Photo by Heather Cross
It’s definitely spring: the grass is bright green, flowers are blooming, and many days recently have been warm. But we’ve had some chilly mornings and cool evenings as well, and I found myself wanting some warming comfort food.
Broccoli rice casserole is a great way to use leftovers and your market purchases to feed yourself and even a crowd quickly and easily. With leftover cooked broccoli, rice, and maybe onions and mushrooms, a nutritious all-in-one supper is on the table with little mess or fuss.
This is best written out as a formula, rather than a recipe, so you can use up your leftovers, make it to your taste, and only fix the quantity you need. It can be heavy on the veggies, or on the rice, and it can be creamy, more solid like an egg dish, or dry-ish, nearly like pilaf. (Then it’s not a casserole, but, hey, make what you like!)
Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Leftover cooked rice (white or brown)
- Leftover cooked broccoli, seasoned
- Liquid to moisten (broth, milk, butter, and/or sour cream)
- Leftover cooked mushrooms
- Leftover cooked onion
- Figure out your amounts. How many people are you serving? For how many meals? For instance, I wanted to serve my family with generous leftovers. I chose a 9 x 13 pan to make my casserole in. I had plenty of rice so I spread that in the pan to get a good idea how much to use. The rice may expand in the casserole so take that into consideration. I did the same with the broccoli florets, and I used about 2 medium heads of broccoli total.
- Beat your eggs, if using, and stir in your liquid. More eggs for a firmer casserole, less for creamier. I wanted this to be a main dish, not a side, so I used 6 eggs. I used milk. I did not measure it, but I’m guessing it was around 3 cups. If I had wanted a creamy casserole I would have added sour cream. Broth would work well if you cannot have dairy. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in broccoli, rice, and optional cheese and veggies. Sequatchie Cove Creamery’s Nickajack and Gruetli cheeses are good for melting and therefore for casseroles. Add liquid if it looks too dry.
- Pour into your greased casserole dish. Bake around 350° until lightly browned. If it’s eggy it should become firm to the touch. I think mine went for 45 minutes; I took the dog out before the timer went off and I’m not sure how long the casserole was in the oven. Good thing it’s forgiving!
- Top with more cheese and/or buttered breadcrumbs, as desired. Bake or broil a little longer until melted or browned.