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This chicken broccoli rice casserole is loaded with sharp cheddar cheese and topped with buttery Ritz crackers. It comes together in no time and is the perfect busy weeknight meal.
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- What You’ll Need
- How to Make Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Tips for Success
- What to Serve With Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- How to Store Leftovers
- Can I Freeze This Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole?
- More Easy Casserole Recipes
- Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole Recipe
I love a good casserole. They are so quick and easy to throw together and are perfect for a crowd. This chicken broccoli rice casserole really hits the spot. It’s a well-rounded meal that you can whip up in just one hour and while doing so only dirty 2 dishes. It doesn’t get much better than that.
A rich, cheesy sauce pulls together succulent pieces of chicken, tender broccoli florets, and perfectly cooked rice to create a gloriously tasty, hearty, all-in-one meal. Top it off with buttery Ritz crackers and you’ve got yourself a casserole the whole family will enjoy.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
This simple, delicious casserole is pretty unbeatable if you are in the market for a no-brainer weeknight meal. Here are some of my favorite things about it.
- Quick and easy. Only 10 minutes of hands-on time and you’re 50 minutes away from a delicious, hearty meal. Feel free to go about your life while the casserole bubbles in the oven.
- No mess. All you need is one bowl and one casserole dish to make this delicious entree. So you barely have to worry about clean up.
- Great to make ahead. Busy life? I get it! Throw this casserole together (just leave off the ritz crackers), cover it tightly with saran wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before popping it in the oven to cook. Note that it is best to allow the casserole to come to room temperature before baking if you decide to make it ahead.
What You’ll Need
This is a simple recipe requiring simple ingredients. My favorite kind. Here’s what you will need to make chicken broccoli rice casserole. Scroll to the recipe card below for measurements.
- Chicken tenderloins – The chicken does not need to be cooked first. They will cook with the rest of the casserole. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, you can cube or shred it and use that instead.
- White rice – I highly recommend using instant rice to avoid crunchy rice at the end. Otherwise, select rice that cooks in 20 minutes or less. I used sushi rice but the choice is yours. Brown rice and wild rice will both take too long to cook so steer clear.
- Whole milk – 2% will work here as well. The casserole will just be slightly less rich.
- Cream of chicken – Not a fan of the canned stuff? Try making your own!
- Frozen broccoli florets – Thaw at room temperature and pat dry before using.
- Extra sharp cheddar cheese – You can play with other kinds of cheese if you’d like. Pepper jack might be fun if you want to spice things up.
- Ritz crackers
How to Make Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
In just 5 simple steps you will have a glorious, cheesy chicken broccoli rice casserole. Here’s how to make it. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Prep. Preheat oven to 375 °F and grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
- Mix together all the ingredients except the Ritz crackers.
- Pour the ingredients into the casserole dish and sprinkle Ritz crackers.
- Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes (optional).
Tips for Success
Ready to make the best chicken and rice casserole you’ve ever had? Follow these simple tips and tricks and you’ll be on your way.
- Use instant rice. While you can use any product that cooks in under 20 minutes, I highly suggest using instant rice. It is the safest bet if you want to avoid crunchy rice in your finished casserole.
- Don’t broil for too long. The first time I made this casserole, I left it under the broiler for too long at the end and absolutely charred the ritz cracker topping. So keep an eye out if you decide to broil it at the end.
- Pat your broccoli dry. After thawing the broccoli, it is important to pat it dry so that it does not impart unnecessary moisture to the casserole.
This is a relatively simple recipe but there are a few common questions that I am frequently asked by those I have shared it with. Here they come.
Do I Cook The Chicken Before Putting It In The Casserole?
No. This is not necessary. The chicken will cook with the rest of the ingredients.
Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken In This Casserole?
You can! Just shred or chop the chicken and mix it in with the rest of the filling before baking.
Do I Have To Use Cream of Chicken? I Don’t Like That Stuff.
The cream of chicken in this recipe does add a lovely, creamy texture to the dish. If you aren’t a cream of chicken fan, there are a few ways to substitute. You can make your own if you are trying to avoid the canned stuff. Alternatively, you can easily use cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of asparagus, or cream of potato soup instead. You can also use sour cream or plain greek yogurt. Just prepare yourself for a tangier casserole.
What to Serve With Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
This casserole delivers a hearty punch of veggies, carbs, proteins, and fats. It can easily be a meal in and of itself. That being said, I love dolling it up with a side dish or two. Here are some of my favorites.
- Salad. Lighten up this hearty meal with my Vegan Caesar Salad, this Chopped Endive and Romaine Salad, or my favorite Kale Caesar Salad.
- Veggies. This casserole already has some veggies in it but I have been loving serving it with these Garlic Roasted Green Beans or my Green Bean Casserole. Roasted Parmesan Carrots or Roasted Lemony Pesto Asparagus would be a nice addition as well.
- Soup. Try serving broccoli rice chicken casserole with a refreshing soup like this Chilled Creamy Asparagus Soup.
How to Store Leftovers
Allow the casserole to cool completely before wrapping the baking pan tightly in saran wrap. and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you are ready to reheat, remove the saran wrap, cover the casserole with aluminum foil, and pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Can I Freeze This Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole?
You can! It actually freezes quite nicely. Prepare the recipe from start to finish (just leave off the Ritz crackers), wrap the baking dish tightly in saran wrap, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to enjoy, unwrap the baking pan, sprinkle the casserole with Ritz crackers, cover it with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
More Easy Casserole Recipes
I love a quick and easy casserole. It’s a great way to serve a crowd. This cheesy chicken broccoli rice casserole is to die for but here are some of my other favorites for you to try.
- Enchilada pasta casserole
- Taco Casserole
- Cheesy Baked Cauliflower Casserole
- Pumpkin eggplant burrata casserole
- Cheesy hashbrown casserole
- Sweet potato and sage butter casserole
- Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
- Biscuits and Gravy Casserole
Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole
- 5 chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-inch cubes, uncooked
- 1 cup (185 g) 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 ¼ cup (532 ⅓ ml) whole milk
- 10.75 ounce (333 g) can of cream of chicken
- 1 ½ cup (136 ½ g) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
- 1 ¾ cup (197 ¾ g) extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
- Preheat oven to 375 °F (191 °C) and lightly grease a 9×13 inch oven safe casserole dish (mine was ceramic, but you may use glass).
- In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients except the Ritz crackers, together until well-incorporated.
- Pour the ingredients into the greased casserole dish, spread into an even layer, then sprinkle Ritz crackers on top of the mixture.
- 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).
- To get a deeper, golden color, you may put the casserole under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Be careful to watch it carefully!
- Serve immediately.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.