Easy Cheesy Rice with Broccoli

5 from 23 votes

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This easy stovetop rice and broccoli dish comes together quickly, goes with everything, and solves the issue of a starch and a vegetable side all in one!

Cheesy rice with broccoli in serving dish with spoon.

Rice is the optimal sidekick to so many dishes, from Baked Salmon to Pan-Seared Pork Chops to Baked Chicken Breasts. A good cheesy version of it will round out your dinner with flair on many occasions. In this recipe, the cheesy rice is studded with chunks of broccoli, making it essentially two side dishes — a starch and a veggie­­ — in one. It comes together very quickly on the stovetop.

This makes a very broccoli-rich rice dish, unlike some of those bagged or boxed rice mixes which yield a lot of heavily sauced rice with microscopic bits of veggies. I have a little bit of a soft spot for those rice mixes that come in little packages, but they can be disappointing. One with cheddar and broccoli had perhaps the equivalent of 1/4 cup of chopped broccoli in a package meant to serve four people. In my book, the broccoli was barely even a garnish.

Speaking of my book, this kid-friendly recipe comes from my first cookbook, The Mom 100. It’s been a staple in my house for a couple of decades. This truly is a great way to get vegetable-averse kids to ingest something green with less dinner table strife. And yes, it’s always tempting to reach for a package, but this is truly quick and easy and feels so much more substantial than a boxed mix.

Woman serving rice with broccoli and cheese on plate.

Easy Cheesy Rice with Broccoli: This easy stovetop rice and broccoli dish comes together quickly, goes with everything, and solves the issue of a starch and a vegetable side all in one!

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Cheesy Rice with Broccoli Ingredients

Rice, broccoli, cheese, and other ingredients on marble table.
  • Olive oil
  • Onion – Privdes a great flavor base.
  • Rice – Use long-grain rice, or see the variations for a version with brown rice.
  • Chicken or vegetable broth – Stick with vegetable broth if you want this dish to be vegetarian. Use less sodium broth so you can control the level of salt in the dish.
  • Broccoli – Coarsely chop the broccoli into about 1/4-inch-sized pieces.
  • Cheddar cheese – Yellow or orange cheese adds a nice color to the dish, and I recommend sharp since the rice is so mild in flavor.
  • Butter
  • Hot sauce to taste – This is optional, but for some heat, pass a bottle of Sriracha or Tabasco around the table so everyone can add it to their portion if they like.

Variations

  • If you want to use brown rice instead of white, increase the amount of broth to 2 3/4 cups and let the rice simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • You can use pretty much any vegetable instead of the broccoli: chopped cauliflower, sliced asparagus, even peas (reduce the amount of peas to two cups), or a combination.
  • For a change of pace, try 1/2 cup feta or 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan instead of the cheddar.
  • If you’re just in the market for cheesy rice, skip the broccoli!
  • If you’re just in the mood for rice with broccoli, skip the cheese!

How to Make Rice with Broccoli and Cheese

  1. Sauté the onion and rice: In a medium-sized saucepan with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until tender and golden, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the rice itself is glistening and somewhat translucent, about 2 minutes.
Cooking onions and rice in pot on stove.
  1. Add broth and broccoli: Add the broth and salt, stir well, cover, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, covered, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in the chopped broccoli and cover again.
Adding broth and chopped broccoli to pan with rice.
  1. Simmer and add cheese: Simmer until the rice is cooked and the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese, butter, and pepper, and taste to see if it needs salt.
Adding Parmesan cheese to rice and broccoli and stirring in pot on stove.
  1. Serve hot: Pass hot sauce on the side for those who want it.
Serving stovetop rice with broccoli and cheese in large dish.

Cooking Tips

  • Use less sodium broth so you can control the saltiness of the finished dish.
  • Sharp cheddar offers more flavor bang for the buck than mild cheddar. If you use mild cheddar, the flavor of the cheese will be much more muffled.

Make Ahead, Storage and Reheating

You can chop the broccoli a few days ahead of time to get a head start on this recipe. Leftovers will last for up to 5 days in the fridge.

Reheat leftovers in the microwave for about 2 minutes, until hot throughout, or heat them over low heat in a pan on the stovetop. You may want to add a sprinkle of water or broth if this rice feels thick or clumpy.

What to Serve With Cheesy Rice and Broccoli

Serving Cheesy Rice with Broccoli with spoon from platter.

More Easy Side Recipes

For other broccoli-based side dishes, try Broccoli Orzo Salad, Broccoli Salad, and Broccoli Casserole!

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5 from 23 votes

Cheesy Rice with Broccoli

This easy stovetop rice and broccoli dish comes together quickly, goes with everything, and solves the issue of a starch and a vegetable side all in one!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 People
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Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 ½ cups less-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • 2 ½ cups roughly chopped broccoli
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese (preferably sharp)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • Hot sauce (to taste; optional)

Instructions 

  • In a medium-sized saucepan with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender and golden, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it is well mixed with the onions and the rice itself is glistening and somewhat translucent, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the broth and salt, stir well, cover, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, covered, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the chopped broccoli and cover again. Simmer until the rice is cooked and the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese, butter, and pepper, and taste to see if it needs salt. Serve hot, passing hot sauce on the side for those who want it.

Notes

  • If you want to use brown rice instead of white, increase the amount of broth to 2 3/4 cups and let the rice simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • You can use pretty much any vegetable instead of the broccoli: chopped cauliflower, sliced asparagus, even peas (reduce the amount of peas to 2 cups), or a combination.
  • For a change of pace, try 1/2 cup feta or 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan instead of the cheddar.
  • If you’re just in the market for cheesy rice, skip the broccoli!
  • Skip the cheese if you’re just in the mood for rice with broccoli!

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 180mg, Potassium: 380mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 572IU, Vitamin C: 50mg, Calcium: 148mg, Iron: 1mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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1 Comment

  1. Tina says:

    love how cheesy this rice recipe is!