There's something incredibly comforting about a warm, cheesy casserole, especially when it combines the wholesome goodness of broccoli and the hearty texture of rice. This "Cozy Casserole: Cheesy Broccoli and Rice" is the perfect dish for those cooler evenings or whenever you need a little comfort food. It's a family-friendly meal that's easy to prepare and guaranteed to please.
2 cups cooked rice (white or brown for a healthier option)
2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or a mix of your favorite cheeses)
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon paprika or mustard powder for added flavor
Preheat and Prep:
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Lightly grease a baking dish.
Boil or steam the broccoli florets until just tender, then drain.
Make the Sauce:
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
Add chopped onion and minced garlic, cooking until soft.
Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and optional paprika or mustard powder.
Gradually whisk in milk, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
Remove the sauce from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheese until melted.
In the baking dish, mix the cooked rice, broccoli, and cheese sauce.
Top the casserole with the remaining cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
Let the casserole cool for a few minutes before serving.
This casserole is a hearty meal that provides a good balance of carbohydrates from the rice, protein and calcium from the cheese, and a variety of vitamins and minerals from the broccoli. Choosing whole grain rice and low-fat milk and cheese can make it a healthier option.
The "Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole" is a delightful dish that brings warmth and satisfaction to any meal. It's simple enough for a weeknight dinner yet special enough to be part of a festive menu. This casserole is a wonderful way to enjoy a balanced meal that is as nutritious as it is delicious. It's sure to be a hit with both kids and adults alike!