Get your taste buds ready for a delicious flavors with the ultimate comfort food: the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole. This dish is like a warm, cheesy hug for your stomach and a guaranteed mood-lifter.
With tender chicken, rice, broccoli, and a blend of creamy ingredients that's as comforting as a cozy blanket, this casserole is the real deal.
This easy casserole is creamy, dreamy, and ridiculously easy to make, it's the kind of meal that makes you feel like a kitchen rockstar without breaking a sweat.
Our kids love it - even my fussy eater! We love the Ritz cracker topping but you could also opt for a buttery bread crumb topping or simply a bit more cheddar cheese to make it extra cheesy!
So grab your apron, set your oven to a cozy 350°F, and let's cook up some happiness!
Why you'll love this easy chicken casserole
- crowd-pleasing comfort food that always bring big smiles and happy tummies when served.
- easy to make and you can have the rice and chicken pre-cooked the day before to make it even quicker!
- adaptable by substituting the chicken with leftover cooked turkey, leftover cubed ham.
- great for meal prep - you can prepare this casserole ahead of time and have it ready in the refrigerator when you come home after a busy day.
Ingredients for Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- long-grain white rice, cooked - you could also substitute cooked brown rice.
- broccoli florets - I use whatever I have on hand. Both fresh or frozen will do.
- chopped sweet onion - or substitute yellow cooking onions
- cream of chicken soup - you can also substitute cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup.
- milk - you can use whole milk or a lower fat milk. I don't recommend skim milk though because it will not be as creamy.
- salt & black pepper
- garlic powder - add flavor - yum!
- paprika - more flavor and it's a small amount but paprika makes a difference!
- cheddar cheese - I like to use sharp cheddar in this recipe. You can also use a milder cheddar.
- Ritz crackers - or substitute your favorite buttery crackers
- melted butter
How to Make Chicken Broccoli & Rice Casserole
You can find a full, printable recipe card by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.
I've included handy step-by-step images to help you along as you make the recipe.
Let's make this easy dinner casserole!
STEP ONE - Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
STEP TWO - Cook rice according to package directions. Fluff with a fork, then set aside.
STEP THREE - While the rice is cooking, blanch the broccoli florets. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes.
STEP FOUR - In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked rice, chopped onion, cream of chicken soup, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and 1 and ½ cups of the shredded cheddar cheese and chicken. Stir until well combined.
STEP FIVE - Gently stir in blanched broccoli florets.
STEP SIX - Transfer mixture to prepared 9x13-inch casserole dish. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
STEP SEVEN - In a small mixing bowl, combine crushed Ritz crackers with melted butter. Stir well to combine.
STEP EIGHT - Sprinkle Ritz cracker crumb mixture on top of the casserole.
STEP NINE - Bake in 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Expert Tips for Making this Recipe
Prep the chicken and cooked rice ahead of time - Having the chicken cooked the day before, as well as the rice will make this an even easier meal to prep!
Make-Ahead to Bake Later
You can prepare the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate for up to 2 days prior to cooking. Allow the casserole to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking and add 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time.
Note: You can pre-mix the cracker/butter topping and have it in the fridge in a small airtight container or ziplock bag. Do not sprinkle on top of the casserole if pre-making it until you're ready to bake it.
You can prepare the casserole as written in directions and do not bake. Cover with plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil.
Allow the casserole to thaw in the fridge over night, then come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes prior to baking.
Add 10 to 15 minutes to the directed baking time and test the centre to ensure that it's heated through.
Note: As in the refrigerator method, the cracker & butter topping should be prepared and added on top before baking.
Refrigerator: Store cooked casserole, covered with plastic wrap, or transfer to an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezer - This casserole freezes well and it is best if you use it within 3 months of freezing.
Let the casserole thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Alternatively, you can reheat single servings by placing them on a plate in the microwave for 30-second intervals until heated through.
RELATED: How To Reheat A Casserole