Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole // An Original Take

Last night I found myself standing in the kitchen, iPad in hand, trying to decide what to cook for dinner. In the end, I reverted to my Recipes and Such board on Pinterest. A couple of scrolls later, I stumbled upon the wonderful food blog Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice. The minute I saw this recipe and realized we had all the ingredients, I could almost smell the delicious scent coming from our kitchen about 30 minutes later.

Just a few tips before you begin cooking. Be sure you cook the rice before you reach the point in the instructions that calls for cooked rice. Same story for the broccoli. Although I did not take note of the words cooked broccoli {amateur mistake on my part} and ended up adding the broccoli raw, it still came out perfect. So maybe in the end, this was a mistake turned shortcut.

Instead of using three cups of rice, I ended up using a single cup of rice and two cups of farro, one of my new favorites grains. Although it required a bit more cooking and use of an extra pot and burner on the stove, it was worth it.

One more alteration. Before putting in the oven, I sprinkled a little bit of crushed croutons on top along with the cheese. A few more calories, but after eating this dish, I do not think you’ll care.

 

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Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing pan
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and a few cracks fresh black pepper
2 + 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 cups cooked rice {or as I used, 1 cup cooked rice, 2 cups cooked farro}
2 -3 cups cooked broccoli florets
crushed croutons

Instructions

  1. Grease  a 9×13-inch casserole pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large saucepan melt the butter over low heat; add garlic and saute until fragrant. Whisk in flour and cook 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in milk, mustard and season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer 4 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese and parmesan; stir until  mostly melted; remove from heat.
  3. Stir in rice and broccoli florets, pour into casserole pan, sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese and crushed croutons over top. Bake 30 minutes until bubbly and lightly golden on top. Allow to set 5 minutes before serving.

enjoy!