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+ servings
A wooden spoon with a scoop of broccoli chicken rice casserole from a casserole dish.
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4.96 from 185 votes

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

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

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Using Frozen Broccoli
Using a 16oz. bag 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