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Men Can Cook (feat. broccoli casserole)

July 14, 2010

I refuse to believe that trading recipes is silly. Tuna Fish casserole is at least as real as corporate stock. -Barbara Grizzuti-

One of the easiest things to make is a casserole and the best thing about it? You can make it ahead and then just pop it into the oven and it’s ready to eat. The week before my mom and I departed for Taiwan my mom precooked up some meals and stored them in the freezer and I showed my Dad how to make broccoli casserole. He’s a workaholic who sleeps, eats, breaths work. And, as usual, chose not to come back to Taiwan with us. So he will be living on his own for about 2 months and to his horror, not come home to dinner already on the table. I’m not going to say that my dad can’t cook but it’s definatelynot his expertise… But I really believe deep down he secretly wants to be a chef (along with a couple of other careers) so this is his chance to go bananas in the kitchen without my mom being there to yell at him for making a mess or, even worse, burning it down.
He won’t have time to do much grocery shopping so most of the ingredients will be prepackaged such as frozen broccoli florets, canned broccoli and cheese soup, breadcrumbs, and minute rice. You can, of course, use fresh ingredients. 

Broccoli Casserole for my Dad.

2 cups steamed broccoli

3 cups cooked white rice
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup broccoli and cheese soup
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Crunchy topping (optional)
4 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp chives (fresh or dry)
3 cloves minced garlic
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs (or any other brand of breadcrumbs)

  • Cook the white rice according to the directions on the back the box. We have a rice cooker at home so there’s always a good amount of rice on hand.
  • If you are using fresh broccoli, chop the floretts into bite size pieces and steam. If you are using frozen broccoli, allow the floretts to thaw and come to room temperature. Drain if there is any excess water. 

  • You can either make your own broccoli and cheese soup or use a can version such as Campbell’s.
  • Brown the chopped onion in a pan with some oil for a couple of minutes. Set aside. 


  • Melt the 4 tbsp of butter in a pan. Brown the garlic for a couple of minutes and then throw in the chives and breadcrumbs. Toast and toss for about 4 minutes until everything is well coated and then set aside in a bowl. This is the ‘crunchy topping’.
  • Spread about half of the ‘crunchy topping’ on the bottom of the casserole dish. This will be your first layer.


  • Put about a 1 inch layer of rice on top of the breadcrumbs and then top with 1/2 of the broccoli and half of the browned onions. I also threw in some cauliflower.
  • Sprinkle half of the cheese on top.
  • Pour half of the broccoli and cheese soup.


  • Repeat with another layer of rice, onions, cheddar cheese, broccoli and cheese soup.

  • Finish it off with a final topping of the remainder toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Bake in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes. If the breadcrumbs start to burn, cover with a piece of foil.


There’s something comforting about casseroles. The crunchy garlicky crust with the gooey cheesy rice and broccoli on the inside. I ended up curling up on the couch and eating a forth of the pan. Sorry Dad! I’m sure you have the recipe down by now though 🙂 The best thing about casseroles is that it still tastes great the next day. Just put it in the oven at 350F for an hour to reheat.

Click here to see my other entry on Men Can Cook.


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.


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