Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

The Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole is more than just a dish; it’s a warm hug on a cold day, a nostalgic trip to childhood memories, and a testament to the power of comfort food. Originating from the need for hearty, nutritious meals that could feed a family without breaking the bank, this casserole has evolved into a beloved classic. Its simplicity belies the depth of flavor and satisfaction it delivers, making it a staple in kitchens across the globe.

This casserole embodies the essence of home cooking, combining tender chicken, vibrant broccoli, creamy cheese, and fluffy rice into a dish that pleases palates of all ages. It’s the perfect answer to the question of what to serve at family gatherings, potlucks, or any night of the week when the craving for something comforting and delicious strikes. The beauty of this casserole lies not only in its taste but also in its versatility, allowing cooks to adapt ingredients based on preferences or what’s on hand.

Moreover, the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a shining example of one-pot meals’ efficiency and ease. By minimizing cleanup and maximizing flavor, it represents a practical approach to meal preparation that doesn’t sacrifice quality. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, this casserole promises a rewarding cooking experience and a delightful meal that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Benefits of One-Pot Meals :

The allure of one-pot meals goes beyond their obvious convenience. In a world where time is a precious commodity, these culinary wonders offer a solution to the eternal dilemma of balancing a busy schedule with the desire to eat well. The Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a prime example of how one-pot cooking can simplify life without compromising on taste or nutritional value. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Simplified Cooking Process: By consolidating the cooking process into a single vessel, you reduce the need for multiple pots and pans, making the cooking process more straightforward and less intimidating for novice cooks.
  • Easier Cleanup: One of the most appreciated benefits is the reduced cleanup time. With fewer dishes to wash, you can spend more time enjoying your meal and less time scrubbing pots and pans.
  • Enhanced Flavors: Cooking all your ingredients together in one pot allows for the melding of flavors, creating a more cohesive and rich taste profile. The rice absorbs the chicken and broccoli flavors, while the cheese melds everything into a creamy delight.
  • Nutritional Value: One-pot meals often result in less nutrient loss. Since all the ingredients cook together, the vegetables’ vitamins and minerals are retained within the dish, rather than being drained away in the cooking water.
  • Versatility: The adaptability of one-pot meals like the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole means you can easily substitute ingredients based on dietary needs or what you have in the fridge. This flexibility ensures that the dish can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions.
  • Comfort and Satisfaction: There’s something inherently comforting about digging into a bowl of warm, homemade casserole. It’s not just food; it’s a bowl of comfort that satisfies the soul as much as it does the stomach.

Incorporating one-pot meals into your cooking repertoire can transform your mealtime routines, offering a perfect blend of convenience, taste, and nutrition. Whether you’re a busy parent, a college student, or simply someone looking to streamline your cooking process, the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole and other one-pot wonders are your ticket to a stress-free, delicious dining experience.

Key Ingredients Overview :

Rotisserie Chicken :

Utilizing rotisserie chicken in the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole not only saves time but also infuses the dish with a depth of flavor that is hard to achieve with plain, unseasoned chicken. The rotisserie method ensures the chicken is perfectly cooked and seasoned, providing a juicy and savory component to the casserole. This convenience ingredient is a secret weapon for busy cooks looking to add rich taste without the extra effort of seasoning and cooking chicken from scratch.

Broccoli :

Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable known for its health benefits, adds a pop of color, texture, and vital nutrients to the casserole. Rich in vitamins C and K, fiber, and antioxidants, broccoli not only contributes to the dish’s nutritional profile but also introduces a slight bitterness that balances the creamy, cheesy elements. Whether you opt for fresh or frozen, incorporating broccoli ensures the casserole is as nutritious as it is delicious.

Rice :

The choice of rice is crucial in achieving the perfect texture for the casserole. Long grain rice, such as Basmati or Jasmine, is preferred for its fluffy texture and ability not to clump together. This type of rice absorbs the flavors of the chicken broth and cheese, acting as the ideal base for the casserole’s rich and creamy texture. Ensuring the rice is cooked to perfection is key to the casserole’s success, providing a comforting and satisfying bite every time.

Cheese :

The heart and soul of this casserole lie in the cheese. A good melting cheese, such as cheddar, provides creaminess, richness, and a beautiful golden top when baked. The cheese’s savory notes complement the chicken and broccoli, binding all the ingredients together into a cohesive, mouth-watering dish. For the best results, shredding your own cheese is recommended, as pre-shredded cheeses often contain anti-caking agents that can affect the casserole’s texture.

Each ingredient in the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole plays a pivotal role, contributing to the dish’s complex flavors and textures. By understanding the importance of each component, cooks can ensure their casserole is a balanced, nutritious, and utterly satisfying meal that will keep everyone coming back for more.

Cooking Techniques and Tips :

Mastering the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole doesn’t just come down to the ingredients; the cooking techniques and tips play a crucial role in ensuring the dish turns out perfectly every time. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating this comforting classic, along with some pro tips to elevate your casserole game.

  1. Prep Your Ingredients: Begin by prepping all your ingredients. This includes dicing the rotisserie chicken, chopping the broccoli into bite-sized florets, measuring out the rice, and shredding the cheese. Having everything ready before you start cooking not only saves time but also makes the process smoother.
  2. Cook the Rice: The foundation of the casserole is the rice. Cook it in chicken broth instead of water to infuse it with extra flavor. Be sure to use long grain rice for its fluffy texture, which perfectly absorbs the creamy sauce.
  3. Combine the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, diced chicken, broccoli florets, and half of the shredded cheese. Mix in the cream of chicken soup (homemade or store-bought) and any additional seasonings you prefer. This mixture should be thoroughly combined before transferring to a baking dish.
  4. Assemble the Casserole: Transfer the mixture to a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread it evenly and top with the remaining cheese. This layer of cheese will melt and brown in the oven, creating a deliciously crispy top.
  5. Bake to Perfection: Bake the casserole in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. The high temperature allows the cheese to melt evenly, while the baking time is just right for the flavors to meld together.
  6. Let It Rest: Once removed from the oven, let the casserole sit for a few minutes before serving. This resting period allows the casserole to set, making it easier to cut into portions and ensuring that every bite is the perfect combination of cheesy, creamy, and savory.
  7. Adding the Topping: For an extra layer of texture and flavor, consider adding a crunchy topping to your casserole. Mix crushed Ritz crackers with melted butter and sprinkle this mixture over the top of the casserole before it goes into the oven. This step adds a delightful crunch that contrasts beautifully with the creamy interior.
  8. Customizing Your Casserole: Don’t be afraid to customize the casserole based on your preferences or dietary needs. Vegetarians can substitute the chicken for a plant-based protein like chickpeas or tofu, and those looking to reduce carbs can replace the rice with cauliflower rice. The versatility of this dish makes it a perfect canvas for experimentation.
  9. Making It Ahead: One of the best things about the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole is that it can be prepared ahead of time. Assemble the casserole, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days before baking. If you plan to freeze it, wrap the dish tightly and bake it from frozen, adding extra time to ensure it’s heated through.
  10. Reheating Leftovers: Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or oven. For the best texture, cover the casserole with foil and reheat it in the oven at 350°F until warm throughout. This method helps retain moisture, ensuring the casserole remains creamy and delicious.

Pro Tips:

  • Fresh vs. Frozen Broccoli: If using frozen broccoli, thaw and pat it dry before adding it to the casserole to prevent excess moisture from making the dish soggy.
  • Rice Cooking Tip: For an even creamier texture, let the cooked rice sit covered for an extra 10 minutes after cooking. This allows it to absorb any remaining liquid fully.
  • Cheese Selection: Opt for a cheese that melts well, like cheddar or mozzarella. For an extra flavor kick, consider mixing in a small amount of a strong cheese like Parmesan or Gruyère.
  • Seasoning to Taste: Don’t forget to season your casserole mixture with salt, pepper, garlic powder, or any other spices you love. Seasoning is key to bringing out the flavors of the chicken, broccoli, and cheese.
  • Cheese Layering: For an even cheesier casserole, layer some of the cheese within the mixture as well as on top. This creates pockets of gooey cheese throughout the casserole.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve the casserole hot, alongside a simple green salad or some crusty bread for a complete meal. The freshness of the salad balances the richness of the casserole, making for a well-rounded dining experience.

Following these additional steps and tips will ensure your Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole turns out perfectly every time. This dish is more than just a meal; it’s a comforting embrace in casserole form, guaranteed to satisfy and delight anyone who tries it.

FAQs :

Can I make the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the casserole up to two days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. If you plan to bake it later, add about 10-15 minutes to the baking time since it will be cold from the fridge. For freezing, wrap the casserole dish tightly and bake from frozen, allowing extra time for it to heat through completely.

What can I use instead of rotisserie chicken?

Rotisserie chicken can be substituted with any cooked chicken. You can boil, bake, or pan-fry chicken breasts or thighs, then dice or shred them for the casserole. For a vegetarian option, consider using chickpeas, canned white beans, or a plant-based chicken substitute.

Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

Yes, brown rice can be used as a healthier alternative to white rice. Keep in mind that brown rice has a longer cooking time and may require more liquid. Adjust the cooking process accordingly, ensuring the rice is fully cooked before assembling the casserole.

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftover Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze portions in freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 3 months.

What’s the best way to reheat the casserole?

For best results, reheat the casserole in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until it’s heated through, about 20 minutes. Covering with foil can prevent the top from browning too much. For a quicker option, individual portions can be microwaved on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure even heating.

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Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

  • Author: Easy Recipes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes



For the Casserole:

2 cups diced rotisserie chicken (or any other cooked chicken)

2 cups broccoli florets, broken down into bite-sized pieces

1 can cream of chicken soup (can use low-sodium or Healthy Request)

2 cups cooked rice

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder)

For the Topping:

1/23/4 cup crushed corn flakes

2 tbsp butter, melted


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. In the baking dish, combine the chicken, broccoli, cream of chicken soup, cooked rice, shredded cheese, mayonnaise, and your choice of seasoning. Mix well to ensure even distribution.
  3. Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes evenly over the top of the casserole mixture.
  4. Drizzle the melted butter over the corn flakes.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the casserole is heated through and the topping is golden and crispy.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • Serving Size: 8
  • Calories: 354 kcal

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