My sister-in-law served this at a family function and it's been a hit ever since. No Cheese Whiz, just real cheddar cheese. Delicious, and kid-friendly. My now-grown son would request this when he came home from college. This recipe is very adaptable as well - add crushed Ritz crackers or panko crumbs on top during the last 5 minutes of cooking for a crunchy topping. Add bacon bits to the mixture for some extra flavor, or add a couple teaspoons of hot sauce for some heat. I also have used brown rice successfully with this recipe, and frozen broccoli cuts instead of chopped.
- Cook onion in butter in large skillet until soft.
- Add remaining ingredients and cook just until cheese is melted.
- Put in 2 quart casserole dish.
- Bake at 350 (uncovered) for 1 hour.
- To make ahead and freeze: Mix all ingredients together (start with your rice cooked, not raw) and spoon into two or even three smaller casserole dishes, cover, label and freeze. If you thaw overnight, just cook the one hour. If cooking from frozen state, add ten minutes or so, check for doneness. Many thanks to Tornado Ali, for her wonderful tips for freezing this.