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 226 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. If preferred, cook the rice separately and skip the broth ingredient. You'll need 2 cups of cooked rice to combine with the other casserole ingredients. I use white long grain rice and the cooking times below work 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.

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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640 comments on “Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole”

  1. Hello Stephanie. Made the casserole tonight. Unlike Marsha, I’m not a Chef, more like an intermediate plus-self taught cook. Excellent recipe and a keeper. I combined several of the last steps because I didn’t pay attention to your instructions after finishing the rice step. Hey, what can I say, I’m a guy of a certain age. Added caramelized mushrooms. Switched to condensed mushroom soup and incorporated mixed Italian cheeses in lieu of Cheddar. Looking forward to cooking other recipes on your site. Take care.

    • Hey Donnie!! I am so happy that this recipe worked out for you, I love the idea of adding caramelized mushrooms- NICE work making this your own!! You did me proud, and thank you for sharing your thoughts on the recipe! -Stephanie

  2. I made this for the first time today craving rice and having leftover rotisserie chicken and fresh broccoli in the fridge. Your recipe was a perfect fit for what I had on hand. In lieu though of adding salt / pepper or italian seasoning, thyme etc. I added a package of Knorr vegetable soup mix but otherwise followed the recipe as written and it is delicious!! I could see adding bacon & onions, a little sliced up smoked sausage or more veggies next time — the possibilities are endless thank you!!

    • Hi Karen! I am so happy that you enjoyed this recipe, and everything that you just mentioned as far as additions and alternatives made me DROOL!!! Thank you for sharing that to inspire me and everyone else here, you’re the best!! (And thank you for the review as well!!) Take care! -Stephanie

  3. Do you need to cook the rice all the way before adding to the casserole dish?  I live in Colorado and rice takes a little longer to cook.  Does it finish cooking in the oven? This recipe looks great and I’m making it tonight!  I’m scaling it down with ones chicken breast because that’s all I have and it’s just me and my husband.  Thank you!

    • Hey Abby! I do cook the rice all the way through before adding it to the casserole dish, it doesn’t become overcooked after being baked, or even reheated again later! 🙂 ENJOY! -Stephanie

  4. I saw it got great ratings and the ingredients were so appealing had to try it. I have cooked for years, lol, raised a chef and followed the recipe exactly, yuk it was bland almost tasteless waste of time and ingredients.

    • Hi Marsha! With all of that cooking experience under your belt I imagine that it wouldn’t be too difficult to use this recipe as a base and customize additional ingredients and/or seasonings to your liking so as to avoid what you felt to be a tasteless waste of time and ingredients. I have has many less experienced cooks who have enjoyed making this their own as this is such a simple base to work with.

      • You tell em girl! How rude of someone to come on here and state their experience in cooking and in cooking this dish and slam the recipe without trying to make it better for themselves. People live a sorry, sad life when they make comments like that.

        As for me, this is my second time making this recipe and it is delicious! 5 stars all the way.

      • Thank you my friend! I appreciate the support! So happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed this recipe! ❤️❤️❤️

    • Marsha, people like you find it hard to show class and decency. I see you had to not only be rude, but tout your own cooking ability and mention you raised a “chef”. I made the recipe…..did add 1/2 more milk tho 😉 and thought it tasted wonderful. Not to mention how helpful Stephanie is at explaining tips, helpful advice and suggestions :))
      I feel sorry for people like you.

  5. The casserole was a hit.  The only thing I would do different was put a can of cream of mushroom in as well.  It was not as “saucy” as I would have liked and I think it was my own fault.  I added extra chicken, rice and broccoli because we have a very large family.  Im sure if I used your exact measurements, it would have been perfect! I will save this recipe and make it again for sure!

    • Hey Jessica!! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it!! Adding another can of soup (and perhaps a little more milk), would be a great way to keep it creamy with the addition of those other ingredients!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review! -Stephanie

  6. This casserole is delicious. I added sauted onions and mushrooms. I will be making this again. Thank you for this recipe.

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed this casserole Elizabeth! I wish I could add mushrooms to this but my husband is a mushroom wimp lol. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!😍

    • Hi! Do you need to rinse the uncooked rice first?

      • Hey Adriana! That is a good way to get rid of excess starch so that the rice isn’t as sticky, but honestly, I always forget and I never have a problem! 🙂

      • Thanks! I made this tonight and didn’t bother rinsing it and it turned out amazing. What I did forget was to take the chicken out of the pan before adding the rice and broth, but it just simmered in with everything nice and was nice and juicy still. Even easier!

      • I’m so glad it worked out for you Adriana!😍 Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  7. I’ve made this recipe numerous times before and my husband and I both LOVE it!!! I plan on making it again tonight and am wondering if you can swap the milk for heavy cream? Thank you so much!! ☺️

    • Hi Hannah! You should be just fine to use heavy cream, it will be just a little more rich and thick. If you would rather use milk but only have heavy cream on hand, you can always add a little bit of water to it. Either way is fine! Enjoy! 🙂

  8. I have tried other chicken broccoli rice casserole recipes but this is the best by far. When my family took the first bite they were saying this is the best chicken broccoli rice casserole I have made. After I tasted it I agreed wholeheartedly. I added all the ingredients and garlic pepper salt. I have bookmarked it to my favorites. Thanks for the delicious 🤤 recipe.

    • I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it Bonita!! We are HUGE fans of this in my house and I always have it in the freezer for a quick lunch! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review! -Stephanie

  9. That was sooo good!  I used leftover pulled chicken and I made the soup for my vegetarian daughter then used the rest for the casserole.  Both of the recipes were delicious!  

  10. Oh my word. I short cut this with Uncle Ben’s Herb and Butter pre-cooked and steamed my broccoli for 5 minutes and air fried the chicken bread for 10 minutes before I put in casserole. Also broiled the top just a twitch with extra cheese on before Ritz crackers. Amazing!!!

    • Sounds like you did a great job with the short cuts Nicolene. Thanks so much for sharing!😍 I’ve played around with this one a lot, from different toppings to different vegetables. It’s always an easy and yummy one. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

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