This cheesy made from scratch broccoli rice casserole is a delicious side dish or vegetarian main dish! Made with fresh broccoli, mushrooms, brown rice, and two kinds of cheese. It’s a cozy and healthy casserole the whole family will love!
I’m all about a good casserole during the winter, not so much in the summer. This green chile chicken and rice casserole is one of my favorites when I need to satisfy my Southwest comfort food craving.
This broccoli rice casserole is reminiscent of something my mom made growing up. To be honest, I actually hated it. But that’s because I also hated broccoli when I was a kid.
Times have changed and now I absolutely love broccoli. I decided to revisit that vintage recipe from my childhood and make some changes. Removing the canned cream of mushroom soup, using brown rice, adding fresh mushrooms, and using two kinds of cheese were the major changes I made. All of which elevated the flavor and nutrition.
Ingredients For Broccoli Rice Casserole
- broccoli florets – you can either buy a whole head of broccoli and cut it yourself or to save time buy a bag of pre-cut and washed broccoli florets.
- cremini mushrooms – white button mushrooms can also be used, but I find that creminis have more flavor.
- yellow onion
- butter – can be replaced with equal amounts of olive oil
- low fat milk – whole or non-fat milk can also be used as well as non-dairy milks. The sauce will taste slightly different if using non-dairy and may not be as creamy or rich. This also applies if using non-fat milk.
- fresh thyme leaves
- smoked paprika
- cheddar cheese – preferably sharp cheddar cheese for a stronger cheddar flavor.
- manchego cheese
- brown rice – To save time cook the brown rice in advance or use instant rice, par-cooked rice in a bag, or defrosted frozen rice.
- plain low-fat Greek yogurt – whole milk or non-fat plain Greek yogurt works as well.
How To Make Broccoli Rice Casserole
Start by steaming the broccoli. To do this add the florets to the skillet you’ll be cooking the casserole in. Add in a 1/2 cup of water and cover with a lid. Let the broccoli steam for about 3-4 minutes and then remove it onto a plate. Drain off any remaining water.
Add a little olive oil or butter to the skillet and sauté the onion and mushrooms until tender. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves and sauté another minute.
Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and then stir everything until you no longer see streaks of flour. Slowly pour in the milk stirring the entire time. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens and any lumps of flour dissolve.
Add the broccoli, rice, and half of the cheeses into the skillet and stir together. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt. You want to do this off the heat so that you don’t risk curdling the yogurt.
Top the casserole with the remaining cheese and then cover with the lid. Stick the skillet in the oven and bake the casserole for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.
If you don’t have an oven safe skillet, you can transfer the casserole to a baking dish or just cover with a lid and let it finish cooking on the stove over low heat.
Variations Of Broccoli Rice Casserole
Add protein – Cubed or shredded chicken is a great way to add protein to this casserole. You could also use ground turkey.
Grains – Instead of brown rice use quinoa, farro or wild rice.
Cheese – If you can’t find manchego cheese substitute with additional cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or Asiago cheese.
Add Vegetables – If you want to add additional vegetables or swap the broccoli and mushrooms for something else I suggest, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, carrots, and celery.
Storage, Reheating, and Freezing
Storage – Leftover broccoli rice casserole can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 4-5 days. You can also prepare the casserole a couple days in advance and then bake it in the oven. Since it’s cold going into the oven it will take a little longer to bake.
Reheating – To reheat any casserole leftovers you can simply put them in the microwave. If you prefer to reheat in the oven, bake for 15 minutes at 350° F. or until heated through.
Freezing – Once the casserole cools completely put it in an airtight freezer safe container for up 3 months.
More Casserole Recipes You’ll Love
- Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- Southwest Turkey Vegetable and Rice Skillet
- Chickpea Noodle Casserole
- Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Casserole
- Sausage, Potato, and Kale Breakfast Casserole
Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups low fat milk
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded manchego cheese
- 2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add the broccoli florets and a 1/2 cup of water to the skillet. Cover with a lid and let the broccoli steam for 3-5 minutes or until bright green and crisp tender. Remove the broccoli from the skillet and onto a plate. Drain any excess water from the skillet.
- Add the olive oil to the skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, salt and pepper to the skillet. Sauté for 3-4 minutes and then add in the garlic, smoked paprika, thyme leaves. Sauté another minutes and then sprinkle the flour over everything.
- Stir until you can no longer see streaks of flour. Slowly pour the milk in stirring the entire time. Continue to stir until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the broccoli, rice, and half of the cheese into the skillet. Stir everything together.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt until thoroughly combined. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese and cover with the lid. Bake for 15-20 minutes and then remove the lid and bake another 5 minutes to crisp up the cheese.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 187mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 15g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.
Yup, yup! I had leftover brown rice, broccoli, cheese, mushrooms….perfect! Just what I wanted on a dismal January evening :)
I’m so glad you had everything to make the casserole Jackie! Hope it made the day a little brighter.😊