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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. 

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 (partially cooked), but you may want to consider steaming it as well for a softer texture in the casserole. 

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

4.96 from 370 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. I use white long grain rice and the cooking time/liquid amount below works 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

Pro Tips:
  • 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 (partially cooked), but you may want to consider steaming it as well (about 5 minutes or so) for a softer texture in the casserole. 
  • 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.
  • Skip the can and try this with my Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup!
  • Be sure to check out my ham and ground beef rice casseroles next!

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.

The Nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving. This recipe makes 6 servings.

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
Did you try this recipe?Mention @TheCozyCook on Instagram or tag #thecozycook!

 

broccoli-cheddar-chicken-and-rice-casserole

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1,048 comments on “Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole”

  1. Delicious!! I used Velveeta Shreds for a creamier texture. 

  2. I highly recommend cooking the frozen broccoli- at least for a bit. I’ll buy the steamable bag next time and nuke it for a new minutes. I followed the recipe with thawed frozen broccoli and it doesn’t really cook much in the oven so it was pretty much raw. Next time I’ll also use slow cooked chicken. I think it would be better with a more tender texture. Otherwise, great recipe! 

    • Hi Shane, frozen broccoli not raw, it’s blanched (partially cooked), so recipes that call for frozen broccoli outline method the same as this one, although I do have a notation to cook your frozen broccoli a bit if you do like your broccoli very soft, so I think it’s covered here as far as the broccoli goes! 🙂

  3. Have you done it in an instant pot?

    Thanks in advance!

  4. Question… If i am pre cooking the broccoli do I still need to add it and cook for the 8 minutes?… Basically do I need to do step 7?

  5. Always a favorite. I use rotisserie chicken and precooked rice for easy assembly. Delicious!

  6. I made this today and it was delicious! I mostly used Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute instead of Italian seasoning, and added some oregano and basil. I missed the step where you remove chicken before cooking rice, so rice cooked with chicken and it came out great, so you can skip that step if you want. 

    • I’m so happy to hear that you loved it!!! Chicken can be very tough/chewy if overcooked so I still recommend removing it if possible! But it technically works out either way! 🙂 Thank you for the review, I appreciate it so much!!

      • This dish was very creamy and a big hit! Easy to make it just takes about a hour like it says so if your in a hurry make ahead! We’ll definitely be making this again! Thank you!!

      • I’m so happy that you enjoyed this Kelley!! I made this last night too, as a matter of fact! 🙂 My daughter loves it! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

  7. I made this casserole for Sunday night dinner with a salad. It was delicious!  Used the long grain rice – usually use instant rice but the long grain made it very tasty. Will def make this again. 

  8. This is a delicious recipe, but for my family I seasoned it much more heavily. Heavy on the garlic and onion powder, as well as Italian seasoning. Otherwise, delicious and we’ll be making again. 

  9. How much is a serving size ? For the calories? 

  10. It is delicious! I will be making it again. Family loves it!

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