This Pioneer Woman broccoli rice casserole comprises rice, broccoli, and plenty of cheese, resulting in a delicious one-dish meal. Here is how to make a perfect broccoli rice casserole.
Pioneer Woman Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe
This broccoli rice casserole includes cooked rice and broccoli in a thick, creamy sauce made with flour, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, onion, paprika, pepper, and cayenne.
The sauce is an integral part of this broccoli rice casserole. It contains several cheeses for varying textures and flavours. For example, the processed cheese help make the sauce a creamier consistency while the Parmesan adds some saltiness.
Do You Have to Cook Broccoli Before Putting it in a Casserole?
Yes, you should boil the broccoli for 3 to 4 minutes before using it in the casserole. This will allow the broccoli to turn bright green and par-cook. Then, you can finish cooking it through in the oven as part of the casserole.
Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Broccoli in the Casserole?
The broccoli should always be cooked before you use it in this broccoli casserole, whether it is fresh or frozen.
Velveeta Broccoli Rice Casserole
Broccoli rice casserole can be made using Velveeta cheese. Ree Drummond did not specify what kind of processed cheese she used in the recipe, but many recipes online recommend Velveeta cheese, which gives a velvety texture to creamy cheese sauces.
How to Store Broccoli Rice Casserole
- In the Fridge: Leftover cheese and broccoli rice casserole can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days when stored properly. First, you should let the casserole cool until it reaches room temperature and then wrap it with plastic wrap. Alternatively, you could put the broccoli rice portions in airtight glass containers before placing them in the refrigerator.
- In the Freezer: The broccoli rice casserole can be frozen for 3 to 4 months. The most effective way is to divide the casserole into portions and then place each portion in freezer bags with the date written on them. While you could freeze the casserole whole, it isn’t ideal as it will take a longer time to thaw.
How to Thaw Frozen Broccoli Rice Casserole
- In the Refrigerator: You can thaw frozen broccoli and rice casserole in the refrigerator for 24 hours. However, the timing will vary depending on whether you are thawing the entire casserole or portions of it.
- In Warm Water: Frozen broccoli rice casserole can defrost in warm water in about 2 to 3 hours. Make sure you use warm water rather than boiling water to ensure that the casserole thaws gradually.
- In the Oven: You shouldn’t thaw your casserole in the oven. You should only use the oven for reheating the casserole after you thaw it. The same goes for the microwave.
How to Reheat Broccoli Rice Casserole
- In the Oven: Cover leftover broccoli rice casserole with foil and reheat it in an oven preheated to 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes. You should ensure the casserole reaches an internal temperature of 165 F before you serve it.
- In the Microwave: To heat the casserole in the microwave, I recommend that you divide it into servings and reheat them separately. Place each serving in the microwave and reheat it on medium power for 2 minutes.
- In the Air Fryer: Cover the leftover broccoli and rice casserole with foil and reheat it in the air fryer for 7 minutes at 350 F. Remove the foil and reheat it again for 3 minutes or until it is warmed through. The foil protects the broccoli rice casserole from drying out.
What to Serve With Broccoli Rice Casserole
Hushpuppies, fries, biscuit balls, tomato salad, and cucumber salad can be served with this broccoli rice casserole. Broccoli rice casserole can also be served with broccoli soup, chicken cacciatore, or sloppy joes sandwiches.
Here are some ideas of best sides to serve with broccoli rice casserole:
- 4 tablespoon (½ stick) salted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 3 cups whole milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 8 ounces processed cheese, cubed
- 3 cups grated sharp Cheddar
- 8 cups small broccoli florets
- 6 ounces diced pimentos, drained
- 2 ½ cups cooked long-grain rice
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet.
- Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the flour, dry mustard, and cayenne, and stir to combine; cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the milk and stir constantly until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the cream cheese and Parmesan until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the pepper, salt, and paprika.
- Continue stirring until all the cheese has completely melted.
- Add the processed cheese and 1 ½ cups of cheddar, and stir until they melt. Fold in the broccoli and pimentos.
- Place half of the rice in a large baking dish in an even layer.
- Add half of the broccoli cheese sauce on top.
- Repeat with the remaining rice and sauce.
- Sprinkle the rest of the cheddar cheese on top in an even layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve hot with your favorite side.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1021Total Fat: 69gSaturated Fat: 39gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 201mgSodium: 1744mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 8gSugar: 14gProtein: 49g