Broccoli, Rice, Cheese, and Chicken Casserole

Casseroles are a staple in many households due to their convenience and comforting qualities. Essentially, a casserole is a one-pot meal that is baked and served in the same dish, often combining ingredients like meat, vegetables, a starchy binder, and a creamy sauce. Over the years, casseroles have evolved from simple leftovers thrown together into a dish to more complex and flavorful recipes.

What is a Casserole?

  • A casserole is a one-pot meal that typically includes layers of meats, vegetables, a starchy component like rice or pasta, and a binding agent such as cheese or a creamy soup.
  • The term originates from the French word “casse,” referring to the deep pan used to cook the dish.

Importance of Comfort Food

  • Comfort food like casseroles provide more than just nourishment; they evoke feelings of home, warmth, and family gatherings.
  • The psychological effect of comfort food is linked to cherished memories and the comforting consistency and flavors they provide.

Casseroles are particularly beloved for their ability to be prepped ahead of time, making them perfect for busy schedules. They can be assembled the night before, refrigerated, and popped into the oven when needed, ensuring a hot, delicious meal is always within reach. This guide on casserole cooking techniques provides an excellent foundation for anyone looking to explore the variety of dishes that can be created under the casserole umbrella.

In today’s fast-paced world, having a go-to dish like the broccoli, rice, cheese, and chicken casserole not only saves time but also reduces stress. To understand why these dishes hold such a special place in our culinary hearts, the article on comfort foods delves into their emotional and cultural significance, providing insights into why they resonate so deeply across various cultures and generations.

Ingredients and Preparation :

Key Ingredients Breakdown :

Creating a Broccoli, Rice, Cheese, and Chicken Casserole requires a blend of simple yet flavorful ingredients. Each component brings its unique taste and texture, making the dish a beloved family favorite.

  • Instant Rice: Quick and easy, instant rice serves as the foundation, absorbing flavors from other ingredients.
    • Boil water, add rice, cover, and let it sit off the heat.
  • Canned Chicken: A convenient option, canned chicken speeds up the cooking process, though fresh or leftover rotisserie chicken also works well.
  • Frozen Broccoli: Adds color, fiber, and vitamins; no need to thaw before mixing into the casserole.
  • Processed Cheese: Typically, a pound of cubed Velveeta or similar cheese melts into a smooth, creamy sauce.
  • Canned Soups: A mix of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup creates a rich, velvety base.
  • Milk: Thins the sauce to desired consistency.
  • Butter: Adds richness and depth of flavor.
  • Onion: A finely chopped white onion enhances the overall savoriness.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide :

  1. Preparation of Ingredients:
    • Begin by pre-cooking the rice as described. While it cooks, you can prepare the other ingredients.
    • If using fresh chicken, cook and chop it into bite-sized pieces. If opting for canned, drain and set aside.
    • Cube the cheese and set aside your soups and milk.
  2. Combining the Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, chicken, unthawed broccoli, and chopped onions.
    • In a separate bowl, mix the soups and milk until smooth, then pour over the rice mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly.
    • Dot the mixture with pats of butter and mix in the cubed cheese.
  3. Baking the Casserole:
    • Transfer everything to a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
    • Place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Stir halfway through the cooking time to ensure even melting of the cheese.

Variations and Substitutions :

This casserole is wonderfully versatile. Here are some ideas to tailor it to your taste or dietary needs:

  • Protein: Swap out chicken for turkey or even tofu for a vegetarian option.
  • Cheese: Instead of processed cheese, try cheddar or a blend of your favorite cheeses for more depth.
  • Vegetables: Mix in additional vegetables like carrots or peas for extra nutrition and color.
  • Rice: Brown rice or quinoa can substitute for white rice for a healthier twist.

This detailed cooking guide and ingredient breakdown not only ensures that even novice cooks can follow along but also integrates Pinterest: Casserole Recipes for more casserole ideas and Pinterest: Broccoli Recipes for creative ways to use broccoli.

FAQs :

When it comes to preparing a Broccoli, Rice, Cheese, and Chicken Casserole, home cooks often have questions about making it perfect every time. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

Can I make this casserole with fresh chicken instead of canned?

  • Absolutely! Fresh chicken can definitely be used in place of canned chicken. Simply cook the chicken thoroughly before adding it to the casserole. Season it well to enhance the flavor of the entire dish. This Pinterest: Chicken Recipes link provides various ways to prepare chicken that could add a delightful twist to your casserole.

Are there healthier alternatives to processed ingredients?

  • Yes, for those looking to make a healthier version of this casserole, consider the following substitutions:
    • Cheese: Opt for low-fat or natural cheeses instead of processed cheese for better nutritional value.
    • Soups: Use low-sodium, organic, or homemade versions of cream soups to reduce preservatives and sodium.
    • Rice: Brown rice or whole-grain alternatives provide more fiber and nutrients.
    • Integrating these changes not only makes the dish healthier but also retains its comforting essence. Learn more about the benefits of different types of cheese with this link to Wikipedia: Processed Cheese.

How can I store and reheat leftovers?

  • Leftover casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. When ready to eat, you can reheat it in the microwave or in the oven. If using the oven, cover the casserole with aluminum foil to prevent drying out and bake at 350 degrees F until heated through. For additional tips on food storage and safety, check out Wikipedia: Types of Soups, which includes useful information on storing and reheating dishes that include soup bases.
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Broccoli, Rice, Cheese, and Chicken Casserole

  • Author: Easy Recipes
  • Total Time: 51 minutes



2 cups water

2 cups uncooked instant rice

2 (10.1 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

¼ cup butter

1 cup milk

1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli

1 small white onion, chopped

1 pound processed cheese food


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the instant rice, cover the saucepan, and remove it from heat. Let the rice stand for 5 minutes.
  3. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the prepared rice, chunk chicken, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, butter, milk, broccoli, onion, and processed cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 36 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and bubbly. It’s a good idea to stir the casserole halfway through the cooking time to help the cheese melt evenly.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 36 minutes


  • Serving Size: 6 servings
  • Calories: 420 kcal

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