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This cheesy chicken broccoli rice casserole positively oozes comfort. Totally homemade (right down to the cheese sauce – no canned soups here!) and full of delicious flavor and satisfying ingredients. Simple, and simply incredible, this is one recipe your family will beg you to make over and over again.

Overhead view of a white rectangular casserole dish full of cheesy chicken, broccoli, and rice.

🥦 What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • If you ask me, chicken broccoli rice casserole is the epitome of comfort food. Juicy chicken, tender broccoli, filling rice, and that cheese sauce?! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. This is one of those dishes that I’ve made for years because it’s just so delicious, and this recipe is the best of the best.
  • That cheese sauce I mentioned before? Unlike most versions of this dish, we’ve left out all the canned soups – no cream of chicken, no cream of mushroom, no cream of broccoli. Instead, we’ll make a rich, creamy sauce from a base of butter, flour, onion, and garlic.
  • Even with that homemade cheese sauce, this casserole is SO easy and simple. Honestly, you probably have everything you need for it in your kitchen right now, but even if you don’t, you can easily keep the bulk of the ingredients on hand. If you want to make it even easier, shred up a rotisserie chicken rather than cooking the chicken yourself.

🧀 Chef’s Tips

  • Chicken broccoli rice casserole is a terrific make-ahead option, whether you’re anticipating a busy weeknight ahead of you or looking for something to take to a friend. Prep everything right up to the point of putting the casserole in the oven, then cover it with foil and put it in the fridge instead (I mean, let the cheese sauce cool first). It can be refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking. When you’re ready to eat, just let the casserole come to room temperature while the oven preheats.
  • Looking to stock your freezer with casseroles? You’re in luck. This one freezes well, too. You can freeze it before or after baking it – just make sure you’re using a freezer-safe, airtight container, and that the food is completely cool before storing it. It can be frozen up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, let it defrost in the fridge overnight, then bake as instructed.
Overhead view of a white rectangular casserole dish angled from the top right corner of the image. Dish contains a baked chicken broccoli rice casserole.

Can’t Get Enough Casseroles

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
4.67 from 6 votes

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole


Prep 15 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour
Easy, cheesy, and bursting with comfort, this chicken broccoli rice casserole is sure to be a family favorite.
8 servings

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Stove
  • medium saucepan
  • Large wooden spoon or silicone spatula
  • whisk
  • 9×13 casserole dish ungreased
  • Fork

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ cups chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3-4 cups shredded cheese of choice divided, see Notes
  • 2 pounds cooked chicken breasts shredded or cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cups cooked or frozen rice long-grain white rice or brown rice
  • 2 large heads broccoli raw, cut into florets; approximately 7-8 cups broccoli florets

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Heat medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • When saucepan is warm, add butter and let melt completely, then add chopped onion. Sauté onion until translucent and very soft, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add garlic to saucepan. Sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle 6 tablespoons flour into saucepan with sautéed onions and garlic. Whisk well until all ingredients are combined, then cook mixture 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is strong yellow color.
  • Pour in chicken stock and whisk until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to low boil. Once mixture begins to boil, reduce heat back to medium and let mixture simmer 5 to 10 minutes, or until mixture has thickened enough to coat back of spoon.
  • When mixture has thickened, add dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Whisk well to incorporate spices.
  • Reduce heat under saucepan to low. Add 2 cups shredded cheese and whisk until cheese is melted and well incorporated. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.
    Overhead view of chicken broth, garlic, onions, flour, and shredded cheddar cheese in a medium silver saucepan with a silver handle.
  • Add chicken, rice, and broccoli to 9×13 casserole dish, then pour in cheese sauce mixture. Stir to combine ingredients and spread mixture out into one even layer.
    Overhead view of chicken, rice, and broccoli in a large white rectangular casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle remaining 1 to 2 cups shredded cheese evenly over top of chicken and rice mixture.
    Overhead view of cheesy chicken, broccoli, rice casserole in a large white rectangular casserole dish.
  • Place casserole dish in preheated oven. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until broccoli can be easily pierced with tines of fork.
  • When broccoli is fork-tender, remove casserole dish from oven and let stand 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, portion casserole onto serving plates or bowls and serve warm.
  • Make it Gluten Free: Use gluten-free all-purpose flour, and make sure your chicken stock is totally gluten free.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 550calProtein: 49gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 161mgSodium: 653mgPotassium: 451mgTotal Carbs: 24gFiber: 1gNet Carbs: 23gVitamin A: 715IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 338mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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12 Comments

  1. Avatar Heather Kesler says:

    How would you do this with frozen chicken?

  2. Hi! Can I freeze this?

      1. Avatar Heather Geiyer says:

        Are there any alterations to when you freeze it? As in, don’t cook at all before freezing or cook until step #3?

    1. Avatar Savannah | 40 Aprons Team says:

      We honestly would probably just freeze the broccoli, chicken, and cheese mixture without the rice. The rice may get a little mushy if you freeze it, but that doesn’t bother some people!

  3. Made it per instructions and mine came out a little dry as well. I’m thinking about adding an extra cup or cup and a half of chicken stock to the sauce mixture and letting the rice absorb it next time I make it. Aside of that, it was delicious!!4 stars

  4. If I put this in the freezer, would the baking instructions change at all? Can’t wait to try!

  5. Avatar Linda Christensen says:

    will make this again, add mushrooms.5 stars

  6. Sounds really tasty, thank you for sharing! Just wondering though, you say 3 cups of brown rice. Ia it cooked, dry, long grain, instant? Thank you for the recipe and for your time!4 stars

    1. Definitely cooked, but beyond that, it doesn’t really matter. Instant would work fine, so long as you finish the cooking process first. You could use long-grain brown rice or jasmine, even, too! Whatever you have on hand. I prefer long-grain in general, so I would go with a basic long-grain brown, not jasmine.

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