Cheesy broccoli rice casserole is so easy to make and makes the perfect side dish for any meal. It’s a family favorite.
This simple casserole made with broccoli, rice, condensed soup, and Cheez Whiz makes an appearance at every holiday meal in my family.
It’s easy to make, and a little indulgent. This Andy’s absolute favorite and I can’t believe I haven’t posted it until this year.
It isn’t a holiday meal to him without this and corn casserole.
Yes, this one uses convenience and processed foods as ingredients. I already said it was a little indulgent. I use the same ingredients older relatives used when this dish first became popular a few decades ago.
Rice – I prefer using instant rice because it cooks quickly. Any type of rice will work though, it just needs to be completely cooked before adding to the casserole.
Broccoli – I use frozen broccoli because it is always available and it convenient. If you prefer to use fresh broccoli, you will need about 4 to 5 cups of florets. Chopped broccoli can be substituted but will have some tougher pieces in it because of the stems.
- I don’t precook any broccoli I use in this recipe, it keeps the broccoli a brighter green as it bakes. You can partially cook your broccoli if you like it completely soft in the finished casserole.
Onions – any onion will do. I use mostly white onions in my cooking. I would probably avoid red onions in this recipe because of the color.
Butter – I use salted butter in nearly everything I cook. Unsalted butter can be used, but you may need to add a touch of salt to this recipe. Taste it before you toss it into the oven.
Cheese – I use Cheez Whiz because it’s the way I was taught. Old habits die hard. You can use a homemade cheese sauce instead. You’ll need about 2 cups.
Condensed Cream of Celery Soup – I prefer cream of celery soup because it blends in with the broccoli. Cream of mushroom soup was used by most of my older relatives so it definitely works. I suspect that almost any cream soup would work. You can also make your own, you’ll need the same amount as 2 cans of commercial soup, about 2 2/3 cups.
- Get your oven ready by preheating it to 350⁰F.
- Prep a 9 X 13 or casserole dish by spraying with baking spray or coating with butter.
- Cook your rice if you haven’t already. I start with 2 cups of minute rice and make it according to the package directions so I have 4 cups of cooked rice. Set it aside.
- Cut any large broccoli pieces into bite-sized pieces (Photo 1) and place into a large bowl.
- Dice up a small onion, or half of a large onion. Keep the dice on the smaller side so there are not any huge pieces of onion in the casserole later.
- Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a large skillet set to medium heat and sauté the onions until they have just started to turn translucent. (Photo 2)
- Add the cream of celery soup, Cheez Whiz, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (Photo 3). Stir until the cheese is melted and everything is well mixed. (Photo 4)
- Add the cheese mixture to the broccoli (Photo 5) and stir well to combine. (Photo 6)
- Add the rice to the mixture (Photo 7) and stir until all the rice is coated with cheese (Photo 8). You can add less rice if you want a creamier casserole.
- Place the mixture into your prepared baking pan or casserole and place into the oven.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top has just started to brown. (Photo 9)
This recipe can be cut in half and cooked in a small casserole dish. I make it in this size because I only make it for the holidays and it is almost impossible to find Cheese Whiz in my area in smaller jars.
I do not cook my broccoli first. I use it from a partially frozen state. This keeps it from overcooking.
Combining the ingredients is easier when everything is still warm.
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- 20 ounces frozen broccoli florets 4 to 5 cups
- 4 cups cooked rice start with 2 cups of instant rice if using
- 1 small onion finely diced about 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup butter
- 21 ounces cream of celery soup
- 16 ounces processed cheese Cheez Whiz, or similar product
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Prepare a casserole dish, or a 9X13 baking dish by spraying with a non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350⁰F.
- Cut any large broccoli into bite-size pieces and place the broccoli into a large bowl.
- Cook the rice and set aside. (Use 2 cups of instant rice with 2 cups of water and follow the package directions.)
- In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and cook onions in the butter until onions are translucent.
- Add cream of celery soup, processed cheese, and pepper to the skillet and stir until well mixed with the onions and the cheese has completely melted.
- Add the soup, onion, and cheese mixture to the broccoli and stir to combine.
- Add the rice to the mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour the casserole mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Place into the pre-heated 350⁰F oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.
- Serve immediately.
Processed cheese can be substituted with 2 cups of homemade cheese sauce.
Instant rice can be substituted with 4 cups of any cooked rice.