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 274 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 3 + 3/4 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.

Notes

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 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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795 comments on “Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole”

  1. Great proportions here. Though I do recommend dicing at least half a yellow onion and mincing 4-5 garlic cloves to sauté first (with a little salt and pepper) then removing from pot.

    I seasoned the chicken pieces at least a full half hour before sautéing (so this was my first step before dicing onions or cutting the broccoli), this is a good rule of thumb for beef and chicken in general, a minimum of half an hour out of the fridge, season with a good amount of salt (I also added a tsp or two of oil, and granulated garlic, onion, thyme, paprika and a little cayenne) Flavorful chicken is important, don’t just rely on the canned soup or cheese for flavor.

    I feel the “let it stand for 10 mins” step isn’t needed. Everything was absorbed for me so I just stirred the rest of the wet in, and even a touch more milk when it all seemed a a tad dry. 

    Then into the oven for 400° convection, 15 mins. Then, 2 minutes under a low flamed broiler, perfect for a crunchy topping (which was garlic naan chips with panko and Parmesan for me). Perfection. Thank you! 

    • Hi Suzy, thanks for sharing your process 🙂 I love your tips about seasoning the chicken, it’s a nice step to take if you have the time although I would just be a bit cautious about adding too much salt. I definitely like to advise letting the rice rest for 10 minutes, depending on the pot that’s being used it can be a game-changer for any rice that’s stuck onto the bottom. Glad that you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂

  2. I forgot to add the milk by accident 🙁 will this come out dry? I guess I can add liquid to each portion after it’s dished out 🙁 

  3. Okay so I’ve been in a cooking funk lately and everything I’ve made I’ve been left disappointed. BUT THIS, CAME OUR PERFECT! I was skeptical of the rice becuase whenever I cook it in the pan it usually sticks to the bottom but I followed your directions exactly and voila..perfect. And then I put it in the oven and thought..oh no I didn’t even check the rice..what if it’s not done and I’ve just baked something that’s gonna turn out crunchy..but no! This has helped me to get motivated in the kitchen again.  It was perfect thank you so much for sharing the recipe! 

    • Thanks so much for such amazing comments Chelsea! I love that this helped you get out of a cooking rut, cooking ruts are the worst! It’s great to hear you found the directions helpful. Thanks so much for the great review❤️.

  4. Such an awesome dinner, so simple and so much flavor. I’ve made thus recipe several times and have also had it with carrots and onions added. Huge hit in the house for left overs also!

  5. Easy tasty best recipe! Reminds me of my grandmas recipe!

  6. This was SO good! Will definitely be making again.

  7. Very yummy, not too hard to make. I doubled the ritz topping because I like the crunch. Made it with brown rice.

  8. What is the serving size ?

  9. Making this one tonight! When is your cookbook coming out??!!?!?

    • Hi Peg! SO funny that you asked this, as I am sitting at my computer writing the Introduction to the cookbook as we speak! We are submitting everything for the book in about a week and are HOPING that it is out and ready for purchase in the Spring. (Printing and shipping is taking a bit of time these days.)- Thank you for asking!!

  10. Family loved it, this is the best chicken and rice casserole I’ve had!!!  Thank you for sharing.

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