Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

1 lb. frozen broccoli florets
8 oz. cheddar, shredded
4 cups cooked rice of choice
Roughly chop the broccoli florets into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Combine the broccoli, about ¾ of the shredded cheddar, and the pre-cooked rice in a large bowl. stir until they are evenly mixed. Save the remaining cheddar for sprinkling over the top of the casserole. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Finely dice 1 sm yellow onion and mince 2 garlic cloves. Add the 3 tbsp butter or sub, onion, and garlic to a small sauce pot and cook over medium-low heat until the onions are soft and transparent (2-3 minutes). Add 3 tbsp flour of choice and stir until a paste forms. Continue to stir and cook the paste for about two minutes, or just until it turns a light golden brown. Whisk 2 cups milk into the butter and flour mixture. Turn the heat up to medium. Continue to whisk the mixture as it heats, allowing it to reach a simmer, at which point it will thicken. Remove the sauce from the heat. Season the sauce with the 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tap smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp cayenne, and about ten cranks of a pepper mill. Pour the sauce over the rice, broccoli, and cheese, and stir until everything is evenly coated in sauce. Coat an 8×8 or 9×9 casserole dish with non-stick spray, then spread the casserole mixture evenly in the dish. Top with the remaining shredded cheddar. Bake the casserole for 35-40 minutes, or until you get some light browning around the edges.

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