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5 from 2 votes

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

A hearty, cheesy and comforting casserole with tender chicken, crisp tender broccoli and creamy rice
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Author: Tricia

Ingredients

For the casserole:

  • 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups long grain white rice (250g or 9oz)
  • 3 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (32oz or 907g)
  • 1 ½ cups milk 12oz (plus up to 1/2 cup additional milk if needed for desired consistency)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (8oz)
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan (1oz or 30g)
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, diced (3 medium chicken breasts)

For the topping:

  • cup bread or cracker crumbs (50g or 1 ½oz)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (15g or ½oz)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

To prepare the casserole:

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish; set aside.
  • Place a large colander in the kitchen sink and add the broccoli florets. Carefully pour half a kettle of boiling water over the broccoli. Toss gently, then pour the remaining boiling water over the broccoli. Repeat and drain while preparing the rice.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and black pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and milk. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently until the rice is tender, about 10 to15 minutes. There should be some milky liquid remaining. If the rice absorbed all the milk and broth, add ¼ to ½ cup additional milk to the pot.
  • Remove from the heat and add the Dijon mustard, cayenne, 2 cups cheddar cheese and ½ cup Parmesan. Stir to combine. Fold in the diced chicken and drained broccoli. Mix gently to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining ½ cup cheddar. (At this point the casserole can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

To prepare the topping:

  • In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, ¼ cup of Parmesan, melted butter and garlic powder.
  • Sprinkle the topping over the casserole. Bake until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool briefly then serve.

Notes

Make ahead directions: Prepare the filling and pour into the prepared casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bring the casserole to room temperature then top with the bread crumb mixture. Bake as directed.
This casserole is easily cut in half, if desired.
Substitute Panko bread crumbs, seasoned croutons, crushed saltines or Ritz crackers for the bread crumbs, if desired. You can also use cubed toasted bread as a topping as well as canned French fried onions.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Rewarm individual portions in the microwave.
A portion of this recipe was inspired by Cook’s Country and Eating Well