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Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a Southern favorite in our home and one of our most beloved recipes passed down from one generation to the next; made with long grain rice, fresh never frozen broccoli, sautéed Vidalia onions, sharp white cheddar, mild yellow cheddar, sour cream, low sodium vegetable broth, and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs before being baked to perfection.

Did you notice the ingredient list? That’s right, and I bet you have seen this delicious recipe for Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole has no mention of canned soup or processed cheese included. Now for those of you, that love your Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole but hate using those two ingredients these days; you are going to fall in love with this updated recipe.

 

 

Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a Southern favorite in our home and one of our most beloved recipes passed down from one generation to the next; made with long grain rice, fresh never frozen broccoli, sautéed Vidalia onions, white sharp cheddar, mild yellow cheddar, sour cream, low sodium vegetable broth, and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs before being baked to perfection. One of the many things that I have always loved about this recipe is the fact even though my son hated broccoli when he was small. My husband hated rice for some reason. They love cheese, and anything that has cheese trumps the ingredients they aren’t so fond of. Figure that one out since both devour this casserole like no tomorrow when I serve it. I guess cheese makes everything better.

 

 

 

Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a Southern favorite in our home and one of our most beloved recipes passed down from one generation to the next; made with long grain rice, fresh never frozen broccoli, sautéed Vidalia onions, white sharp cheddar, mild yellow cheddar, sour cream, low sodium vegetable broth, and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs before being baked to perfection. I decided I would make this hearty casserole today for our Memorial Day gathering, and I had a good chuckle as one of our friends from New Jersey told me they thought Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole was a recipe we only served at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now let me tell Y’all this deliciously cheesy casserole can be performed on any given day you’d like to splurge at dinner. All of you don’t have to wait until the Thanksgiving holiday to enjoy it!

 

 

 

Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a Southern favorite in our home and one of our most beloved recipes passed down from one generation to the next; made with long grain rice, fresh never frozen broccoli, sautéed Vidalia onions, white sharp cheddar, mild yellow cheddar, sour cream, low sodium vegetable broth, and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs before being baked to perfection.Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is pure unadulterated Comfort Food bliss, in my opinion. I mean, anytime you combine Rice, Cheese, Broccoli, and other favorite ingredients in a recipe, it gets my full attention right then and there. I can’t help myself when it comes to broccoli and cheese — totally one of my favorite combinations.

 

 

 

Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a Southern favorite in our home and one of our most beloved recipes passed down from one generation to the next; made with long grain rice, fresh never frozen broccoli, sautéed Vidalia onions, white sharp cheddar, mild yellow cheddar, sour cream, low sodium vegetable broth, and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs before being baked to perfection.I have even added grilled chicken breast strips to this casserole and made an entire meal around it. It’s super simple to make and clean up on a busy night. There are some time-saving options you can use to keep the time closer to 30 minutes,

 

 

 

Tips for the recipe:

  1. Use thawed organic frozen broccoli in place of fresh.
  2. Use leftover white rice from another previous meal.
  3. If you add the chicken, use a rotisserie chicken from the market.

 

 

 

 

 

In this recipe, I used a White Sharp Cheddar and Mild Cheddar, but let me tell you Colby-Jack and Mild Cheddar are also an excellent combo for the Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole recipe as well. Try it both ways, and be sure to let me know which you like better? I always love hearing from Y’all.

 

 

 

 

Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a Southern favorite in our home and one of our most beloved recipes passed down from one generation to the next; made with long grain rice, fresh never frozen broccoli, sautéed Vidalia onions, white sharp cheddar, mild yellow cheddar, sour cream, low sodium vegetable broth, and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs before being baked to perfection.Let me know Y’all how you enjoyed this old-school Southern favorite of ours in the comments, and I love hearing feedback from you on the recipes that you try on the blog. Also, if needed during the off-season, frozen broccoli may be used by simply adding it to the casserole while still frozen so that it does not overlook during the baking process.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients Needed:

  • Four cups Vegetable broth to cook the rice
  • Two cups Long grain rice
  • Four tablespoons unsalted butter
  • One Vidalia onion chopped
  • Kosher salt, to own taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • One and 1/4 cups Vegetable Broth
  • Two and 1/4 cups of Half and Half + more if needed for the sauce
  • 3/4 cups Sour cream
  • Two cups Freshly shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Two cups Freshly shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • Three cups Fresh broccoli flowerets cut into small pieces
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs

 

 

 

More Tips:

  1. Follow the instructions word for word. Changing the recipe may cause the method to be incorrect consistency or taste.
  2. Before baking, be sure to check the thickness of your cheese sauce with the rice mixture; if it seems too dry, add more half and half cream before baking.
  3. Use Colby-Jack and Mild cheddar cheese in place of the Sharp cheese if desired.
  4. Be sure to check the consistency of your rice and cheese mixture. Before baking to make sure you do not need more liquids. Add slowly as you do not want sticky rice.
  5. Add grilled chicken chunks or strips to the rice casserole and make it an entire meal.
  6. Use organic frozen broccoli in place of fresh when broccoli is out of season in your area.

 

 

 

 

Step One

Boil the vegetable broth in a 3-quart pan. Once the water comes to a boil, add 2 cups of long-grain white rice and stir. Boil for about 3-4 minutes before covering with a tight-fitting lid and reducing heat to the lowest setting. Leave the burner on the lowest heat setting covered for about 10-12 minutes, then completely turn off the heat source and let rice stand for about 10 minutes.

 

Step Two

At this time, use a fork to fluff the long-grain white rice. The rice may seem a bit dry, however, the liquids you will be adding to the rice will be absorbed in the baking process and make the rice the proper consistency. Once the rice has been fluffed, add 1/3 of the cheese sauce mixture and the uncooked broccoli florets to the rice in the 3-quart saucepan, gently stir to combine ingredients.

 

Step Three 

Meanwhile, place a metal skillet on medium heat, add 3-4 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the skillet, let unsalted butter slowly melt, then add chopped Vidalia onion, season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, sauté the onions in butter for about 3 minutes before adding 1/4 of a cup of flour; stir continuously until the raw flour taste cooks off about 2-3 minutes.

 

Step Four

Add 1 1/4 cups of vegetable broth to the flour and onion mixture in the metal skillet, stir thoroughly, then slowly add half and half cream and sour cream to the mixture stirring till it becomes thick and creamy, slowly add the cheeses and stir the mixture till it becomes thick and creamy, if the cheese mixture becomes too thick add a touch more broth or half and half cream to it to thin out. You may season with more kosher salt and freshly ground pepper if desired.

 

Step Five

Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray, then spoon another 1/3 of the cheese mixture to the bottom of the casserole dish before adding the rice mixture to the casserole dish, spoon the last 1/3 of sauce over the rice and broccoli, then top with seasoned bread crumbs.

 

Step Six

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite meal.

 

 

 

 

4.91 from 31 votes
Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a Southern favorite in our home and one of our most beloved recipes passed down from one generation to the next; made with long grain rice, fresh never frozen broccoli, sautéed Vidalia onions, white sharp cheddar, mild yellow cheddar, sour cream, low sodium vegetable broth, and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs before being baked to perfection.
Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Deliciously Flavorful Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a Southern favorite in our home and one of our most beloved recipes passed down from one generation to the next.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: Broccoli and Rice, Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Servings: 8 People
Calories: 425 kcal
Author: hmccallum
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Vegetable broth, to cook the rice
  • 2 cups Long grain rice
  • 3-4 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 1 Vidalia onion chopped
  • Kosher salt, to own taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to own taste
Cheese mixture
  • ¼ cup Flour
  • 1 ¼ cups Vegetable broth
  • 2 ¼ cups Half and half cream + more if needed for the sauce
  • ¾ cup Sour cream
  • 2 cups Freshly shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups Freshly shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups Fresh broccoli flowerets cut into small pieces
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs for topping
Instructions
  1. Boil the vegetable broth in a 3-quart pan. Once the water comes to a boil, add 2 cups of long-grain white rice and stir. Boil for about 3-4 minutes before covering with a tight-fitting lid and reducing heat to the lowest setting. Leave the burner on the lowest heat setting covered for about 10-12 minutes, then completely turn off the heat source and let rice stand for about 10 minutes.

  2. At this time, use a fork to fluff the long-grain white rice. The rice may seem a bit dry, however, the liquids you will be adding to the rice will be absorbed in the baking process and make the rice the proper consistency. Once the rice has been fluffed, add 1/3 of the cheese sauce mixture and the uncooked broccoli florets to the rice in the 3-quart saucepan, gently stir to combine ingredients.

  3. Meanwhile, place a metal skillet on medium heat, add 3-4 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the skillet, let unsalted butter slowly melt, then add chopped Vidalia onion, season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, sauté the onions in butter for about 3 minutes before adding 1/4 of a cup of flour; stir continuously until the raw flour taste cooks off about 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add 1 1/4 cups of vegetable broth to the flour and onion mixture in the metal skillet, stir thoroughly, then slowly add half and half cream and sour cream to the mixture stirring till it becomes thick and creamy, slowly add the cheeses and stir the mixture till it becomes thick and creamy, if the cheese mixture becomes too thick add a touch more broth or half and half cream to it to thin out. You may season with more kosher salt and freshly ground pepper if desired.

  5. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray, then spoon another 1/3 of the cheese mixture to the bottom of the casserole dish before adding the rice mixture to the casserole dish, spoon the last 1/3 of sauce over the rice and broccoli, then top with seasoned bread crumbs.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite meal.

Recipe Notes
  1. Follow the instructions word for word. Changing the recipe may cause the method to be incorrect consistency or taste.

  2. Before baking, be sure to check the thickness of your cheese sauce with the rice mixture; if it seems too dry, add more half and half cream before baking.

  3. Use Colby-Jack and Mild cheddar cheese in place of the Sharp cheese if desired.

  4. Be sure to check the consistency of your rice and cheese mixture. Before baking to make sure you do not need more liquids. Add slowly as you do not want sticky rice.

  5. Add grilled chicken chunks or strips to the rice casserole and make it an entire meal.

  6. Use organic frozen broccoli in place of fresh when broccoli is out of season in your area.

 

 

 

Don’t forget to Pin or Print to save the recipe for later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a Southern favorite in our home and one of our most beloved recipes passed down from one generation to the next; made with long grain rice, fresh never frozen broccoli, sautéed Vidalia onions, white sharp cheddar, mild yellow cheddar, sour cream, low sodium vegetable broth, and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs before being baked to perfection.

 

 

 

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Pepper
    October 14, 2020 at 9:42 am

    This was a recipe that was a little confusing getting through at times. However, it was well worth it! My husband is a super picky eater. He said this was the best thing I’ve made all year! I’m a pretty good cook, but it was that good. I made a couple of changes because it was easier for me and what I have in my pantry. I used chicken broth and made the rice ahead of time in my rice cooker. I will definitely be making this again! Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      October 14, 2020 at 11:12 am

      Thank you, Pepper! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe.

  • Reply
    Kathy Mizzen
    November 19, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    I made this but was a little confused at first. I was not sure where to see the part of the recipe for the cheese sauce… So my guess is you make that when cooking the rice ?? That’s what I did

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      November 20, 2019 at 3:50 pm

      Hi, Kathy, did you view the recipe card? If not try taking a look there. Hope this helps you. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply
    Beth
    November 18, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    This Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is amazing! I’m with you, I love using fresh ingredients over canned – always feels healthier, right?!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      November 20, 2019 at 3:43 pm

      Thank you, so much Beth! I love hearing positive feedback and it really makes my day!

  • Reply
    Vicky
    November 18, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    I am always looking for more casserole dishes to serve as sides for special dinners. This Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole looks great and even my picky kids would love all the ingredients.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      November 20, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      Vicky, this is perfect to serve on holidays too! Thanks for the feedback!

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