Broccoli and rice casserole with chick peas and portabella mushrooms


Much of my experimental cooking comes from the fact that I hate to waste food. When I have too much of something I look for a recipe or come up with a recipe that utilizes what needs to be eaten. Saturday, my husband Chris  announced, “We don’t have any more room in the fridge for all this broccoli, we really need to eat it.”

The broccoli kind of came on all at once in the garden. Sure we could freeze it but it wasn’t really enough to warrant that, and we thought enjoying as much of it fresh as we could was a better option, so we decided to make a broccoli and rice casserole.



Chris and I collaborated on this recipe, which we often do. I saw a recipe for a broccoli casserole that called for chick peas and, since we almost always have chick peas around, we started there. The combination of chick peas and brown rice would take it from just a side dish to a main course and that’s good when you are trying to simplify dinner plans. Chris made a roux, similar to the one he uses to makes his mac ‘n cheese and we combined that with sharp cheddar, portabella mushrooms and a little lemon pepper for the spice. It was creamy and stayed very moist. We doubled the recipe for lots of leftovers and discovered that letting it sit improved the flavor even more. I recommend using vegetable broth to cook the rice and also, the better the cheese you use, the better the flavor.


Broccoli Casserole


  • ¾ cup brown rice
  • 1½  cups water or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium portabella mushroom cap, diced small
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup + 1/3 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cups cooked chick peas
  • 1 tomato, sliced thin
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs (optional)


  1. Combine the water and rice, bring to a boil, then simmer 50 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Lightly steam the broccoli until just tender.
  4. Combine the flour, lemon pepper, black pepper, salt and garlic in a small bowl.
  5. Dice the mushroom and sauté in 2 teaspoons of olive oil or butter. Cook until no mushrooms are longer watery. Set aside.
  6. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Saute the onions on medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Add the flour mixture and cook for 1 minute, stirring and scraping constantly to avoid burning.
  8. Add the milk in portions, beating with a wire whisk. When all of the milk is in, increase heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. When mixture begins to bubble and thicken, decrease heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Add 1 cup shredded cheese and stir in until completely melted. Stir in cooked mushrooms.
  10. Combine the broccoli, rice, cheese sauce, and chick peas in a 2 quart casserole dish. Layer with sliced tomatoes then top with 1/3 cup shredded cheese or bread crumbs. Bake for 35-40 minutes until cheese is just brown and mixture is bubbly.


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6 Responses to Broccoli and rice casserole with chick peas and portabella mushrooms

  1. Jana at #

    Do you ever figure out the nutrient count of your recipes? I know there are sites that will do it for you. It would be cool if you could add that.
    Have you ever just used cream of mushroom soup if you are in a hurry? I know this version is better but, as Chris would say, just saying….
    hhaha!! This really looks incredibly delicious and I KNOW I am going to be making it soon!!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Anne at #

      No, I don’t figure out the nutrient information for our recipes. I just don’t think that way when it comes to food. “Healthy” eating to me means eating as much fresh, whole foods as you can. For the most part the recipes you will see on The Savage Feast will not be high fat, and will be made with better foods such as whole grains, in season produce, honey, fresh spices and vegetable broth. If you focus on eating recipes made form foods like those you will have a healthier lifestyle.

      If we are in a hurry we are more likely to eat something we have frozen than change a recipe to use canned soup. Making a roux doesn’t really take that long. The time consuming part of this recipe is making the rice. If you have a rice cooker that will save a little time.

      Hope you try this recipe, it’s so yummy!

  2. kathleen at #

    i want to eat half of that whole casserole right now.

  3. monique at #

    this looks very good , when do you add the rice?

    • Anne at #

      Thanks for pointing that out, I totally forgot to add that detail. You add the rice in step 10. Hope you enjoy it!


  4. Cait at #

    Was looking for a broccoli cheese casserole recipe yesterday and came across this. We made it last night. Yummmmmy! We happened to have cooked chickpeas and brown rice in the fridge, so this recipe could not have been more perfect. We used an aged cheddar cheese and topped it with panko bread crumbs and more cheese. The only thing I’d mention is that it was right on the edge of being too salty, and we are not afraid of salt. I wouldn’t say it was TOO salty, but if you are sensitive to salt, you might want to cut back a little. :) Thanks so much for sharing though. Looking forward to future posts!

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