A Squared: Recipe Re-Do: Homemade Cheesy Broccoli Rice

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Recipe Re-Do: Homemade Cheesy Broccoli Rice

I'm really embarrassed to even link to this post because the photography is so tragic, but please take a look at one of the most trafficked posts on A Squared. Ever.

Yes, that's correct. Despite the amateur (at best) photography, this recipe for lightened up broccoli cheese rice is one of the most popular recipes ever posted on this blog. What can I say? Carbs + cheese + a makeover of a cult favorite convenience food = one heck of a popular recipe. So today, I am revisiting this old favorite-- with tweaks to both the photos and recipe.

This is a really tasty side dish that meets both your carb and vegetable quota and I love serving it alongside grilled or barbecued chicken and pork. It is by no means a health food, but there are several components in this dish that not only make it tasty, but also healthier than its boxed counterpart. The foundation of the dish is whole grain brown rice with a healthy helping of fresh chopped broccoli. The flavorful cheese sauce is a combination of low fat milk, grated sharp cheddar, and seasonings that you most likely have on hand in your kitchen already.

The recipe is slightly more time consuming than the boxed version, but it's made with whole ingredients that you can feel 100 times better about eating, so I'd call that even. Wouldn't you agree?


  • 2 1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup skim or low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard *I have also subbed in prepared Dijon when I didn't have dry mustard on hand
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • A few dashes of hot sauce, to taste
  • Salt and pepper (white pepper, if you have it), to taste 
  • 3 cups of cooked brown rice *For more flavor, I sub in fat free chicken broth for water when I make it.
  • 3 cups of chopped steamed broccoli
Whisk flour with 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl until smooth. Heat the remaining 1/2 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming. Add the flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk in cheddar, dry mustard, paprika, hot sauce, pepper, and salt (if using).  While still warm, combine the cheese sauce, prepared rice, and broccoli in a large bowl.  Serve immediately.

Makes about 3 large servings.

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