For added texture, flavor, and fiber, you can use short-grain brown rice instead. For best results, give brown rice an hour-long soak before cooking to help it cook more evenly. Adjust the recipe accordingly: increase the broth amount to 3 cups and the simmering time to about 35 minutes.
This recipe incorporates broccoli into every bite by steaming it alongside the rice. If you are planning on using the broccoli stems in this dish, be sure to chop them finely—no larger than ½” pieces—and let them simmer with the rice until completely tender. By the time the rice is cooked, the broccoli will have softened enough that once you stir the pot, it will disintegrate into a broccoli sauce. Keep the bright green color of the broccoli vibrant by reserving half your florets to fold into the mixture after you turn off the heat.
To make this dish vegetarian-friendly, swap out the chicken broth and use vegetable broth or water instead: The rich milk will help ensure you get creamy results either way!
If you’ve made this recipe, give us some feedback down below in the comments and let us know what you thought!
medium yellow onion finely chopped
cloves garlic, finely chopped
jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped (optional)
scallions, thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper
short- or medium-grain white rice, rinsed
whole or evaporated milk
low-sodium chicken broth
large head broccoli, cut into small florets, divided
shredded cheese (such as American, cheddar, gouda, or Parmesan)
lemon zest (optional)
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño (if using), scallions, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, paprika, and rice and cook, stirring, until grains are toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add milk, broth, and half the broccoli. Cover and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and continue cooking until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 17 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining broccoli, cheese, and lemon zest (if using) until broccoli is bright green and cheese is melty.