Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Best Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole (No canned Soup!)

 If you would like a really creamy, really cheesy Broccoli and Rice recipe, look no further. This awesome recipe is the best I've ever had, and there is absolutely no canned soup involved. I made it this week and my husband and I both loved it's creaminess, with lots of broccoli goodness and great cheese flavor too. I won't make any other, ever. In my early married years I made the old canned soup version, but it doesn't hold a candle to the real thing. I used to always serve Broccoli and Rice Casserole at Easter dinner, and sometimes for other holidays too. Broccoli is a great spring vegetable, even though it is readily available all year long now. I love it raw, in salads and in casseroles. It is my all time favorite veggie. Anyway, I hope you'll give this recipe a try; it's really delicious and addictive.
Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe (which she adapted from Cook's Country)

For topping;
2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
For casserole;
2 pounds broccoli- (about 3-4 heads), florets cut into 1 inch pieces and stems chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 1/4 cups long grain white rice
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups half and half
3/4 teaspoon salt
about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (subbed for 1/8 tea. cayenne pepper)
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Place oven rack in center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a small bowl combine the panko crumbs, melted butter, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and garlic. Set aside.
2. Microwave broccoli florets (save stems for later), covered in a large bowl until bright green and tender, 2-3 minutes. Be careful to not overcook. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion and broccoli stems until softened and tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add rice and cook stirring, about 1 minute. Stir in broth and half and half and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until rice is tender. Be sure to stir rice often. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Off heat, stir in the salt, pepper, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, and the broccoli florets. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Top with the reserved panko crumb mixture and bake until the sauce is bubbly and the top is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Note: This dish can be prepared ahead of time. Follow recipe instructions. After pouring the mixture into the baking dish, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 8 hours. Store the crumb mixture in a separate container in fridge. Before baking, sprinkle the crumbs on top of casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.


  1. It does look and sound good even without the canned soup :-)

  2. this is probably my grandma's favorite dish, both to make and to eat. nice how that works out for her, eh? :)

  3. This looks so wonderful! I love that it doesn't use canned soup, I'll be marking this to try soon!

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  5. I just made this,but I used 2 cups of basmati rice. I seasoned everything as I went. I used milk instead of half and half and added extra milk. It is great! I topped it with breaded chicken cutlets that I browned in canola oil, so I skipped the pinko topping.

    1. A meal in one! Great job Jules- it sounds delicious. Thanks for the comment!

  6. I am making this now! We try to avoid too many processed foods in our house, so I was excited to find someone who made this without condensed soup!
    I only had brown basmati rice in the house, so I cooked it on the stove top for an extra 15-20 minutes. I also stirred in cooked, cubed chicken breast to make it a one dish meal with a side salad. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    1. You are welcome Holly. What a great idea to add chicken too. I'm going to try that the next time I make this. Thanks for the comment!


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