Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

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

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 version!


Ingredients

See recipe card below for full ingredient amounts and instructions

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Chicken Breasts– Rotisserie chicken makes a good shortcut, ham works well too.
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • White Long Grain Rice– Don’t use Instant Rice (see below for more info). Brown rice may also be used.
  • Broccoli
  • Condensed Cream of Chicken SoupSee below for substitute options
  • Milk
  • Sour Cream
  • Cheddar Cheese– Shred your own from a block at home for best results.
  • Ritz Crackers

How to Make Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

  • Season the chicken and sear it in butter. Remove from pot.
  • Cook the chicken broth and rice. Add the broccoli halfway through.
  • Mix in half of the cheese and remaining casserole ingredients.
  • Transfer to a 9 x 13 casserole dish, cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
  • Combine melted butter and Ritz crackers, add to casserole. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.

Cream of Chicken Soup Substitutes

  • This recipe can be made with Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Broccoli, Cheddar Cheese, and Broccoli Cheese.
  • If you prefer to make the soup from scratch, try this homemade Cream of Chicken Soup recipe!

Don’t Use Minute Rice

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

  • We’re only cooking the rice for 15 minutes before baking it.
  • Regular rice has higher nutritional value as well as better flavor.
  • Long grain rice = creamier consistency. Short grain rice tends to be stickier.

Using Brown Rice

Brown rice takes longer to cook and requires more liquid than white rice.

  • For that reason I would cook it separately, portion it out so that you have 2 cooks cooked rice at the end.
  • You may want to throw a bouillon cube into the water to add some additional flavor.
  • You can then combine it with the other ingredients as outlined and skip the chicken broth ingredient which is only needed to cook the white rice.

Using Frozen Broccoli

-Using a 16 oz. bag of frozen broccoli (and/or cauliflower) can also be used. Just be sure you thaw and pat it dry! 

-Frozen broccoli is already blanched so you don’t need to cook it prior to mixing the casserole together.

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

-This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days prior to baking.

-If prepared 2 days in advance, it should be used within 1-2 days or leftovers should be frozen.

-The cracker/butter topping should be made when you bake the casserole and not prepared ahead of time.


Freezing and Reheating

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

To reheat, let it defrost in the fridge overnight or the microwave and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or so.

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

4.91 from 54 votes
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 unsalted butter
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1 1/4 cups white long grain rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets, uncooked
  • 10.75 oz. Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, separated

Casserole Topping

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

Instructions

  • 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 2 tablespoons 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 and rice to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover tightly for 7 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and use a silicone spatula to give it a stir and loosen it from the bottom. Add the broccoli florets and replace the lid. Cook for more 8 minutes.
  • Stir the rice/broccoli and turn the heat off. Add the cooked chicken, soup, milk, sour cream, and half of the cheddar cheese.
  • Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish and pour in the rice mixture.
  • Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 20 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.

Video

Notes

Using a 16oz. bag 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 so you don't need to cook it prior to mixing the casserole together.

Make-Ahead Method

  • This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days prior to baking.
  • If prepared 2 days in advance, it should be used within 1-2 days.
  • The cracker/butter topping should be made when you bake the casserole and not prepared ahead of time.

Nutrition

Calories: 418kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 780mg, Potassium: 279mg, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 750IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 344mg, Iron: 1.5mg

 

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