Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
This Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole includes Campbell’s Soup, flavorful rice cooked in chicken broth, and a buttery, crunchy Ritz topping. Cook up some fresh chicken or use Rotisserie!
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 version!
- Unsalted Butter
- Chicken Breasts– Rotisserie chicken makes a good shortcut, ham works well too.
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- White Long Grain Rice– Don’t use Instant Rice (see below for more info). Brown rice may also be used.
- Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup– See below for substitute options
- Sour Cream
- Cheddar Cheese– Shred your own from a block at home for best results.
- Dried Thyme- Optional
- Garlic Powder
- Ritz Crackers
See recipe card below for full ingredient amounts and instructions
Cream of Chicken Soup Substitutes
- This recipe can be made with Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Broccoli, Cheddar Cheese, and Broccoli Cheese.
- If you prefer to make the soup from scratch, try this homemade Cream of Chicken Soup recipe!
Use Regular Rice for a Creamier Casserole
I highly recommend you use regular rice instead of minute rice:
- We’re only cooking the rice for 15 minutes before baking it.
- Regular rice has higher nutritional value, flavor, and texture.
- Long grain rice = creamier consistency. Short grain rice tends to be stickier.
Using Frozen Broccoli
-Using a 16 oz. bag 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.
How to Make Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Melt butter in a large pot. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sear bite-sized pieces of chicken breast for amount 5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- Add chicken broth and rice to the same pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 7 minutes.
- Stir in fresh broccoli, cover and cook for 8 minutes.
- Stir and remove from heat. Add chicken, soup, milk, sour cream, half of the cheddar cheese, thyme, and garlic powder.
- Transfer to a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
- Cover and Bake for 20 minutes.
- Combine melted butter and ritz crackers, sprinkle over the casserole. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Let it stand for 5 minutes prior to serving.
-This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days prior to baking.
-If prepared 2 days in advance, it should be used within 1-2 days or leftovers should be frozen.
-The cracker/butter topping should be made when you bake the casserole and not prepared ahead of time.
Freezing and Reheating
-This casserole is a great meal to freeze and is best if used within 3 months of freezing.
–To reheat, let it defrost in the fridge overnight or the microwave and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or so.
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Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
- Salt/Pepper, to taste
- 2 1/4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
- 1 1/4 cups white long grain rice, uncooked
- 2 cups fresh broccoli florets, uncooked
- 10.75 oz. Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, separated
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- Note: These instructions were updated on 1/26/20 to include an improved cooking method that allows you to cook and assemble this casserole in a single pot before transferring to a casserole dish. (Quicker, easier, less dirty dishes.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with desired amount of salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons 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 and rice to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover tightly for 7 minutes.
- Remove the lid and use a silicone spatula to give it a stir and loosen it from the bottom. Add the broccoli florets and replace the lid. Cook for more 8 minutes.
- Stir the rice/broccoli and turn the heat off. Add the cooked chicken, soup, milk, sour cream, half of the cheddar cheese, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
- Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish and pour in the rice mixture.
- Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
- Cover and bake for 20 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.
- This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days prior to baking.
- If prepared 2 days in advance, it should be used within 1-2 days.
- The cracker/butter topping should be made when you bake the casserole and not prepared ahead of time.