Looking for an easy side recipe? This easy broccoli cheese rice made on the stovetop is a healthier alternative for that classic Rice-a-Roni Cheddar Broccoli Rice, because it has whole ingredients. In fact, I bet you have almost all the ingredients on hand because the base of this recipe uses pantry staples. Unlike the popular casserole version, this cheesy broccoli rice is made all in one pot on the stovetop and only take 20 minutes.
This broccoli cheese rice recipe is great as a side dish but it could also serve as a vegetarian main dish, or you could add in some cooked protein to make it a complete meal for all those carnivores out there. My favorite combination is this rice alongside my Cajun Salmon.
How do you make this easy Broccoli Cheese Rice on the stovetop?
Start by boiling some 3 cups of broth (vegetable or chicken) in a sauce pan that has a lid. Add some dry white rice (basmati is my favorite), fresh broccoli florets, olive oil and salt to the broth, stir so everything is mixed together, bring back to a boil, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to low. Let everything simmer on low for 20 minutes.
Remove lid, and toss in 2 cups of cheddar cheese, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder. Taste your broccoli cheese rice to see if you need to add anymore salt. Sometimes I add a splash of cream or half and half to added some body to the sauce.
Important notes about the recipe:
- Don't substitute brown rice in this recipe. Brown rice take significantly longer to cook than white rice (almost twice as long!).
- Use fresh broccoli florets that have been cut relatively small. If they are too large they won't steam all the way through
- A good quality block of cheddar, shredded by hand has the best flavor, because the pre-shredded cheese has extra powder dust all over it and doesn't melt as nicely. But hey, if you don't have the time or energy to shred your own cheese, don't sweat it.
- Don't season with salt heavily until the end in this broccoli cheese rice, especially if you're not using low sodium broth. The cheese also adds a lot of saltiness to the dish.
Substitutions or Additions
Rice is a tricky thing. I encourage creativity, but take into account some substitutions or additions may swallow up some of the broth needed to cook the rice all the way through. Rice, in general need a 1 part liquid to 2/3s part rice ratio. For this recipe. I've added an additional 1/2 cup of liquid because the broccoli absorbs some of it. So with that, just be aware when you add anything extra.
You can defiantly add whatever you want to this broccoli cheese rice after everything has been cooked, like chopped cooked chicken, sliced cooked smoked sausage, sauted mushrooms, cooked carrots, peas ... the list could go on and on.
If you love this easy Broccoli Cheese Rice recipe made on the stovetop, I would love to know! You can rate this recipe and leave a comment, and tag a photo on Instagram @hungrywaitress! Here's the recipe:Print
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