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Cheater Broccoli Casserole

Updated on July 23, 2021

Cheater Broccoli Casserole earned its name because of the ingredients which are used. This recipe includes some pre-processed foods. It's a good idea to avoid pre-processed foods as much as possible but if you make this recipe once or twice a year (like during the holidays), you should be okay. I have tweaked this recipe over the years and I think I could make it in my sleep. Everyone at our house loves the flavor and it's one of the first dishes to disappear from the Thanksgiving Dinner table. I always use fresh broccoli so I can claim at least some fresh food is in there. You can use frozen broccoli but the texture and flavor both fare better with fresh broccoli. One thing is certain, this recipe will not cheat you in the flavor department.


  • 1 bunch fresh broccoli (florets and peeled stems), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup Jasmine Rice, uncooked
  • 8 ounces- processed American Cheese
  • 1 can- cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can- cream of celery soup
  • 1/4 cup sauteed onion (white or yellow, medium dice), optional
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Milk, as needed
  • Salt, optional
  • Cooking oil spray, as needed


  1. Assemble all ingredients, kitchen tools & equipment. (Recommended equipment: Chef's knife, small paring knife (or vegetable peeler), cutting board, can opener, 1 quart cooking pot, 2-4 quart cooking pot, 13"x9"x2" casserole dish, colander).
  2. Set oven to 350 degrees. Start your Jasmine Rice in the smaller pot--you may use regular long grain rice for this recipe but Jasmine holds up a lot better). Use your bigger (2-4 quart) cooking pot to start water for the broccoli (season with salt, if desired). Wash and prepare broccoli: cut florets into bite-size pieces. Peel stems before cutting into bite-size pieces. When broccoli water comes to a boil, add broccoli and cook about 5-6 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cut processed cheese into 1" cubes--(if you're using Cheez Whiz in a jar you can skip this step).
  3. If you decided to use the optional onion in this recipe, melt the butter and saute onion until soft but not browned (you can do this while the broccoli is cooking).
  4. Coat casserole dish with cooking spray. Add sauteed onions & butter mixture. Add all of the processed cheese, then the hot, cooked rice. Stir to incorporate.
  5. Add cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup. Stir to incorporate. Add 1/2-1 cup of milk--(you don't want the mixture to be too wet. The consistency should be thinner than mashed potatoes but thicker than gravy). Stir to incorporate.
  6. Add broccoli and stir to incorporate. (NOTE: If you use processed cheese in a jar, you won't have to stir the mixture at all during cooking. If you decided to use Velveeta (cubes or slices), you'll need to stir it once or twice during baking to distribute the cheese.)
  7. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until there is a very light crust on top of the casserole. If you don't want it too crusty, cover before baking. It's all good.
  8. Enjoy your delicious "Cheater Broccoli Casserole!"

Additional Notes on Cheater Broccoli Casserole

When you incorporate your broccoli into the mixture, don't let it scare you. It's okay to see little green flecks, which come from the broccoli florets. That's actually a good thing. The only thing you have to worry about is stirring it into "mush." If the broccoli is cooked as indicated by this recipe, you shouldn't have that problem.

This is a good recipe with just the right amount of ingredients that will produce a delightful flavor medley. If you add any extra cheese, then it gets too cheesy. Too cheesy? Is that even possible? Yes. It is possible. Eight ounces of cheese is enough. I can say this with complete confidence because I've seen how fast this recipe gets eaten, time and time again.

For your casserole dish: You may use a shorter dish that is deeper than 2 inches but you'll need to increase your baking time. You're probably okay with another 10-15 minutes. Use deeper dishes if you aren't in a big hurry. If you are, use the shallower version. The shallower the dish, the faster it will bake.


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