cooked chicken and onion into the mixing bowl with the broccoli and rice, then proceed with the recipe as written.

      Let me know how it turns out for you, Nora-Leah.

  • Shawna

    Ohhhh…I have to tell ya, Jill….You HAVE to try Basmati and/or Jasmine. I LOVE IT!!! It cooks up SO much better than long grain rice. It tastes so good, too! It’s PERFECT for doing fried rice and ANY other rice dish. It makes Spanish Rice so yummy and fluffy….and Fried Rice look so authentic.

    I stir my dry rice in a little veg oil/butter in a warm pan and let it toast. Then heat up your amount of water needed in pyrex measuring cup, in microwave. (Very hot) Then once your basmati is toasted (but not really brown..just light toast…..pour in your hot water and gently simmer with lid on. Fluff when done……The trick is toasting it in oil/fat and then NOT stirring the rice/water!!! And OMG………….SOOOOOOO GOOD! Best rice I’ve ever eaten, and we know rice! My hubby is from El Campo where he used to work on a rice farm………we buy Texmati also, but the imported is the best.

    • Shawna,
      That’s the same way I cook long grain rice, I mean EXACTLY the same way. Try adding minced or whole garlic, or minced onion to the pan when your toasting the rice. Sometimes, I toss in a pinch or two of dried parsley. SO GOOD. I know you’ll dig it.

      I will take your advice and try the Basmati and/or Jasmine rice. Texmati is a local brand so I’ll support that one.

  • Blanca

    This recipe looks incredible, I can’t wait to test it out on my family 🙂

  • Danielle

    Hi Jill, making this recipe as we speak. I decided to use jasmine rice, as that’s the only rice we ever make.
    I also am using a rice steamer. I toasted the rice in a pan then added it to my steamer
    With chicken broth. Can’t wait to see how it turns out 🙂
    Thank you for a wonderful recipe, I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • caro_7

    Thanks for the recipe. I used parmagiano reggiano, old cheddar and milk. Instead of rice, I used quinoa toasted and cooked in veg broth.

  • Lambchop

    I use orzo…. Orzo is sooo good with any casserole dish..We eat jasmine daily and prefer basmati in Persian foods instead