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!

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!

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

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving with friends and family and I hope you ate lots and lots of delicious, hearty food! Who’s struggling just a bit to get back into the groove? I definitely am. I totally do not want to be at a training class right now. I seriously loathe classes. I was never one to just sit still and listen to a lecture. *sigh* I also can’t believe it’s already December. 2014 will be here before you know it. Just crazy!

What’s also crazy is Paul Walker. I still cannot believe he died this past weekend. When Jason told me that, I totally wanted to throw a pillow at him and to tell him to stop kidding around. I guess I just never thought an actor from my generation would pass this early. I’m sorry if this is a really weird topic for you, but basically Paul Walker and the Fast and Furious movies paved my affection for cars. I won’t ever admit it (well, I guess I am right now), but I really do enjoy watching everything about cars. Blame it on the guys I dated and the one I’m married to, but I seriously adore watching car shows and movies. Top Gear, Fast ‘N Loud, Classic Cars, etc…..R.I.P.

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! Huzzah! Yeah, it was really 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. :) when you make this casserole, don’t make the mistake I made!

Easy Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole that comes together in 1 casserole dish. Perfect for busy weeknights! Recipe on
Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hrs

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
  • 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
  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.


Posted on December 02, 2013

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  1. Shannon
    07/25/2016 at 9:14 pm

    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.

  2. Theresa
    07/26/2016 at 4:57 pm

    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
      07/26/2016 at 9:31 pm

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

  3. Shanaya
    08/02/2016 at 7:50 pm

    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!

  4. Emily
    08/14/2016 at 7:28 pm

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

  5. Jill
    09/01/2016 at 2:20 pm

    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
      09/01/2016 at 8:19 pm

      Wonderful news!

  6. Kathy
    09/02/2016 at 3:21 pm

    Love the chicken casserole

  7. Paige Cox
    09/04/2016 at 9:54 am

    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
      09/06/2016 at 6:53 am

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

  8. Lynne
    09/10/2016 at 10:48 am

    So often do not ever see a recipe. Just comments

    • Julie
      09/10/2016 at 11:04 am

      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”

  9. Judy
    09/19/2016 at 7:29 am

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

    • Julie
      09/19/2016 at 8:11 am

      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
        09/20/2016 at 10:02 pm

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


  10. Jessica
    09/20/2016 at 7:33 pm

    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
      09/20/2016 at 8:45 pm

      You should be fine :)

  11. Angela
    10/12/2016 at 7:31 pm

    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!”

  12. Lisa Langlais
    10/26/2016 at 2:14 pm

    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.

  13. BEA
    10/28/2016 at 12:10 pm

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

    What would the recipe for just one person?


    • Julie
      10/31/2016 at 5:48 am

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

  14. Alyson
    11/02/2016 at 6:06 pm

    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
      11/03/2016 at 6:39 am

      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!

  15. Cassie
    11/06/2016 at 1:53 pm

    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. 😄

  16. Lana
    11/19/2016 at 11:59 am

    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
      11/19/2016 at 5:00 pm

      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.

  17. Carole
    11/19/2016 at 8:44 pm

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

    • Julie
      11/20/2016 at 6:29 pm

      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
        07/30/2017 at 5:38 am

        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
        07/31/2017 at 8:35 am

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

  18. Carol
    11/20/2016 at 9:29 am

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

  19. Amy
    11/21/2016 at 3:04 pm

    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
      11/21/2016 at 9:18 pm

      Yes, I think it’d be great!

  20. Jamie
    12/12/2016 at 5:50 pm

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

    • Julie
      12/12/2016 at 8:03 pm

      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.

  21. Amanda
    12/13/2016 at 9:22 pm

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

  22. Ileana
    12/15/2016 at 6:26 pm

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

  23. Roma Clarke
    01/05/2017 at 5:38 pm

    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
      01/05/2017 at 8:34 pm

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

  24. geraldine smead
    04/01/2017 at 6:43 pm

    Ca. Pasta be used instead of rice

    • Julie
      04/03/2017 at 6:02 pm

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

  25. Cheyenne McHone
    05/26/2017 at 2:17 pm

    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
      05/27/2017 at 9:22 am

      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
      08/30/2017 at 9:09 am

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

  26. Jennifer J.
    06/07/2017 at 9:12 pm

    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
      06/08/2017 at 8:01 am

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

  27. Tiara
    06/26/2017 at 12:51 pm

    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
      06/27/2017 at 7:46 am

      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!

  28. Brooke
    08/24/2017 at 3:17 am

    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
      08/24/2017 at 3:21 am

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

    • Lauren
      08/30/2017 at 7:58 pm

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

    • Nancy
      09/03/2017 at 1:21 pm

      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.

  29. Lisa
    08/28/2017 at 4:48 pm

    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 😊

  30. Alexis
    09/07/2017 at 9:09 pm

    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
      09/08/2017 at 6:32 am

      Probably less liquid next time!

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