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+ servings
wooden spatula in cheesy broccoli rice casserole dish
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5 from 8 votes

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Cheesy chicken and broccoli rice casserole is cheesy, creamy and totally comforting side dish that is perfect with any meal. Make it for special occasions or simply enjoy for everyday dinner! This rice casserole isn’t boring and dull, it’s jazzed with flavors! Truly a keeper recipe!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 533kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 cups broccoli cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 ½ cups long grain rice
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts cleaned and diced or use 1 ½ cup store bough rotisserie chicken
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ¾ cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese fresh grated
  • Salt n pepper to taste

Instructions

Prep:

  • Clean chicken breast, pat it dry with kitchen paper towel. Cut into small bite size pieces. To the chicken add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper, Italian seasoning and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix well to coat evenly.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan. Saute chicken pieces until seared on all sides. Don’t completely cook the chicken pieces. Remove seared chicken pieces from the pan into a separate bowl.
  • Into the same pan add chicken stock (use vegetable stock vegetarian option). Add rice into the boiling water. Reduce flame to low, cover the pan with lid and cook rice until done for about 10-12 minutes(time may vary depending on the pot your use and the type of rice.) Once rice is cooked, remove it into a bowl.
    Jo’s Tip: DO NOT USE MINUTE RICE FOR THIS RECIPE!
  • Rinse broccoli under tap water. Chop into small bite sized pieces. Boil broccoli florets in boiling water for 2 minutes. You want it broccoli to still have a crunch. Don’t cook the broccoli through. Using slotted spatula, transfer immediately half cooked broccoli into a bowl.

Make The Sauce:

  • Note – skip this step if you are using canned soup in your dish.
  • Melt butter in a pan. Saute yellow onions until tender.
  • Add minced garlic and stir for a minute.
  • Next add flour, dry mustard powder, a pinch of salt and pepper, and remaining cayenne pepper.
  • Reduce flame to medium low. Keep stirring to cook the flour mix. Make sure you don’t brown or burn the flour.
  • Slowly pour milk into the flour onion mix while whisking constantly. Pour all the milk and keep stirring. Cook the sauce for few minutes on low flames.
  • Add cream cheese and half of freshly grated cheddar cheese to the sauce mix. Whisk continuing to cook on low flame until cheese is melted and blended through.

Bake Until Bubbly:

  • In a large bowl gently stir half cooked broccoli, sautéed chicken, hot cooked rice and cheese sauce until combined. Transfer the mix into a greased ceramic or oven proof glass casserole or baking dish. Spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle remaining grated cheddar cheese on top.
  • Jo’s Tip: additionally add ritz cracker or bread crumb topping on top of grated cheese.
  • Ritz cracker topping - combine crushed ritz cracker with melted butter and sprinkle on top of cheese before baking.
  • Bread crumb topping-toss fresh soft bread crumbs with melted butter, sprinkle it on top just before it goes into the oven.
  • Cover with aluminium foil (you can bake uncovered. Keep close eye on casserole to ensure cheese does not brown)
  • Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit for about 20-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Video

Notes

 Do NOT use minute rice for this recipe.
Skip the step (Make the sauce) if you are using canned soup in your dish.
You can add ritz cracker or bread crumb topping on top of grated cheese.
Ritz cracker topping - combine crushed ritz cracker with melted butter and sprinkle on top of cheese before baking.
Bread crumb topping-toss fresh soft bread crumbs with melted butter, sprinkle it on top just before it goes into the oven.
Substitutions On Broccoli Rice Casserole
Canned Soup (For Cheese Sauce): to save time and for convenience use canned cream of mushroom soup or canned condensed cream chicken soup.
Pre-packaged Broccoli: to save time, you can use frozen broccoli or pre-packaged broccoli  and/or cauliflower can also be used.
Using Store Bought Rotisserie Chicken: feel free to use store bought rotisserie chicken (or even the leftovers). Chop chicken into small bite size pieces, measure about 1 ½ cups to use. Saves time definitely.
Using Other Varieties of Rice: white long grain rice is the best choice for this casserole recipe. You can substitute long grain rice with brown rice or even quinoa for lighter and healthier options.
Brown rice will take longer to cook and you may want to adjust the cooking time according.
 
 
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that nutritional information provided is only a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 825IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 354mg | Iron: 2mg