Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Casserole

Both creamy and crunchy and overflowing with flavor, this dish is a can’t-miss.

Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Casserole
 
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Courtesy of:
Yields:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups short-grain brown rice
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 pounds broccoli (3 to 4 heads)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • ½ cup crushed pork rinds
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring broth, soy sauce, rice, and thyme to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer until rice is tender and broth is absorbed, 45 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs.
  3. Separate broccoli florets from stalks. Finely dice 1 cup stalks and set aside. Separate florets into 1-inch pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl with ¼ cup water. Cover and microwave on high until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup cheese, bread crumbs, pork rinds, and melted butter.
  5. In a large stockpot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, and reserved broccoli stalks; cook until vegetables are tender, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in flour; cook until raw flour smell is gone, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in remaining 1½ cups cheese, sour cream, and salt. Stir in rice mixture and broccoli florets. Pour broccoli-rice mixture into prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with bread crumb mixture.
  6. Bake until bubbly and topping is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
KITCHEN TIPS Using short-grain brown rice is important; it creates a creamy texture. After you cut the broccoli florets from the stalks, you should have about 1 pound. Only 1 cup finely chopped stalks are needed. Place pork rinds into a resealable plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin. This casserole can stand alone or accompany a rotisserie chicken and a green salad. This casserole can be completely assembled up to two days in advance. Bring it to room temperature before baking. You can also make the rice in advance to save time.