This simple from scratch broccoli casserole is the ultimate side dish to any holiday or week day meal. Made with fresh broccoli florets, cheddar cheese, rice, baby bella mushrooms in a lemon cream sauce. This recipe is filled with staple pantry and fridge items and ready in under thirty minutes!Jump to Recipe
WHAT IS BROCCOLI CASSEROLE?
Besides being one of my favorite side dishes served during Thanksgiving, broccoli cheese casserole is a cheesy side dish served with broccoli, condensed soup and rice. Baked to ooey gooey perfection, this side dish can truly stand on its own.
Dating back to the 1800's this dish has clearly stood the test of time!
Over the years, people have perfected their versions of "the best" broccoli cheese casserole. Conversely, I think this version is pretty darn good. Keep reading below.
WHAT DOES FROM SCRATCH BROCCOLI CASSEROLE TASTE LIKE?
Traditionally, broccoli casserole has a strong cheddar cheese flavor with notes of broccoli of course. The condensed soups give the garlicky and creamy flavor and again, gives a true casserole feel.
Depending on your style and flavor in foods, this version has heavy notes of lemon (which pairs well with the broccoli), seasonings and mushrooms that give an extra earthy flavor.
WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE "FROM SCRATCH"?
While this recipe is not completely from scratch, there are several elements that give this recipe a homemade feel and taste. Fresh broccoli is used, not frozen and fresh garlic and mushrooms add a fresh flare as well.
Having the fresh broccoli really provides a different texture and flavor so don't omit this part!
The condensed soups are not from scratch and that's something I want to develop, so stay tuned! And don't feel guilty about using the condensed soups. More than likely you are preparing this for a holiday meal with your family.
TIPS TO CREATING FRESH BROCCOLI CHEESE CASSEROLE
- Use fresh broccoli and not frozen.
- Frozen can be used and has a mushy consistency whereas fresh broccoli florets offer more texture and bite.
- Utilizing fresh cheese instead of the bagged version makes for a creamier texture.
- Pre- shredded cheese is coated with cellulose to block out the moisture. In return, this cheese does melt as well and leaves a rubbery finish.
- Adding sour cream to the casserole uniquely creates a rich flavor.
- To cut the richness or for a cleaner option, you can certainly use plain greek yogurt.
- Most green veggies pair well with fresh lemon juice. To emphasize, do not skip out this step.
- Adding fresh lemon juice provides a fresh and clean taste.
HOW TO PREP FRESH BROCCOLI CHEESE CASSEROLE
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add about two cups of water to a large stock pot on medium to high heat. Clean and Chop broccoli, place in large pot after water is hot. In detail, do not emerge the broccoli in water, you're just steaming it.
Next, while the broccoli is steaming, finely mince the garlic and roughly chop the mushrooms. Saute' garlic and mushrooms in cooking oil until soft and translucent, salt and pepper to taste. Thus the broccoli will be steamed and ready in 8-10 minutes. Drain and place in mixing bowl.
Prepare rice according to package instructions.
PREPARING THE CASSEROLE FOR BAKING
Then, to a large mixing bowl with broccoli, add can of cream of mushroom and broccoli, sour cream, sautéed mushrooms and garlic, more than half of shredded cheese, cooked rice, lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, pepper and stir to combine. Lastly, add remaining cheese on top and bake at 350 for 20 minutes uncovered.
Don't forget that my seafood cornbread dressing is another great side to add to your meal!
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
- 2 lbs Fresh Broccoli roughly chopped
- 4-6 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms small diced
- 3-4 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 cup Cooked Rice instant is fine
- 1 can Cream of Mushroom
- 1 can Cream of Broccoli Cheese Soup
- ¼ cup Sour Cream
- 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 2 teaspoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- 1 tb Lemon Juice
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Add about 2 cups of water to a large stock pot on medium to high heat. (Do not submerge broccoli in water)
- Clean and chop broccoli, place in large pot after water is hot. (Steam broccoli, do not boil)
- While broccoli is steaming, finely mince garlic and roughly chop mushrooms.
- Saute garlic and mushrooms in a 1 teaspoon of oil until soft and translucent, salt and pepper to taste.
- Broccoli will be steamed and ready in about 5 minutes. Drain and place in mixing bowl.
- Prepare rice according to package instructions.
- To the mixing bowl with broccoli; add can of cream of mushroom and broccoli, sour cream, sautéed mushrooms and garlic, more than half of shredded cheese, cooked rice, lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Place mixture in baking dish and top with remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake for up to 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.