Creamy rice casserole has a soft spot in my heart because I remember it as one of my favorite comfort foods when I was growing up.
In giving up on eating most packaged and canned products, I knew that I would have to also give up the beloved canned cream of mushroom soup that was the star ingredient in so many of my childhood comfort foods.
But, that doesn't mean that I had to put an end to these dishes forever. You don't, either. All it takes is a little extra time and the willingness to learn a new way of making your favorite casseroles and comfort foods from scratch.
This recipe will teach you how to:
- Make your own homemade cream of mushroom soup
- Make a delicious “comfort food” casserole from start to finish, with fresh ingredients.
Want to know a little secret? They taste even better than the canned/processed version that you and I grew up with. Yep, I dared to say it. But, it's true.
This creamy chicken broccoli rice casserole is meant to be just like the original, but the cream of mushroom soup is made on-the-fly, and the entire dish is brought to a whole new level with all fresh ingredients.
Are you ready? Let's dig in!
Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
For the casserole:
- 2 cups uncooked rice
- 2 cups chicken cooked and chopped
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
For the homemade cream soup:
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 cup mushrooms diced
- 1/2 cup butter or substitute
- 1/2 cup flour or substitute
- 2 cups milk or substitute
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- In a medium pot, bring the rice, broccoli, and 5 cups of water to a rolling boil for 2-3 minutes. Cover and let simmer on low for 20-25 minutes until rice is fully cooked. Turn off the burner, uncover.
- Meanwhile, saute the garlic, onion, and mushrooms in a skillet and set aside. In the same pan, melt the butter on medium. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat down for a moment and add the milk and broth. Add the garlic, onion, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly, until it reaches the desired consistency (it will thicken some while cooling.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cream soup, rice, broccoli, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl, reserving .5 cups of cheese. Grease a 13x9 pan, then fill with mixture. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until heated through.