Welcome to the Cheesy Sausage Broccoli & Rice Casserole post! Yes, this casserole is a destination and deserves a warm welcome. When the weather is cold, and you have a list of holiday to-do items the length of your arm what is easier or more comforting than a casserole? Nothing. That’s the answer, nothing. Ok, maybe a soup or a stew, but a casserole is hearty and filling and if done very strategically, can be an all-in-one dish for you. That’s exactly what I have for you today, an all-in-one, make-ahead, hearty and delicious Cheesy Sausage Broccoli Casserole.
Embrace Your Casserole Side
Ok, I’m going to level with you here. When I started my blog, I told myself that I would never post a casserole recipe. I grew up with casseroles. Casseroles are stress-free. They are easy and they can last for more than 1 meal. A delicious casserole is warm and cozy and comforting. Casseroles are hearty and gooey and fill the whole house with the delicious scent of their ingredients while they cook. Why WOULDN’T I post a casserole recipe!?? Well, I would. And I am. So, here you go…
If you follow my blog or newsletters at all, you know that I love chicken. Chicken is high in protein, but not high in calories or fat. Some of my favorite chicken recipes are… Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken, Chicken, Tomato, Pepper Pasta, Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chicken & Chorizo Enchiladas Casserole, Mexican Chicken to name a few.
For this recipe, I really wanted to do something a little different, but then I ended up back in the world of chicken after all. Chicken Sausage, that is! That’s different, right? Well, you can definitely use whatever favorite sausage you and your family love, whether it’s chicken or beef or pork. But, chicken does tend to be healthier for you. I love to use either Aidells Habanero & Green Chile Smoked Sausage with NO Nitrates or HungryRoot Garlic Spinach Sausage! If you want to check out Hungryroot, you can get $50 off your first 2 orders ($25 off each)! Just click here for this deal!
We also love Broccoli in my house. And, by “we” I mean me and the girls. Dave is the type who will quickly eat all the broccoli first to get it out of the way so it doesn’t ruin the rest of his meal. So, I went with broccoli as the veggie hero in this casserole.
I love it for its taste, for the beautiful green color it adds, and for the fact that it is packed with vitamins so this Casserole is healthy, right!? Actually, it really is! It only calls for ½ cup of shredded cheese in the entire dish and low-fat milk, not cream, which is just enough to boost the creaminess factor, but not enough to give you guilt pangs.
Cooking your Casserole
There are only 3 simple steps for this recipe after you prep the sauce and broccoli by cutting and slicing them. Step 1 is to make the creamy sauce with the sausage. Step 2 is to make the rice. Step 3 is to combine it all with the broccoli.
Then bake it in the oven, with panko breadcrumbs added at the very end.
I hope you try this recipe with your family and love it as much as we did!
Carrie, Talking Meals
Cheesy Sausage Broccoli Casserole
This is a stress-free, easy, warm and comforting, hearty and gooey casserole with sausage, broccoli, and just a bit of cheese to give it the creaminess you want. Rounded out with Rice, you have a complete meal!
- 4 Cooked Chicken Sausage Links (12oz)
- 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Yellow Onion, diced
- 2 tbls All Purpose Flour
- 2 tbls Butter
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar
- 1 tbls Parsley
- 3 cups Broccoli Florets
- 1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
- 1 cup Long Grain White Rice, uncooked
- 1 cup water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook the Rice: Add 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken broth to small pot, then add 1 cup uncooked rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cover for 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes is done, keep lid on pot until ready to mix the rice into the casserole.
Dice the onion, slice the sausage, chop the parsley, cut off the broccoli florets.
To a preheated saute pan, add 1 tsp olive oil and the sliced sausage. Sear the sausage until browned on both sides. If you are using cooked sausage, you just need to sear, not cook through. If raw, then cook a few minutes longer. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside, leaving the sausage bits and juices in the pan.
To the same pan, add 1 tsp olive oil if needed and the onions. Cook the onions until soft and translucent.
Add the flour and butter to make a roux and stir until full mixed. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring constantly so it does not burn. Slowly whisk in the broth and the milk until lumps are gone and sauce is creamy.
Add the shredded cheese and the parsley and whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally add back the sausage and stir to combine.
In a casserole dish, mix the rice, the broccoli, and the sausage-sauce. Once combined, cover and cook in oven for 30 minutes.
Remove cover and sprinkle panko bread crumbs, salt & pepper over the entire top of the casserole. Put back in the oven for another 5+ minutes until the top is lightly browned.
Take the casserole out, serve, and enjoy!!