Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole with Cheez Whiz
Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole with Cheez Whiz is one of those classic side dishes every family gathering needs to serve! Chopped broccoli, cream of mushroom soup, and cheese whiz are mixed together with rice for a creamy family favorite!
This broccoli rice casserole recipe is straight out of my childhood! We would have this for Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, and it’s just one of those great recipes you crave any time of year.
It’s not the most appealing recipe to photograph… It looks downright gross.
You will love this recipe if you grew up in the South, and you enjoy broccoli cheese rice casserole recipes.
You’ll also love this recipe if you’re looking for a side dish recipe idea you can make ahead of time, then bake when you’re ready.
This creamy side dish pairs well with grilled chicken, Grandma’s baked turkey, or pulled pork barbecue!
In my family, we called this Green Rice, and this cheesy broccoli rice casserole is not green at all. It’s more orange from the Cheez Whiz, but, y’all! It’s so good! Creamy, cheesy rice with broccoli and water chestnuts throughout for some crunch.
How to Make Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole with Cheez Whiz
First, let’s gather the ingredients you’ll need:
Chopped Broccoli – I buy frozen chopped broccoli since the work is done for you! I like how fine they chop the broccoli, and all you need to do is thaw it and squeeze the liquid out of it. You can definitely use fresh broccoli, just make sure it’s chopped very fine. You can definitely buy the bag of broccoli florets and pulse them in your food processor for chopped broccoli that’s perfect!
Chopped Green Onions or Leeks – To drive home the “green rice” factor, this recipe adds in a heap of cut-up leeks or green onions, also adding a gentle onion flavor.
Cream of Mushroom Soup – you can’t have a Southern casserole without one of the cans of soup! You can sub out cream of chicken soup, if you have that one hand, it doesn’t really matter.
Rice – You can use Minute Rice, Instant Rice, or leftover rice. While you could use uncooked rice, you would need to add more liquid than this recipe calls for. I use white rice, but you could use cooked brown rice if you have that, too. I’ve never used anything other than white rice, and since we’re adding Cheez Whiz to this, let’s not get too healthy here folks.
Onion – you’ll dice up a small onion, and saute with some butter.
Celery – chop up some celery and saute it with your onion and butter.
Cheez Whiz – the jarred, orange cheese sauce that debuted in 1953 as a convenience food, you’ll need a jar of it! Can you use cheddar cheese in place of Cheez Whiz? Of course, you can!
You’ll also need some milk and butter.
Making Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
Now, if you’re frozen broccoli is thawed, great. Otherwise, pop the box in the microwave and then, let it drain over a colander for a bit.
In a large skillet, you’ll melt down the butter and saute the onions, leeks, and celery until soft.
To this, you can add in the leftover rice, chopped broccoli, and cheez whiz. Give it all a really good stir, and thin it out with some milk.
Transfer this cheesy broccoli rice mixture to a 5-quart casserole dish, and smooth out the top.
Next time I make this, I’ll probably make it right inside my Le Creuset Braising Dish, so I don’t have to transfer it to a casserole dish.
Here is where you can keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it, up to 3 days ahead of time. Or! Just bake in a 350˚ oven for 35 minutes.
Serving this Easy Casserole
When it’s time to serve this at your family gatherings, you’ll need a main dish to go along with it.
We love serving this during the holiday season with Grandma’s Roast Turkey.
But, it’s also wonderful served with Grilled Ranch Chicken or Oven-Roasted Pork Chops.
On your potluck table, you’ll want some other family favorites! Collard Greens with Bacon is always a nice southern addition to your meal. As well as a big Wedge Salad for a Crowd!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do you cook rice before or with the casserole?
You’ll pre-cook your rice! I like doing this the day before or using pre-cooked rice packets from the grocery store.
Do I have to use Cheez-Whiz?
No! You definitely do not have to use cheez-whiz! Just add two cups of shredded cheddar cheese to get the cheesy goodness you’ll want in this recipe.
Can I add other ingredients to this casserole?
Sure! Sauteed mushrooms would be delightful! Or, crispy onions over the top would give a nice crunchy texture to the dish. You could also add pulled rotisserie chicken to this for an all-in-one meal!
You’ll find all the helpful information you need in the printable recipe card below!
In conclusion, this is one of my favorite recipes, and I’m so excited to have it on the blog. While it may look measly, and not appealing, I can assure you that the cheesy rice bake is just the side dish recipe your family craves any night of the week!
Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole with Cheez Whiz
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 40
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: side dish
- Method: oven-baked
- Cuisine: southern
Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole with Cheez Whiz is one of those classic side dishes every family gathering needs to serve!
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 1/3 cup chopped Onions
- 1/3 cup chopped Celery
- 1/2 cup chopped Leeks
- 1/2 cup chopped Green Onions
- 12.6-ounce bag of Frozen Chopped Broccoli thawed
- 1, 10.5 ounce can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 10.5 ounces of Milk (use the can as a measuring cup!), plus more if needed
- 2 cups cooked Rice
- 8 ounces Cheez Whiz
- 4 ounces of Water Chestnuts, drained and chopped (these are optional! If you don’t like them, leave them out!)
- Preheat your oven to 350˚.
- In a large skillet, melt 1/4 cup of butter, and saute 1/3 cup onions, 1/3 cup celery, 1/2 cup chopped leeks, and 1/2 cup chopped green onions until all are soft.
- While the onions and celery are sauteing, cook your broccoli in the microwave, according to the package.
- In a large bowl, mix together 10.5 ounces of Cream of Mushroom soup with 10.5 ounces of milk, I just use the can from the soup! Fill it up, and dump it in.
- Whisk this together until smooth.
- To your large skillet, add in the 12.6 ounces bag of broccoli, two cups of rice, and 8 ounces of cheez whiz, and stir to melt the cheese.
- Stir in the soup and milk mixture along with the drained 4 ounces of water chestnuts.
- Pour all of this into a casserole dish, and bake at 350˚ for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown.
If you have an oven-proof and stove-top-friendly baking dish, use that! It will save you a dish!
You can make this up to 3 days in advance, storing it in the fridge covered tightly with plastic wrap. Just bring it to room temperature before baking.
You can also freeze the casserole recipe! Wrap tightly in aluminum foil, then wrap in either plastic wrap, or place into a freezer-safe bag. Freeze safely for up to 2 months. Thaw in your refrigerator and bake according to the recipe card.
Hot Tip: I freeze the casserole in a freezer-safe baggie, without the casserole dish! When it’s thawed, I plop it into a baking dish and bake it at 350˚ for 45 minutes. This way, I can flatten the bag and save room in my small freezer!
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