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!

    Easy Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole that comes together in 1 casserole dish. Perfect for busy weeknights! Recipe on tablefortwoblog.com
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    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!
    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Cook Time: 50 mins
    Total Time: 1 hr
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 4
    Calories: 559kcal
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    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

    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9x13-inch 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.

    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.
  • 335 Comments
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    Comments

  • Julie Agee says:

    Do you have ingredient measurements if I need more servings? I need at least 6.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Julie, sorry, I don’t. There are serving calculators, I think, (if you search on Google) where you can plug in the ingredients and then say you want it for 6 servings instead of 4.

    • Mandi says:

      There is a really handy website I have come across that is a recipe ingredient conversion site. You plug in original recipe and say if you want to cut it in half, or double it, or whatever you may need. http://www.fruitfromwashington.com/Recipes/scale/recipeconversions.php I hope this helps~

      • Julie says:

        Thanks for this, Mandi!!

  • kelsey says:

    This was delicious! And so easy to make. I added some red pepper flakes and buffalo sauce for a kick. Also added kale and garlic. Deffinetly making again!

    • Julie says:

      So glad you enjoyed this, Kelsey! I love your personal twist on this!

  • Briana says:

    Found you from Pinterest. Chicken, broccoli, and rice are my favorite things ever so of course this recipe just went to the top of my “What’s for dinner?” list!

    • Julie says:

      Awesome to hear, Briana!

  • Emily says:

    This is my first time visiting your site. It looks like I am in for a treat.
    I have about 1.3lbs of chicken, will that be enough?
    Thanks!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Emily! Welcome! Yup, that should be enough chicken for this dish :)

  • susan says:

    Made this dish tonight – absolutely yummy. I’ll be making this again for sure

    • Julie says:

      Awesome, Susan! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  • Karen says:

    OMG is this delicious and easy! Made it last night. I had the same issue with the rice being crunchy (I used Basmati rice). Even with the crunchy rice, I could have eaten the entire casserole dish myself. Anyone try this cooking the rice separately or using Arborio (risotto) rice?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Karen, glad you enjoyed it! Did you try cooking the casserole longer to get the rice to not be crunchy? You could try cooking the rice separately, sure, but it might get too mushy. Certainly doesn’t hurt to try though!

  • Ashlee says:

    Made this tonight! Sooo easy and that’s what I wanted. Also so so so yummy! Definitely bookmarking. I used basmati and it worked well, also used cream of celery because it’s just what I had in the house and just a breadcrumb topping. Really great all together!! Thanks :)

    • Julie says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Ashlee!

  • Dr. M says:

    Hi, Do you think this would work as a freezer meal? Would you freeze it before cooking?

    • Julie says:

      Hmm, I’m not sure about uncooked rice being frozen – it might take A LOT longer for this to cook. I would think that cooking it first then freezing it would be better!

  • Ashley says:

    Hey hopefully you or someone can answer me before dinner time :P (otherwise it’ll be experimentation time!) – I want to make this tonight but I only have brown rice on hand.. I am not very experienced in cooking rice, so would it be possible to cook the rice halfway on the stovetop before putting it into the casserole? i am afraid of ending up with half-cooked rice and way too cooked everything else :P

    • Julie says:

      Hi Ashley – brown rice takes an exceptionally lot longer time to cook so I would even cook the rice 3/4 of the way and then put it in the casserole to ensure that you won’t have half-cooked rice :) enjoy!

      • Ashley says:

        Thanks so much for your reply :) ended up having to nip out to the store for laundry soap so i picked up some sushi rice – i didn’t want to ruin supper with my lack of rice experience :P turned out great!

        • Julie says:

          So glad to hear, Ashley!

  • Bethany says:

    Make sure to use white rice!! We used brown basmati rice and had to cook the casserole for twice as long. (1 hr 45 min:/) It worked out and was delicious, but we were so hungry by the time it came out!!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Bethany, glad you tried this. Next time, if you wanted to use brown rice, you could cook the brown rice 3/4 of the way through then toss it with the casserole and bake that together so you won’t have to wait as long. Maybe make the brown rice ahead of time or something.

  • cari says:

    I would like to make this as a freezer meal for my inlaws who can’t leave the house much. How long should they cook in the oven to rewarm it if I cook it first, then freeze?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Cari, I’ve never done it before but I’d imagine a good 30 minutes to rewarm in the oven at 350 degrees should do it. Just beware, the chicken might be way dry if it’s already cooked first and then rewarmed.

  • Inda says:

    I’ve cooked my casserole for almost 2 hrs and the rice is still not done!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Linda – what type of rice did you use? Cooking time vastly varies with different rice types. I used sushi rice when I developed this recipe, as noted above.

  • Robin says:

    I was wondering if some diced onion would be good in this dish? And if so would i just put themin uncooked?

    • Julie says:

      Diced onions would be great in this dish! I would put them in uncooked.

  • christa says:

    Hello,
    Trying this out. Smells good. I think I’m 1 hour onto cooking it. I only had brown rice and last time I checked it was not only crunchy but soupy. I kept in just another 10 minutes and although the rice was still crunchy, very very good! I will recommend this and I’ll be sure to follow your directions completely. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Christa! Glad you tried this. If the rice is still crunchy and the casserole is soupy, you should keep it in there longer because the rice will absorb the liquid :) and brown rice takes longer to cook anyway so it’s totally ok that you keep it in the oven longer!

  • Rebecca Kuhlmann says:

    This looks so delicious! I’m cooking my casserole right now and I hope it turns out as beautifully as yours did. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Julie says:

      Hope you enjoyed it, Rebecca!

      • Rebecca Kuhlmann says:

        It was so delicious! I ate it for dinner last night and again for lunch today! :)

        • Julie says:

          So glad to hear this, Rebecca! Thanks for coming back to let me know :)

  • ERICA G says:

    I made this last week… it was really really good and VERY easy!! Thanks for the wonderful recipe :)

    • Julie says:

      Glad you enjoyed this, Erica!

  • BH says:

    I’m sorry to say that this did not work out for me. I had to bake it for 90 minutes just to get the rice edible (I used jasmine) even though I followed the proportions in the recipe. And in the end it was just bland and unappealing.

    • Julie says:

      Sorry to hear, BH! :(

  • Jen says:

    Can you use frenchs fried onions instead of ritz crackers? And if yes, do you cook them the whole time?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Jen, that would be a great alternative! I wouldn’t cook them the whole time, I would probably put them on the last 20-30 minutes of baking to warm them through.

  • Laurie NC says:

    Hi, i want ed to say the pictures were perfect..makes me want to try the recipe.

    Thank you…

    • Julie says:

      Why, thank you, Laurie!

  • Lisa Littleton says:

    I can’t wait to try this tonight.

    • Julie says:

      Hope you enjoyed it!

  • miranda says:

    I just made this but I don’t know why it’s so watery, I did exactly what the instructions said…:/

    • Julie says:

      Hi Miranda, this might be due to the type of rice you used.

  • timra says:

    You think is OK to use bread crumbs instead of crackers? That’s all I had on hand

    • Julie says:

      Yes, I think it’s ok to use.

  • Nicole says:

    Hello! I’m looking forward to making this tomorrow afternoon and would like to know if I can use a rotisserie chicken? I have one already in my fridge that has barely been touched. Would it still come out as good?

    • Julie says:

      You can definitely use rotisserie chicken! It’d give this dish really good flavors!

  • Jasmine says:

    Can I cook this in a cake pan? I don’t have any casserole dishes. Closest thing I have is a metal cake pan.
    Also I just want to comment, I’ve made this before at a friends house and we used instant rice and cooked the chicken before hand, that way we wouldn’t have to worry about the chicken not cooking all the way or the rice being over cooked! Also we would add the crackers the last 10 mins of cooking and it always turned out perfect! :)

    • Julie says:

      Hmm, not sure if it will work in a metal cake pan. I’ve never tried it that way. I imagine results might be slightly different but definitely give it a go!

  • Merle Neumann says:

    I made this for my family last night and they loved it. I also made some low-salt garlice toast to go with it. And I used Bacon flavored Ritz crackers for the topping. Thank you for sharing..

    • Julie says:

      I’m so happy to hear this, Merle! I’m glad your family enjoyed it :)

  • E M says:

    I tried using quinoa… It. did. not. work. LOL. and I forgot to add the cream of chicken until 15 minutes into baking. Whoops. i’m still laughing at myself. will try again :)

  • Jennifer says:

    I just made this, but with a few adjustments. I used cream of broccoli instead of cream of chicken (all I had on hand), so I also added about a tbsp of chicken soup base powder. This gave it some chicken flavor as well a bit of salt. As for the rice, I used jasmine rice (which I also had on hand). While I was preparing everything else, I soaked the rice in warm water, which helped the rice cook better. :)

  • Beth says:

    So yummy and easy. This worked great for me although I have to turn my oven up to 425 for just about everything. I tried a couple other variations and never had the same luck. I think all the liquid is the secret and I used sushi rice.

  • Dena says:

    Very happy with the results! Family loves it! Used instant rice-worked great. Substituted half the milk with homemade kefir and added sliced fresh mushrooms and diced onion, along with salt, pepper & red pepper flakes. Our new fav Chicken, Broccoli, Rice! Thanks so much

  • Ashley says:

    Used instant rice and this turned out good. Added about 1 TSP of salt and a few shakes of pepper. However, despite the warning about the broiler, I totally burnt the top of my casserole! I was totally kicking myself. It kind of reminded me of my mom telling me not to do something as a kid and me doing it anyway and having that “I told you so!” kind of feeling. I was able to scrape off the burnt part and the casserole tasted great. If you decide to put it under the broiler, DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE OVEN! It only takes a minute for it to crisp up (but it’s honestly not necessary).

    • Julie says:

      Oh no! Such a bummer but glad you were able to salvage it like I did! :) glad you enjoyed!!

  • Brigid Van Vacter says:

    Hi! Was thinking of trying this recipe tonight, but all I have as far as the chicken goes is about 1-1/2 lbs of chicken breasts, cubed. Do you think this will work, or will it not be enough chicken?? Thanks!!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Brigid! Yes, that amount should be perfect! :) enjoy!

  • Kaylee M. says:

    Made this the other night. So good. I used breadcrumbs instead of ritz because that’s what I had on hand. It came out great. I pre-cooked the rice. I used short grain. It did not come out very mushy at all. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Julie says:

      I’m glad you tried this and enjoyed it! :) Thanks for letting everyone know!

  • Toria says:

    This is looks great! I am definitely going to try this with my 6-year old son. This is something I know he will enjoy making.

  • Jimmy says:

    I cooked this dish using your recipe and my wife loved it.

  • Mick says:

    Made this and it was super easy. I had some sliced mushrooms that needed to be used so I threw them in, added a nice extra flavor layer. I had a lot of fresh brocolli, so I used 2 cans of soup and added a little extra milk. I used regular rice and the extra liquids helped cook the rice. Once the crackers started to brown I covered it and let it cook for about a hour and 15 minutes. it turned out great!

    • Julie says:

      Awesome! Glad you enjoyed Mick!

  • Nita says:

    This sounds like such a quick and easy recipe…. Have everything on hand and thawing chicken breasts now!! Can’t wait to eat!!!

  • Laura says:

    I used wild rice instead of white rice. Boiled it for ten minutes before I added it to the other ingredients. Also sea salt and pepper to taste! Yum great recipe!

    • Julie says:

      Yum! I love the idea of wild rice in this!

  • Danielle says:

    I made this last week and brought over to my grandparent’s house. They absolutely loved it. I also added slivered almonds. My grandmother goes crazy for them. Thanks for any easy and tasty meal!

    • Julie says:

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them! Thank you for letting me know!

  • Melanie says:

    Just made this with brown rice. I increased milk to 2 1/2 cups and cooked covered for 40 minutes then uncovered for 40 minutes. Came out really good. Thank you for the great recipe

    • Julie says:

      I’m glad this worked out for you and that you enjoyed it!

  • Courtney says:

    I made this last night and was a little disappointed. The texture was fine by following the directions but it was very bland! I used a “casserole” blend of cheeses (not just cheddar) and wheat crackers on top. Could that be why?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Courtney – the cheeses and wheat crackers shouldn’t have been the reason why your casserole was bland. I would add more salt and pepper or maybe some garlic powder next time. I mentioned in the directions about the salt issue – we use less salt in our family than others so maybe that could’ve been a cause! Hope you give it another try! :)

      • Courtney says:

        I am going to try again because I want this to turn out good! I think I will add half or a whole diced onion next time and if I added more rice do you think I would need to tweak anything?

        • Julie says:

          If you added more rice, you’d definitely need more liquid as the rice needs the liquid to cook! It’ll soak it all up! :) I hope you like it next time with these tweaks!

  • Jennifer says:

    This looks so yummy! I work 12 hour shifts so I love things that I can make the day before and leave for hubby to throw in the oven, like this. I was wondering, why whole milk? We only use skim – do you think using skim in this recipe would change anything?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Jennifer – you can use whatever milk you like :) we just drink whole milk in our house.

  • Matt says:

    This came out great! I substituted 2% cuz I don’t drink whole milk and I gotta use the rest up and bread crumbs but it was delicious!

    • Julie says:

      Glad you were able to use up the rest of your milk in this dish and that you enjoyed it, Matt!

  • janet bradley says:

    Can I use Panko on the top, I do not have any crackers in the house?

    Thanks, Janet

    • Julie says:

      Yup, you certainly can!

  • courtney says:

    Made this for dinner last night, it was great. Made a few changes- used fast cook wild rice to add flavor, doubled the amount of chicken, and used skim milk instead of whole as I’ve never had whole milk before.

    • Julie says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed this with your tweaks, Courtney!!

  • Tiffany says:

    I just tried this recipe last night! I subbed for brown rice & wheat crackers (both purchased at Aldi) & added a dash of salt & pepper. I baked mine for 45 minutes. The broccoli was a bit soft, but otherwise everything tasted amazing! I’ll be adding this to my recipe book. Thanks!

    • Tiffany says:

      Oh, and I used 2%. Never drink whole milk.

  • Chrissy says:

    I have made this twice now, its wonderful!! The second time instead of the crackers I added bread cubes (3 slices of regular white bread) on the top and drizzled a stick of butte on the tops of the bread cubes. oh and I never use whole milk either, this time i used skim. Very good!!!.

  • Tracey says:

    Delicious! A perfect weeknight dish that is so so simple to put together! My whole family LOVED it!! Thanks!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks Tracey!

  • Stacey says:

    Made this last night. It was exactly what we were looking for! Very tasty, easy, everyone loved, and I had everything on hand. Question….will it reheat well?

    • Julie says:

      Glad everyone enjoyed! Yup, it reheats very well :)

  • Alicia says:

    This may be a silly question, what size casserole dish should be used here? We are going to try this for a family that just welcomed their first child :)

    • Julie says:

      Hi Alicia, under the instructions in step #1, it says I used a 9×13 casserole dish. :)

  • Hannah says:

    This worked really really well for me! I used fresh broccoli, instant rice, and cooked it for about 45 minutes, and everything came out perfectly. Delicious and super easy! I will be making this again!

    • Julie says:

      I’m so glad it worked out for you!!

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