Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is a modern twist on a classic dish! Say goodbye to canned soups; we’re using real ingredients, and thanks to one-pot cooking, it’s prepared in the same amount of time.

Just like this famous Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole or my mother-in-law’s amazing Chicken Divan, this casserole is pure comfort food.

One skillet Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe freshly made, ready to be enjoyed.

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole made Modern

My mom used canned cream of soups frequently growing up, so they’re completely nostalgic for me. I love any cheesy, creamy casserole especially when it includes rice, chicken, and broccoli. 

Tuna Casserole was a main staple in our house, but the days we had chicken casserole? Those were a big deal, especially with nine of us to feed. Casseroles were our go-to!

So, here I am, giving the classic casserole a modern twist with a couple of fun updates:

  1. One Pot Cooking: Yes, you read that right—this entire casserole comes together in one pot in 30 minutes or less!
  2. No Canned Soups: Ever wonder what’s really in those cans? We’re skipping them completely. And don’t worry, there’s no complex cream sauce required—just a few simple ingredients and minimal extra effort.
  3. Skipping the Ritz Topping: Although cracker toppings are delicious, they can be messy. I’ll let you in on how to add them if you’re interested, but here’s how I make this casserole most of the time—without them.

What Is Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole?

This casserole combines rice, chicken, and broccoli in a cheesy cream sauce, usually finished with cheese and sometimes a crunchy topping.

This particular recipe is made from scratch, but trust me when I say, you will not miss the canned soups here!

All in the ingredients in this recipe prepped out for easy assembly.

What Rice to Use

This recipe uses long-grain white rice or basmati rice. Avoid short or medium grain rice; they get too sticky. And minute rice? It doesn’t work well in this dish.

Got brown or wild rice? This recipe is not their time to shine. They need more time and water to cook. Stick to using them for something like my go-to Brown Rice Salad instead.

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

Sure thing! Fresh broccoli, chopped into small florets, is my preference, but if you’re reaching for frozen, just make sure it’s completely thawed first. Also, shake off any extra water – nobody wants soggy, mushy rice.

Using Rotisserie Chicken

Chicken breasts are great, but if you’re short on time or just have some rotisserie chicken on hand, it’ll work here. Toss in about 2 cups of diced, seasoned chicken right at the end with the cheese. Bonus: any leftover rotisserie chicken is perfect for whipping up some tasty Rotisserie Chicken Tacos – always a hit!

Other Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole Ingredients

  • Onion & Garlic: Finely dice an onion to avoid crunchy pieces and sauté with garlic in butter for a flavorful base.
  • Cream Sauce: The sauce is so simple to make! It starts with flour for thickening, milk (whole is my favorite) for creaminess, chicken broth to balance, and a few seasonings for added flavor.

The chicken being cooked, then the onions, garlic, and rice being sautéed for this Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole.

What About A Ritz Cracker Topping?

In my house, we often skip the topping, but if you’re in the mood for some extra crunch, here’s how to make it happen:

  • Mix 3/4 cup of crushed Ritz crackers or Panko breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-high, then add the breadcrumbs. Stir constantly until they turn a light brown. Sprinkle this crunchy mix over the cheese layer evenly.

Milk and broth being added to the skillet and it all being cooked together.

How To Make Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

These steps match the accompanying photos for easy follow-along:

  1. Cook Chicken: Heat olive oil in a large pan and cook the chicken over high heat until it’s fully cooked.
  2. Finish Chicken: After cooking, remove the chicken from the pan, cover to let it rest, then dice it.
  3. Sauté Veggies: Melt butter in the same pan and sauté the onion and garlic until they turn golden.
  4. Sauté Rice: Stir in the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  5. Add Seasonings & Flour: Add flour and seasonings, stirring constantly for another minute to cook off the raw flour taste.
  6. Make Creamy Base: Whisk in milk and broth gradually, ensuring the mixture is completely smooth.
  7. Simmer: Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat and cover.
  8. Cook: Continue cooking until the rice is almost tender. It will still appear quite saucy.
  9. Add Broccoli: Place broccoli on top of the rice, then cover again.
  10. Steam: Allow the broccoli to steam until tender. Smaller pieces cook quicker and are easier to eat.
  11. Combine: Off the heat, add the cheese and diced chicken, stirring gently to combine.
  12. Serve: Finish with the remaining cheese, cover to melt. Once the cheese is melted, it’s ready to enjoy!

Broccoli, cheese, and chicken being added to the skillet for this delicious Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole.

What To Serve with Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole:

Pair your chicken and rice casserole with some delicious sides to round out the meal:

  • Everyday Salad: Toss some greens with your favorite dressing and whatever veggies you’ve got lingering in the fridge.
  • Caesar Salad: This is a classic that always pairs well with a hearty casserole.
  • Roasted Veggies: Yes, we’ve already got broccoli, but more is more when it comes to veggies, right?!
  • Dinner Rolls: Perfect for scooping up any leftover sauce.
  • Tropical Fruit Salad: Finish with something sweet and fresh!

Customizing Your Chicken and Rice Casserole

  • Adding Extras: Feel free to mix in mushrooms, peas, carrots or any other favorites you have.
  • Proteins: Swap out chicken for turkey, ham, or even tuna for a different flavor. Cooked and crumbled bacon can add a savory crunch.
  • Sour Cream Addition: You can mix in a bit of sour cream for extra tanginess if you like, but since the cream sauce is already rich and creamy, you might not even need it.

A big spoonful of the dish being scooped out to serve.

STORAGE

Storing Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

  • Fridge: Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. When reheating, add a splash of milk or broth to bring back its creaminess.
  • Freezing: This casserole freezes well; use it within 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat gently on the stove, adding a bit more milk or broth if needed.

How To Make-Ahead

  • To prepare this casserole ahead of time, follow the recipe up to adding the cheese on top. Then, transfer everything to an oven-safe dish (such as a 9×13-inch pan) and cover evenly with cheese. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate.
  • When you’re ready to bake, leave the foil on and cook at 350°F for 30 minutes covered. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese on top is bubbly and melted.

More One Pot Recipes You’ll Love:

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Easy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

5 from 3 votes
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is a modern twist on a classic dish! Say goodbye to canned soups; we're using real ingredients, and thanks to one-pot cooking, it's prepared in the same amount of time.
One skillet Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe freshly made, ready to be enjoyed.
Print Recipe

Easy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

One skillet Creamy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe freshly made, ready to be enjoyed.
5 from 3 votes
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is a modern twist on a classic dish! Say goodbye to canned soups; we're using real ingredients, and thanks to one-pot cooking, it's prepared in the same amount of time.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 668kcal
Cost $14.87

Equipment

  • 12-inch nonstick skillet or pot with a lid

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 up 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 small breasts) OR use rotisserie chicken -- Note 1
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups finely diced yellow onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1-1/4 cups uncooked long-grain white rice (Note 1)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon each: ground mustard & paprika
  • 3 tablespoons white flour
  • 2 cups each: milk & chicken broth (whole milk is best)
  • 3 to 4 cups broccoli, cut to small pieces (1 large head) (Note 3)
  • 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (pack to measure)

Instructions

  • PREP CHICKEN: Slice the chicken breasts in half widthwise to create 4 even pieces. Lightly pound them to an even thickness (use the bottom of a frying pan). Season all sides with salt & pepper (use 1/4 tsp total of each).
  • COOK CHICKEN: Heat oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet or pot over high heat. Once hot, add the chicken in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until fully cooked. Transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes, then dice.
  • BUTTER: In same pan, add butter, onion, & garlic. Cook 5 minutes or until turning golden. Add uncooked rice and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add seasonings and flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  • CREAMY BASE: While whisking constantly, gradually add in milk and then broth. Whisk until smooth. Bring to a simmer (boiling at edges and foamy in the center) then cover with a lid and reduce the heat slightly above the lowest setting. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
  • STEAM BROCCOLI: Remove lid (don't worry if it seems liquidy). Quickly add the broccoli in a single layer on top. Cover again and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender and the rice is cooked (it's okay if dish is still slightly saucy).
  • ADD CHEESE: Remove the pan from heat. Stir in the diced chicken and 1/2 cup of cheese until melted. Gently mix in another 1/2 cup of cheese. Spread the mixture into an even layer, then sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese evenly on top. Cover with the lid to let the cheese melt from the residual heat, about 5 minutes.
  • SERVE: Remove the lid, serve immediately, and enjoy! Add extra salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Rotisserie Chicken: Add in 2 cups of diced, seasoned chicken right at the end with the cheese.
Note 2: Rice: Long grain or basmati rice is preferred for this recipe; other types may not yield the same results. Do not rinse the rice before using.
Note 3: Frozen Broccoli: If using frozen broccoli, ensure it is fully thawed and excess liquid is drained off.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 668kcal | Carbohydrates: 62.4g | Protein: 24.5g | Fat: 36g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 923.6mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 3.8g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

More Recipes You'll Love

Broccoli and Cheese Baked Potatoes

1 hrs 25 mins

Broccoli and Cheese Baked Potatoes

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pie

1 hrs 10 mins

Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pie

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Baked Ziti

1 hrs 5 mins

Baked Ziti

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

Baked Ziti With Chicken

40 mins

Baked Ziti With Chicken

Click the Bookmark Icon to Add to Your Favories

FREE BONUS

FREE BONUS

EASY MEAL SECRETS:
How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

[gravityform id="2" title="false" description="false"]

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. I was looking for an easy chicken and rice
    dinner, and this just wasn’t it. My rice
    Wouldn’t cook in the milk and broths
    mixture.

    1. Shoot, what happened? Did you change any part of the recipe? We’ve tested this many times to make sure it works as recipe is written, I’m so sorry that wasn’t the case for you.

Never Miss a Recipe

[gravityform id="3" title="false" description="false"]