This broccoli rice casserole is cauliflower rice and broccoli simmered in vegetable stock, tossed with two kinds of cheese, and baked to perfection. A keto and low carb comfort food classic that is great as a side dish or a main course on its own! 2 grams net carbs per serving.
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Growing up, a broccoli cheese casserole was something my mom often made, usually as a side dish to some salmon or chicken. It was a comforting side dish, especially in the cooler months, and one of the first recipes I had to give a keto and healthy makeover to!
Traditional broccoli casserole is usually made with heavy cream, rice, and butter. Rice was definitely out of the picture and while heavy cream and butter are keto friendly, there are other ways to achieve the same creaminess, minus all the extra fat!
Instead, we replace the rice with cauliflower rice and simmer the mixture in stock, to give the casserole some moisture and creaminess. When combined with TWO kinds of cheeses, you are left with a cheesy and delicious casserole, minus all the added fat and carbs!
How do you make a broccoli rice casserole?
- Broccoli– You can use either frozen or fresh broccoli. Pre-steam your broccoli until tender and let it cool completely.
- Cauliflower rice– Unseasoned and unflavored cauliflower rice.
- Vegetable stock– We use the stock to gently cook the cauliflower rice before we bake it.
- Salt and pepper- To taste.
- Italian mixed herbs- A mix of dried oregano, basil, and sage. This adds extra flavor to the casserole.
- Parmesan cheese- Use freshly grated parmesan cheese, not pre-grated ones. The pre-grated ones keep their shape and often dry out casseroles.
- Mozzarella cheese– Adds creaminess and gooeyness to the casserole. We mix some of the cheese in the casserole and on top.
Start by lightly cooking the cauliflower rice in the vegetable stock, until warm and combined. Stir through the broccoli, spices, parmesan cheese, and half the parmesan cheese. Transfer to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and cover with extra mozzarella cheese. Bake at 180C/350F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Tips to make the best casserole
- Don’t worry about pre-cooking all the ingredients before baking it. The main reason for doing so is for the stock to coat the cauliflower rice, which in turn will yield a smoother casserole.
- Your broccoli must be pre-cooked before the casserole is baked. Steam the cauliflower until tender.
- If possible, shred your own cheese for the casserole. It not only has a much better flavor but it also melts much more beautifully.
- If you’d like to make this to be a vegan broccoli cheese casserole, swap out the cheeses for vegan shreds and parmesan.
Broccoli Casserole Flavor Variations
- Protein– Feel free to add some protein to the casserole. Ground beef, ground turkey, and vegan ground beef are all fantastic options.
- Vegetables– Chopped bell peppers, baby spinach, mushrooms, and even tomatoes are great to add to the casserole.
- Cheese– Use other kinds of cheese, like cheddar, tasty, or Colby Jack. I still recommend using a little mozzarella cheese, so you get the beautiful melt.
- Vegan options– Fold through some silken tofu, beans, or chickpeas.
More veggie packed recipes to try
- Broccoli Salad
- Cauliflower mac and cheese
- Kung Pao Cauliflower
- General Tso’s Cauliflower
- Ramen Noodle Salad
Broccoli Cheese Casserole (Keto!)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large pot, add some oil and heat on medium. Once hot, add the cauliflower rice and the stock and let simmer. Once it begins to simmer, add the broccoli and mix it until combined. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Mix until combined.
- Transfer the casserole mixture into the greased pan and spread out in an even layer. Top with remaining mozzarella and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
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