This easy Crockpot broccoli rice casserole is made with frozen chopped broccoli, instant rice, sweet onion, Velveeta, cheddar.
Broccoli cheese rice casserole is a dump-and-go slow cooker recipe with very little prep. Just dice an onion, cube the Velveeta for easy melting, and combine the ingredients in the slow cooker. Sprinkle on some shredded cheese to melt before serving.
The secret ingredient is frozen chopped broccoli. Chopped broccoli comes cut into very small pieces, much smaller than florets or broccoli cuts. This helps the broccoli cook evenly and is great for kids (and adults!) and picky eaters who don't like to eat big chunks of broccoli.
Aside from being a perfect side dish for everyday cooking, it's also a holiday classic, a great recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. For more Thanksgiving sides, try green bean casserole or green chile corn casserole.
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- Easy recipe: This is a dump-and-go style Crockpot recipe with very little prep and a relatively quick cooking time (for a slow cooker!).
- Feeds a crowd: This recipe easily makes 10 to 12 servings, perfect for a potluck, Sunday dinner, or holiday meal.
- Family dinner favorite: Cheesy broccoli casserole is a delicious comfort food the whole family will enjoy.
- Frozen chopped broccoli - On the frozen food aisle at the grocery store you will find broccoli labeled "chopped broccoli" which is cut into much smaller pieces than broccoli cuts or broccoli florets.
- Instant rice - Instant rice, such as Minute Rice, cooks much faster than regular long grain white rice or brown rice, making it perfect for this quick side dish. Note: You do NOT need to cook the instant rice before adding it. Just add the uncooked rice and it will cook in the slow cooker.
- Sweet onion - Diced. This adds a little texture and a slightly sweet taste.
- Velveeta - Shelf-stable Velveeta cheese comes in blocks. Cube the loaf to help the cheese melt more evenly. Velveeta is a fantastic melting cheese, perfect for a nice and cheesy sauce.
- Cream of mushroom soup - Condensed soup for a creamy sauce.
- Cream of celery soup - Condensed soup.
- Low-sodium chicken broth - For additional flavor.
- Whole milk - Adds to the creaminess of the dish.
- Unsalted butter - Enhances the rice with a rich and buttery flavor.
- Sharp cheddar cheese - Shredded cheddar cheese to top the casserole for an extra-cheesy casserole.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Add all of the ingredients except the cheddar cheese to the Crockpot.
Stir to combine. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Stir then top with cheddar cheese.
Cover with the lid and set the slow cooker to WARM for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Easy cleanup: Try disposable Crockpot liners for easy cleanup.
- Stir: Don't forget to stir occasionally! This prevents the rice from sticking to the sides of the crock.
- Frozen chopped broccoli - You can buy frozen florets or broccoli cuts and chop them yourself. You can also use frozen broccoli florets without chopping them, but I recommend thawing the broccoli first if you do not plan to chop it. You can also use fresh broccoli chopped into small pieces. Be sure to check if the broccoli is fork tender at the end of the cooking time. If not, add an additional 15-30 minutes to the timer before adding the cheese.
- Instant rice - Instant rice CANNOT be substituted with regular rice. You can use Minute Rice Brown Rice, but note that brown instant rice typically takes longer to cook.
- Sweet onion - You can omit the onion or add any variety or onion or even shallots.
- Velveeta - This recipe was developed using Velveeta original, but you can also use Velveeta queso blanco, 2%, or Mexican.
- Cream of mushroom soup and Cream of celery soup - Use your favorite condensed soups based on what you already have on hand or based on the flavor profile you want to create. My top substitutions are cream of chicken soup and cream of onion soup. You could even use a can of condensed broccoli cheese soup.
- Low-sodium chicken broth - For less salt, use water. For more salt, use regular chicken broth.
- Whole milk - This adds creaminess to the dish (and additional liquid needed to cook the rice). You can use low-fat or skim milk, or you can replace it entirely with broth. The result may be slightly less creamy. You can also replace some of the broth and/or milk with a ¼ cup of white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.
- Unsalted butter - You can use salted butter for a saltier flavor.
- Shredded sharp cheddar - I recommend something with a stronger flavor like sharp cheddar and extra-sharp cheddar, but you can use your favorite shredded cheese such as Colby Jack or Monterey Jack.
Rotisserie chicken: Make this into a main dish by adding shredded rotisserie chicken after the main cooking time is complete but before the cheddar cheese is added. This will give the chicken time to warm through while the cheese melts on top.
Chicken breasts: If you want to add raw chicken, try this slow cooker chicken broccoli rice casserole recipe with long grain brown rice and boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Instant Pot: Try this Instant Pot cheesy broccoli and rice pressure cooker recipe.
No Rice: This broccoli cheese casserole is made without rice.
- Slow cooker - To cook the casserole.
- Chef's knife - To dice the onion.
- Cutting board - For cutting the onion.
Store leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave.
Broccoli rice casserole can be reheated in the microwave. It could also be transferred into an oven-safe dish to reheat in the oven or into a slow cooker crock to reheat.
Broccoli casserole is an easy side dish that can be served alongside chicken, Thanksgiving turkey, ham, roasted veggies, green bean casserole, corn casserole, corn muffins, and more.
Crockpot Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 24 ounces frozen chopped broccoli about 6 cups
- 2 cups instant rice
- 1 medium sweet onion diced
- 16 ounces Velveeta cubed
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- 1 can low-sodium chicken broth or water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter sliced
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- Add all of the ingredients except the cheddar cheese to the Crockpot and stir to combine.
- Cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Stir then top with cheddar cheese and cover with the lid and set the slow cooker to WARM for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.