Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole – A delicious and easy casserole recipe that’s topped with a cheesy and crumbly Ritz cracker topping. The perfect “all in one” meal that’s great for busy weeknights. This chicken broccoli casserole is a staple dish at our house!
During the week, I love to make easy dinner recipes that can be thrown together and made in no time. This broccoli casserole is one of my top picks, along with one pot goulash, slow cooker honey chicken and taco soup.
Chicken Broccoli Casserole
I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the hunt for quick and easy meals my whole family will eat. This chicken broccoli rice casserole is one of those staple dishes that we always come back to. I admit, growing up I wasn’t a huge fan of broccoli, but over the years I’ve come to love it. Pretty sure roasted broccoli and broccoli cheese soup are what converted me. But now I’m a huge fan!
This chicken and broccoli casserole is so easy to make and tastes so delicious! It’s the perfect “all in one” meal and can easily be prepared earlier in the day and then baked right before dinner time. I love making it with a homemade cream sauce, but you can certainly use a can of cream of chicken soup to save time. I left some notes in the recipe card on how to do this.
My favorite part about this chicken broccoli and rice casserole is the cheesy crumb topping. The crumbled Ritz crackers on top really make this dish. You can certainly leave them off if you’re trying to save on calories, but they make the chicken broccoli casserole taste SO yummy!
How do you make chicken and broccoli casserole?
What I love about this chicken broccoli cheese casserole is that it bakes in one pan and can easily be prepared ahead of time. So all you have to do is throw it in the oven later in the day! So easy and delicious. Scroll down for the printable broccoli casserole recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray an 8×8″ pan with non-stick spray.
- Spread the cooked rice out evenly in the bottom of the pan and then place the chopped broccoli on top of the rice. Set aside.
- In a pan over low heat, melt 4 Tablespoons of butter. Whisk the flour in slowly and mix until combined. Then slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Add in the Italian seasoning and then stir until slightly thickened (about 2 minutes). Next mix in sour cream and half cup cheese. Whisk until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Then add the shredded chicken to the cream mixture and pour it over top of the broccoli. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top. Mix the ritz crumbs with the remaining butter and sprinkle over top.
- Bake chicken broccoli casserole uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
How to freeze chicken broccoli casserole
- Make sure to prepare the broccoli casserole in a dish that can go in both the oven and the freezer.
- Then follow the cooking instructions and bake until done. It’s important that you let the chicken broccoli rice casserole cool completely before freezing (the broccoli can get mushy if frozen when warm). I’d recommend letting it sit out for an hour or two.
- Once the broccoli casserole has cooled, cover the dish with foil, then slide into a freezer bag. Make sure that the casserole is stored in a flat, level spot in the freezer.
- To thaw, place the chicken broccoli and rice casserole in the refrigerator the night before serving.
- Once ready to bake, remove the foil and bake at 350°F until it’s warm all throughout (about 20-30 minutes). If the Ritz crumb topping starts to burn, feel free to cover with foil while reheating.
What sides to serve with chicken casserole?
Although we often eat this chicken broccoli rice casserole as a complete meal, you can definitely still add some sides if you’re trying to bulk it up a bit. See below for some of our favorites.
- Roasted asparagus, brussels sprouts or carrots.
- Corn on the cob
- Baked zucchini fries
- Lion house rolls
- Fruit salad
- Side salad, such as mandarin orange salad or apple spinach salad.
Ways to make this chicken broccoli casserole healthier
- Use brown rice or quinoa.
- Use less rice and more vegetables (carrots, mushrooms and/or bell peppers would be great).
- Add more chicken for extra protein.
- Use low-fat sour cream and cheese.
- Use whole wheat bread crumbs instead of Ritz crackers.
Chicken Broccoli Casserole Recipe
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 2 cups chopped raw broccoli
- 2 cups cooked chicken (I like to use shredded rotisserie or leftovers)
- 6 Tablespoons butter (divided)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspooons Italian seasoning
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
- 12 ritz crackers
S&P to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8x8" pan with non-stick spray.
- Place the cooked rice in the bottom of the pan. Then place the chopped broccoli on top of the rice. Set aside.
- Melt 4 Tablespoons butter in a pan over low heat. Slowly whisk in the flour and mix until combined. Then slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Add in the Italian seasoning. Stir until slightly thickened (about 2 minutes). Next mix in the sour cream and 1/2 cup cheese. Whisk until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the shredded chicken into the cream mixture and then pour over top of the broccoli. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top. Mix the ritz crumbs with the remaining butter and sprinkle over top.
- Bake chicken broccoli casserole uncovered for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.