Broccoli casserole is an easy and delicious side dish that complements any dinner. Frozen broccoli is the star of this side dish that is sure to become a family favorite. Thank you to Mom It Forward and the NATIONAL FROZEN & REFRIGERATED FOODS ASSOCIATION for sponsoring this post.
My mom used to make a huge Thanksgiving feast every year – and she did all the cooking on her own. Now that I’m the mom, I understand exactly what a feat she undertook to make sure we had a nice Thanksgiving. One of our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes is my mom’s broccoli casserole. The casserole only made an appearance once a year at our Thanksgiving meal so I just assumed that my mom avoided it because it was difficult to make. A few years ago, I asked for the recipe so I could make it for our Thanksgiving and it wasn’t difficult at all.
The ingredients for the broccoli casserole are pretty basic. The star of the casserole is a combination of whole and chopped frozen broccoli. I always have a nice stash of frozen vegetables in my freezer and always frozen broccoli since my kids actually eat it. For this recipe not only can you find frozen chopped broccoli in the freezer aisle, you can also get frozen chopped onions. The less chopping I have to do, the better. Plus, since frozen foods are captured at the height of freshness, I know that all the good stuff in the veggies are well preserved.
Yes, there is butter and quite a bit of it in the broccoli casserole. But I’ve mentioned before that I don’t shy away from cooking with butter. I tend to spend quite a bit of time in the dairy aisle picking up butter, half and half, and yogurt… and the occasional container of rice pudding! So yeah, just throw the butter in and remember, this dish only showed up once a year at a meal so no big deal.
While the onions are simmering in the butter, make the cheese sauce in another pot. This should really be called broccoli cheese and rice casserole!
You can use any rice you like, including brown rice. We generally use a long grain white rice and I cook it a day before in my rice cooker. My mom makes it on the stove. Whatever works!
Dump it all together and give it a few good stirs to make sure it’s well combined. The final step before baking is to top the casserole with crushed crackers. I like mine crushed finely and prefer a butter cracker. Bake until it’s hot and brown and oozing – and then enjoy!