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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. (It’s also in The Cozy Cookbook on page 178!)

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- fresh or frozen, see info below
  • Condensed Cream of Chicken SoupTry my homemade recipe!
  • Milk- any kind of fat content is fine
  • Sour Cream- Mayo may also be used
  • Cheddar Cheese– Shred your own from a block at home for best results. I use Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Yellow cheese as it melts really well. Avoid aged/crystalized cheeses as those won’t melt well.

Topping:

  • Ritz Crackers
  • Butter

*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, consider using 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 as outlined and do not bake. Let it thaw for 24 hours in the fridge. Let it sit out for 30 minutes prior to baking and 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 723 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

  • 1/2 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° F.
  • 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 6 minutes.
  • Add the broccoli and replace the cover. Cook for 9 more minutes, or until no liquid remains in the pot and the rice is cooked through. (If it's not cooked through yet, quickly replace lid and simmer 5 more minutes, or until cooked through.)
  • 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, cream of 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. 
  • Cheddar Cheese- Shred your own from a block at home for best results. I use Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Yellow cheese as it melts really well. Avoid aged/crystalized cheeses as those won't melt 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!
  • This recipe is in The Cozy Cookbook on page 178!

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 and add 10 minutes to baking time.
    • The cracker/butter topping should be added at the end of baking.

    Freezer:

    • Assemble the casserole as outlined 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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2,006 comments on “Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole”

  1. Came out great! Super easy to make and love that I only had to use one pot! I used a nice sharp cheddar and it gave it a great flavor.

    • I’m sooo happy that you loved it Karen! I know, making it in just one pot is such a perk! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I appreciate it sooo much!! ❤️❤️❤️

  2. LOVE this recipe. I tried it about 7-8 months ago and it has become a staple in our household.  I cook everything separate then mix it all together. I also make sure to cook the rice in chicken broth instead of water and steam the broccoli with chicken broth too! I usually make about 2-3 times a month. 

    • That’s so great to hear Danielle! I make this one a lot too, it’s one of my most made weeknight dinners. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!🩷

  3. Broke Post-Grad living in London and this is one of my absolute go to recipes for when I need delicious, filling and easy on the budget dinners. Don’t tell my stepmom but it’s even better than her recipe!

  4. How much is a serving size of this recipe? 

  5. I’m going to give this a try! But hear me out- cooking it in a muffin tin?! I’m only cooking for myself and I feel like that would make freezing the other portions for future noms super easy! 

    • Hi Jessica! I haven’t tested it, but it may be a little more time consuming to scoop it into individual muffin tins and them to try to cleanly remove it after baking. Instead, I bake it all together and scoop it into portion-sized 8 oz. containers that I label and freeze! 🙂

  6. This is one of my favourite recipes ever! I’ve made it several times. Most recently, I used a full head of broccoli, mushrooms, an onion, and a few handfuls of spinach. I used three chicken breasts instead of two and Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It was perfect!

    • Nice work Sarah, I’m so happy you’re enjoying this one! I love seeing my daughter eat her broccoli and this is a great way to sneak it in. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!❤️

  7. Hi! I am making this recipe tonight and have a question. If I’m using rice that is already cooked, do I still need to add chicken broth? And if so, how much? I have a bunch of rice I already cooked up yesterday.

    • Hi Kate! You can use 3 + 3/4 cups of cooked rice and eliminate the chicken broth. You’ll also want to steam the broccoli prior to adding it to the casserole.

  8. The whole family loved this recipe! I’m wanting to remake this tonight, our propane is out though. Is there a conversion for the instant pot? TIA

  9. absolutely the best I have ever had. Proud to present this delicious dish to any one. Will be taking it to a church dinner for sure. Art

  10. It says to use 1/2 the cheddar cheese in the mixture, but for the life of me I can’t find where you say to put the other 1/2? Where does the other 1/2 of the cheese go? 

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