Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole

  • This easy broccoli, rice, and chicken casserole is topped with a buttery Ritz cracker crust. This meal comes together in less than 45 minutes and it takes one bowl and one casserole dish! Put this together ahead of time and pop it in the oven when you get home from work!

    Easy Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole with Ritz cracker crust that comes together in 1 casserole dish. Perfect for busy weeknights!

    Wanna know the truth about the pictures of this casserole?

    You probably can’t really tell, but the entire top of this casserole was CARBON BLACK.

    That is what happens when you forget to set the timer and stick the casserole under the broiler to just get the crust a “bit more color.”

    Ha, I definitely got that color…I also got an entire house’s fire alarm going off.

    So, I stuck the casserole under the broiler, for what I intended to be only 3-5 minutes, but I forgot to set the timer so I went into the living room and got on my laptop and started catching up on email.

    Your nose knows when you smell that good ‘ole burning scent.

    I immediately knew what was up and said, “shit!” and ran into the kitchen. Opened the oven door to see a carbon black casserole and smoke was coming out of the oven.

    Great. I went and opened all the windows and doors, and the fire alarm still went off.

    I couldn’t get them to turn off, either. I had to get on my laptop to Google how to turn them off, but I still couldn’t get them to turn off!!

    They’re all connected to each other so when one goes off, the others go off too. I basically just had to wait until the smoke cleared.

    Good thing it was a nice-ish day out so having the windows and doors open weren’t a huge deal.

    I ended up picking off all the burnt pieces (with some left behind, as you can see in the photos above, but don’t they just look like ground pepper flakes?) and was able to salvage the casserole!

    It was actually fairly easy to pick off the pieces because it was just like an entire sheet of burnt of Ritz crackers so you could pick them off in large pieces.

    Easy Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole with Ritz cracker crust that comes together in 1 casserole dish. Perfect for busy weeknights!

    How to prep this broccoli, rice, and chicken casserole ahead of time

    If you’re anything like me, you like to prep meals ahead of time.

    Or at least prep the parts of a meal that you can.

    With this casserole recipe, you can put it all together ahead of time.

    Well, everything but the buttery Ritz topping because otherwise it’ll get soggy.

    But everything else, you can mix together right in the casserole dish and put it in the fridge and put in the oven later.

    I’d like to advise that putting a cold casserole (or glass) dish straight into a hot oven is probably NOT a good idea.

    So my advice on this is, put it in the oven, then preheat it with the casserole dish in there so it warms up slowly with the oven.

    However, if you like to be extra careful (because who wants a casserole dish exploding in their oven), I would let it sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes and then put it in the oven to cook.

    Easy Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole with Ritz cracker crust that comes together in 1 casserole dish. Perfect for busy weeknights!

    My rice doesn’t cook all the way through and it’s crunchy

    Okay so there are so many different results with a variety of different rice that it’s hard to even tell you where to being.

    I personally used sushi rice. Specifically this brand.

    I highly suggest you use instant rice in this recipe because numerous folks who have multiple kinds of rice (jasmine, basmati, regular long-grain white rice) have said that their rice still is crunchy.

    Instant rice cooks faster and with 50 minutes of this casserole in the oven, it’ll be sure to cook the rice all the way through.

    Do I cook the chicken before putting it in the casserole?

    No, the point is that it’s an all-in-one casserole where it all cooks together.

    Can I use rotisserie chicken in the casserole?

    Yes! You could use shredded rotisserie chicken in this. Would be great!

    Do I have to use cream of chicken? I don’t like that stuff.

    I highly recommend it for flavor but if you don’t like the canned stuff, you can make your own.

    Other casserole recipes that you may love

    Pin this image below and save the recipe for later!

    This easy broccoli, rice, and chicken casserole is topped with a buttery Ritz cracker crust. This meal comes together in less than 45 minutes and it takes one bowl and one casserole dish! Put this together ahead of time and pop it in the oven when you get home from work!

    Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    50 mins
    Total Time
    1 hr
     

    This easy broccoli, rice, and chicken casserole is topped with a buttery Ritz cracker crust. This meal comes together in less than 45 minutes and it takes one bowl and one casserole dish!

    Servings: 4
    Calories: 559 kcal
    Ingredients
    • 5 chicken tenderloins cut into 1-inch cubes, uncooked
    • 1 cup white rice, uncooked OR instant rice (different types of rice will yield very different cook times. I used sushi rice. Due to the number of folks who have tried this recipe & still say their rice is crunchy, I highly suggest you use instant rice)
    • 2 1/4 cup whole milk
    • 1: 10.75 ounce can of cream of chicken
    • 1 1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed
    • 1 3/4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish (mine was ceramic, but you may use glass).
    2. In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients except the Ritz crackers, together until well-incorporated.
    3. Pour the ingredients into the greased casserole dish, spread into an even layer, then sprinkle Ritz crackers on top of the mixture.
    4. Bake mixture, uncovered, for 40-50 minutes, or whenever rice and chicken are done cooking (mine took about 40 minutes, yours may take longer depending on your oven).
    5. To get a deeper, golden color, you may put the casserole under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Be careful to watch it carefully!
    6. Serve immediately.
    Recipe Notes

    This may be prepared ahead of time (reserving the Ritz cracker topping until you're ready to bake), kept covered in the refrigerator, and put into the oven, uncovered, when you're ready.

    You can substitute fresh broccoli for the frozen broccoli. Fresh broccoli will yield a bit longer cooking time than frozen. Also, the size you cut your broccoli will affect its cooking time as well. If you like your broccoli more on the softer side, cook it longer. If you like your broccoli to have more of a bite, cook it to the time indicated above.

    I didn't give a salt/pepper measurement as everyone's taste preference is different. My husband and I honestly thought the salt content from the buttery Ritz crackers were enough for this dish, however, if you don't feel it would be, I encourage you to adapt this recipe to your taste - add salt and pepper, to taste. Start with 1/2 tsp. at a time, taste it, and increase until desired taste.

    If after 50 minutes, your rice is still not fully cooked through (rice grains vary, sushi-grade rice, which is what I used, cooks faster than other types of rice), cover the casserole with foil and cook longer.

    Cooking time and milk measurement updated January 2014.

    Nutrition Facts
    Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 559 Calories from Fat 279
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 31g 48%
    Total Carbohydrates 39g 13%
    Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    Sugars 9g
    Protein 35g 70%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

  • 326 Comments
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
    Meet The Author: Julie Wampler
    Dinner for Two Cookbook
    Order My Cookbook!

    Dinner for Two

    Leave a Comment

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

    Comments

  • Shannon says:

    I just made this and it was fantastic! I don’t consider myself a cook, so I was pleased that the recipe was easy. Can’t wait to eat leftovers tomorrow.

  • Theresa says:

    I’m baking it now, but I’m afraid I am going to have a mess on my hands as I totally forgot to grease the pan!! I pray it comes out good!

    • Julie says:

      Oh no! I’m sure you will be okay! Good luck!

  • Shanaya says:

    I just made this and instead of broccoli I put cream of corn and bread crumbs instead of crackers! It was awesome. Great recipe and so so easy!

  • Emily says:

    I added some frozen carrots to it to offset the carb-galore :). (Did I mention I baked some sister schubert’s rolls with it?) ?

  • Jill says:

    Julie, I am THRILLED I found this recipe lol. I made it last week, and it’s already on the list again for next week. SO good, makes enough for 2 dinners and a lunch or two, and there’s not a thing I’d change about it! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe. My husband and I loved it :)

    • Julie says:

      Wonderful news!

  • Kathy says:

    Love the chicken casserole

  • Paige Cox says:

    Hi there, cows milk causes my allergies to flare up do you think I could use coconut milk instead and get the same results? Thanks!!

    • Julie says:

      I would use the liquid coconut milk that’s in the fridge section next to almond milk, not the canned coconut milk.

  • Lynne says:

    So often do not ever see a recipe. Just comments

    • Julie says:

      I imagine you’re viewing my site on mobile. If so, you’ve scrolled down too far. You need to scroll back up and click the purple button that says “CLICK HERE TO SEE THE RECIPE”

  • Judy says:

    Can u substitute ham steak for the chicken. What would you use instead of Ritz crackers?

    • Julie says:

      Sure, you could substitute ham steak but I don’t know if this will yield the right flavor that this casserole is going for. It might be extra salty. You could use club crackers instead of Ritz. I recommend a buttery type cracker because of the flavor profiles in this casserole.

      • Judy says:

        Made it with the ham steak and it turned out great. Family enjoyed it. Thanks you for your great recipes and for your help.

        Judy

  • Jessica says:

    I have this is the oven right now! I just have one question, i used instant rice, was i suppose to cook it before putting in, i didnt

    • Julie says:

      You should be fine :)

  • Angela says:

    I made this with shredded Swiss (a 7oz block) and added some garlic powder. Yum!
    As for the rice being cooked through, it’s hit or miss for me. The first time everything cooked up beautifully but tonight, not so much. I covered it a while ago and am currently just waiting around for the rice to soften. Maybe next time I’ll have a “hit!”

  • Lisa Langlais says:

    I have made this recipe several times and the rice is still pretty crunchy, tonight I have pre ads the rice. The thing I am nervous about is do I still use the same amount of milk being that the rice is cooked. I guess we’lol see.

  • BEA says:

    sounds like a delicious recipe. It seems a lot for one person.

    What would the recipe for just one person?

    Thanks

    • Julie says:

      Hi Bea, you could halve the recipe and then freeze some of it for later?

  • Alyson says:

    Hi! So excited to make this tonight! Just was wondering if I could use a 2qt corningware baking dish? It’s all I have on hand.

    • Julie says:

      Hi, sorry for the delay in response. That might be a bit too small but if you made this last night, let me know if it worked or not!

  • Cassie says:

    I made this Friday night and it turned out great! I used uncooked white rice and it wasn’t crunchy at all. Can’t wait to try something else you’ve posted. ?

  • Lana says:

    Want to take this to a dinner (an hour away) tomorrow. Can I make the day before and put in crockpot to reheat when we get there?

    • Julie says:

      You can make a day before but I don’t suggest putting it in the slow cooker to reheat..I would keep it in the baking dish and reheat it that way. But make sure you let the baking dish sit at room temperature for a bit before putting it in the oven so it doesn’t shatter.

  • Carole says:

    I have a question on rice , if you can used in instant can you use cooked rice ?

    • Julie says:

      It might get too mushy with already cooked rice. You could, perhaps, cook this without the rice then mix it together with the rice later when you are about to eat.

      • Christina Millman says:

        First time making it n I used cooked instant rice and altho awesome flavors it was mushy. But still was a very good hit with my kids. So I’m going to try it again tonight but I’m not going to cook the instant rice as long as I did the first time so maybe I won’t have mushy rice. Or do I put my instant rice in the soup mixture without cooking it?

        • Julie says:

          I would put your instant rice in the mixture without cooking it first.

  • Carol says:

    I made this last night and it was wonderful! I will definitely make this again. My husband loved it. Lots of leftovers for two.

  • Amy says:

    I made this the other day for my family and they loved it. I was wondering if you think it would turn out ok if I use some velveeta cheese as well in this casserole?

    • Julie says:

      Yes, I think it’d be great!

  • Jamie says:

    Can brown rice be used instead? Would the cooking time vary if so?

    • Julie says:

      Sure, you can use brown rice. Yes, cooking time would be a lot longer since brown rice, in and of itself takes quite a lot longer to cook than white rice.

  • Amanda says:

    This was very good! I used skim milk instead of whole milk since I have trouble digesting whole milk and it tasted great!

  • Ileana says:

    I just made this made the minus the chicken and it was amazing! Cannot wait to try other recipes. Thank you.

  • Roma Clarke says:

    Broccoli rice chicken casserole called for ritz crackers and then you said buttery ritz crackers. Where did the butter come into the recipe, it’s not listed.

    • Julie says:

      Buttery ritz crackers is a description for the ritz crackers. They’re buttery in flavor.

  • geraldine smead says:

    Ca. Pasta be used instead of rice

    • Julie says:

      I personally haven’t used pasta instead of rice but I imagine a pasta like orzo would work, definitely.

  • Cheyenne McHone says:

    I absolutely love this recipe, I have made quite a few times now. But I am out of raw chicken. Is it possible to use diced chicken that has already been cooked?

    • Julie says:

      Yes, you can but I’m not sure I would bake it with already cooked chicken since it’ll probably end up being bone dry. I would perhaps mix it in after everything is done baking.

    • Larissa says:

      I always use cooked chicken with this recipe and doesn’t turn out dry at all. The other ingredients keep it moist.

  • Jennifer J. says:

    I know it’s almost 4 years later, but Paul Walker! I hope he has found peace. I had to comment on the car shows that you watch because my husband has me totally hooked as well! A dream vacation would be going to any of the Barrett Jackson auctions.

    Oh, this recipe looks totally killer… I’m going to try it tomorrow!

    • Julie says:

      I know! It’s so sad still! I hope you enjoy this recipe!

  • Tiara says:

    I would like to make this for a co-worker (fully cooked). What reheating instructions should I give her? Should I give her the Ritz crumbs in a ziplock to put before she reheats it? Thanks!

    • Julie says:

      Yes, I would tell her to reheat in the oven at the same temperature and sprinkle the Ritz crumb on top prior to baking (your plastic bag idea is a great one because you don’t want the topping to get soggy!). I hope she enjoys!

  • Brooke says:

    For some reason, cream of chicken soup grosses me out! I like chicken I prepare myself (so the chunks of chicken tenderloins in this recipe are fine). Can you recommend a meatless soup for this dish? Thank you! I really want to make it :)

    • Brooke says:

      Oops! I just read someone’s comment – they used cream of corn soup. I’ll try that! My daughter will love this

    • Lauren says:

      We use cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken. :)

    • Nancy says:

      In place of the canned soup, I like to use Peppered Country Gravy packets. There are many brands available. I just fix the gravy according to directions and stir that into my casserole.

  • Lisa says:

    What an awesome recipe…I used our leftover rotisserie chicken…I also let mixed ingredients set for a few minutes to soften rice. We loved it! Thank you ?

  • Alexis says:

    I made this recipe tonight. Turned out good. Only thing I would change is the texture of the rice. I actually had the opposite problem and it turned out a little more mushy than I would have wanted. I used instant rice. Any suggestions??

    • Julie says:

      Probably less liquid next time!

  • Jill says:

    I’m going to try this recipe . Do you think 1 can use broccoli cheddar soup?

    • Julie says:

      You probably could! I haven’t tried though.

  • REESE says:

    If I wanted to omit the chicken, what would be the cook time?

    • Julie says:

      Probably 30 minutes? I haven’t tried it without chicken.

  • Kate says:

    The first time I made this I used regular rice and it turned out crunchy. Last night I used Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice. I added it straight from the bag, frozen, and decreased the milk to 1/3 cup. I also cooked it covered for the first 30 min, then added the crackers and cooked it uncovered for the last 15 min. It came out PERFECT!

  • Emma Lewis says:

    Made this for dinner tonight and my family just loved it! I will be making it again. I loved how easy it was.

  • Fina says:

    I made this and it was easy and delicious.

  • Fina says:

    Also I used long grain rice and was not cooked at 50 minutes. I think I will try sushi rice instead.

  • Janiece says:

    My husband will not eat broccoli and after 41 years of marriage, I just make casseroles like this with half broccoli for me and french cut green beans for him. Even when all of 4 of our kids lived at home, I did this. We all knew that one end of the casserole was for dad and the rest of it had broccoli for us. LOL I usually make Chicken Divan half and half but we both like rice so I will try this.

  • Fina says:

    Hi Julie,
    I made this the second time with sushi rice and it cooked perfectly. Also I cut the recipe for two servings and that worked as well. Thank you for the great recipe.

  • Heather says:

    Hi there! I’ve made this a few times with uncooked chicken and I’ve found that a lot of the pieces don’t cook! I’ve also used a bigger casserole dish than a 9×13. Can I cook this with rotisserie chicken?

    • Julie says:

      Yes, definitely!

  • Shawna says:

    I was looking for a make ahead dinner where I already had everything I needed in the house and this was it! I made a few variations because of was available. Fresh broccoli and carrots, steamed. Roasted chicken drumsticks, meat removed and diced. Homemade cream of chicken. I used brown rice, pre-cooked in chicken broth. Since the rice was pre-cooked I reduced the milk in the recipe down to one cup. I also used breadcrumbs instead of crackers since that’s what I had. It’s so good, thank you for the base recipe!

  • Colleen says:

    Can this be frozen? If so which method is best?

    • Julie says:

      I haven’t frozen this before so I can’t give many suggestions. I feel that the rice and broccoli would get mushy so this dish might not be a good candidate to get frozen.

  • Sandy says:

    Have you ever doubled the recipe? I am making this for 9 people tonight. It is ready to bake in a deep lasagne type dish and filled up to near the top. How much should I adjust the cooking time?

    • Julie says:

      I haven’t doubled the recipe before but I would cover and bake it for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes or longer; until the rice is cooked through

  • Debbie says:

    Do I cook the chicken first before I bake?

    • Julie says:

      No. The ingredient list says uncooked and the instructions detail out how the chicken is cooked in the baking process.

  • Becky says:

    How long would I bake this if I whip everything up and then freeze it? I am trying to stick my freezer up with meals before schools starts!

    • Julie says:

      I would start with 30 minutes and adjust from there

  • Sign-up for Email Updates and Receive a Free E-Cookbook!

    Subscribe to Table for Two