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Chicken Broccoli Casserole

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This chicken broccoli casserole is so simple to fix and bake. It reheats well making it a great meal prep or freezer food option. It’s the kind of comfort food you never get tired of and it will quickly become a family favorite!

cheesy chicken broccoli bake.
Cheesy chicken brocoli bake

Love my chicken broccoli casserole? Then you’ll want to try my Chicken Fajita Tray Bake and my Sheet Pan Boneless Chicken Breast And Potatoes for more baked chicken dinner recipes!

You won’t be able to get enough of this cheesy chicken broccoli and rice casserole! This casserole is so rich and full of flavor. It’s stuffed with chicken, broccoli, rice, cheese and topped with buttery crackers!

If you’re looking for a winning dish for a family meal, or any other holiday or event, this is the recipe you’ll want to make.

chicken broccoli rice casserole baked.
Baked chicken broccoli rice casserole.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • No condensed or cream soups required.
  • A simple recipe, quick and easy to make from scratch.
  • Can be easily modified to suit your tastes.
  • Chicken and rice casserole is a classic family favorite recipe.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Butter, Onion & Garlic – A great base flavoring for chicken broccoli rice casserole.
  • Chicken Breast – Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-size pieces.
  • Water – To cook the rice and broccoli.
  • Rice – I use white rice for this recpe, but you can easily swap out for brown rice.
  • Broccoli – Fresh or frozen broccoli will work in this recipe.
  • Flour – Helps to thicken the sauce.
  • Spices – A combination of salt, red pepper flakes, onion powder, dried marjoram and dried thyme.
  • Chicken Broth – I use low-sodium broth.
  • Milk – You can also use heavy cream for a richer taste, however heavy cream is higher in calories.
  • Cheddar Cheese – I use cheddar, but feel free to swap out for your favorite cheese! I recommend shredding it yourself, but prepackaged it okay too.
  • Ritz Crackers – Adds a buttery crunch.

How To Make This Recipe

six image process making chicken broccoli casserole.
Chicken broccoli casserole process

Step 1:

Add the water, 1/2 tablespoon of butter, salt and rice to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.

Step 2:

While the rice is cooking, in a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Next, add the chicken and cook until browned. Then, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Step 3:

Steam the broccoli with 1/4 cup of water, on the stove top or in the microwave. You can also use the frozen microwavable steam bags that you cook in the microwave.

Step 4:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Step 5:

In the skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk while cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add in all the spices. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk until the mixture is slightly thickened. Mix in 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese. Add the chicken, rice and broccoli to the skillet and stir to combine.

Step 6:

Scoop half of the chicken and rice mixture to the casserole dish and top with 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Spoon the rest of the chicken and rice mixture, then top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Step 7:

Combine the crushed crackers with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is browned and the cheese is melted.

cheesy chicken and rice casserole baked.
Baked cheesy chicken and rice casserole

Recipe Tips

  • Use chicken breast tenders for more tender chicken instead of chicken breast.
  • I usually use fresh broccoli for this recipe, but frozen will work too.
  • Prepackaged cheese doesn’t melt as well as grating your own cheese because of the preservatives used in packaging.

Variations

  • You can use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken.
  • Swap out the broccoli or cheddar for what’s in your refrigerator.
  • Try cooked brown rice instead of white rice. If you are using brown rice, cook it according to the package instructions. Brown rice takes longer to cook.
  • Swap out the cooked rice for cooked pasta.
  • Swap the chicken for sausage or ground beef.
  • Replace the crackers for breadcrumbs or french fried onions.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing: Place the leftovers in a freezer safe airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheating: Bake the leftovers in the oven at 350 degrees, until heated through. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight if reheating from frozen.

Make A Freezer Meal

This casserole makes a great freezer meal! Follow the recipe instructions, except for the last step of adding the crushed crackers and baking. Be sure the casserole is in a freezer safe dish and wrapped tightly. You can freeze this unbaked casserole for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, remove it from the freezer, thaw and add the crushed crackers mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until heated through.

FAQ

Can I add more vegetables to the casserole?

Absolutely. Cauliflower, sliced mushrooms, diced zucchini, or spinach are all great substitutes or additions to this casserole.

Can I cook raw chicken in a casserole?

I highly recommend cooking your chicken before you add it to the casserole. Raw chicken can cook unevenly in a casserole.

Is chicken broccoli rice casserole similar to chicken Divan?

Yes. Chicken Divan is a casserole typically made up of chicken and broccoli with a creamy sauce.

Can I swap pasta for rice in a casserole?

Small pasta such as orzo or small shells instead of rice is a good choice.

Why is chicken rice and broccoli so popular?

It’s a balanced meal with grains, protein and vegetables.

Yield: 6 Servings

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

chicken broccoli rice casserole baked.

This chicken broccoli casserole is so simple to fix and bake. It reheats well making it a great meal prep or freezer food option. It's the kind of comfort food you never get tired of and it will quickly become a family favorite!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter

Instructions

  1. Add the water, 1/2 tablespoon of butter, salt and rice to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.
  2. While the rice is cooking, in a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until browned. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. Steam the broccoli with 1/4 cup of water, on the stove top or in the microwave. You can also use the frozen microwavable steam bags that you cook in the microwave.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  5. In the skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk while cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add in all the spices. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk until the mixture is slightly thickened. Mix in 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese. Add the chicken, rice and broccoli to the skillet and stir to combine.
  6. Scoop half of the chicken and rice mixture to the casserole dish and top with 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Spoon the rest of the chicken and rice mixture, then top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
  7. Combine the crushed crackers with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is browned and the cheese is melted.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 390mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 17g

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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