Baked Cheddar Broccoli Rice Cups

Cheddar-Broccoli-Cups

What started as a way to use the Minute rice my husband bought in place of long grain rice has become something of a sensation.  When I shared this recipe shortly after I began The Fountain Avenue Kitchen, I never dreamed it would be shared, Pinned, and cooked so often. Interestingly, at least once a week I get an email from someone telling me that this recipe and photo were posted on someone else’s blog with no credit to me.  Given that I am putting recipes out on the world wide web in the first place, I figure this is not something to get too upset about.  Right or wrong, these things happen. Yet one kind woman who emailed me at least 20 links to pirated versions of this recipe finally sent me a watermarked version of my photo (see above) so that people would know it’s mine!  Go figure, some determined souls find ways to remove the watermark…but I appreciate her thoughtful gesture nonetheless.

Simple to whip up with ingredients you have on hand, this side is a sure kid-pleaser that adults will enjoy as well.  I employ one of my favorite kitchen tricks with this recipe:  Any time I use frozen broccoli or spinach that needs to be thawed and drained well, I put it inside a tea towel and literally wring it out.  You will be surprised by how much water is released, and getting rid of it will prevent your finished product from becoming soggy.

Vary the cheese or variety of rice, if you like, or bake in a casserole dish or jumbo muffins tins.  Mini muffin versions make delightful appetizers.  For my Better-For-You Ranch Dressing, click HERE.

Baked Cheddar Broccoli Rice Cups
Yields 8 rice cups.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quick-cooking rice, like Minute Rice (can substitute about 2 cups cooked white or brown rice and omit the 1 cup stock below)
  2. 1 cup chicken stock
  3. 1 10-oz. box frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed and excess water squeezed out
  4. 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  5. 1/4 cup Homemade Ranch Dressing, or store bought
  6. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare rice as directed on package, substituting stock for water.
  3. Place cooked rice in a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add the remaining ingredients, using only 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese, and stir until combined.
  4. Transfer mixture to eight well-greased muffin cups--I like to use an ice cream scoop--and top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are lightly browned and edges are starting to get crispy.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen http://fountainavenuekitchen.com/
More Fountain Avenue Kitchen Favorites…

IMG_0545 Parmesan Crusted Potatoes —  3 simple ingredients plus salt and pepper

IMG_0918Apple Crisp Baked Oatmeal — healthy but so delicious and can be made in advance

IMG_2797Chicken in Milk — the most tender,  juicy chicken ever…and it’s easy

IMG_9743Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies — quick and easy and packed with protein, too

IMG_0276Chicken Tortilla Soup — a family and reader favorite that makes plenty to freeze or enjoy later

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Comments

  1. Pingback: The Fountain Avenue Kitchen – Better-for-You Ranch Dressing

    1. Ann

      Hi Natalie! You could use mayonnaise or blue cheese dressing if either of those appeal. Greek yogurt would be a possibility, too, but you might want to cut it half with mayo or add a little more seasoning if you use all yogurt. Same for sour cream. Let me know if you give it a try!

      Reply
      1. Mary

        I substituted sour cream, mixed with cream of mushroom for the ranch didn’t have any on hand nor the ingredients to make any. Turned out great, they were creamy. Wish I had some Ritz crackers. They would’ve made a great topping. Will try again with crushed Ritz and melted butter mixed together as a topping next time.

        Reply
        1. wendy

          How about trying gold fish for cracker topping? We used to make a broccoli casserole similar to this with a Cheez-It topping.

          Reply
    2. Megan

      You could substitute honey mustard for the ranch, either the salad dressing or the condiment. I’m in the same boat 🙂 Looks like a great recipe!!!

      Reply
      1. Ann

        Hi Megan,
        Though I have never tried this recipe with honey mustard, I would think it would work. I like the ranch for the added flavor, and the honey mustard would add flavor, just a different kind. If you try, please let me know what you think!

        Reply
    3. Cheryl

      I would substitute fat free Greek yogurt. Vigor something a little more savory, could also try Campbell’s healthy request soup, whatever flavor you like, I’d probabley go with cream of chicken or broccoli in this dish.

      Reply
  2. Chara

    I have been searching for a similar recipe from my childhood. It was made with rice, tuna, cheese, olives and green onions. They were delicious! These are the closest that I have found. Thanks for the stroll down flavor memory lane.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I love tuna so that sounds delicious, Chara! I might start with the basic recipe but omit the broccoli and add the drained tuna, olives and green onions. It couldn’t be bad and would provide a great starting point for further tweaking. I might have to try it myself!

      Reply
  3. Kathryn Ruuska

    I saw this and assumed this was vegetarian safe, until I saw the chicken stock. Am I correct in assuming the chicken stock can simply be removed? It appears to just be flavoring for the rice, so a veggie would work as well?

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Absolutely, Kathryn. The stock is just for flavoring so vegetable stock would be a perfect substitution. If you are a quinoa fan, my baked quinoa might be a nice vegetarian option. That recipe has a very small amount of ham for flavor but it can easily be omitted.

      Reply
    1. Ann

      I have not frozen these, Brenda, but I imagine they would freeze well. My kids always manage to eat the leftovers before I have a chance to freeze any! Let me know if you try: )

      Reply
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  5. Kelli Werner

    Two questions. I’m not clear if the 1 cup of rice is cooked or uncooked. Also, could you use fresh broccoli? Thanks! They sound delish!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Kelli,
      It is one cup of rice, uncooked. Also, you can absolutely use fresh broccoli. Just steam it and squeeze out any extra moisture. Hope you enjoy!

      Reply
  6. Veronica

    Ann, do you think it is necessary to use minute rice? I love using my rice maker with the good jasmine or any sticky rice.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Veronica,
      You can absolutely try it with regular rice. The funny thing is, I almost always use brown rice but was experimenting with some leftover minute rice from when my husband went to the store: ) It does make for a quick option and it’s a good base for the other ingredients.

      Reply
  7. Shannon

    This was a hit at our house tonight! I used the Uncle Bens 90 sec rice bags because that’s all we had on hand but otherwise I followed the recipe. My 2 yr old asked for seconds and my husband ate 4! Thanks for posting this recipe.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Shannon,
      You are very welcome! I am thrilled they went over so well, especially with your 2-year-old: ) Thanks so much for letting me know!

      Reply
  8. Cecelia

    They are in the oven now. Used brown rice, leftover chicken, chopped, 1/2 mozzarella and 1/2 cheddar, no eggs and yogurt with herbs. also Pam on the muffin tins. Taking them to a friend who just had surgery. she can pop them in the oven or mw whenever she is hungry. Cant wait to try them myself.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Sounds delicious, Cecelia! I love your tweaks and bet your friend will really appreciate them. If you think about it, let me know how they turn out!

      Reply
      1. Cecelia

        making them again today. Love them still. Friends loved them and so did I. Today used vegetable stock, brown rice with 1/4 cup of quinoa. (added at the 12 minute mark of the brown rice cooking., chicken in only half, since the persaon coming for dinner is vegetarian. and added some summer squash for more veggies. I hope it is as good as before.Last time I shared half and kept half. So easy and fun. Love the portion control.

        Reply
  9. Kathy

    I fixed this for dinner and although it was good, nothing stuck together, very crumbly. The next time I am adding the cream of mushroom soup and Velveeta. I did top with panko and cheddar cheese and that part was good so will do that too next time. I am spoiled to Cheddar’s broccoli casserole!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Sorry to hear that, Kathy. Did you follow the recipe as written? I haven’t had that problem before so was thinking maybe something was left out. Thanks for passing along the feedback.

      Reply
    1. Ann

      I have reheated and they have been fine. I have yet to have enough leftover to freeze, but I wouldn’t hesitate to do so!

      Reply
  10. Melanie S

    Can you just leave the Ranch out? Do you have to use a substitution? Maybe another egg or something besides mayo, sour cream or greek yogurt. I like the idea of adding left over ck to it. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Melanie,
      I think a little more cheese might provide the flavor and help bind…maybe try a couple extra tablespoons chicken broth and a couple extra tablespoons cheese. Let me know if you give it a go!

      Reply
  11. Kathy

    Tried this, and added some Bacon pieces. Delish! Hubby loved em’ too. Thank you for all the great recipes U post. I made my FIRST Banana Bread yesterday. (from your recipe w/sour cream) and it came out perfect. Love this site!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you for the great feedback, Kathy. I truly appreciate it and am so glad you have been cooking my recipes…and enjoying them!

      Reply
  12. LaRae

    Hi! These look delicious, but I’m making them for a friend who has an egg allergy….what would be a good substitute, if anything?

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi LaRae,
      I have a friend who buys an egg replacement at the store due to allergies although I have not tried this myself. Cheese is the other binding agent in this recipe, so increasing the amount of cheese would help hold the rice mixture together. I hope this helps!

      Reply
    2. Lynne

      You could use 1 Tablespoon of ground up flax seeds (or flax meal) soaked in a little bit of water for each egg. the mixture becomes gelatinous and is used all the time by vegans as an egg substitute. Plus it’s healthy!

      Reply
      1. Ann

        Great suggestion, Lynne! I have heard of that option for eggs but have yet to try. Thank you for the reminder and the tip for those who can’t eat eggs!

        Reply
    1. Ann

      I haven’t made these with egg whites, Christina, but they should turn out fine. One large egg equals one quarter cup, so I would use a half cup of the whites.

      Reply
    1. Ann

      I have not baked them in a mini muffin pan, Brenda, but I would probably cut the time by about half and then check, adding a few minutes if needed. You basically want to see that they are a bit golden and crispy around the edges.

      Reply
  13. Amanda Robertson

    Made these tonight! They were so amazing with the perfect amount of tang to them thanks to the ranch. Left out the broth and used 2 cups of the instant white rice. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Lara,
      I do not have the nutritional value for these, although several people have mentioned some good sources including Caloriecount.about.com and MyFitnessPal. I hope this helps!

      Reply
  14. Carol

    Hi Ann,
    I just made these and they are AWESOME! thanks so much for posting the recipe. The only thing I changed was substituting sour cream for the ranch dressing and mixed in a bit of mozzarella cheese with the cheddar to top them off with… This dish will definitely be making a regular appearance at our dinner table very frequently! thanks again.

    Reply
  15. Carol

    Oh and the other change I made was making it in a round cake pan and it worked out great. I baked it for 15 min. longer though.

    Reply
  16. Fiona R

    OMG – these are SO VERY good. Made as written and gobbled up most myself before letting my kids get ahold of them. I see what you mean about not having leftovers. 😉 Going to try the same base recipe but with zucchini instead of broccoli next – think it will be just as fantastic! Thanks for posting – this is a keeper!!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you for the wonderful feedback, Fiona! I am so glad they were a hit and am laughing at your comment! Feel free to share how your zucchini version turns out. I bet it will be great!

      Reply
  17. JoJo

    One my friends posted this recipe on Facebook and miracle of miracles, I had all the ingredients in my kitchen so I made it and can I just say YUM!?!?!?! I’ll definitely be making this again!

    Reply
  18. Karen

    This sound delicious and I can’t wait to try it! But can someone figure out the nutritional values including calories? I don’t know how to do it.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Karen,
      In my recipe for Cheddar Quinoa Bake, a couple of people mention that they like to use caloriecount.about.com and myfitnesspal.com and reported that it was relatively easy to do. If anyone else has a favorite source, please feel free to comment!

      Reply
      1. Karen

        Using Caloriecount, I looked at the calories for each ingredient, added them together and divided by 8. I came up with about 132 calories for each. Does that sound about right?

        Reply
  19. Deborah

    I made this last night and they were really good. I also added onion. I added mozzarella cheese in the mixture then topped it with the cheddar cheese .

    Reply
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  21. Carmen Gonzales

    Delicious, would be delicious with some chicken chunks in it made as a casserole, also maybe a ritz cracker topping for a little crunch 🙂 omgosh will make again for sure 🙂

    Reply
  22. Kim

    I am making right now in mini muffin tin and my 3 yr old wont eat green so I am substituting cauliflower!
    Taking to school Xmas pot luck!
    Great recipe….and don’t like ranch so used Greek yogurt with salt and pepper
    Thanks

    Reply
  23. Peggy Freedman

    Luscious, loved them so much I made a Mexican version. Add a can of Fire Roasted Garlic tomatoes, and added a tablesppon of taco seasoning mix to the ranch dressing. Holy cow are they good for taco night. So many possibilities for this recipe. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I never thought of a Mexican spin, Peggy! Great idea! I have a Tex-Mex salad recipe where I combine salsa with my ranch dressing. Now you have me thinking: ) Thank you for sharing your creative adaptation!

      Reply
  24. Tammy

    I’m going to try your recipe today thought I might add shrimp. Also top with dried Chinese noodles or possibly French’s fried onions.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Did you, by chance, pack the mixture into the cups? I scoop them lightly. Beyond that, my only thought is that the eggs could have been omitted inadvertently? Please feel free to let me know if this helps or not!

      Reply
  25. Audrey Raetzloff (@akrae)

    Oops, I forgot to add the Ranch completely. We’ll see how they turned out. I did slice up a carrot and add that in there, too.

    Reply
  26. Jill

    I am still not clear if rice should be cooked or uncooked. Instructions say to make rice per instructions on the box.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Jill,
      Yes, you want to cook the rice first and then mix with other ingredients as directed. Hope that helps and hope you enjoy!

      Reply
  27. Pingback: Baked Cheddar-Broccoli Rice Cups | Jane's Kitchen

  28. Liz Jag

    I would like to have your website Welcome Home sent me please friend me I’m interested in healthy recpies low in salt and sugar

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Liz,
      If you’d like, you can sign up for the RSS feed by clicking on the yellowish button at the top of the page (to the right of the “P” button). That will allow you to enter your email address and receive new posts on your email page. I hope that helps!

      Reply
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  31. Rita

    I made these for my hubby and he loved them!! (I don’t like broccoli at all). I did use a 16 oz. bag of frozen broccoli, and just a tad more of the other ingredients (except the eggs) so I could fill all 12 cups in the cupcake/muffin tin.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I am so glad he enjoyed them, Rita! How nice of you to make them for him when you don’t even like broccoli!!

      Reply
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  41. Janelle

    What do you think about making this in a casserole dish instead of muffin cups? I want to take it to a church luncheon.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Abby,
      I have not calculated the nutritional information, but many people have reported success with online apps such as caloriecount.about.com and myfitnesspal.com. I hope this helps!

      Reply
        1. Ann

          Thanks for the great comment, Beverly! I am a broccoli lover, too, and have lots more recipes with this ingredient still to share!

          Reply
  42. Ann

    Not a huge broccoli fan. Any suggestion on how to add zuchini in the recipe? Would I cook the zuchini cut up in small pieces possibly? Thanks. Sounds great for a single person to make and keep in the frig or freeze them.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Ann–great name, by the way…I’m an Ann, too! If I were using zucchini, I would probably shred it and squeeze out the excess moisture. If you were willing to take the extra step, you could dice it and then sauté until golden. That would add a little extra flavor. As one final option, you could substitute spinach for the broccoli. I would love to hear how you make out!

      Reply
      1. Ann

        Thanks Ann. I’ll give it a try and let you know. Thanks for the compliment of the name we both share! I think I’ll sauté the zuchini…our family is a big zuchini fan. I make a zuchini recipe with crescent rolls lining muffin pans then a mixture of sautéed zuchini, egg, mozzarella cheese and spices. They are delicious! But thanks for the suggestion.

        Reply
  43. Christie

    Fantastic! Going GF recently and looking for side dishes for the family. This was great, I’m not a big proponent of ranch dressing so I may try your homemade, Greek yogurt next time. I saw someone suggested goat cheese, but I didn’t know if they meant to use instead of cheddar or ranch!!!

    As always, a great recipe!!! Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      So glad you liked, Christie. This recipe is great for it’s versatility…and you’re right, the goat cheese could really sub for either!

      Reply
  44. gale

    Hello! I’m looking around your blog and just wanted to say I love reading everything and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the great work!

    Reply
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  49. christine

    made this tonight. Only sub was the pan….can’t locate my large muffin tins so just baked it in a small casserole dish!

    Reply
  50. Monica

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am looking forward to making it. Do you find it easier to use cupcake/muffin wrappers or grease the muffin cups?

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Monica,
      I typically make these in greased muffin cups and no wrappers to avoid the sticking that sometimes happens with the paper wrappers. Hope you enjoy!

      Reply
  51. LULEE

    I am making this tonight! A few question – do you mean 1 cup of rice ( before being cooked?) or One cup of cooked rice? Do you use the chicken stock to bind the ingredients together or to cook the rice? OR both?

    Many thanks- I am SO excited to try these.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      The recipe calls for uncooked rice that is cooked in the broth for a bit more flavor. There is a mention that you could start with about two cups of already cooked rice, in which case you won’t need the broth. I hope that helps and that you enjoy them!

      Reply
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  54. JoEllen

    Thank you for the great recipes that you share. I am thinking of making these and the Parmesan Crusted Potatoes to take to a potluck get-together. Do you think that I could keep each dish warm in an electric roasting pan with out drying them out? Or any other suggestions? I would need to make them about 2 hours prior to serving them. Thank you for your input.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you for the kind words, Jo Ellen. I haven’t held these on heat for an extended period of time, but I have a suggestion. You can let both of them sit at room temperature for up to two hours without refrigerating and then warm in your roasting pan closer to serving time. This way, they won’t be on heat for so long and will be less likely to dry out. I hope that helps and that they are a hit!

      Reply
  55. Tobius

    FANTASTIC! Wowzers, I loved this dish, I had to tweak it because of food sensitivities, but it came out great!
    Instead of ranch I used vegenaise, instead of egg, I did flax egg and instead of cheddar cheese, I used Daiya cheese (all dairy and soy free)
    And vegetable broth instead of chicken broth (stock) and the other thing I changed was fresh broccoli instead of frozen.
    Pretty close to what the recipe is, just added the dairy soy free options 🙂
    Going to be doing this recipe again and again, and this could be changed a little each time to make it different, add corn, carrots, chicken, bacon, ham, cauliflower or any number of items (not all at once of course) 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      That’s great news, Tobius, and it’s amazing what great options there are for all the various food allergies and intolerances. Thanks for mentioning your substitutes!

      Reply
  56. Beth Pierce

    Love your recipes. I have tried other recipes on face book and was disappointed, so now I go to your site when I want to try a new recipe. Years ago I would use Linda Collingwood’s Recipe Exchange as a source for new ideas and recipes. Although I still miss Recipe Exchange, you have filled that void.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, Beth. I enjoyed reading Linda’s column, too, and often think it would be fun to bring back the Recipe Exchange!

      Reply