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.
Did you notice the ingredient list? That’s right, I bet you noticed this delicious recipe for Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole has absolutely 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.
One of the things that I have always loved about this recipe is the fact even though my son hated broccoli when he was small and my husband hated rice for some reason they love cheese and anything that has cheese trumps the ingredients they aren’t so fond of, go figure that one out since both literally devour this casserole like no tomorrow when I serve it. I guess cheese makes everything better.
I decided to make this hearty casserole today for our Memorial Day gathering and 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 served on any given day you’d like to splurge at dinner. Y’all don’t have to wait until the Thanksgiving holiday to enjoy it!
Let me know y’all how you enjoyed this old-school Southern favorite of ours in the comments, 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.
Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole
- 2 and 1/2 cups of vegetable broth to cook the rice
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 medium Vidalia onion chopped
- kosher salt to own taste
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 of a cup of self-rising flour
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- 1 cup of half and half + more if needed for the sauce
- 1/2 of a cup of sour cream
- 1 of a cup of freshly shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1 of a cup of freshly shredded mild cheddar cheese
- 4 cups of fresh broccoli flowerets cut into small pieces
- cooking spray
- 1 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
Instructions for recipe
- Boil the low sodium chicken broth in a 3-quart pan, once 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 lowest setting. Leave the burner on the lowest heat setting covered for about 10 minutes, then completely turn off the heat source and let rice stand for about 5-6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place a metal skillet on medium heat, add 3 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 self-rising flour; stir continuously till flour taste cooks off about 2-3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of vegetable broth to the flour and onion mixture in the metal skillet, stir thoroughly, then slowly add half and half 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.
- 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.
- Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray then ladle another 1/3 of the cheese mixture to the bottom of the casserole dish before adding the rice mixture to the casserole dish, ladle the last 1/3 of sauce over the rice and broccoli, then top with seasoned bread crumbs.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20-35 minutes uncovered.
- Remove from oven and serve with your favorite meal.
© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2017- 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You may not copy and paste recipes to share on Social Platforms