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Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

This Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole includes homemade condensed or Campbell’s Soup, flavorful rice cooked in chicken broth, and a buttery, crunchy Ritz topping. Cook up some fresh chicken or use Rotisserie!

Be sure to try my other rice casserole recipes using ham and broccoli, sausage and peppers, or ground beef and mushrooms. or chicken cordon bleu next!

Casserole Dish filled with broccoli cheddar chicken and rice casserole with a wooden spoon scooping some out.

Are you ready for the ultimate comfort food recipe? My family and I have been eating this chicken and rice casserole for years now. Who needs to separate chicken, rice, and broccoli when you can whip up a creamy casserole?!

This recipe is one of my favorite freezer foods. I’m pretty sure readers come back for this recipe more than any other. Once you try it, you’re pretty much hooked.

You can make it with chicken breasts, rotisserie chicken, and I even have a ham and a ground beef version!


Ingredients

See recipe card below for full ingredient amounts and instructions

  • Butter
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Chicken Broth
  • White Long Grain Rice– See below for info on using different rice
  • Broccoli Florets
  • Condensed Cream of Chicken SoupTry my homemade recipe!
  • Milk
  • Sour Cream
  • Cheddar Cheese– Shred your own from a block at home for best results. This is always my brand of choice as it melts really well.

Topping:

  • Ritz Crackers
  • Butter

Optional Seasonings: 1 tsp dried thyme + 1/2 tsp garlic powder

*Consider using unsalted butter and low sodium chicken broth to decrease sodium content.

Cream of Chicken Soup Substitutes

Don’t Use Minute Rice

I highly recommend you use regular long grain rice instead of minute rice:

  • Long grain rice = creamier consistency. Short grain rice tends to be stickier.
  • Regular rice has higher nutritional value and better flavor.

Using Brown or Wild Rice

These varieties take longer to cook and requires more liquid than white long grain rice.

  • Refer to the package for the required amount of liquid and cooking time and adjust the amount of chicken broth that you use per package instructions. 

Using Frozen Broccoli

  • 2 cups of frozen broccoli (and/or cauliflower) can also be used. Just be sure you thaw and pat it dry! 
  • Frozen broccoli is already blanched (partially cooked), but you may want to consider steaming it as well for a softer texture in the casserole. 

Using Rotisserie Chicken

This is a great casserole for rotisserie chicken, 2 cups is the perfect quantity to use.

Since rotisserie chicken can sometimes be salted, I highly recommend sticking with low sodium chicken broth so that your meal doesn’t turn out overly salty.


Make-Ahead Method (Assemble Now, Bake Later)

Refrigerator

  • This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days prior to baking. Let it sit out for 30 minutes prior to baking or add 15 minutes to baking time.
  • The cracker/butter topping should be added at the end of baking.

Freezer:

  • Assemble the casserole and do not bake. Let it thaw for 24 hours in the fridge. Let it sit out for 30 minutes prior to baking or add 10 minutes to baking time.
  • The cracker/butter topping should be added at the end of baking.

Storage

-Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

-This casserole is a great meal to freeze and is best if used within 3 months of freezing.

-I often reheat frozen lunch-sized portions in the microwave from a frozen state. If possible, I’ll also bake it 350 degree oven at the end to crisp up the top.

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overhead shot of broccoli cheddar chicken and rice casserole with wooden spoon in the dish.

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A wooden spoon with a scoop of broccoli chicken rice casserole from a casserole dish.

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

4.96 from 375 ratings
This Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is an easy make ahead meal that you can assemble and bake another day! Your family will love the buttery, crunchy Ritz topping!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups white long grain rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets, uncooked
  • 10.5 oz. Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, separated

Optional Seasonings

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Casserole Topping

  • 1 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  • Note: This recipe is designed to allow you to prepare all of the casserole ingredients in one pot before transferring to a casserole dish for baking. Before you begin, refer to your rice package for the amount of liquid (we'll use chicken broth) and cooking time. I use white long grain rice and the cooking time/liquid amount below works perfectly.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with Italian seasoning and desired amount of salt and pepper.
  • Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat until melted. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Note: This step is not needed if using a cooked rotisserie chicken.
  • Add the chicken broth, olive oil, and rice to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cover tightly and cook for 7 minutes.
  • Add the broccoli (if using fresh) and replace the cover. Cook for 8 more minutes. Refrain from stirring.
  • Turn off the heat and leave the cover on. Let the rice stand for 10 minutes, do not stir. Any rice on the bottom of the pot will release.
  • Add the cooked chicken, soup, milk, sour cream, optional seasonings, and half of the cheddar cheese.
  • Add to a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 15 minutes.

Add the Topping:

  • Melt the butter and crumble up the crackers. Combine to form the topping for the casserole.
  • Top the casserole with the crumbled cracker topping and bake uncovered for 10 additional minutes.
  • Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes prior to serving.

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • Using Frozen Broccoli: 2 cups of frozen broccoli (and/or cauliflower) is a perfect alternative to fresh broccoli. Just be sure you thaw and pat it dry. Frozen broccoli is already blanched (partially cooked), but you may want to consider steaming it as well (about 5 minutes or so) for a softer texture in the casserole. 
  • Heluva Good Cheddar Cheese is my brand of choice for this recipe, it's creamy and melts really well. Avoid extra sharp or aged cheeses as they won't melt as well.
  • Skip the can and try this with my Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup!
  • Be sure to check out my ham and ground beef rice casseroles next!

Make-Ahead Method: Assemble Now, Bake Later.
  • Refrigerator

    • This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days prior to baking. Let it sit out for 30 minutes prior to baking or add 10 minutes to baking time.
    • The cracker/butter topping should be added at the end of baking.

    Freezer:

    • Assemble the casserole and do not bake. Let it thaw for 24 hours in the fridge. Let it sit out for 30 minutes prior to baking or add 15 minutes to baking time.
    • The cracker/butter topping should be added at the end of baking.

The Nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving. This recipe makes 6 servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 511kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 1174mg, Potassium: 470mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1068IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 376mg, Iron: 2mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @TheCozyCook on Instagram or tag #thecozycook!

 

broccoli-cheddar-chicken-and-rice-casserole

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1,060 comments on “Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole”

  1. Can you sub the rice for pasta ? 

    • Hi Mish, I would image that cooked pasta could be used, but I haven’t tested it and I’m not sure if the consistency would be a little bit too thick or not. If so, you could add some chicken broth to thin it out a little bit. I also have a Chicken and Broccoli Pasta recipe that is fantastic if you ever want to give that a try!

  2. So delicious! Made it 2 times now. 1st time was for my Son to take home with him after breaking his arm. He loved it! Made it again last night for us and it was a hit. Nothing fancy but home cooking. Yum!

    • I’m so happy this brought some joy to your son when he needed it most Lisa! Thanks so much for the great comments and for taking the time to leave a review!❤️

  3. I made his tonight . I was looking for a recipe to use leftover chicken and leftover rice. Not exactly what you called for, but I made it work. I used the home made cream of chicken soup recipe and combined all of your ingredients, just in a different manner. Followed the baking recipe and made a cracker topping. Turned out great! Thanks for the recipe, even though I couldn’t follow it exactly due to my limitations.

  4. This is delicious! Can be a little tedious since I use a rice cooker, cook my chicken in a skillet and use the 9×13, but I don’t mind a couple extra dishes for such a yummy meal. Especially great for an easy Sunday dinner. Thank you for sharing the recipe, it’s a family favorite!

    • You’re very welcome Lauren, I actually just made this with my 6 year old daughter this weekend per her request! I’m so happy your family enjoyed it, thanks so much for the great review!❤️

  5. This is a great recipe. Fllowed exactly except used cream of mushroom soup. This was great. I never eat leftovers (except holidays) my husband love it so much we had it the next night too. Loved it.

  6. Just made this casserole. Very tasty. Not a fan of using the Italian seasoning for the chicken, but that’s just me. Did add garlic powder as an optional seasoning. Gives it a great kick! Also, followed the recipe for the condensed cream of chicken soup and that was amazing! So handy when out of condensed soup. Overall, try it and I think you will like it. We did! Thank you Stephanie. Going to try your other casserole recipes as well!!

  7. Goes together easily. Not necessarily a time saver. Family loved it.  It’s nice when you serve something the whole family will eat and praise.  No leftovers means we will cook this casserole again.

  8. Oh my god. This is so good. Best casserole I’ve ever made or tried, BY FAR, and your instructions were so clear and simple. Followed pretty much everything, except I forgot to take out the chicken when I added the rice. It is still AMAZING. The texture is so so so good. Thank you!!

    • I’m so happy to hear that Nick!! I have been wanting to make this for a few weeks, I think today’s the day!! It’s one of my favs too! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review!! -Stephanie

  9. Hello, what you serv with this recipe?
    Thank you

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