Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe

A scrumptious cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole made from scratch without canned creamed soup and topped with a buttery cracker topping.

    • Author: Beth Pierce
    • Prep Time: 10 minutes
    • Cook Time: 45 minutes
    • Total Time: 55 minutes
    • Yield: 6 servings
    • Category: main meal chicken
    • Method: stovetop/bake
  • Cuisine: American



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast cut in bite sizes pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 4 cups broccoli florets cut in bite size pieces
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 ¼ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers crushed (32 crackers)
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes.  Move the onions to one side of the skillet. Add the chicken and cook until browned, flipping halfway through to brown both sides.  Work in batches with the chicken, removing the cooked pieces to a plate and stirring the onions on the other side of the skillet. Once all the chicken has been cooked, add the garlic; cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly. Plate the onions and garlic.
  2. Meanwhile, add the water, butter, salt, and long-grain rice to a saucepan.  Heat until boiling, and then cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.  Steam the broccoli on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 9×13 inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat.  Sprinkle in the flour and whisk continuously while cooking for 2-3 minutes.  Add the crushed red pepper, onion powder, dried marjoram, and dried thyme.  Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk, alternating between the two.  Continue whisking and cooking until smooth and slightly thickened.  Turn the heat to low and whisk in 1 1/4 cups of cheddar. Add the cooked chicken, rice, and broccoli and stir to coat.
  5. Spoon 1/2 the chicken mixture into the prepared casserole dish and top with 1/2 cup cheddar. Spoon the rest of the chicken mixture in and top with the remaining cheese. Combine the crackers and melted butter.  Sprinkle it over the casserole and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is browned and the cheese is melted.


  • Cut the chicken into thin bite-size pieces so it cooks evenly and quickly.
  • The onions and chicken can be cooked at the same time by pushing the onions off to one side of the pan and working in batches with the chicken.  If needed, add a little butter or olive oil to keep the chicken from sticking.
  • Brown rice can be substituted for the white rice.
  • Cook the rice and broccoli at the same time right in a steamer over the rice pot.  It only takes about 5 minutes, so add the steamer basket full of broccoli to the pot as soon as you turn it to simmer.  Cover and steam until tender.  Then remove from the rice pot and cover the rice pot with the lid.  Work quickly so as not to interrupt the rice cooking.
  • Use good quality cheddar cheese and grate it fresh.  The expense and effort are well worth the added flavor.
  • Other veggies to add to this recipe include mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini. 
  • You could also top the casserole with cornflakes, panko bread crumbs, or Italian breadcrumbs.
  • For a low-carb keto casserole, leave out the rice and make it chicken broccoli casserole.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Freeze in a heavy-duty container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat leftovers in the microwave at a reduced power level.

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