Disclosure: This post is sponsored by my friends at the New England Dairy Promotion Board.
Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole
I’ve been in the mood for casseroles lately. For some reason, once the weather turns colder, casseroles feel like comfort food to me.
When I was a kid, my mom made casseroles all the time. I used to make them too, in college and when I was first married.Then I stopped making them. I’m not sure why.
In college, my roommates and I made something that resembled this casserole. I’m not going to tell you what was in it…let’s just say it wasn’t particularly healthy.
To re-create this old favorite, I turned to my chicken pot pie recipe for inspiration. When I’m making sauces, I tend to use a variation of chicken broth, cream, white wine and Dijon mustard. It made sense to do the same here.
Your rice needs to be cooked ahead of time. I use a rice cooker now…the rice comes out perfect every time. It beeps when it’s done and keeps your rice warm. If you have ever burnt a pot a rice, you’re going to want one of these. I myself have burned many; hence my enthusiasm for rice cookers!
So while your rice is cooking, sauté your chopped onions in butter until translucent, and then add your white wine and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk together your cream and Dijon mustard until well blended, lower your heat, and then add it to the mixture. Stir well. Add broccoli to the sauce and cook until crisp-tender. Remove from heat, combine with rice and cheese, setting aside a little cheese for on top of the casserole.
Place the broccoli rice mixture into a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
Before I share the recipe, I want to talk about something a little more serious.
Did you know that every day one in six Americans struggle with hunger, including 12 million families?
Milk is one of the most requested food items in food banks, but it’s rarely donated. Most people simply don’t think to donate milk because it’s perishable. Until I was contacted by the New England Dairy Promotion Board, I never thought about it either. I’ve always just donated non perishables. The idea of donating milk never crossed my mind.
The lack of milk availability in food banks means families are missing out on essential nutrients.
The average food bank client only has access to one gallon of milk a year! ONE. Can you imagine if your child only had access to one gallon of milk a year? That was a sobering thought for me. My oldest son could go through a gallon a week by himself.
We can make a difference in our own local communities by supporting the Great American Milk Drive. It’s easy to donate fresh milk to your local food bank by visiting www.mustbethemilk.com/milkdrive. When you use your credit card to make a donation, your donation will go to your local food bank, based on the county your credit card is linked to. If you are using a Connecticut credit card to make a contribution, your donation will go to the Connecticut Food Bank or Foodshare.
I’m thinking this is an awesome way to give back, and help families that need it the most.
Now for the recipe! This Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole can be a side dish, or if you add leftover chicken or ham, you could easily turn it into a main dish!
- 1½ cups cooked white rice
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup white wine
- 2½ cups light cream
- 2½ cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 5 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups cheese (I used a mix of white and yellow cheddar)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Start cooking your rice. This will take about 20 minutes.
- While your rice is cooking, sauté your chopped onions in butter until translucent.
- Add your white wine and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Whisk together your cream and dijon until well blended.
- Lower your heat to medium, and then add the cream mixture to the sauce, and stir to blend.
- Add broccoli to the sauce and cook until crisp-tender.
- Remove from heat, combine with rice and cheese, setting aside a little cheese for on top of the casserole.
- Place the broccoli rice mixture into a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
As a side dish, this would be about 9 servings, ½ cup serving per person.