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Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Skillet

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This Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Skillet has it all — creamy rice and broccoli, tender chicken, plenty of cheese, and an irresistible crispy topping. Perfect for a weeknight dinner!

Two plates and a skillet of cheesy broccoli, rice, and chicken

Whenever you can get a complete meal in a single skillet, it’s a total dinnertime win, right? And when that skillet dinner is creamy, cheesy, and cozy, well, that makes it even better! This Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Skillet packs in all the comfort food goodness you need for a chilly fall evening, and it also happens to be super easy to make. 

Farmer Focus: built by farmers for farmers

Farmer Focus’ founding principles has always been to take care of the farmers and their families. They understand that by taking care of the family farmer, it extends over to the birds which in turn extends over to us as the consumer. It helps build a better future for everyone and their core values is what makes me so proud to work with Farmer Focus as one of my long-time brand sponsors.

They are transparent with which farm the birds come from because they want you to see the hard work the farmers put into raising their flock. This is why there is a Farm ID on every Farmer Focus package. You can head to the website, enter in the Farm ID, and find out more about the farm the chicken came from. It’s really neat!

In addition to Farmer Focus’ full traceability, they are also 100% organic and non-GMO verified.

Plated serving of cheesy broccoli rice and chicken with package of Farmer Focus thin sliced chicken breast

What You’ll Need

Why buy cheesy broccoli rice in a box when it’s so easy to make from scratch?! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Farmer Focus Thinly Sliced Chicken Breast – No muss, no fuss, this chicken breast is always sliced thin for you. Love it!
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika – You can use smoked or standard.
  • Garlic powder
  • Red or yellow onion
  • Butter
  • Chicken brothHere’s how to make chicken broth from scratch.
  • Milk, cream or coconut milk – If you use milk, I recommend whole or reduced-fat just to make sure the finished dish is nice and creamy.
  • Frozen broccoli florets – You can also use fresh steamed broccoli instead.
  • Long grain rice –  I used basmati rice.
  • Lemon juice – This adds a bright acid note to the sauce.
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Crushed crackers – Any crackers will work for this recipe; Ritz add a nice, buttery flavor, but I’ve used rice crackers too.

Variation Ideas

This skillet is pretty versatile! Here are some ways to make it your own:

  • Veggies – Swap the broccoli florets for cauliflower, sautéed mushrooms, or julienned carrots
  • Herbs – Fresh parsley and dried or fresh rosemary would work in this recipe, too.
  • Cheese – Switching up the cheese can totally change the personality of this dish. Pair sautéed mushrooms with Emmenthaler or gruyere, or use a smoked gouda or cheddar for smoky flavor. 
  • Topping – Try panko, breadcrumbs, or sliced almonds for something different.
Cheesy broccoli rice and chicken on plate with sprigs of fresh thyme

How to Make Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Skillet

Ready for a simple, hearty weeknight dinner? Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Cook the chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and cook until it’s softened a bit. Toss the chicken breasts in the salt, black pepper, dried thyme, paprika and garlic, then place the chicken in the pan and brown for around 3 or 4 minutes. Flip it over and brown the other side, adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of broth to keep the bottom of the pan from burning. Continue browning the chicken until it is cooked through and the temperature reads 165ºF on a meat thermometer. Remove the chicken from the pan along with any pan juices and set aside.

Make the rice. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet and add the rice. Use a wooden spoon to stir while toasting the rice in the butter for about a minute. Pour in 2 cups of chicken broth; the rice should be covered with the liquid. Once the broth begins to simmer, lower the heat and cover the skillet. Continue to simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the sauce ingredients and chicken. Uncover the pan and stir in the broccoli, milk, lemon juice, thyme and garlic, then add the chicken back to the pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

Finish the dish. Add the shredded cheese and crushed crackers. At this point, you can put the cover back on the skillet for a few minutes until the cheese melts, or pop the pan into the oven at 375ºF until the cheese is melted and
bubbly, or broil it until the top is golden brown.

Closeup of chicken breast covered with cheese and cracker crumbs being lifted from skillet

Tips for Success

Here are some tips to help you make the perfect Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Skillet:

  • Use an oven-safe skillet. Or, plan on making this recipe entirely on the stovetop, without putting the skillet in the oven as a final step. I recommend stainless steel or an enamel-coated cast iron braising pan.
  • Layer the topping. I like to add most of the cheese, then all of the crackers, followed by the rest of the cheese.
  • Reduce the active time. If you want to reduce the amount of time you’re standing at the stovetop, you can sear the chicken for about 1 minute on each side, then transfer the skillet to a 375ºF oven until the chicken reaches 165ºF. At this point, you can remove the chicken from the skillet and move onto the next step of the recipe (making the rice).
Cheesy Broccoli Rice Skillet in pan with spoon

Serving Suggestions

I love that this Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Skillet is a one-dish dinner, but if you want to serve a little something on the side, I suggest:

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Transfer leftovers to an airtight storage container and refrigerate them for up to 2 days.

Warm them in the microwave until they’re heated through—the exact time will depend on the amount you’re warming up, but I recommend starting with a minute in the microwave, then continuing to heat 30 seconds at a time.

Closeup of plated serving of Cheesy Broccoli Rice Skillet with sprig of fresh thyme
Two plates and a skillet of cheesy broccoli, rice, and chicken

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Skillet

Ready in just under an hour, this one pan meal is sure to please everyone! Flavorful chicken, creamy rice and broccoli with a layer of cheese and crunchy crackers on top makes for a delicious weeknight meal!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

  • 1 package Farmer Focus Thinly Sliced Chicken Breast, about 1 ¼ pounds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ red or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup milk, cream or coconut milk
  • 1 pound frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 cup long grain rice, I used basmati
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 46 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup crushed crackers

Instructions

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, or until soft.
  • Toss the chicken breasts in the salt, black pepper, dried thyme, paprika and garlic. Add the chicken to the pan and brown for around 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for an additional few minutes. Add ¼-½ cup of broth as the chicken is cooking on the this side to help keep the bottom of the pan from burning. Continue browning the chicken until it is cooked through and the temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer. Remove the chicken from the pan along with any pan juices and set it aside.
  • Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan and add the rice. Use a spoon or spatula to brown the rice in the butter for about a minute. Add 2 cups of chicken broth to the pan so the rice is covered with liquid. Once the liquid begins to simmer, lower the heat and cover the pan for 10-12 minutes.
  • If the broccoli florets are not already cut small, chop them into small pieces. Uncover the pan and mix in the broccoli, milk, lemon juice, thyme and garlic. Add the chicken back to the pan and cover for an additional 2 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  • Uncover the pan and add the shredded cheese and crushed crackers. I like to add most of the cheese, then the crackers, then the rest of the cheese on top. Cover the pan once more or pop the pan into the oven at 375 degrees until the cheese is melted and bubbly. If you’d like, you can also put the pan under the broiler to brown the cheese.
  • Plate and enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

I recommend using a stainless steel skillet for this recipe. You can also use an enamel coated cast iron braising pan, or anything else that can be used on the stovetop and in the oven.
For the broccoli florets, you can defrost them in the microwave or by placing the frozen florets right on a sheet pan and roasting in a 375 degree oven. I recommend chopping the florets before adding them to the pan with the rice so they’re fairly small.
Any crackers will work for this recipe, I like Ritz crackers or any type of rice cracker.
If you want to reduce the amount of time you’re cooking on the stovetop, you can sear the chicken for about 1 minute on each side and then transfer the skillet to a 375 degree oven until the chicken reaches the desired internal temperature, then follow the remaining steps for the rice, etc.

YOUR NOTES

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 577 kcal | Carbohydrates: 60 g | Protein: 42 g | Fat: 19 g | Saturated Fat: 9 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 108 mg | Sodium: 1341 mg | Potassium: 1111 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 7 g

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.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesy chicken and rice, chicken dinner, chicken recipe, one skillet meals
Recipe Rating




Behlen Wall

Monday 29th of November 2021

Such a tasty and simple dinner recipe! I like to use regular milk and add breadcrumbs, then coconut milk when I add slivered almonds. Also I like the top a little extra crunchy so I’ll toss the breadcrumbs in a little oil and throw them on top before broiling. I like that you can play with this recipe here and there and it still comes out delicious. Makes great leftovers!