This recipe for Broccoli Cheese Chicken Casserole is a hearty, filling dish that only takes a few minutes to prepare and it all cooks in one pan – even the rice and chicken!
Sure. I might develop recipes for a living, but I don’t exclusively cook my own stuff. We love trying new dishes and are always on the hunt for different things to try. I’m always on the hunt.
When I saw my friend Mary over at Sweet Little Bluebird share this Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice, I knew I had to try it. It’s a homey, comforting dish of rice, chicken, a few canned soups, and butter AND it all cooks in one dish. Now, I love anything with a chicken and rice base – be it Chicken Bog, Jambalaya, or this Fajita Chicken Casserole – so I knew I would love it.
Well, as I predicted, I did love it. In fact, it was an instant hit with the entire family. It was easy, straightforward, and had tons of great flavor without tons of work.
But if you know me, you know I can’t leave well enough alone. So, I got to figuring and tinkering with the original recipe to see how I could squeeze a veggie in there to make this super simple dish into a complete meal.
Adding broccoli seemed like the most likely candidate, so that’s just what I did. With a few other tweaks, this Broccoli Cheese Chicken Casserole was born.
It’s hearty, filling and just plain delicious.
Despite the fact that this recipe is delicious, one of its best attributes is just how dang easy it is. I mean, how many recipes do you have where everything cooks in one dish? Even the chicken and rice all cook together – right at the same time. I’m serious!
Yes, it uses instant rice. Instant rice removes the guesswork in ensuring you have enough liquid for the rice and the right cook time.
Yes, it calls for three cans of “cream of” soup. They add great flavor and make for a super creamy casserole.
Sometimes we have to sacrifice for convenience, but I promise this dish doesn’t taste like a shortcut.
Should you eat this every day of your life? Of course not. As they say, “Everything in moderation.” I like to add… “Including moderation.”
For convenience, I included frozen broccoli florets in the recipe – no washing, no chopping. But, if I’m being totally honest, I don’t LOVE frozen broccoli. I ate my fair share of it as a kid, but it’s just not my favorite.
So, when I make this for us, I typically use about 2 1/2 cups of fresh broccoli florets. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll just grab the little bag of fresh broccoli florets already cut up in the produce section of the grocery store. You know… the little bags that you can just steam?
We like for it to have a little texture, so I just toss it in raw and it cooks right to where we like it in the 1 hour cook time. If you want your broccoli to be a little more tender, you could always blanch it first before adding it to the casserole mixture.
Regardless of whether you use fresh or frozen, I’m guessing this is going to be a family favorite at your house, too. Y’all enjoy!
Broccoli Cheese Chicken Casserole
- 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 pounds)
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained (or about 2 1/2 cups fresh)
- 2 cups instant rice
- 1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
- 1 (10.5-ounce) can broccoli cheese soup
- 1 (10.5-ounce) can cheddar cheese soup
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- 30 butter flavored crackers, coarsely broken (I used Ritz)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the broccoli, rice, cream of chicken soup, broccoli cheese soup, cheddar cheese soup, and water or broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish.
- In a small bowl, stir the butter together with the cracker crumbs and sprinkle the crumbs over the casserole.
- Wrap tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.