The Cozy Cook

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. You want 2 cups of cooked rice at the end.
  • You can also cook the rice separately, consider adding a bouillon cube to the water to add some additional flavor.

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 so you don’t need to cook it prior to mixing the casserole together, unless you prefer extra soft broccoli.

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 10 minutes to baking time.
  • The cracker/butter topping should be added at the end of baking.

Freezer:

  • Option #1: Assemble the casserole and do not bake. Freeze for up to 3 months. If baking from a frozen state, add 1 hour of baking time at 350°, covered. Then bake as outlined in the recipe.
  • Option #2: Assemble the casserole and do not bake. Let it thaw overnight 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 185 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 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

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Using Frozen Broccoli
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 unless you prefer broccoli that is very soft.

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. You want 2 cups of cooked rice at the end.
  • You can also cook the rice separately, consider adding a bouillon cube to the water to add some additional flavor.

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.

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

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:

    • Option #1: Assemble the casserole and do not bake. Freeze for up to 3 months. If baking from a frozen state, add 1 hour of baking time at 350°, covered. Then bake as outlined in the recipe.
    • Option #2: Assemble the casserole and do not bake. Let it thaw overnight 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.

Be sure to check out my ham and ground beef rice casseroles next!

Skip the can and try this with my Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup!

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

 

broccoli-cheddar-chicken-and-rice-casserole

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Recipe Rating




529 comments on “Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole”

  1. Wow there are some horrible comments on here! I’m only 20 and have recently moved out on my own, I’m terrible at cooking but your recipes have helped me soooo much and have saved me from eating simple pasta dishes everyday. You’re having an extremely positive impact on lots of peoples lives, so please ignore the rude people who don’t appreciate the hard work you’ve put in to help them. THANK YOU!

    • Thank you so so much Sammie, that really means a lot to me! I’m so glad that you’ve found my recipes helpful and thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review and wonderful message! ❤️❤️ -Stephanie

  2. My family and I loved this recipe. It was a delicious change of pace. I love how the instructions were so easy to follow. Thank you so much.

  3. I personally loved this recipe. I appreciate using only one pot as I hate making extra dishes dirty for no reason. I was skeptical at first because I hate cooked broccoli but this was really good and everyone loved it. Keeping it in our rotation!

    • Hey Rachel, I’m so glad that you like this recipe and that you prefer the One Pot Method as well- I do too! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it!! -Stephanie

  4. This recipe is annoyingly time-consuming for the very basic end result. The only real flavors are chicken, sour, cream, and cheddar. Just toss the rice in a rice cooker and cook the chicken in the meantime, for pete’s sake. You don’t need to try to develop deeper flavors by cooking the rice in the same pot as the chicken, when you’re just going to mask that flavor with canned soup and a pound of cheese.

    • That’s fine CJ. It actually used to be written that way and people complained about too many dirty dishes, so I modified it to be made using One Pot. It’s a casserole, make it how you want.

    • You are so rude. Why bother looking for a recipe since you already know how you want it made?

  5. Looks delicious! To clarify, if I plan on freezing, do I cook the casserole and then freeze? Or put in the freezer without baking, and then fully bake when I want it?

    • Hi Alicia! You can assemble this and freeze without baking, and then thaw it completely prior to baking or add an extra hour to the baking time if baking from frozen! That’s the best option if you’re freezing the whole casserole. I like to freeze portion sizes for lunch after I’ve already baked it, but a whole casserole should be frozen before baking! 🙂

  6. Just a bit confused if you cook rice separately. What to do. ?? 

    • If you cook the rice separately, combine it with 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.

      Then proceed with adding the topping.

  7. I gave this recipe a four star rating, because it is a decent base for a dish, however to our taste, it really lacked in flavor.
    I added an entire packet of dry onion soup mix, part of a gravy mix, as well as more stock to keep it from drying out. I did like that you had Ritz on top, I added some dry parm in with them. Thank You for taking the time to post the recipe!

  8. You have add the chicken at 2 different times. very confusing

    • Hi Gary, you sear chicken until golden brown, remove, and set it aside. Later, you combine all of the casserole ingredients together, chicken included.

  9. You talk to damn much, I just want a recipe. You people treat others of us who have a brain like totally idiots. Rrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

    • Hit the “jump to recipe button”. Brings you right to the recipe. Yikes.

    • Deb this comment is quite rude and uncalled for.

      This recipe looks wonderful!! I plan to make a lower carb version using riced cauliflower. Will toast panko crumbs to add that crunch. I am always up for a cheesy bowl of comfort! YUM!

      • Thank you Danielle, I appreciate that so much and I’m so glad to hear that you like this recipe!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review as well!! -Stephanie

    • Deb, did you make the recipe or just come here to insult others?
      If you didn’t make it, you sure missed out!! The recipe was perfect and delicious.
      A little comfort food might do your soul good 😉

    • Can some one tell me where the volume control is with this recipe? Someone made a comment where they said someone talked to much and try as I might I cannot hear anything. 🙂

    • Your comment is so rude and unnecessary If you don’t want to read what she has to say then skip to recipe or better yet, don’t comment at all. You have no manners!! I never leave comments or respond, but you were so rude and mean I can’t help myself… You need to get a life!!!
      This recipe is delicious!! You don’t deserve to even have it.. She should block you from her website. You must be a very angry person in general, I feel sorry for you!!

  10. I tried this casserole tonight. I had pregrilled chicken breast strips. I added onion, celery, mushrooms and dry mustard to the recipe. I sauteed those veggies in a bit of olive oil and butter, then added the rice, thyme, garlic powder and dry mustard (1/2 tsp) to toast a bit. Added chicken, frozen broccoli florets and all liquids. After heating that a bit, added half the cheese. Simmered 20 min, cheese, lid, sit for 10 min. PERFECT!! Thank you for the inspiration!

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