There’s something so nostalgic and comforting about a good casserole for a weeknight dinner and this Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole hits all the comfort food buttons. It’s cheesy and savory with tender bites of chicken and broccoli in every bite.
With all our instant pot, slow cooker, sheet pan or one pan dinners and skillet meals that are so popular these days, I feel like the good ol’ casserole gets overlooked.
These vintage-y creations bring to mind potlucks and church suppers and have often served the function of stretching food during tough times. And today I’m teaming up with some of my favorite food blogging friends to share casserole recipes of all sorts, including this cheesy chicken broccoli and rice casserole, so be sure to keep scrolling to the end of the post to get all the casserole inspiration you need!
With a vegetable, protein, and starch, this chicken, broccoli and rice casserole is a complete meal in one dish. And while many casserole recipes call for cans of cream of something soup, I skipped it in favor of making a super simple from scratch version for the sauce.
All it takes is a little chicken broth mixed into sauteed onions and garlic, thickened with a little flour to create a quick base that you can doctor up with some sour cream and seasonings.
Then the rest of the dish is mostly about assembly. You could either layer everything into a casserole dish, starting with rice, then the shredded chicken, broccoli, sauce and cheese, or mix it all together. I mixed everything together in this version, but I like it both ways.
I also included a panko topping here for a little extra texture and crunch, but you can forgo that as well if you prefer a cheesy top.
As for the protein in this casserole, I’m all about roasting an extra whole chicken or doubling up my crispy cast iron skillet chicken thighs and using the extra meat in meals like this during the week. Or picking up a rotisserie chicken from Costco. It just makes life that much easier.
It also makes it super easy to double up your cooking and assemble more than one chicken broccoli and rice casserole at once if you need to take a meal to a friend in need of a helping hand or some comfort.
Because although they may not be foodie-forward or fancy, nothing quite says “I’m here for you” like a casserole dinner prepared by someone else so you don’t have to worry about what to put on the table that night.
And that’s something that will always be in style.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped into bite-size pieces
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs or crushed cornflakes
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet or pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the melted butter and saute until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Whisk in the flour.
- Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, a little at a time, until there are no lumps of flour remaining. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning, and remove from heat. Stir in the sour cream and milk.
- While the sauce cooks, microwave the broccoli florets in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap, until bright green and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes (no need to add water). Be careful not to overcook or they will become soggy and discolored. This step is optional, but it helps the broccoli be more tender with less overall cooking time for the entire casserole. If you prefer your broccoli to be less soft, just skip this step.
- In a large bowl, combine the rice, chicken, broccoli, and sauce, folding everything together until evenly coated and ingredients are mixed. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the top of the casserole evenly with the grated cheddar cheese.
- In a small bowl, mix together the panko, Parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over cheese layer.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-35 minutes or until heated through. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes until the panko crumbs are golden brown.
If you don't have poultry seasoning on hand, just use 1/4 teaspoon sage, with 1/8 teaspoon each of thyme, marjoram, and rosemary, along with a pinch each of nutmeg, black pepper, and cayenne pepper for a quick DIY homemade poultry seasoning blend that makes just enough for this recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 575 Saturated Fat: 19g Cholesterol: 118mg Sodium: 1040mg Carbohydrates: 34g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 28g
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