Leftover Makeover: Broccoli Rice Casserole

I haven't done a leftover makeover post in ages!  Well here's a recipe I've worked on a couple of times now using leftover rice and broccoli.  John really likes this dish, so it's a keeper makeover recipe for sure.  I usually end up with more than enough to fill two smaller casseroles for us, one for dinner right away and one goes into freezer for another meal.

                                                without cheese topping ready for freezer

Broccoli Rice Casserole

2 cups cooked rice
1 cup chopped broccoli (good recipe to use stems of broccoli)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups white sauce (I make my own will share recipe below this one)
1 1/3 cups extra sharp cheddar

I let the rice come to room temperature so I can easily break up any bigger clumps with slight pressure.  Add vegetables to rice then add in white sauce until mixture is moist.  I had about 1/2 cup of sauce leftover today, so you might not need it all.  I am very vague on the measurements with this since the whole thing is made up of what is left from other uses!  Mix in some of the grated cheese but reserve enough to top casserole.  Bake at 350F until the dish is hot and bubbly and the cheese melted.  Allow to cool for a few minutes then serve as a side dish or main dish as you choose.

Let me just say this about white sauce.  It is so easy to make.  Essentially it is a 1:1:1 ratio of the three ingredients it takes to make.  It may be made thicker simply by increasing the flour by 1 tbsp.  I opted for a thin white sauce for this dish and tripled the basic recipe.
White sauce: 
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup of milk

Melt butter over medium heat, taking care not to burn.  The moment it's melted add flour and stir quickly, removing from heat temporarily if needed.  Add milk and whisk in until no lumps remain, putting pan back over heat.  Cook, stirring fairly often until sauce coats spoon.  It takes perhaps 5 minutes start to finish.  To make a cheese sauce, simply add grated cheese (about 1 cup).


Kathy said...

Sounds good!

I have made broccoli casserole before, but I have used cream of celery soup. Will definitely have to make your white sauce instead...thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks you for this idea. These are two things I often have leftovers of. I usually just freeze the rice for use in rice pudding or to use one way or the other later. I like having a dish ready for use like recipe is. Great idea!! Sarah

Melanie said...

Yum! I love broccoli rice casserole. And I'm so glad you featured a recipe using "real" ingredients...not using any canned cream soup! :-)

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