Ahhhh, comfort food. Sometimes you’re stressed out, sometimes you’re tired, sometimes you’re just plain hungry. All of those things make me want comfort food. Well, I must have been experiencing one of those (or all of them?) last week because I was craving some serious warm, melty, cheesiness. I like this recipe because (thanks to multiple modifications) it’s not all that bad for you and still every bit as comforting. I use brown rice for extra texture/chewiness, extra fiber and extra tummy filling properties. If you’re concerned about “cream of” condensed soup, they are available in all-natural , organic or lite varieties. I love the broccoli flavor so I make sure the casserole is jammed packed full of it. Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables which happens to be one of the MOST healthful. When you stop and think about it, this dish has way more pros than cons so it’s a shame that it gets such a bad rap. Reputation aside, it tastes AWESOME… and I’ve been enjoying it for days.
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Broccoli rice casserole is rich, comforting, and delicious. Use all natural soup bases to make this dish healthier.
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced $0.23
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.21
- 1 cup long grain rice $0.30
- 2 cups chicken broth $0.92
- 1 14 oz. bag frozen broccoli florets $1.27
- 1 11 oz. can cream of chicken soup $1.00
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar $0.74
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder, optional $0.05
- to taste fresh black pepper $0.05
Saute the diced onion with 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a medium pot over medium high/heat. When the onion is soft and translucent, add 1 cup of long grain rice. Continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes more or until the rice looks transparent. Sauteing the uncooked rice will slightly toast it and add more flavor. Add 2 cups of chicken broth, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes (with a lid).
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Thaw the broccoli florets in the microwave according to the package directions (in a microwave safe dish with an inch of water). Only cook/thaw the broccoli until it is bright green and only slightly tender. You do not want to cook it to the soft/mushy point because it will cook further in the oven once it is mixed into the casserole.
Drain off any liquid from the broccoli. Mix in the cream of chicken soup (or you can use cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of anything you’d like). Add the freshly ground black pepper and cayenne powder (if you want a kick).
Once the rice has finished cooking, combine that with the broccoli and soup mixture. Add 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and transfer the mixture to a casserole dish (I actually just mixed all of the ingredients in that dish to begin with). Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and bake for 30 minute. Serve the hot, warm, gooey casserole and feel all of your troubles melt away!
Step By Step Photos
Cook the onions until tender then add the uncooked rice (forgot to take a pic of that part). Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 40 min.
Then it will look like this.
Meanwhile thaw/partially cook your frozen broccoli (see directions on the package). Drain off excess water after cooking.
Add the cream of chicken soup, pepper and cayenne to the broccoli.
Mix in the cooked rice and 1/2 cup of cheese
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 and get this! mmmm, goooooey.
NOTE: If you prefer fresh broccoli or get it on sale, it is almost as easy to use as the frozen kind. Just cut the florets off. The stem is actually quite tasty and healthful too, it just needs to be peeled, cut smaller and cooked longer because it is tough. Then you can steam the broccoli in the microwave just like you would to thaw the frozen kind. Put it in a dish with about an inch of water, cover it with a microwave safe lid (but don’t clamp it down, leave room for the steam to escape a little) and microwave until it is just tender. Proceed with the recipe as usual!