The Best Easy Cheesy Rice (With Veggies!) (2023)

This Cheesy Rice recipe has four options to add in veggies and has been a staple of my youngest kiddo’s diet for the past year. It’s SO easy, versatile, and stores wonderfully in the fridge. And it’s downright delish!

The Best Easy Cheesy Rice (With Veggies!) (1)

Cheesy Rice

I love this approach to Cheesy Rice because of the four flavor variations is easy for kids (and adults!) to eat, the veggies are soft, and there’s just enough cheese to help it be creamy—without going overboard in the richness department. It has a full cup less cheese than many other cheesy rice recipes (to cut down on the sodium a little), but is still so delicious!

What’s the best rice for Cheesy Rice?

I love them all! Actually, I love using a white rice for cauliflower Cheesy Rice since it blends right in, but I also love using brown rice or sprouted rice blends (Trader Joes’ has a good one) for the other versions. It really works well with any kind of rice, though you’ll get more fiber and B vitamins from the whole grain brown rice options.

TIP:You will need to adjust the amount of water used to cook the rice depending on the package directions and which vegetable you add, so keep that in mind as you get ready to make this recipe.

The Best Easy Cheesy Rice (With Veggies!) (2)

Ingredients in Cheesy Rice

To make any of these Cheesy Rice recipes you’ll need:

  • rice
  • butter
  • salt
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • Broccoli florets, cauliflower crumbs (or florets), carrots, or sweet corn

TIP:You can also make the rice plain and skip the veggies.

How to Make Cheesy Rice Step-by-Step

Here’s a look at how to make Cheesy Rice with Broccoli, and then we’ll get into how to vary it to use other veggies!

  1. Gather ingredients. (photo 1)
  2. Place water in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the rice and cook until tender. Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli. Drain well. (photo 2)
  3. Stir in the broccoli or other veggie, butter, salt, garlic powder and cheese. (photo 3)
  4. Serve warm. (photo 4)

Cheesy Rice with Broccoli

I’ve discovered that once you know the basics of how to make Cheesy Rice, you can vary it in all sorts of ways—adding in broccoli for a classic combo, or going with shredded carrots, corn, or even cauliflower crumbles. They’re all pleasantly mild to enjoy as a side dish or as a vegetarian main.

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Cheesy Rice with Cauliflower

To make Cheesy Rice with cauliflower, pick up a bag of cauliflower crumbs (or “rice”) or chop up cauliflower florets in thefood processorto measure 2 cups. Add it to the pot with the rice, add one cup more water than the package says, and cook according to the package directions on the rice. I love making stovetop cheesy rice this way!

TIP:Frozen cauliflower rice works well here too.

The Best Easy Cheesy Rice (With Veggies!) (4)

Cheesy Rice with Carrots

You can do the same thing with carrots, cooking them right along with the rice.Add finely shredded or grated carrots it to the pot with the rice, add one cup more water than the package says, and cook according to the package directions on the rice.

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Cheesy Rice with Corn

You can also simply stir in thawed frozen sweet corn to the rice, seasonings, and cheese. My kids love this variation and I find that it makes an excellent base forBurrito Bowls!

What’s the best way to store leftover Cheesy Rice?

Simply store it in anairtight containerin the fridge for 3-5 days. Or in a freezer safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and serve warm.

Is there anyway to make non-dairy Cheesy Rice?

While it won’t be exactly the same, you can replace the butter witholive oilorcoconut oiland use mashed avocado instead of the cheese to help the rice hold together.

Tips for Making the Best Cheesy Rice

  • Use whichever rice you prefer, adjusting the cooking time according to the directions on the package. I like jasmine or basmati white rice or short grain brown rice best.
  • Store leftovers in anairtight containerfor up to 5 days and warm to serve.
  • Let the kids eat with a spoon or their hands.
  • Serve as a vegetarian main dish or with your favorite protein main.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe so please comment below!

The Best Easy Cheesy Rice (With Veggies!) (6)

Easy Cheesy Rice (with Veggies!)

Choose one veggie to add from the flavor options below according to what you have on hand or what your family likes best.

Print RecipePin Recipe

4.98from38votes

Prep Time10minutes minutes

Cook Time20minutes minutes

Total Time30minutes minutes

AuthorAmy Palanjian

CuisineAmerican

CourseDinner

Calories302kcal

Servings6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice (or sprouted rice or other white rice)
  • 2 cups finely chopped broccoli florets (OR 2 cups cauliflower "rice" OR 2 cups shredded carrots, OR 2 cups thawed frozen corn)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Place 4 cups water in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the rice and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until tender.

  • Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.

Cheesy Rice with Broccoli

  • Place the broccoli in a steamer basket fit into a pot filled with 2 inches of water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 4-6 minutes or until florets are tender.

  • Stir the broccoli into the cooked rice with the butter, salt, garlic powder, and cheese. Serve warm.

Cheesy Rice with Cauliflower

  • Add the cauliflower "rice" to the pot with the rice. Cook the rice as directed on the package, adding 1 cup additional water, until tender.

  • Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, salt, garlic powder, and cheese.Serve warm.

Cheesy Rice with Carrots

  • Add the shredded carrots to the pot with the rice. Cook the rice as directed on the package, adding 1 cup additional water, until tender.

  • Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, salt, garlic powder, and cheese.Serve warm.

Cheesy Rice with Corn

  • Cook the rice as directed on the package or until tender.Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.

  • Stir in the corn, butter, salt, garlic powder, and cheese.Serve warm.

Video

Notes

  • Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days in an airtight container or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and serve warm.
  • To make a version of this idea without dairy,you can replace the butter with olive oil or coconut oil and use mashed avocado instead of the cheese to help the rice hold together.
  • When making the cauliflower one, I like to use white rice so the rice and the cauliflower blend together well.
  • You could also stir in chopped spinach to the cooked rice with the cheese to make a leafy greens version.
  • Use whichever rice you prefer, adjusting the cooking time according to the directions on the package.
  • Let the kids eat with a spoon or their hands.
  • Serve as a vegetarian main dish or with your favorite protein main.

Nutrition

Calories:302kcal,Carbohydrates:41g,Protein:9g,Fat:11g,Saturated Fat:7g,Polyunsaturated Fat:1g,Monounsaturated Fat:3g,Trans Fat:1g,Cholesterol:30mg,Sodium:259mg,Potassium:252mg,Fiber:3g,Sugar:1g,Vitamin A:494IU,Vitamin C:27mg,Calcium:168mg,Iron:1mg

Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag@yummytoddlerfoodhe IG!

FAQs

The Best Easy Cheesy Rice (With Veggies!)? ›

Cheese and rice is a delicious combination, and the resulting dish makes for a great snack or side dish with your favorite meals. There are a number of ways to prepare cheese and rice, including a basic stovetop recipe, a more complicated risotto, or a tasty cheese casserole with vegetables and other ingredients.

What can I add to rice to make it tasty? ›

6 Add-ins to Upgrade White Rice
  1. Alternative Cooking Liquid. For an effortless yet dramatic difference, infuse your rice with flavored cooking water or use more aromatic liquid like broth or juice. ...
  2. Cheese. ...
  3. Vegetables. ...
  4. Avocado. ...
  5. Herbs and Seasonings. ...
  6. Nopalitos or Cactus Pads.

What vegetables go well with rice? ›

What Vegetables Go in Fried Rice? (15 Best Veggies)
  • Carrots.
  • Peas.
  • Corn.
  • Green Beans.
  • Broccoli.
  • Cauliflower.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Zucchini.
Oct 19, 2022

Does cheese and rice go together? ›

Cheese and rice is a delicious combination, and the resulting dish makes for a great snack or side dish with your favorite meals. There are a number of ways to prepare cheese and rice, including a basic stovetop recipe, a more complicated risotto, or a tasty cheese casserole with vegetables and other ingredients.

How do you make cooked rice more interesting? ›

3 Easy Ways to Make a Boring Pot of Rice Taste Amazing
  1. Toast the grains. ...
  2. Cook the rice with chicken or vegetable broth. ...
  3. Season the rice with what you're cooking.
Sep 11, 2022

What seasoning is good on rice? ›

Season plain white rice with thyme, paprika, garlic, thyme and onion powder with butter for a delicious herbed butter rice. These easy ingredients are easy to add flavor to plain white rice and to an amazing side dish.

What could I mix with rice? ›

Cook up a large batch of Minute® Instant Jasmine Rice and try out a few other Asian-inspired stir-ins:
  • Teriyaki, oyster or hoisin sauce.
  • Stir-fried, fresh or steamed veggies.
  • Chicken.
  • Shrimp.
  • Beef.
  • Tofu.
  • Ginger (ground or fresh)
  • Chili sauce such as sriracha or chili garlic sauce.

When should you add vegetables to rice? ›

So instead of putting the peas in at the start of the rice cooking, wait about 10 minutes and add them to the top of the rice then. For slower cooking vegetables that may take longer to steam add them sooner. Add the denser vegetables at the beginning as you start the rice cooking or soon after.

What do Chinese eat with rice? ›

Rice Dishes Menu
EnglishChineseCharacters
Rice with SalmonSān wèn yú fàn三文鱼饭
Fried Rice with SeafoodHǎi huáng chǎofàn海皇炒饭
Fried Rice with Fresh ShrimpsHuó xiā chǎofàn活虾炒饭
Rice with Fried Shrimps and Scrambled EggHuá dàn xiārén fàn滑蛋虾仁饭
49 more rows
Oct 12, 2021

What is the cheese and rice dish called? ›

9 Most Popular Dishes With Cheese and Rice
  • Rice Dish. Risotto al gorgonzola. ITALY. shutterstock. ...
  • Side Dish. Arroz con queso. BOLIVIA. ...
  • Wrap. Wet Burrito. Grand Rapids. ...
  • Ground Meat Dish. Takoraisu. Okinawa Prefecture. ...
  • Savory Pie. Kreatopita. GREECE. ...
  • Rice Dish. Arroz con huevo. CHILE. ...
  • Snack. Arancini. Sicily. ...
  • Street Food. Supplì Rome.

What is cheese and rice? ›

Interjection. cheese and rice. Euphemism or minced oath for Jesus Christ.

What cheese taste good with? ›

5 Things to Pair with Cheese for Your Afternoon Snack
  • Fresh and Dried Fruit. Fruit and cheese is the kind of ideal pairing that lends itself to such a huge amount of options. ...
  • Meats. Meat and cheese are a protein-filled combo that always hits the spot. ...
  • Olives. Briny olives are a nice match for creamy cheese. ...
  • Granola. ...
  • Veggies.
May 1, 2019

Do you season rice before or after cooking? ›

Do you season rice before or after cooking? It is best to season the rice before cooking to really infuse the flavor. But if you have leftover cooked rice, you can still season and cook it to make seasoned fried rice.

What is the secret to cooking rice? ›

Cook and Take Notes

Bring the pot of water and rice to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed. Steam should steadily plume from the sides of the lid, but reduce heat if water bubbles out.

How do you add flavor to white rice in a rice cooker? ›

For rich flavorful rice use half water and half vegetable broth or chicken stock. Add salt (1 teaspoon salt for every cup of uncooked white rice) to the water and stir to combine. Turn on the cooker and let the rice cook until it's finished.

Can you add butter to rice? ›

Depending on what type of butter you use, the rice may take on characteristics of tangy, salty, and sweet notes, per Taste of Home, but overall, the rice will be enhanced with rich and buttery flavors. This can be done in one of two ways: toasting the rice in butter or adding butter directly to a pot of rice.

What can I add to minute rice for flavor? ›

  1. Savory broths/stocks/bone broth: chicken, beef, turkey or vegetable – can replace the entire amount of water for the broths or use 1 part broth and 1 part water. ...
  2. Fruit juices: apple, orange, grape, cranberry. ...
  3. Non-dairy milks: like coconut, almond, oat and rice add a creamy texture and delicious flavor to the grains.

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