30 Minute Healthy Broccoli Cheese Rice Recipe - Skillful Cook
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30 Minute Healthy Broccoli Cheese Rice

7 reviews / 4.1 average

For my food self, this is a yummy yummy good good week.

Mostly because I have a little collection of leftover containers holding what's left of this delicious homemade Rice-A-Roni-esque meal. Two options right now: 1) judge the fact that I just likened this to Rice-A-Roni or 2) be a real person who likes good food made from scratch that just happens to taste like Rice-A-Roni. I already know what choice you'll make, because you rock. Mwah.

I love when I get to the middle of a workday Monday and I remember that I have amazing lunch leftovers waiting for me. No more of this sad baggie of pretzels and small container of peanut butter thing I've been into lately. This week is going to be for realishly good.

Broccoli Cheese Rice in a pan with a wooden spoon.

Right now this 30 Minute Healthy Broccoli Cheese Rice is reminding me of an extra satisfying version of broccoli cheese soup, because sometimes broccoli cheese soup totally dominates in the flavor/comfort department but is a little bit lacking in the satisfying-my-imminent-hunger department. It's just hard for me to consider liquid a real official meal sometimes. Amen? Everything about this - the incredible texture, the cheddar flavor, and the bright green of the broccoli - is giving me an instant food-mood boost.

Broccoli Cheese Rice in a blue bowl with a fork.

Good thing my food self is having a great week because my regular life self is having a bleh moment.

Remember that studio that I fell in love with a few weeks ago? I don't think I've shared much about it here, but I had shown a few pics of it on the social media thingys and had almost already taken to coming up with our own hashtag for it on Instagram. (Bjork wouldn't let me. He's always so rational like that.) It was a little studio in the arts district that we wanted to use as a blog photography and video studio kitchen for Skillful Cook. So basically a food play room where adults pretend like they're working but they're actually just eating food and having fun. ❤


The bleh moment comes in when we took forever getting ready to commit and then when we finally did commit... we were too late. One day too late. And we didn't get it.

Some supersneaky (read: organized and decisive and on the ball) person swooped in the day before our plumber was able to get there to confirm that the kitchen would function properly, and they nabbed that cozy little space like there was no tomorrow. And then there actually was no tomorrow for us to sign the lease. That was pretty much bleh.

It's all well and good, it wasn't meant to be, I know. I really do know that. But that doesn't take away my depressed feelings about all the wasted time we spent driving there, looking at comparables, and deciding on which place we liked best. Plus, I've since scoured every corner of the internets and I cannot find a listing half as warm+cozy+creative. It was not the right place, but it was something special and now I'm a little mopey.

Right now our plans to continue the search are half-hearted. We've re-channeled our efforts —> these cookies and The Office and naps. Really healthy habits we have going on over here.

Broccoli Cheese Rice in a blue bowl with a fork.

Okay, but on the other hand, this 30 Minute Healthy Broccoli Cheese Rice IS kind of healthy, and it will make you so glad that you didn't pack yourself pretzels for lunch again. It's meatless - weee! - and it's full of good stuff like protein and fiber and vegetables and cheese, just like any good meatless dish should be. There is almond meal in the base of the sauce instead of flour. Seeerious. Be proud of me - I never do stuff like that. And then buckle up because there are crushed almonds on top to crunchify it all together. So good. Bjork loved it, I loved it, and the long-gone studio would have loved it in some other life. Le sigh.

Pass the ricey.

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A picture of 30 Minute Healthy Broccoli Cheese Rice

30 Minute Healthy Broccoli Cheese Rice


This 30 Minute Healthy Broccoli Cheese Rice is made from scratch - just a few simple ingredients for a creamy, broccoli-licious meal!


  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice (I used a brown rice blend from Costco - love it)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup broth as needed
  • 1 14-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • crushed almonds for topping
  • sliced green onions for topping


  1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Bring a small pot of water to boil (enough to cover the broccoli). Add the broccoli, cook for 1 minute or until the broccoli turns bright green, and remove from heat immediately. Drain and transfer to a bowl of very cold water. This keeps the broccoli bright green and pretty.
  2. In a deep pot, melt the butter. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the almond meal and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes (it will be thick and clumpy). Add the milk a little bit at a time, whisking after each addition to smooth out the sauce and letting the mixture simmer until thickened slightly. Add half of the cheese and stir until melted.
  3. Chop the cooked broccoli into fine bits, leaving a few larger florets (just for a more interesting texture). Stir the broccoli, cooked rice, white beans, and any additional broth or milk as needed until the mixture is well combined. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and cover the pan until the cheese is melted. Top with almonds and green onions and season with more salt and pepper.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: broccoli cheese rice, healthy broccoli cheese rice, broccoli and cheese

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Such a bummer about the studio – I’m sorry! But, it just means something better will come along that you can play and eat food forever in! (sidenote: that is the best sounding sentence of all the evers.)
    Until then, at least you can face plant into this broccoli cheese rice…I’m pretty sure there is no problem to big that this can’t fix! Delish, as always! Pinned!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Aggie! We are bummed but hopefully it will end up motivating us to keep looking. 🙂 For now… cheesy rice!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    May be a silly question…. What could I substitute for Almond meal?
    Looks divine!!!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey Lindsay, I’m sorry about the studio! I haven’t seen pictures of it on social media (because I generally don’t know how to work social media) but it looks amazing! I can imagine you feeling a little bleh right now…

    But hey, sometimes, being decisive and organized and on the ball is very hard! I know, I speak from, um, a lot of experience 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Aww Lindsay (& Bjork), I’m so sorry! 🙁 alas, God has a plan for all of us and the right place will eventually come 🙂 my house is for sale right now in hopes of buying this adorable little house on Lake Michigan – I’m so worried that someone will buy it before my house sells, then no lakeside cottage for me!

    Anyway, this looks awesome. I’m currently a vegetarian so it’s right up my alley! I’ve never tried almond meal before but I feel like it would be awesome in this!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      It added really great texture, IMO… a nice change from the typical cheesy sauces I’ve been whipping up as of late… 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Just wanted to let you know that I made it tonight and used flour. I thought it was delicious! I did add a bit more milk, though, as it was really clumpy and almost like Play-Doh. After adding the milk, it came out wonderfully.

      Thanks for this recipe! It was something different, and cheaper!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I totally have a healthier homemade rice-a-roni in my queue right now – those little boxed things are SO good, they’re my guilty pleasure even though it kills me to think about all the preservatives I’m putting into my body. LOVE this cheesy broccoli version, nothing in the box could compare to this!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is totally my type of recipe. I grew up with mostly-scratch foods and the odd-incursion from such interlopers as Hamburger Helper or rice-a-roni. I mostly recently tried out this cheeseburger mac recipe (pin: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/253609022741226903/ ) to emulate the former, but this looks super good for the latter. It’s hard to resist the allure of millions of dollars of research and focus group testing that goes into all of these delicious-but-terrible side dishes. This looks to strike a nice balance!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I honestly don’t even know if I really know what rice-a-roni tastes like anymore. But this just seems like a similar thing, only better! Right? 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I work too. Yes, I like to look forward to a good lunch. I eat my desk and at least the food itself has to give me a mental break. So boy howdy this works for me. I like the beans in the mix. There is also a nice mix of textures, which is an extra bennie for a one dish meal.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love when I have bits of things to toss together into a meal. That’s the game plan for tonight. Also using broccoli.
    Sorry about the studio space. I feel the same way about apartment/house hunting. I’m dreading our next move for that very reason.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m so sorry to hear about the studio! Keep your head up, you will find something great! 🙂

    I saw this on your Instagram and came home and made it immediately. I substituted cauliflower for broccoli since that’s what I had, and ended up using water instead of milk because once I got to that step I realized I was out of milk and too hungry to go by the store. I was worried that would make it less creamy so I added just a bit extra cheese. Anyways, this turned out great and I will definitely be making it again (and trying it with the right ingredients next time!). Thanks for sharing!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    A dish like this takes me back to my childhood. I love broccoli and cheese sauce, you’ve made it seem so adult now with the addition of beans and rice. I like the idea of a complete dish, and hopefully it along with those cookies help you forget that apartment. Like others have said a new one will come along that’s even better! Keep fighting the good fight Lindsay =-)