Healthy Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is one of the oldest, best-loved recipes on my site. As the comments section will attest, this healthy, cheesy, and easy dinner recipe has received rave reviews from picky husbands, fussy toddlers, and new moms in search of freezer meals. The flavors are simple and appealing, the recipe prep is easy, and unlike many other casserole recipes, this chicken broccoli rice casserole contains NO SOUP!

red casserole dish with chicken broccoli rice casserole
Casseroles like Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole were a fixture at our table growing up. My mom was the casserole QUEEN. She wore a crown of Pyrex and carried a scepter of nonstick baking spray.

Those last two things are a fib, but she really did rock the 9×13 pan. Not only could she make a casserole from scratch, but she could transform any (and I mean any) leftover in our home into a creamy, cheesy casserole of sorts.

My mom’s casseroles never had names. If I asked her what was for dinner, she would respond with a frazzled, “Don’t ask me what it’s called—I made it up.” My childhood brain immediately translated the lack of title to “Yuck.” I assumed (unfairly) that, beneath that tantalizing top layer of melty cheese, my mom was hiding all manner of unsavory ingredients. Anchovies? Lima beans? Chicken livers? Anything was possible.

As an adult, it took me a few years to recover from the word casserole. It still makes me a bit uncomfortable, to the extent that I originally titled this recipe “Chicken Broccoli Rice Bake.” It’s unfair to my mom—she’s a good cook, and it’s also rather illogical. After all, “casserole” is basically an abbreviated way of saying “giant pan of cheesy goodness, baked until hot and bubbly.”

When put this way, the wrongly maligned casserole belongs on all of our lists of favorite foods, starting with today’s easy recipe for Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole.

white dinner plate of Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

No Soup Added Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

I think part of the reason the word casserole can make a girl run and hide her fork is that stereotypical casseroles are used to disguise, rather than celebrate, their ingredients. Tuna Surprise, I am looking at you.

Although casserole condemnations do have some foundation in reality (many of the casserole recipes in the universe are indeed overly heavy, bland, and laden with cream of XYZ soup), when made properly, casseroles can also be an excellent, healthy choices for dinner.

In recent years, I’ve embraced the beauty of the casserole (reference: Sausage and Rice CasseroleCrock Pot Mexican CasseroleSpaghetti Squash Casserole, and SO MANY MORE), and I credit Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole as my gateway. Whether you consider yourself a casserole doubter or casserole devotee, I’m willing to bet this healthy chicken broccoli casserole will convince you too.

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole baked into a square red casserole dish

A Well-Rounded Healthy Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

A mix of brown rice, quickly sautéed chicken, and fresh broccoli, Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole offers every food group in a single meal. There is no soup to be found (cream of, canned, or otherwise). Instead, the smooth, bubbly cheese sauce is made with Greek yogurt and cheddar. This Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe is easy to scale up to feed a crowd, make and freeze ahead, and reheat leftover for lunches and dinners throughout the week.

white plate of healthy chicken broccoli rice casserole with a fork on the plate

Could I be dubbed the Queen of Casseroles one day? Aside from the weird premonitions of becoming my mother, I’ll take the casserole-queen title with compliments. Please pass me my Pyrex crown.

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red casserole dish with cheesy chicken broccoli rice casserole
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Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole | Easy, Cheesy, and Healthy

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 5 mins
This cheesy chicken broccoli rice casserole recipe is a healthy version of the classic with NO cream of anything soup. Comfort food you can feel good about!


  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups instant brown rice — if you use white rice or non-instant rice, the cooking time and amount of liquid needed may differ
  • 1 pound broccoli florets — chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts — chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt — divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder — divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper — divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk — divided (I used skim)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese — divided (about 6 ounces)


  1. Place a rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a deep 9-inch-square baking dish or a 3-quart casserole dish.
  2. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot, then add the rice. Return to a boil, add the broccoli to the top of the rice (no need to stir it together), then cover, reduce the heat to low, and let cook 5 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and let sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. Most of the rice liquid should be absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large deep pot over medium-high. Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, about 4 to 6 minutes, then remove to a plate. Being careful not to burn yourself, wipe the pot clean with a paper towel.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup milk. Pour the mixture into the pot, then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Dijon, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir in the Greek yogurt and 1 cup of the shredded cheese until smooth.
  5. Add the rice and broccoli mixture and the reserved chicken to the cheese sauce, stirring gently to coat. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole | Easy, Cheesy, and Healthy, Healthy Casserole Recipe

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 6)) — Calories: 398, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 743mg, Carbohydrates: 47g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 35g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Healthy Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole. A lightened up version of the classic casserole recipe, with NO condensed soup.

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. My mom rocked some casseroles, too. I love hers but they aren’t the healthiest! :-) Loving this version, Erin!

  2. Please pass the giant pan of gooey goodness! This looks amazing ;)

  3. Yay healthy comfort food! I love healthy versions of casseroles and broccoli and cheese is one of my all time favorite combinations!

  4. Ummmm yeah I definitely just put leftover spaghetti into a casserole dish last night, topped it with cheese, baked it and called it dinner. Apparently I’ve gone full-on casserole mom already. But that won’t stop me from making this yumminess! This is like a cool, hip casserole anyway, I think. ;)

  5. I used to not be a huge fan of casseroles till my mom made a tuna one – I have been hooked since!
    Liking your addition of dijon to this chicken-broccoli-rice casserole! Deeeelish!

  6. haha oh gosh I agree – I can’t do the casseroles that have weird soup in them, they gross me out! But this … this I could absolutely get behind! I’m loving the cheesy broccoli combo!

  7. This looks like a perfect hotdish recipe (ever use that expression?) It is so refreshing to find one without canned soup! Can’t wait to try – maybe tonight – it is snowing in Minneapolis!

    • Laurie, I haven’t heard the word “hot dish” since I lived in MN! I cannot believe it is SNOWING there, ugh. Hang in there and may the force of the casserole/hot dish be with you!

  8. I remember asking my mom what was for dinner in the hopes that she would just say “dessert”. That never happened! Looks like someday you too will rock the 9×13! I love that there isn’t any cream of….in this casserole!

  9. I have such a soft spot for casseroles, my Mom was an awesome cook growing up, but we did have some casseroles with those “cream of whatever” processed soups, I think it was just “those times” so as an I adult, I’ve been slowly updating all my favorites to omit that processed junk, and I’ve fallen in love with them all over again. This is totally up my alley, healthy, but still seriously comforting and cheesy!

  10. I have to admit, when I hear the word “casserole” it does ignite a few shivers, because as you said, anything could be hiding under that delicious looking layer of melty cheese! I love your lightened up version though, it looks healthy and delicious, which are usually not words I associate with casserole!

  11. Good old fashioned cheesy midwest goodness!! My mom uses plain yogurt in her casseroles too! <3

  12. LOL … I’m giggling at the thought of your ‘pyrex crown’, Erin. I’m imagining you with a glass baking dish on your head for some reason. Sorry about that!
    This kind of oozy casserole isn’t really a thing over here in Europe but I’m not sure why. I love how healthy you managed to make this. Maybe I need to become a bit of a European oozy casserole ambassador!

    • Now I’m picturing myself trying BALANCE a pyrex dish on my head and racking up. Thanks for the hilarious mental image. I bet you could start a trans-atlantic casserole craze!

  13. Yum! My husband looooves broccoli casserole so I’m going to have to try this version :)

    • Your husband is a champ Phi! Ben was definitely skeptical at first, but after one bite, he was on board! (I remind myself that this also will be good practice for kids, lol)

  14. This is exactly the kind of meal that’s perfect on a gray and rainy day – totally satisfying and comforting :) It looks incredible and I love that it’s lighter too and thank goodness for no cream of XYZ soup :) Pinned :)

  15. I have a thing against the word ‘casserole’ too. ‘Bake’ sounds so much better to me, even if it’s describing the same dish. So weird. Love that this one incorporates healthier ingredients and is versatile based on whatever’s on hand. I think this one dispelled my ‘casserole’ phobia. :)

  16. The pyrex “crown” made me laugh. My mom didn’t make casseroles but I love ’em anyway. This looks so good and I like how you “healthified” it.

  17. This is one casserole I could handle eating! Love that you were going to call it a “bake.” I probably would have done the same thing!

  18. I love casseroles that don’t have cream of XYZ soup! That single ingredient is the main reason that I don’t make casseroles. Definitely adding this to the dinners to try lisrt

  19. First of all this dish looks absolutely delicious! Secondy, I have an aversion to the anything called goulash. The mere mention of the word and I think yuck! Now, I think most kids don’t think to hear the word casserole. I say it and my kids make faces and “know” they won’t like it. I have to come up with some creative names that don’t end in casserole :D

  20. I love love one pot meal like this comforting and delicious casserole.

  21. This. I must make this. Immediately.

  22. Erin! I love this post!! Was laughing and smiling along with you the whole time. . I think it’s awesome that you finally succumbed to the casserole and made it! Casseroles aren’t so bad (esp ones like this!) and they usually freeze tremendously well. love this!

  23. Casseroles are the best for moms! I mean, what’s easier than throwing things in a dish and popping it in the oven? Haha, love this casserole you’ve got! It has all the right ingredients: cheese, broccoli, and rice! Yum yum!

  24. Oh, I love this healthy twist on casserole (and had to laugh at your awesome description of your mom as Casserole Queen)! I have a secret soft spot for all casseroles, but mostly because I was so addicted to those crispy French onions that we put on every single one of them growing up :)

    • For whatever reason, my family never got into the crispy onions, and I think I might be missing out! They are such a classic addition. Thanks Amy!

      • Erin, what you missed out on was a lot of salt in those fried onions and even more fat. Yes, they are addictive but no, they’re not good for you. You’re lucky your family never got hooked on them. That’s why I like this recipe of yours for the chicken/broccoli “bake”. It’s in my oven right now and I’ll send a report soon. Thanks!

  25. This looks and sounds both amazing and super tasty! I love casseroles, especially when I don’t have much time to cook! :)

  26. Hahahaha you are too funny Erin! Love the story of your mom and what your 7-year-old self interpreted when you heard “I made it up!” Hahaha so funny. This is definitely not your average casserole. It looks awesome!

  27. Mmmmm….this has to be one of my favorite! I’ll never say no to comfort food!

  28. I think that is why I love casseroles so much … they’re not healthy usually! :) You’ve changed the way casseroles should be defined, that is for sure. That broccoli gets to shine, but there is still the rich and cheesiness. What a lovely dinner option! Pinned!

  29. I do love a casserole flecked with green broccoli!

  30. Love this cheesy, cozy comfort food, Erin! All-in-one meals like this are the best – so easy to make, and they always freeze well!

  31. This is my all time favorite casserole! I’ll add crushed Ritz crackers…you keep it healthy ;)

  32. mmm, i love casseroles! yours look delish :)

  33. This looked good, but tasted awful. I followed the recipe to the T. I’m sorry but the Dijon sauce took over the taste, which was bitter. The flavor was not good at all.

    • Hi Nicole,
      I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this dish. We and the friends we had over for dinner liked it a lot, but I understand that tastes differ. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it work out, so I am sorry that happened here!

  34. Oh my goodness this looks so incredibly delicious! I’m not sure if anyone asked above (I didn’t see it at least), but do you by chance have the calorie count for this? My husband and I are trying to eat fewer calories but still eat the things we love. A calorie count would be super helpful for this!

    • Hi Sarah! I’m so happy to hear that you like the look of this casserole. We really loved it :-) I don’t actually do calorie counts for a variety of reasons, but instead try to focus on healthy, whole food ingredients. I do know there are quite a few free ones available online though if you are interested. Sorry if that’s not the answer that you were looking for, but I hope it at least helps you get to your answer!

  35. We made this over the weekend and it was AWESOME. My husband is super picky and even he liked it. Having the leftovers for dinner tonight. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Hi Emily! I’m so, so excited to hear that your family enjoy this casserole. Thanks for taking time to share your review, and I hope you polished off those leftovers too :-)

  36. I made this last week and it was a hit in my house! My boyfriend thinks my cooking is too “healthy”, so I tried this comforting casserole and he loved it. Great way to make a comfort dish much healthier!

  37. I made this recipe last night — it was absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly but my rice turned out a bit crunchy still… however, that just requires a minor adjustment and a note on the side to myself. I will be making this again!

    • Hi Maya, YIPPEEEE! It makes my day to hear from people who enjoy my recipes. So glad you guys liked it! Rice can vary by brand, so I think with a bit of tweaking, you’ll have it nailed. Thanks so much for taking time to let me know how it turned out (and enjoy the leftovers, if you have any :) )

  38. Can this recipe be halved?

  39. I finally cooked this casserole using your recipe for my birthday yesterday and it was yummy. love it.

    • Lovine, first of all, happy birthday! Second of all, I am so honored that you tried this recipe for your special day and am thrilled to pieces that you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for taking time to share your thoughts, and I hope you had a great b-day!

  40. This looks great and I can’t wait to try it :) I’m finding the 25 minutes a little short to cook the brown rice, so i put it back in the oven. Can’t wait!!

  41. I made this last night for myself and my boyfriend (another law school student). The cheese sauce was absolutely amazing. I only had Grey Poupon Country Style dijon and used 2 teaspoons–it tasted like a cheese and mustard sandwich in liquid form (which delighted me). Because of some of the comments here, I cooked the rice and broccoli a couple minutes extra and ultimately left it sitting for longer than 5 minutes. My rice was perfect, but the broccoli was so soft it kind of fell apart as I folded everything together. I ended up with a little too much rice, ultimately. I filled a 3 quart 9×11 baking dish, so the final product was a little dry. I will play with the ratios next time.

    As you said, I can see this being a fantastic starting point to play around with other variations. A bean and rice version with some shredded rotisserie chicken already has me drooling.

    Thank you for the great ideas!

  42. I LOVE that country style Dijon Sarah! Thanks so much for trying this recipe and for sharing your thoughts. The timing can be a little tricky, because the moisture level in broccoli can vary, as well as the cook time for the rice depending upon the type you use or size of dish. I’m sorry the broccoli was a bit mushy, but I’m glad to hear you liked it overall!

  43. I made this tonight and was very pleased with the results! I am a big fan of Durkee so I used that instead of the dijon mustard. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I was looking through your others and can’t wait to try out something else!

  44. My family loves this casserole! My boys (2 and 4) gobble it up. My 4 year old had four helpings! Thanks for the delicious recipe.

  45. FaNtastic!! Everyone in my fam loved it! Ty!

  46. I made this tonight, turned out great, thanks

    • Janet, I am so happy to hear that! Thanks for taking time to leave your review, and I hope you love any leftovers too :)

      • Erin, yes I have plenty left. When I told my husband i was making this he was expecting the mushroom soup version. But I’m not really a fan of mushroom soup so I wanted something different. He was pleasantly surprised!

  47. Hola. Finally a broccoli rice casserole that does not contain canned crap soup. That stuff does the job in terms of thickening and adding plenty of salt, but it just muddies the taste of everything and gives it a bland glumpy texture.

    Although I will always love Campbell’s bean and ham soup, cold, eaten right out of the can. Forgive me.

  48. Hi Erin: I did try it last night. Very yummy. Brilliant idea cooking the broccoli with the rice. Both came out a little underdone on the stove, which was perfect for subsequent baking since they would both soften up in the oven. A couple of the larger florets were still a tiny bit undercooked after baking, but that is easily fixable by trimming them a little smaller prior to cooking. So much better than the cream of whatever version. And plenty of leftovers for lunch! Also, while I know you’re trying to be healthy, I did find that a lot more salt was needed to flavor such an abundance of food. Thanks for the recipe.


    • HI Mikey, thanks so much for letting me know, and I’m thrilled that you liked it! I do tend to error on the side of less with salt, as tastes can vary, and it’s much easier to add more than to take away. Thanks again and enjoy!

  49. I have made this casserole twice now – my husband and I love to have it during the week! It’s simple and healthy. Thank you so much for sharing!! :)

  50. Really well written recipe. Smells delicious

  51. I did this but “Saudi-ized” it for my exchange student son. I dropped the mustard, which I love but he doesn’t, and subbed 1/2 teaspoon of Baharat (kebsah spice blend). It came out rating terrific! Now I have to teach him how to make it.

    One other thing I changed is I made a roux to do the cheese sauce. I can’t make a white sauce by starting with milk and flour so I use a roux instead.

  52. Thanks for posting this recipe! The whole family enjoyed it, in fact it’s my 8 year olds new favorite dish!

  53. bland and tasteless. waste of ingredients. went in the trash.

    • Well that’s a harsh assessment. I thought it was very tasty and had it for leftovers for a couple days. I have to ask — when the ingredients are basics like this recipe, what did you expect it to taste like? Thai food? Lasagna?

    • I should have also said — I think the dish needs a lot more salt than the recipe calls for. For such an abundance of food (pound of chicken, pound of broccoli, two cups of rice, two cups of milk) way more than 3/4 tsp salt is needed. But as the cook, you are free to improvise.

    • Hi, I’m so sorry that you didn’t enjoy this recipe! While many other have enjoyed it, everyone has different tastes, and I know it’s very disappointing to try something new and not have it turn out.

  54. Wonderful recipe, very happy with the way it turned out. It Pleased a picky husband and our 2 year old!

  55. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I had to adapt a bit based on the ingredients I had on hand, but it still turned out as the perfect comfort food. The addition of mustard is pure genius and really amps up the cheese sauce. My husband gives it two thumbs up too…it will go into our regular rotation. :)

  56. My family LOVES this!  I made a double batch and now have two casseroles in the freezer (family of 3, so we can do small casseroles).  I’ve frozen this recipe before, and it freezes really well.  My daughter is gluten free, so I used gluten free flower.  Other than that it was perfect for her.  Nice to find a gluten free & healthy casserole!

    • Tracy, I am so excited to hear this, and it’s great to know that gluten-free flour works too. Thanks so much for taking time to leave your review. It really means a lot, and it makes my day to know that your whole family loves this recipe!

  57. Made this last night and it is wonderful! I used gluten free flour in place of the regular flower. I also added some red bell pepper and some cyanne pepper. SO GOOD! 

  58. I’m all about dishes that are a guaranteed next-day lunch! Such a great protein/complex carb mix that warms my Canadian belly! This was really good – I just cooked the chicken up with some fresh onion and garlic for some added flavour there :) Will definitely make this again, maybe next time with quinoa. 

    • Lauren, I’m so happy that you liked this recipe, and I agree that it makes wonderful leftovers for lunch. I bet it would be fantastic with quinoa. Thanks so much for trying it and for letting me know how it turned out!

  59. A little late to teh game here but do you have to use instant rice?  I have a giant bag of regular brown rice – what changes would you suggest (or should I not bother)?  Thanks!

    • Hi Michelle! I never tried it this way, but I think that if you pre-cook the rice a good portion of the way, it should work. I definitely wouldn’t put regular rice in the dish without this step, because the cooking time just isn’t long enough for regular rice to finish cooking all the way through. If you do experiment with this, I would love to hear how it turns out!

  60. I was desperately seeking a chicken, rice and broccoli casserole recipe that did not contain canned soup and this was the one! I added garlic, onions and mushroom which I sauted in olive oil. Then added about a half cup of white wine and reduced that. I had already started poaching the chicken in water and herbs when I looked for the recipe. So once that was done, I put a bag of boil-in-bag brown rice into the stock. When that was done I put the broccoli into the stock and blanched it. I left out the Dijon since I added the wine and not that fond of mustard. I made it yesterday and baked it tonight. So good! I tasted it yesterday to test for seasoning and could have just eaten it from the pan. Will definitely use this recipe as a base again. Thank you!

    • Roxanne, I’m so happy that this dish inspired such deliciousness in your kitchen! Love the addition of white wine and mushrooms too. Thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out. I really appreciate it!

  61. I really like this recipe!  I made it a few weeks for dinner and it was great, so tonight I doubled the recipe and made one pan for dinner and another to freeze.  I was really pleased that the proportions held up well when doubled (this doesn’t always work out).  I definitely suggest making two batches- it doesn’t take any extra work, and you have a great frozen casserole for a night when you’re too busy to cook.  I am expecting a baby in the next couple weeks, so this was a great way to prepare! 

    • Audra, I’m so happy to hear this! Great tip for doubling the recipe too. Enjoy every bite, and thank you for taking time to leave your review!

      • I love that this recipe has come “full circle” for me- I wrote this comment almost a year ago, and just last night, my 9 month old ate bites of this casserole for his dinner!  He  loved it too! :)

  62. I made a version of your recipe last night for dinner.  I say a version as I had to make quite a few substitutions based on what I had in the house, but hey, that’s how we roll in this kitchen! ;)  I used a mix of provolone and mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar, spicy brown mustard instead of Dijon, only 1.5 cups regular brown rice (not instant), and added celery cuz it needed to be used.  The result? It was still awesome!  I think mine was a little creamier than yours due to less rice.  Even my husband loved it and he originally turned his nose up at the idea of a casserole for dinner!  (Of course, he had to add hot sauce, but he puts it on everything). Thank you!!

    • Amanda, I’m so so happy to hear this! One of the things I love about this recipe is how versatile it is, and your swaps sound delicious. Thanks for taking time to leave your review! I truly appreciate it.

  63. I love practical recipes like this.

    Thank you for sharing.

  64. Made this tonight and it was awesome!  I’ve made other chicken broccoli & rice casseroles, but I was looking to try a different flavor this time.  I saw that yours used chicken broth and dijon mustard and I feel like I hadn’t had those flavors in a chicken and rice casserole before so I decided to try it.  I’m glad I did, because my husband, 2-year old son, and I all loved it! My son was opening his mouth wide for each bite, which is a rare thing :)  I really liked the Dijon taste and I didn’t think it was over-powering at all.  I used mostly quinoa mixed with some rice, and I also added in some white beans.  I think I’ll add in some carrots and spinach next time!  Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Sharice, I’m so so excited to hear that you, your husband, and your two-year-old loved this recipe <3. It makes my night. Great idea to add in quinoa and beans too. I bet it was extra delicious and filling. Thanks for taking time to let me know how it turned out for you!

  65. Hi Erin! I plan to make this dish tonight and have a few questions first! Can I use precooked chicken? Also, what brand of Dijon mustard do you recommend? Thanks so much!!

    • Great questions Alison! You can definitely use precooked chicken—just skip the part of the recipe where you add the chicken to the boiling water and only add the rice and broccoli. For Dijon I love Maille (it’s a bit of a splurge but had awesome flavor) or Grey Poupon. Hope you enjoy the dish!

  66. I made this casserole last week and my hubby and I both thought it was delicious! I love that it’s a comfort food that’s healthy at the same time with wholesome ingredients! The “reheat value” was great the 2nd day also!

  67. It turned out like soup, really disappointed with this recipe. Waste of money and time…

    • Hi Sarah! I am so sorry to hear this—I know it is disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it come out. Are you sure you followed directions exactly? I’ve had a number of readers make this dish wish success, so I’m not sure what could have gone wrong.

  68. Hi yes I did follow the directions but there was still a good bit of broth that didn’t cook out with the rice and broccoli and the directions did not specify whether to drain it or not. I used the measurement of broth that you put in the directions so I’m not sure why that happened. 

    • Hi Sarah! I actually remade this over the weekend just to double check and didn’t have that issue, but I’m guessing your rice brand differed from ours (did you use instant brown rice) and just didn’t absorb the liquid, or the broth just might have been over measured. Did the rice cook all the way through? I’ll go back and look at adding a note about watching to the right amount of liquid in the recipe. Again, I’m sorry this didn’t turn out perfectly for you!

  69. Came out perfect! I am a not so great cook, something I’m trying to change. This was a great start and I will be looking for more recipes from you. The directions were so easy to follow. 

    Thank you!!!

  70. I am going to try this recipe for dinner, but my brown rice always takes 40-50 minutes to cook so I am worried it won’t get done. I am thinking about cooking the rice fully (separately), my chicken is already cooked (rotisserie) and steam the broccoli (separately) and then adding it all together with the sauce and just baking until brown and bubbly. What do you think?

    • Hi Annie! That sounds like it would work really well to me. My one suggestion might be to under cook the rice just a little bit so that it doesn’t get over done in the oven. Even if you cook it all the way though, I think it will be just fine. I hope you love the recipe!

  71. Making this currently. Looks amazing! Do you have the nutrition breakdown, by chance? Fat, cals, etc

  72. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this as a freezer meal for friends who were expecting, and now that I’m a mom, I make double batches to freeze all the time! Our whole family loves this dish. It’s simple, easy and healthy to boot. Thank you!

  73. I absolutely adore casseroles but have never made one with a rice base. Totally have to try this!

    Lisa Favre

  74. hey girl this looks so tasty! I grew up on casseroles to! My Mom is the best cook! 

  75. I love casseroles. I call them “baked Chopped”.  Your version here sounds amazing. I’m so happy to see other healthful dishes using leftovers. Great “make ahead” advice. I love everything about this casserole. 

  76. I am very guilty of cleaning out the fridge throwing it into a pan, showering it with cheese and calling it dinner!!  Love your casserole and no cream of X!!! :)

  77. My husband (the pickiest eater I have ever met, pickier than our 3-year-old) just went back for seconds of this casserole. I’m sold. 

  78. I am going to make it tomorrow! I have been looking for a recipe that does not use any canned soups. I will check out some of your other recipes! Thank you!

  79. Hi! Can I use sour cream instead of plain yogurt?

  80. -Do not blend up your broccoli in the ninja hoping that your toddler will eat it. The flavor and texture of the casserole becomes unbearable—even I couldn’t eat it. I hate wasting food, but the pan sat in the fridge for a week and then got tossed! Also, I used the fancy mustard with the seeds in it instead of dijon. I guess that could have affected it as well.

    -If I make it again, I will use more chicken and more cheese. The chicken turned out great, but sparse (maybe due to a little extra broccoli). I almost doubled the cheese this time and the hubs asked if there was any cheese in there at all :) haha

    • Hi Savanna! Interesting about the broccoli—I’ve never heard of that before. That wasn’t a part of the recipe, so I’m assuming that was a separate comment? Regardless, I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy this recipe. As you can see from the other reviews, it has been popular with many, but everyone has different tastes. The mustard would have certainly affected the flavor, but regardless, I know it’s disappointing to try something new and not have it turn out. I wish you would have loved this more!

  81. My hubby had thirds when I made this over the weekend and brought it to the office for lunch today. Thanks for the great recipe!

  82. This is an awesome recipe! My husband and I just enjoyed it for dinner, and the flavors were amazing. I can’t wait to see if our picky toddler will eat it for lunch tomorrow. Either way, it’ll go into our rotation!

  83. My 8-year old twins loved this recipe. It’s very kid-friendly even for my very picky eater. I warmed up a couple Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice packets to make this after work. Thank you!

    • Hooray Sara!!! I am so happy to hear that. Thank you so much for trying the recipe and for taking time to leave your review. It means a lot to me, and is very helpful for others considering making the recipe too.

  84. Cannot even tell you how much we love this! Tweaked it a bit, not because I didn’t think your exact sounded yummy – just adapted to what I had on hand. Shredded rotisserie chicken instead of chicken breasts, sour cream because I was out of greek yogurt, and for the rice I used these YUMMY packets of garlic-y brown rice/quinoa blend from costco. Also – so happy to now know how to make my own “cream of whatever” in place of the canned kind. Again – this was SO GOOD! my first casserole – and I think I may now be a casserole person :). Thank you!

  85. Could you use frozen broccoli in this recipe instead? If so, how would the process be different? Thanks!

    • Hi Katie! I’ve never tried this with frozen broccoli, so I can’t say for certain, but I think that it would work. I would thaw the broccoli first, pat it dry, then add it to the rice as directed. Please note that the casserole may be wetter or mushier, since thawed frozen broccoli is not crisp like fresh.

  86. Do you think you could easily sub out the rice for cauliflower “rice” and follow the directions to a T otherwise?

    • Hi Tara, I actually wouldn’t recommend this. While cauliflower rice is a good swap for recipes like stir-fry or curry when the meal is meant to be served over rice, because the rice bakes in the casserole with the sauce and other ingredients, I’m worried it couldn’t stand up to the cook time and would turn into mush. You could try a different grain like quinoa or farro, but because the rice called for in the recipe is instant and quinoa/farro are not, you’d want to cook them separately, then add them in with the sauce, broccoli, and chicken just before baking. Hope that helps!

  87. This is such a good recipe! Thank you! I followed your recipe exactly except that I didn’t have any Greek yogurt. I substituted light sour cream and it turned out beautifully. So warm, creamy and delicious. I was a little nervous about the 3 T of mustard, since I’m not a mustard fan, but I honestly didn’t taste it in the finished result. Thank you so much! This is definitely a keeper for me and my family!

  88. Made this for our family of six–every one of us loved. It also made for good leftovers the next day. 

  89. Hi Erin,
    I have made many of your recipes and they’ve all been fantastic! This one is no exception! I’m just confused with the macros you put in at the end… 11g of Carbs? When I calculate the entire recipe at 6 servings, there are over 65 grams of carbs per serving. Have I done something completely wrong in the calculation? 2 cups of dry rice alone divided into 6 servings has more than 11 grams of carbs…

    • Hi Carolyn, thanks so much for pointing out that discrepancy! Sometimes MyFitnessPal, which I use to estimate nutritional information for my recipes, can be off. I’ve recalculated and updated the numbers. Thanks again!

  90. It is okay but for someone who can’t really stomach the sour smell and taste of greek yogurt it would be nice to know something we could use as a substitute. I was hoping that since it was so little yogurt it wouldn’t be very noticeable but it’s such an overbearing flavor/scent. Do you have any other ideas aside from greek yogurt? Maybe normal nonfat yogurt? Not as healthy but surely it is still pretty decent. I’m sure I would be completely in love with it if it weren’t for the greek yogurt though!

    • Hi Shea, I hadn’t heard a comment about it being too strong before! If it’s not to your taste, I would suggest experimenting with swapping the same amount of low-fat sour cream (assuming you don’t mind the taste of sour cream, of course) You could also try using regular, whole milk yogurt.

      • Hm that will definitely need to be something for me to try. Maybe it’s because I’m just a horribly picky eater and I just do not like greek yogurt haha. But I’ll definitely try it with normal yogurt next time, not a huge fan of sour cream either. I know, I’m terribly picky. I loved how flavorful the chicken was though, I could have just popped it all on a plate and had it for dinner by itself.

  91. Made this tonight and it turned out so yummy! I substituted regular brown rice (just took longer to cook) and frozen broccoli (mixed it in after I added the chicken and rice to the cheesy sauce). Lots easier and couldn’t tell a difference. 

    • I am so happy to hear that you loved this Christy! Thanks for trying the recipe and taking time to share your modifications. It’ so helpful for me and for others considering the recipe too!

  92. Shawnna Griffin Reply

    hey girl- this looks so yummy!

  93. It’s 2 cups of cooked rice, not dry. I guess everyone else knew this but I sure didn’t so I’m adding this comment in case someone else wasn’t sure! It’s in the oven now and will be gifting it to a new mom. The mix tasted delicious before going into the oven.

    • That sounds like a perfect destination for this dish, Michael! And you are correct—if you’re not using instant rice, you’ll want to make sure it’s cooked rice before using it in the recipe.

  94. This sounds AMAZING! I love the idea of using greek yogurt instead of that “save it for the Thanksgiving green bean casserole cream of mushroom soup”. Do you think this could work with using cauliflower rice instead of a type of grain?

    • Hi Casey, I actually wouldn’t recommend this. While cauliflower rice is a good swap for recipes like stir-fry or curry when the meal is meant to be served over rice, because the rice bakes in the casserole with the sauce and other ingredients, I’m worried it couldn’t stand up to the cook time and would turn into mush. You could try a different grain like quinoa or farro, but because the rice called for in the recipe is instant and quinoa/farro are not, you’d want to cook them separately, then add them in with the sauce, broccoli, and chicken just before baking. Hope that helps!

  95. This recipe has a permanent home in my cookbook. Thank you!!! I first made this recipe about a year ago. It is very flexible. If I don’t have fresh chicken, I will use one of those big 13oz white meat cans from Sams. I prefer sharp cheddar, but any cheddar or mix I have on hand has worked great. Works with any mustard too. Tonight I had some instant wild rice blend left over to mix with instant brown rice. The mustard is 1/2 Maille and 1/2 whole grain because it is all I’ve got. Maille is my favorite, but I was afraid it might be a bit strong on its own and the grains of mustard look extra fancy.

    • Caitlin, thank you so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review! I’m so happy to hear this recipe has found a permanent place in your repertoire!

  96. Very picky about recipes..this one was good for my toddler who is like her momma.

    • I’m so happy to hear it was a hit for both of you! Thanks so much for giving it a try and reporting back. :)

  97. I made this and it was really good – all my kids ate it! I had regular brown rice so I just cooked it earlier in the day, it came out great, thank you!

    • Tiffany, I’m so glad to hear this was a winner! Thanks for taking the time to leave this awesome review and share your tip about the brown rice.

  98. I was looking for a broccoli rice casserole with no “cream of” soup and found this. Erin, this was delicious! I substituted spicy brown mustard for the Dijon mustard because I didn’t have any. I would usually use brown rice but used white because that was what we had on hand-turned out great! I am excited to add this to my recipe book.

    • Bethany, I’m so glad to hear this recipe was a winner! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  99. Yay! I have left over chicken, broccoli was on sale so I bought a ton, and we mostly eat brown Basmati rice. Nutty brown rice (or quinoa) will be great in a simply seasoned dish like this. I’m not big on yogurt, but sour cream should sub in just fine. Guess what we’re having for dinner tomorrow? Thanks!

  100. Late to the party on this one…any thoughts on what size pan to use if cutting recipe in half? Thanks!

    • Hi Sheila, a half batch it should fit in a 1.5- or 2-quart casserole dish, and probably a regular 8- or 9-inch baking pan as well. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  101. Thanks for your quick reply!  It fit perfectly in an 8 inch Pyrex pan!  Loved it-added mushrooms, a bit of onion and some shallots-good, “healthified” comfort food! 

  102. Hi Erin, this was wonderful! I was in a pinch to create dinner Monday night and fortunately had all the ingredients needed for this. I did a search and came up with plenty of recipes loaded with butter and cream, but yours jumped out at me and my family raved about it. It’s officially a family recipe, thank you!

    • YAY Heather, I’m so glad to hear this recipe was a hit for you and your family! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  103. I am making this recipe tonight. I got it all prepared this morning. The only thing I changed is the fact that I make and freeze my own broccoli soup and used this along with the 1 cup milk and flour.

  104. Hi Erin,

    Should the 2 cups be cooked rice? I want to make this recipe this week, and may use farro prepped ahead or frozen rice instead. If I use the frozen rice, in the step where I cook the broccoli do I undercook it a bit (i.e. still just steam for 5 min like you instruct in the recipe)?

    • Hi Alison, the recipe calls for 2 cups of instant rice, so if you are using already cooked/frozen rice, it would still be 2 cups. If it’s fully cooked, I don’t think you’d need to steam it with the broccoli and could just stir the thawed rice in as you assemble the rest of the dish in step 5. I hope that helps!

  105. It took a lot of research to find a caserol that didn’t include a weird cream of some kind of soup, and now this recipe is a staple in our house.  It’s on rotation every other month or ( probably more frequently in the winter ). My best friend is expecting baby #2 in a few weeks, and I’ll be making a double batch of this to fill her freezer with. This recipe is comforting and so, so yummy. Plus it gets my husband to eat brown rice. Thank you for giving me an easy go to casserole without any nasty additives.

    • Shayna, I’m so happy to hear the recipe is a winner for you! Thank you so much for giving it a try and taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  106. I grrew up eating this casserole, too! I’m so glad I found this recipe. It’s my daughter’s favorite. I did make a change: I used quinoa instead of rice.

    • That sounds like a delicious swap, Lisa! Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try and taking the time to report back.

  107. Great flavors!  The whole family loved it!

    • WOOHOO Jill, I’m glad to hear it was a hit! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful review.

  108. This recipe was easy to follow. I used more cheese for thickness. The casserole turned out very good. Thanks for sharing.

  109. Omg! Thank you I have been looking for a recipe that doesn’t contain cream of (insert random veggie here)soup. My husband can’t have them I am so excited to try this once the weather gets cooler ????????????

  110. Yumm! I made one batch and separated it into two pans. I put one in the fridge for a weeknight meal later in the week and the other into the freezer. Everyone in my family of 4 had a clean plate! Next time, I’ll double the batch.

  111. can you replace milk with something else?

    • Lyndsay, you can try experimenting with a non-dairy milk such as unsweetened almond milk. I would not use coconut milk, as I think that would throw off the flavor. I hope you enjoy it!

  112. Can you freeze this?

  113. Is this good for freezing? I know most sour cream casseroles aren’t. But since it’s yogurt im hoping it is! Im having a baby in 3 weeks and doing some prep! 

  114. The amount of Dijon made it nearly inedible. Maybe 3 teaspoons

    • Hi Kevin, everyone has different tastes, and many readers have enjoyed this recipe with the specified amount of Dijon! If you’re sensitive to the taste, you can definitely scale it back.

  115. I made this a few days ago and it was such a hit! My son’s friend, a 12 year old boy, was over for dinner and said, “woah how did you make that broccoli?! I hate broccoli, but LOVE this!” Also, my son hates brown rice, but simply loves the dish! Everyone had seconds, and we finished the entire casserole. Could not recommend this recipe more…and it’s so easy!

  116. I made this tonight and it was very good! The only changes I made were using my homemade chicken broth which has almost no salt added. I see that the sodium content in the casserole is quite high, so this probably brought the sodium level down a bit. I also had some leftover wild rice that I added to the mix. Gives it a nice bit of crunch and texture. A good thing about the recipe is that you can throw in just about any leftover veggies and it’s still delicious. Celery is a nice addition. All in all, a great non-canned soup casserole that I’ll return to often. Thanks!

    • Diana, thank you for taking the time to share this review! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe.

  117. Hi!  Wondering if this dish freezes well?  I’m due with bad y #3 next week, and attempting to put away some freezer meals for the coming weeks.  Thanks!

  118. I tried this recipe tonight but had to improvise some because I wanted to use leftover turkey, rice, and gravy. I also only had Monterey Jack cheese in the fridge. Worked well though 3 Tbsp of Dijon mustard was a bit strong for my kids. I will be making it again! I avoid canned soups so this is great!!

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