This chicken broccoli casserole is a one pot meal with sauteed chicken, rice, broccoli florets and cheese, finished off with a crunchy topping. A comfort food classic that’s quick to make and always gets rave reviews!
Casseroles are popular for good reason – they’re quick to assemble, feed a crowd and can be easily modified to suit your tastes. This chicken broccoli casserole is a complete meal in one pot, and is on my regular dinner menu rotation.
How do you make chicken broccoli casserole?
Start by cooking diced raw chicken in a large pot until golden brown. Add onions and garlic, then cook until the veggies are soft. Stir in uncooked rice, cream of chicken soup, chicken broth and Italian seasoning, then cook until the rice is tender. Stir in broccoli florets during the last few minutes of the rice cooking time. Add half the cheese to the rice, then sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top. Add a layer of crushed buttered crackers, then place the pan in the oven. Bake until the cheese is melted and crackers are golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve immediately.
Tips for the perfect casserole
- I like to use raw chicken breast tenders for this recipe, because they stay very tender when cooked and are easy to cut into bite sized pieces. Cubed chicken breast will also work just fine.
- I typically use fresh broccoli because I find it has the best texture, but frozen broccoli will also work. Just make sure to thaw the broccoli first.
- This recipe is designed to be made with long grain white rice. Brown rice takes longer to cook and will require more liquid if you choose to go that route.
- Skip the store bought shredded cheese and grate your own instead. Pre-shredded cheese contains anti caking agents and preservatives and often doesn’t melt smoothly.
Can you cook raw chicken in a casserole?
I really recommend cooking your chicken before you put it in a casserole. Raw chicken can sometimes cook unevenly in a casserole and get a rubbery texture. It also takes longer to cook the dish.
Chicken broccoli casserole flavor variations
This dish is great as-is, but you can absolutely change up the ingredients to make the flavors work for your family.
- Protein: Instead of chicken breast, try chicken thighs, Italian sausage, smoked chicken sausage or even ground beef. You can also add cooked and crumbled bacon.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add more veggies such as shredded carrots, sliced mushrooms, zucchini, diced bell peppers, spinach or corn.
- Grains: You can use small pasta such as orzo or small shells instead of rice. Pearl couscous is also a good choice.
- Cheese: I like a blend of cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan. Other great options include Monterey Jack, colby, swiss, fontina or provolone.
My family always requests this chicken broccoli casserole and I’m happy to oblige. It’s a great way to get dinner on the table with minimal effort.
More casserole recipes to try
- Ham Casserole
- Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole
- Pizza Casserole
- Cauliflower Casserole
- Hamburger Casserole
Chicken Broccoli Casserole Video
Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- 3 tablespoons butter divided use
- 1 pound raw chicken tenderloins or chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup long grain white rice uncooked
- 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
- 2 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups broccoli florets cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided use
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup buttery crackers such as Ritz, coarsely crushed
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large oven safe pan over medium heat.
- Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned.
- Add the onion and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until softened.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Next, add the rice, cream of chicken soup and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Cover the pan and cook for 12 minutes. Uncover the pan and stir in the broccoli. Cover the pan. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Uncover the pan and stir in half the cheddar cheese, and all of the parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the crackers to the bowl and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top, then add the crackers over the cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crackers are golden brown.
- Sprinkle with parsley, then serve.