Cheesy Rice is a wonderful side dish for any dinner. It goes great with chicken, ribs, or a roast! This is an easy Cheesy Rice side dish recipe because you do not have to bake it. It is made completely on the stove top.
Rice is mixed with sauteed onions and celery and then coated in a deliciously tangy cheese sauce. The sauce is made with greek yogurt (making it a little healthier), mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheddar cheese, and garlic powder. No “cream-of-soup” here.
You can make this Cheesy Rice recipe with any type of rice that you prefer. I have written the recipe for long grain white rice. If you choose to use something like brown rice or basmati rice, simply follow the cooking times on the package.
Rinsing your Rice
In this dish there is no need to rinse your rice. The purpose of rinsing rice is to remove some of the starch dust that makes rice “creamy” instead of separate/individual grains. Since this cheesy rice recipe is supposed to be creamy, the extra starch is a good thing!
How to Make Cheesy Rice (stove top)
You want to make sure that you start with a sauce pot with a tight fitting lid so that the rice can cook properly.
In your sauce pot saute the onions, celery and salt in the olive oil until the veggies are softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the rice and chicken broth. Bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat, pop the lid on and cook the rice per package instructions.
While the rice cooks whisk together the cheese, greek yogurt, mayonnaise, milk and garlic powder.
When the rice is done fluff it with a fork, then pour the cheese sauce over top and stir to coat the rice. The heat of the rice should melt the cheese.
Keto Cheesy Rice
If you are following a Keto diet you can sub out the rice for cauliflower rice. Warm it through if you are using frozen cauliflower rice and then add the cheese sauce to the warm “rice”.
If you are using fresh cauliflower rice, start by sauteing the onions and celery, then saute the cauliflower rice (3 cups) until it is al dente. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese sauce.
Instant Pot Cheesy Rice
You can absolutely make this rice dish in your Instant Pot. You will just need to adjust the rice to liquid ratio to 1 cup white rice and 1 ½ cups chicken broth.
Saute the onions and celery in the oil for about 5 minutes. Turn off the saute mode. Add 1 cup rice and 1 ½ cups chicken broth to the pot. Pop the lid on and set it to cook on Rice mode for 12 minutes. Then do a quick release.
Make the cheese sauce and pour over the rice. Stir to combine!
Using Frozen Rice
Frozen rice can be a real time saver!! If you use frozen rice simply warm 3 cups of rice in the microwave, per the package instructions.
In a skillet saute the onions and celery until they are totally softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the warmed rice.
Prepare the cheese sauce and pour over the rice.
What to Serve with Cheesy Rice Side Dish
This is a great side dish to serve instead of potatoes or a casserole. it is family friendly and a crowd pleaser! Here are some great entrees to serve with the Cheesy Rice:
- Ham Balls
- Instant Pot Ribs
- Baked Chicken
- Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs
- Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken
- Grilled Chicken
Cheesy Rice Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup yellow onions chopped
- ½ cup celery chopped (about 2 stalks)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cups white long grain rice can use other rice types, just cook according to package instructions
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
Optional add ins:
- 8 oz can water chestnuts drained and chopped
- 6.5 oz can mushrooms drained and chopped
STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS
- In a saucepan saute the onions, celery and ½ tsp salt in 1 tbsp oil until soft, about 5 minutes.Note: Make sure you use a pot that has a tight fitting lid to cook the rice correctly.
- Stir in the 1 cup rice and pour in the 2 cups chicken broth. Bring the pot to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook according to package instructions.
- While the rice cooks whisk together the greek yogurt, mayonnaise, milk, cheese, and garlic powder. Set aside.
- Fluff the rice with a fork. Optional: Stir in the chopped mushrooms and chopped water chestnuts.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the rice and stir to coat. The rice should be hot enough to melt the cheese.
- Serve as a delicious side dish!
INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS
- On saute mode soften the onions, celery, and salt in the olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off saute mode.
- Stir in the chicken broth and rice. NOTE DIFFERENT AMOUNTS – 1 cup white rice and 1 ½ cups chicken broth.Set to cook on rice mode for 12 minutes.
- Do a quick release of pressure.
- Optional: Stir in the mushrooms, water chestnuts.
- Whisk together the mayo, yogurt, milk, cheese, and garlic powder. Pour over the rice and stir to combine.
- Serve as a great side dish!
FROZEN RICE INSTRUCTIONS
- In a skillet saute the onions and celery in 1 tbsp of oil until they are completely softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Warm 3 cups of frozen rice in the microwave, per package instructions. Then add to the celery and onion mixture.
- Prepare the cheese sauce by mixing together the milk, cheese, yogurt, garlic powder and mayo. Pour over the rice and stir to coat.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.
Other Rice Recipes
If you love to add rice to your dinner recipes, here are some great recipes on Mom’s Dinner to check out: