Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is the easy recipe you need to please everyone at your table. The flavors are simple and appealing, the prep is fast, and that golden topping seals the deal. Unlike many similar recipes, this healthy casserole contains NO SOUP!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Ultimate Crowd Appeal. Deep down, everyone loves good casseroles! Growing up, they were a fixture at our table (my mom was the casserole QUEEN). Cheese and creamy sauce? What’s not to adore.
- All-In-One. A mix of brown rice, quickly sautéed chicken, and fresh broccoli, this casserole offers every food group in a single meal. (Looking for a vegetarian version? Check out Broccoli Rice Casserole and Broccoli Quinoa Casserole).
- Simple Ingredients. This from-scratch casserole contains NO cream of anything soup or processed cheese. You can taste the difference!
- Freezer-Friendly. Casseroles are one of the best freezer-friendly recipes. Whether you double it for meal prep or need freezer meals for new moms or a meal train, this cheesy chicken broccoli casserole is ideal.
- Adaptable. Consider this your casserole chicken and broccoli casserole home base. From here, you can add different flavors (like Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole) or swap the broccoli for other veggies, like in this Chicken and Rice Casserole, which uses a bag of mixed frozen veggies.
5 Star Review
“I never review recipes but this one is AMAZING!!! It tastes just like the cheesy broccoli rice my mom makes for holidays only, but with significantly less calories! Added to my favorites!”— Paige —
How to Make the Best Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Instant Brown Rice. Since rice needs to be cooked before being added to casseroles, I use instant to keep this recipe as fast and easy as possible.
- Chicken Breasts. Lean chicken breast keeps this casserole on the lighter side while still adding filling protein. While you can put raw chicken in a casserole, we’re going to sauté it first for this recipe to make sure it cooks through and get this casserole on the table even more quickly.
- Broccoli Florets. Packed with fiber and vitamins, broccoli is a powerhouse casserole ingredient. Once baked with the chicken and cheesy sauce, even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy this green veggie.
- Spices. A simple blend of salt, pepper, and garlic powder adds approachable seasoning to this casserole.
- All-Purpose Flour + Milk + Greek Yogurt. Instead of less nutritious canned soups or Velveeta, a mixture of flour, milk, and yogurt creates the base for this casserole’s creamy, luscious sauce.
- Dijon Mustard. Adds tanginess and helps enhance the cheesy flavor.
- Cheddar Cheese. Sharp cheddar is my favorite, because a little goes a long way. It’s bold, beloved, and a perfect pairing with the broccoli.
- Pre-Cook the Broccoli and Rice. You can cook these in the same pot.
- Sauté the Chicken. Then move it to a plate.
- Make the Sauce. Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese make it taste rich and creamy, even though this casserole is healthier than most.
- Combine. Stir it all together with a big spoon.
- Bake. Top with the cheese then cook the chicken broccoli rice casserole at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate casserole in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- To Freeze. Freeze casserole in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. You can freeze this either before or after baking it. Be sure your dish is freezer safe.
What to Serve with Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- Carrots. Another family-friendly veggie that goes well with rice casseroles. Try Sautéed Carrots or Roasted Carrots.
- Cauliflower. This low-carb veggie goes nicely with rice-based dishes. Try Roasted Cauliflower or Air Fryer Cauliflower.
- Sweet Potatoes. Roasted Sweet Potatoes add a comforting, nutrient-rich touch.
Recommended Tools to Make Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Baking Dish. Perfect for making this casserole.
- Measuring Spoons. These double-sided spoons are magnetic for easy storage.
- Measuring Cup. Microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Mind Your Rice. This recipe was written for instant brown rice (the kind that cooks in 5-10 minutes). If you’d like to use other rice, such as wild rice or regular brown rice cooked on the stovetop, prepare the rice separately, steam the broccoli, then stir it all together with the cheese sauce and chicken.
- Speed It Up with Precooked Chicken. Skip the sautéing step and make shredded chicken in advance, or swap store-bought rotisserie chicken.
- Use Broth, Not Water. For a more savory taste and to enhance the chicken flavor, cook the rice in chicken broth instead of water.
- Add a Crispy Topping. If you’re a sucker for breadcrumb topping, make one for this casserole by combining 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs or crushed Ritz crackers. Sprinkle on the casserole just before baking.
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Brown rice is already gluten-free. Swap the all-purpose flour for a 1:1 gluten-free flour substitute.
Unfortunately for the low-carb/keto/paleo dieters out there, in short, no I do not recommend cauliflower rice for this, as I think it would be mushy and watery. Instead, try adding chicken and broccoli to this Cauliflower Casserole. Or check out this low-carb Spaghetti Squash Casserole.
You can freeze a casserole fully baked or assembled unbaked—I personally prefer to bake it all the way first so it reheats more quickly. Be sure to let it cool all the way to room temperature and use a freezer-safe dish. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator or (if you forget) cover with foil and cook directly from frozen.