Broccoli rice cheese casserole
We are headed to Knoxville for an early Thanksgiving with my beloved mother-in-law, Bunny, and 14 of our extended family, none of whom we are related to. It is a charm of the South that we have always gotten to choose our family even if we love the one we started with.
But that is not the important thing here. The important thing is broccoli rice cheese casserole.
No family ties bind quite like this processed cheesy rich casserole. I had to call Bunny a few days ago just to make sure it was on the menu.
“You think?” she answered almost sarcastically. “I just got the ingredients to make a double batch.”
It is highly important to have enough of this casserole on the sideboard for the actual Thanksgiving service. It is equally important to have enough for leftovers. For 15.
“If I don’t have enough for people to take home there will be an insurrection,” Bunny wisely noted. Truer words. Truer words.
I can’t tell you what makes this dish better than the dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean bundles or Waldorf salad. It just is. It’s Noah’s childhood contained in a single Pyrex dish.
And there’s no sense in trying to fancy it up. The broccoli must start out life frozen. The rice must be plain white. There is no substitute for Cheez Whiz. And you cannot have a casserole with any shred of authenticity in the South unless there’s canned cream of mushroom soup in it.
So off we go for a traditional Bunny Thanksgiving. I already have the Tupperware packed.
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup butter
- 1⅓ cups cooked rice
- 1 8-ounce jar processed cheese spread, such as Cheez Whiz
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
- Combine broccoli and onion. Cook according to package directions. Drain and add remaining ingredients. Stir well.
- Pour into a greased 2-quart shallow casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.