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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. You want 3 + 3/4 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 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

4.97 from 356 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 3 + 3/4 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:

    • 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.

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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1,016 comments on “Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole”

  1. This hit the spot! I made it for my partner (he’s the cook, not me!) and he’s already getting seconds. I’ve made recipes like this before, but what really sets this one apart is two things: 1, the rice and 2 the garlic powder. Cooking the rice in chicken broth really made it more flavorful and let it soak up all the juices and flavors. The garlic powder really made the biggest difference! I’ll definitely be making this over and over again. 

    • Thanks so much for the amazing comments and review Ken! I love how you broke down what makes this one stand out, I completely agree! Thanks again😃

  2. So like everyone else who writes recipe reviews online I didn’t follow the recipe really at all. I doubled it for one. I added an onion and 5 cloves of garlic. I also added one packet of Lipton onion soup mix. I have no idea how the original recipe taste but my recipe gets six out of five stars! 

    • I’m glad that you liked your version! You’d be surprised to hear that the majority of the people on this particular site actually do follow the recipe almost exactly, you should give that a try too sometime! 🙂

  3. I’ve made chicken broccoli and rice casseroles in the past, and was always disappointed.. this one, however, was amazing. It’s even a nee favorite of my very picky kids. I am curious if this can be made then frozen?

    • Hey Sarah! I am so happy to hear that you love this casserole as much as we do! Here are the freezing/make ahead instructions from the blog post! 🙂

      -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.

  4. So confused about the rice! It’s it 1 1/4 cups or 3 1/4 cups?

    • If your rice isn’t cooked, you’ll want to use 1 + 1/4 cups of it to make this casserole. If you have cooked rice on hand, (like leftover cooked rice), you would need 3 + 3/4 to make this.

  5. This is so delicious!! My husband is brutally honest and he LOVED it (he got 3rds)! I will for sure be making this again and will be trying out more of your recipes.

    • I am sooo happy to hear that Amanda, and I am thrilled that you will be trying more recipes! Wahoo! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

      • This is my second time making this recipe. I do it exactly how it is written. This is by far the best chicken broccoli rice casserole I have found. My husband and two kids absolutely love it and always go back for seconds. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!!! 

      • I am sooooo happy to hear that Jaime! What great news, I can’t wait for you to try more recipes as well! I think you’ll continue to love what you try! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

  6. Delicious!!!

  7. Whaaa!! I didn’t check the rice for doneness before I put it in the oven. (I just noticed the rice was still a bit crunchy when I was cleaning the pan.) I had to let it bubble in the oven for an extra half hour, but it worked! The ritz topping was fantastic!! Will make this again! 

  8. This is by far the best chicken, broccoli & rice casserole I’ve ever made. I change it up a bit & add extra rice & 3 packages of frozen broccoli. Delicious! 

  9. Will definitely try this!! Sounds so good. There’s a Broccoli casserole by Paula Deen and it’s soo good and similar!! I love your recipes and appreciate your attention to detail, explaining very clearly step by step. Your recipes are so flavorful and thank you….just love the Pinto bean soup, my favorite!!!

  10. I have made so many online recipes for the past 5-7 years trying to learn how to become a decent cook. I have found a lot of recipes that I still use to this day, but I have never found one that was so good that I left a comment. This is amazing. I just made it for the third time. I will say, for me personally it turned out better with fresh broccoli . The second time I made it I tried frozen broccoli, but it just isn’t as good to me. Either way though, this is the best recipe. My husband won’t eat chicken or broccoli, but I work from home so I make this quite often and then reheat for my lunch throughout the week. I am actually thinking about freezing portions this time but unsure how it will turn out.

    • Hi Amanda! I am soo happy to hear that you loved this enough to come and leave your first online review! 🙂 WOOO!!! (I really appreciate that by the way!) I am a huge fan of this casserole too, I freeze portion sizes all the time and the leftovers reheat super well! I even just microwave it from frozen and it’s great, and super convenient. Thank you again for your lovely review! 🙂 -Stephanie

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