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Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole

May 30, 2016 (Last Updated: November 23, 2020)

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. Those of you 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 that 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. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

I used a White Sharp Cheddar and Mild Cheddar in this recipe, but let me tell you, Colby-Jack and Mild Cheddar are also excellent combos 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 you.

 

 

 

 

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  or chicken 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  extra Vegetable or chicken 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  small 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 four cups of vegetable or chicken 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. 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.

 

Step Two

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 Three

Add 1 1/4 cups of the extra vegetable or chicken broth to the flour and onion mixture to the metal skillet, stir thoroughly, then slowly add half and half cream and sour cream to the mixture stirring until it becomes thick and creamy, slowly add the cheeses and stir the mixture until 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 Four

Fluff the rice,  then add 1/3 of the cheese sauce mixture and the broccoli florets to the rice in the 3-quart saucepan, gently stir to combine ingredients. Reserve the rest of the cheese sauce until needed in the next step

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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

hmccallum
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.
4.94 from 29 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 10 servings
Calories 508 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups Vegetable broth, to cook the rice may sub chicken broth
  • 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 may sub chicken 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 Small fresh broccoli flowerets cut into small pieces or thawed organic
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs for topping

Instructions
 

  • Boil the four cups of vegetable or chicken 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.
  • 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 ¼ of a cup of flour; stir continuously until the raw flour taste cooks off about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 1 ¼ cups of the extra vegetable or chicken broth to the flour and onion mixture to the metal skillet, stir thoroughly, then slowly add half and half cream and sour cream to the mixture stirring until it becomes thick and creamy, slowly add the cheeses and stir the mixture until 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.
  • Fluff the rice,  then add ⅓ of the cheese sauce mixture and the broccoli florets to the rice in the 3-quart saucepan, gently stir to combine ingredients. Reserve the rest of the cheese sauce until needed in the next step
  • Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray, then spoon another ⅓ of the cheese mixture to the bottom of the casserole dish before adding the rice mixture to the casserole dish, spoon the last ⅓ of sauce over the rice and broccoli, then top with seasoned bread crumbs.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite meal.

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 01Calories: 508kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 18gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 490mgPotassium: 296mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1091IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 440mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Broccoli and Rice, Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

 

 

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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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46 Comments

  • Reply
    Erika | Simply Low Cal
    November 18, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    What a delicious casserole! Those breadcrumbs on your Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole take it over the top, Delicious!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      November 20, 2019 at 3:38 pm

      Thank you so much, Erica! Those crunchy toppings reel me in every time

  • Reply
    Marlynn @UrbanBlissLife
    November 18, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Love recipes like this Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole that are passed on from generation to generation. I also love that there’s NO canned soup — yay for whole food ingredients!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      November 20, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      Marylynn, so glad you noticed there was no canned goop of soup in this lol!

  • Reply
    Alison Corey
    November 18, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    This looks amazing! I love the crunchy crust on top. This Southern Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a great dish to get the kids to eat their broccoli at dinnertime.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      November 20, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      Thank you so much, Allison!

  • Reply
    Cindy Gordon
    July 17, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Broccoli casseroles are my favorite! I LOVE them any time of the year!

  • Reply
    Paula Montenegro
    July 17, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    I love all ingredients, so I’ll take your husband’s and your son’s leftovers! The idea of not using canned soup is a plus, definitely. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Stewart
    July 17, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    I’m laughing so hard about your son and husband. So funny how cheese is like a miracle ingredient. The casserole looks wonderful.

  • Reply
    Tisha
    July 17, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    This looks like a great side dish or a meal in itself! Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    bethpierce2013
    July 17, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Can never go wrong with a broccoli casserole! This will make the best side dish with dinner tonight; looks spot-on delicious!

  • Reply
    Patsy Downs
    April 20, 2019 at 10:19 am

    This recipe was so dry!!! I doubled the recipe it and added more cream after it baked trying to make it moist. Just didn’t work for me. I have frozen four containers for the freezer is there any way to save some of these??? Not sure what else to do!!! Should have followed directions more closely I guess.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      April 20, 2019 at 11:14 am

      I’m sorry to hear this. Please explain to me step by step what you did or if you changed anything in the recipe.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      April 20, 2019 at 5:48 pm

      Just curious did you double the recipe or? Please elaborate on the doubling and adding more cream.

  • Reply
    Lisa Karen Kelly
    February 10, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    My mom used to make something like this for us on a weekly basis and this brings back so many memories. I need to try this on out on my kids. I think they will love it!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      February 11, 2019 at 6:33 am

      That’s so awesome to hear, I bet it was wonderful! I bet the kids would love this. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

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