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
    1 from 1 vote
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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
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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    Comments

  • Danni says:

    This was utterly the simplest thing I have made! As a grad student, a perfect quick, one bowl, leave in oven meal. I also had the clearly common issue of slightly undercooked rice, I had actually boiled the rice and let it sit while I got stuff together; next time will probably leave the rice cooking just a bit longer before putting it in the casserole dish for baking. Also added garlic/onion powder for a bit more flavour! Proudly pinned as something I have ACTUALLY made!

    • Julie says:

      So happy that you were able to make this and enjoyed it!

    • Debbie says:

      I used cooked chicken because I had leftovers and I used precooked brown rice.

  • Lindsay says:

    Seemed like a quick recipe. However when I tried to serve it, the brown rice I used was crunchy, and the chicken not fully cooked.

    • Julie says:

      Brown rice takes a lot longer time to cook than regular rice so you would’ve needed to cook it longer. The chicken should’ve cooked thoroughly in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes. How thick were your chicken cubes?

      • Rachel says:

        Cooking this is as I type… Went in the oven at 200.c at 4pm… Just checked it again at 5.30pm chicken is still raw in middle! Cut it in small cubes with scissors so not that the chicken is too big?! Children are irritable because they’re hungry… So am I! Hope it tastes good!

  • Mauranne says:

    I have made this a couple of times. Having read some of the other comments, I prepared the rice on the stove for 10 minutes and then added to the casserole. Came out great. Family loved it and asks for me to make again. Thanks

    • Julie says:

      I’m so glad the other comments have helped you create a successful dish! Thanks for letting me know and I hope you guys enjoy it many more times :)

  • Adele says:

    this was delicious! After reading Some reviews about the rice being crunchy…I decided to use all of the same ingredients, but I cooked everything first, then combined it all, then baked at 350 for 30 mins….it was excellent…a keeper recipie. Thanks!

    • Julie says:

      Glad you enjoyed and read the comments to help you out!!

  • Carina says:

    Great recipe! I used frozen chicken breasts and frozen broccoli and it still turned out wonderfully!

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie says:

      Great! Thanks for letting me know! :)

  • Beverly says:

    Does it have to be WHOLE milk? Our family does not drink whole milk. We drink skim or 2% and I hate to buy a whole gallon for one recipe.

    • Julie says:

      No, it does not. You can use whatever milk you’d like!

  • Keri says:

    Literally just took this out of the oven 20 minutes ago and it is perfect exactly how you wrote it! I used instant rice as well and it isnt crunchy at all. I made 2 batches and the chicken was cooked thoroughly. Thank you so much, very yummy!

    • Julie says:

      Yay! So glad it worked out for you :)

  • Tania says:

    Hi! Thanks for posting this recipe. I followed your suggestion to cover and cook longer and it worked. 1hr 15 min + 10min for browning the topping. I used medium regular white rice. It was tasty and comforting. For anyone who thought it was bland, you can always add to this recipe to make it more exciting. Thanks again!

    • Tania says:

      Meant to say 50min +15min covered + 10min for browning the top. Altogether 1hr 15min.

    • Julie says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed! Definitely can add to this recipe! It’s so versatile!

  • Curt says:

    Easy and very tasty! I substitute – or add – spinach for broccoli. Last one I made had a cup of each, and it was terrific. Thank you!

    • Julie says:

      Sounds great! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Lysa says:

    Hi sounds so good! Can I use Club crackers? No Ritz in the house today. Thanks!

    • Julie says:

      Sure thing!

  • Allison says:

    I made it, and we loved it!

  • nicole says:

    what do 5 tenderloin measure in weight?
    how many crackers are in a sleeve?

    • Julie says:

      I don’t know how many crackers are in a sleeve. If I had to guess, maybe 30? 5 tenderloins are approximately 1 pound.

  • Heike says:

    perfect dish, was a little on the dry side, so next time I’ll cook it less and cube the chicken smaller to not have problems for it to be under cooked. Didn’t added any salt or pepper and it still was delish. Thanks for sharing this dish, will definitely make it again.

    • Julie says:

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Niki says:

    Just tried this recipe this evening and its gorgeous! I used some boil in the bag rice and cooked everything for 50 minutes and it turned out lovely and fluffy! I did almost forgot to add the milk and had put the ritz on top but luckily i remembered and just put more ritz on top.

    Thanks for this great recipe!!

    • Julie says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it and it turned out great for you!

  • Dana says:

    I made this for tonight, I used red rice which is similar to brown. I cooked it partially in my rice cooker. I kept everything else as the recipe stated, except my seasoning, It seems done to perfection and very tasty, the bite I had. Thank you

  • Jess says:

    It can be difficult to cook for two! Very glad I ran across this… I cooked everything first, then baked it. I added a few ingredients too. After cubing the chicken, I sautéed it with onion, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and broccoli. Mixed in the milk, cream of chicken and cheese. After panning the mixture, I added a thin layer of cheese on top to get the ritz to stick. Oh, also I used the “everything” Ritz. Obviously I didn’t have to bake it as long. Turned out wonderfully. Thanks!

  • Cynthia says:

    I used evaporated milk in mine with fresh broccoli and baked 45 mins. Was fantastic!

  • Lauren says:

    Instead of ritz crackers I used crispy frizzled onions as a crust. Added a great flavour.

  • JANECE says:

    Nice, quick dish! However, chicken wasn’t fully cooked and needed seasoning for flavor. Other than that, great meal! Thank you!

  • Lizzie Croom says:

    Do you think this could work with quinoa in place of the rice?

    • Lizzie Croom says:

      By the way, I’ve made it before with rice and it was fabulous and so simple!

    • Julie says:

      Yes! I would cook the quinoa in another pot then assemble the casserole and bake. I’ve made this with quinoa before and the quinoa wasn’t fully cooked through and still crunchy, so I just cooked the quinoa in another pot until I knew it was fully cooked :)

  • Marion says:

    Love this recipe and have made it several times, slightly differently each time.

    Have you made this as a freezer dish? Planning some meals for a mom-to-be and wondering how I can incorporate this one!

    • Julie says:

      I haven’t made it as a freezer dish but I know others have. Just prep it all ahead of time and freeze it :) I’d recommend putting it one of those aluminum foil casserole dishes instead of a glass baking dish.

  • natalie says:

    I cut the chicken cubes smaller than it said, broiling burnt my ritz. I scraped off the burnt crackers and added fresh ones. I used alot more brocolli so I added another can of soup and more milk.
    It was comfort food for sure. My daughter loved it too.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  • Sydney says:

    I make this at least once a week. Seriously so good. I have made a couple of adjustments which are very simple. I use cream of broccoli instead of cream of chicken, I use instant rice, and I usually put in canned chicke or rotisserie chicken and fried onion flake. It’s so yummy. I add tons of pepper too because my boyfriend and I love pepper. Ever since I discovered this recipe I joined your email group and love all of your recipes. You’re fantastic.

    • Julie says:

      Aww I’m so glad you’re on the email list! I’m glad you and your boyfriend love this recipe. Thanks for the sweet comment, Sydney!

  • Misty says:

    Holy sh*t-snacks this is a good recipe. XD

    I had to alter the recipe to feed one person, and I didn’t trust the chicken and rice to be fully cooked before the crust burned in my tiny casserole dish. So for any singles out there (or anyone having trouble getting it to cook through), here’s what I did:

    – Used leftover sushi rice that had been sitting in my fridge, so it was already fully cooked.
    – Boiled half a chicken breast for 20 minutes, then shredded it.
    – Used about 1/3 of the can of soup
    – Added a handful or so of frozen broccoli
    – Added a splash of milk. Mainly I just sort of “eyed” it until it was the right consistency, since I wasn’t carefully measuring the ingredients.

    I also used cheese slices instead of grated cheese because that’s what I had in the fridge. I just did two layers of filling with a layer of cheese slices in between.

    I cooked it for about 25 minutes, then put it under the broiler for 1 minute, and it turned out perfect. I’m glad I didn’t succumb to the temptation of adding garlic salt, because any more would have been overkill. :)

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  • vanessa says:

    Quick question can I use an aluminum pan. . . One of the deep ones? Or do I have to buy a casserole dish?

    • Julie says:

      You can definitely use an aluminum pan!

  • Amber says:

    I made this for dinner last night and it was so good! Even my 1 year old son gobbled it down and he doesn’t usually like chicken… or broccoli… or rice. I love that you don’t have to cook the chicken or the broccoli ahead of time, just mix everything together and throw it in the oven! Mine was done perfectly after 40 minutes. You really have to use instant rice for these types of recipes. Regular rice just wasn’t meant to be cooked this way. My Ritz crackers were a nice golden brown even without using the broiler. This recipe is great as is, but it would also be good with diced onions.

  • Betty Smith says:

    what is a good side dish with this’? That is my problem with casseroles, don’t know what to fix with them

    • Julie says:

      You could make a side salad or just eat this as is since it has vegetables already in it :)

  • Kaki says:

    Made this tonight and it was great! Cooked the rice before adding it in and it all came out perfect! My husband had thirds :)

  • Sue Jackson says:

    Love the recipes for two.! Thank you!

  • Mandy Jensen says:

    Made this casserole for the perfect Saturday comfort food lunch on this chilly day of fall. It was yummy! Diced and cooked chicken first with seasonings, including garlic and onion powder, s & p, and some Cajun spice (because I like everything with a kick). Also used boil in a bag brown rice and boiled first. Put everything together as recommended, added chopped carrots along with the broccoli. Baked 30 min. then added Italian breadcrumbs (didn’t have Ritz crackers) and chopped parsley from the garden. Cooked 10-15 min. more. Served with toasted bread. I also used sriracha on mine bc again, I like everything spicier than it should really be! It was fantastic!

  • Shannon says:

    I loved it but made it a second time with Campbell’s broccoli cheese soup one can then a half of the cream of chicken then it really gave it that cheesy taste

  • Sara says:

    I made this with cream of mushroom soup and peas and corn since my boyfriend doesn’t like broccoli! He loved it! It was so good, I’ll have to make it again! Thanks for the recipe!!!

  • Julie says:

    Can you freeze the leftovers? Mine made enough for two casserole pans. I am baking them now…. was wondering how it keeps in the freezer?

    • Julie says:

      Yup, you can. I know many people who have frozen this and it’s done fine.

  • Sue Ellen Nickerson says:

    My first review ever on any recipe web site. I make a LOT of casseroles. The thing I noticed about this recipe was this: the measurements (to me) were off. One can of soup for a 9×13? Add to that all that milk? I had to change it. Two cans of soup and added milk till the right consistency. Nothing else changed. I had to write for one reason: people alter recipes and then criticize it. The directions for the rice was explicit. You should not have had crunchy rice. Undercooked chicken? I wo uld say they weren’t 1″ cubes. Maybe your ovens are waaayyy off. The best casserole advice I got from my mother? Let it sit for 20 minutes to “set”. Just my opinion about the liquid ratio. This was AWESOME! I had thirds!

  • Nancy says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. DELICIOUS! So easy to make. I used minute rice so there were no issues with crunchy rice :) My daughter said it was the bees knees lol! She’s taking leftovers for lunch tomorrow’. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Priscilla says:

    Hi Julie!! I’m a huge fan and have made many of your recipes, which were instant crowdpleasers at parties (Sweet and tangy balls) and some of my boyfriend’s new faves (one-pot jambalaya). I notice that when I use Minute Rice in some of these recipes, the rice gets a little mushy. Any recommendations for cooking times when using Minute Rice, especially for this recipe?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Priscilla! So glad you’ve enjoyed recipes from my blog. Unfortunately, minute rice does tend to get mushier than regular rice. My only suggestion is to maybe cut down on the liquid a little bit and also cook the overall dish for less time, but still ensuring all meats are cooked to their proper temperatures!

  • Larissa says:

    I’m so happy I found this recipe. I’d never really done a casserole before, and this one turned out perfect. I did go ahead and partially cook the rice on the stove. I also sauted an onion that I wanted to get rid of, and added the chicken to the onions, seasoned the chicken with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley flakes. I cooked it for about 8 minutes (simply because my hubby can be paranoid about meat being undercooked). Mixed in 1 1/2 cups of milk, a bag of frozen broccoli w/cheese sauce, cream of chicken, cheese, and topped with wheat buttery crackers. I then baked everything for 40 minutes as suggested. It was really good! I will definitely add this to my rotation!

  • Alicia says:

    Can we use Panko? I don’t have any ritz

    • Julie says:

      Sure can!

  • angela Taylor says:

    Your recipes look yummy

  • Ellie says:

    Thank you so much for this!! I had a recipe that I loved making in a microwave but since moving, I haven’t gotten a microwave but I had all the ingredients! This was like an extra super duper moist version of it. I had to put mine in for an hour and 10 minutes but that might have had something to do with the extra half cup (maybe a little more) of fresh broccoli florettes. Again, thank you! This was so yummy!

  • Tatiana says:

    Thanks for the recipe. At first I was pretty irritated with this. Hehe, 1.5 hours later wondering why my dish was still looking like soup, I realized the oven was only on 350 degrees. Geez. Well, lol. My rice and chicken are definaly cooked. Just took a long time to absorb the milk. Thanks again. The only different things besides the temp I did was add some ground black pepper and thyme :) delish

  • Aníta says:

    My family loves this recipe! Do you think it’s freezer friendly? Would it be possible to make bigger batches and freeze maybe half of it to make later?

    • Julie says:

      Yes, I think this is freezer friendly enough to freeze and re-heat :)

  • Barbara Lawson says:

    I loved this. My tweaks: cooked a pkg of Uncle Ben’s rice and wild rice mix. My theory was that it was flavored so would add flavor to the casserole to answer some reviewers comments that it needed more flavor. I used 1.5 cups of milk since the rice was already cooked. Used the mushroom soup. I nuked fresh broccoli for 2 minutes so it was al dente. I used raw chicken tenderloins and cut them in 3/4″ dice. I used 1.5 C of shredded cheddar, and added 1/4 C of diced Swiss, and 1/4 C diced American cheese. Baked for 1 hr at 375*. Outstanding.

  • Ashley says:

    I made this dish tonight, with regular uncooked white rice. Cooked 50 mins + an additional 20 mins covered! Wonderfully delicious!!!!!!
    Thank you!

  • Nathan says:

    I made this dish tonight with uncooked white rice took about 50 minutes. Family lover it.

  • Natalie says:

    How long do you think this needs to cook and at what temperature if I froze it before cooking it? Thank you!

    • Julie says:

      Hmm, I’m not sure. I have never done it this way. I would imagine about 75 minutes? I would check it often to make sure the center still isn’t cold and frozen.

  • Eva says:

    This was so quick and easy to make! Very delicious! I used a metal pan since that’s all I had and I think it turned how I intended it to.

  • Nora says:

    I didn’t have everything on hand so I substituted with cream of celery and zatarain’s cheddar broccoli rice,in the oven now will let you know how it turns out.

  • Julie says:

    I make this all the time now but substituted 1 cup of the 2.25 cups of milk for sour cream for a creamier texture! Delish!

  • Marian says:

    I made this tonight with a homemade version of the chicken soup, and replaced the rice with quinoa. It was awesome! It did take about 15 minutes longer to cook, but that was fine. I’ll be doing this again!

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