This Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole has been a family favorite casserole for a long time. This is my mother’s recipe and it’s the best that I’ve ever tasted. It’s extra creamy and cheesy and it’s topped with lots of crispy fried onion rings! It’s the perfect side dish for any family gathering, potluck, or holiday meal.
T his recipe is from my cookbook Deliciously Southern. It’s one of my favorites and one of the most popular recipes in the cookbook. It’s super easy to make and there is never a morel left. It’s just plain good comfort food.
You can add cooked chicken to this and have a whole meal. It also freezes well so you can double the recipe and freeze one. This works great for busy families on the go.
What you’ll need to make Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole: ( Be sure to see the full printable recipe at the bottom of this post)
- Fresh broccoli florets
- Salt & pepper
- Sweet yellow onion
- White rice
- Cheez Whiz
- Cream of mushroom soup
- Freshly grated cheddar cheese
- French fried onion rings
Tips on how to make Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole:
- Don’t overcook your broccoli. I used to use frozen broccoli in this casserole, but now I just recommend using fresh broccoli. Fresh broccoli tastes so much better in this casserole and it holds up better too. Cut the broccoli up into small pieces. I barely blanched it because it will continue to cook when you bake it. I place the broccoli in hot water for only about 12 seconds then run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. This also keeps the broccoli a beautiful green color. (Note: If you do use frozen broccoli, don’t blanch it because it has already been blanched. Just make sure that you drain the broccoli well.
- Be sure to use a sweet onion. Using a sweet onion is very important to the best-tasting casserole. I live in Georgia so if possible I love to use sweet Vidalia onions if they are in season. The chopped onion is saluted in butter until it’s just before it’s translucent. There again I don’t want to overcook the onion because it will cook while the casserole is baking. You want the onion to still be a little crunchy.
- Don’t overcook the rice: Cook the rice according to the package directions. If the rice is overcooked, your casserole will be soggy. What you want your rice to be nice and fluffy!
- Use Cheese Whiz: A jar of delicious Cheese Whiz is the secret ingredient to this casserole. It gives this casserole a deliciously cheesy, rich creamy taste! You can usually find it on the grocery store aisle where the macaroni noodles are or in the snack food section where the onion dips are.
- Use Freshly grated cheese: Believe me, taking the time to grated the cheese will make all the difference in the world. I promise! Freshly grated cheese melts better and is definitely more creamy and better tasting. It’s ready to go in the oven. After baking uncovered for about 20 minutes, you add a layer of cheese on top and continue baking until the cheese is completely melted.
- Use Campbell’s Soup brand of cream of mushroom soup: I’ve used an off-brand before and Campbell is the best.
- Top it off with a crunchy topping: I love to put crispy French fried onion rings on top. If you don’t like French fried onion rings, buttery Ritz crackers are delicious too.
This Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole has been a family favorite for a long time. It’s extra creamy and cheesy and topped with loads of crispy French fried onion rings. It’s a perfect side dish for a family dinner, holiday meal or to take to a potluck.
- 5 cups fresh broccoli florets cut into small pieces
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped or diced (about 1 ½ cups)
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
- 1 ( 8-ounce) jar of Cheese Whiz
- 1(10.75) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 3 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups French fried onion rings
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 -inch casserole dish with a nonstick spray. You can also use a smaller casserole dish for a thicker casserole. Blanch the broccoli in hot boiling water for about 12 seconds. Be careful not to over blanch because it will cook more when the casserole is baking. Run cold water over the broccoli to stop the cooking process and to keep it nice and green. Set aside and drain all the water off.
- Cook rice according to instructions on the packaging. Be careful not to overcook it. You want fluffy rice. Set aside.
- Salute chopped opinion in butter. Cook until just tender and still a little crunchy.
- In a large bowl, combine blanched broccoli florets, cooked rice, onions and butter, Cheese Whiz, cream of mushroom soup, 1 ½ cups grated cheese, salted and pepper. Gently mix until ingredients are well combined. Spoon into the prepared casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the remaining 1 ½ cups of grated cheese on top and continue baking for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the French fried onion rings and place the casserole back in the oven for about 1 to 2 minutes or until the onion rings are lightly browned and toasted. Enjoy!!
Do ahead/freeze tip: You can make the casserole up two or three days ahead. Store in the refrigerator and it will be ready to bake. The uncooked casserole will freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw out in the refrigerator overnight and follow the directions for cooking. You may also freeze the cooked casserole as well. Thaw out in the refrigerator overnight and cover with aluminum foil and reheat in the oven or microwave.