Fresh broccoli and rice combined with homemade mushroom-vegetable cheese sauce to make Broccoli-Rice Casserole (No Canned Soup). Instructions included for making sauce in the microwave or on top of the stove.
Seems like “retro week” here on Salad in a Jar. In addition to Ice Cream Balls with Hot Fudge Sauce for dessert, we need a vegetable side dish for Easter dinner. This is one of my oldest son’s favorite dishes, so this recipe is for my lovely-both-inside-and-out daughter-in-law, if she chooses to accept the task. My son will be excited to see it on the buffet…and I think you will be pleased with it too, especially if you are a broccoli fan. I’m guessing many people go for it, judging from its frequent appearance at potlucks in these parts.
You may be familiar with the version using cream of mushroom, celery or chicken soup. Some call for Cheese Whiz too. Yikes! Not my style–although I’m not averse to keeping a few cans of soup in the pantry for emergencies. I wanted a recipe that was fresh all the way. By making the sauce from scratch, I could control the fat and salt content. (Don’t worry–it’s not hard.)
A few side notes:
1. If you are feeding reluctant broccoli eaters, chop the broccoli finely. Personally, I like bigger pieces for textural interest.
2. Add milk or cream a tablespoon at a time to broccoli-rice mixture if it seems too thick before you bake it.
3. Any kind of rice will work. Jasmine is my favorite.
Besides cleaning and chopping the broccoli (you can substitute frozen–cooked and drained), the sauce is the most labor-intensive step. I make sauces in my microwave so I don’t have to worry about burning or sticking. But for those of you who would rather stand over a hot stove, I’ve included instructions both ways.
In regards to the microwave: I know many chefs and restaurants are negative about them, but I personally think they are a modern miracle for the home cook WHEN USED CORRECTLY AND CAREFULLY. In fact, I have two of them in my kitchen. They are one of my skinny secrets because they help make healthy eating convenient–very important to me.
Traditional Broccoli-Rice Casserole with mushrooms but no canned soup
- 4 cups (10 ounces) fresh broccoli florets and stems, chopped (stems should be VERY finely chopped)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup minced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 12-ounce can 2% or regular evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (can use any cheese you like here, I like to use some smoked Provolone or Gouda if available)
- 1 1/4 cup cooked rice
- Steam or microwave (about 3 minutes on HIGH) chopped broccoli and stems until tender but still bright green. Squeeze lemon over broccoli.
- Melt butter in skillet. Add onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms and saute until softened. Stir in flour and cook about one minute to take away the raw flour taste. Whisk in milk and continue whisking until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 1/2 cup cheese and stir to melt.
- [Microwave directions for Step 2] Add butter, onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms to 2 quart batter bowl. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Add flour to vegetables and stir. Whisk in milk and cook uncovered on HIGH for 6-7 minutes. Whisk after 4 minutes and once a minute thereafter to even out the cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 1/2 cup cheese and stir to melt. Sauce will thicken more as it sits.
- Combine broccoli, rice, and cheese sauce. Turn into 1 1/2 quart greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F until bubbly (around 30 minutes).
If this is going to be sitting for any length of time before baking, add at least 1/4 cup of milk (maybe more) to make up for all the moisture the rice absorbs.
- Serving Size: 1/10th of recipe
- Calories: 259 kcal
- Sugar: 4.4 g
- Fat: 12.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 25.7 g
- Fiber: 1.4 g
Keywords: broccoli, rice, cheese, casserole, vegetables, vegetable recipes, mushrooms