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This easy, one-pot Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe is a creamy and satisfying upgrade from simple Broccoli Rice Casserole.
There’s nothing better than a saucy, cozy casserole on a cool night. This easy, cheesy, one-skillet bake makes a hearty and deeply satisfying dinner with only one pan to scrub at the end of it.
Broccoli Rice Casserole Ingredients
Build this recipe into the week’s meal plan to maximize leftovers of rice and/or chicken or turkey, or make it easily from scratch. The sauce is lick-your-plate yummy with two creamy ingredients adding a creamy tang.
- Rice: leftover or freshly-cooked brown, long-grain white, or basmati rice are all contenders. I like brown rice for the lovely texture in this dish and nutty flavour. The added fibre and satiety are bonuses. (But I also make it regularly with leftover basmati). Without leftover rice on hand, use my super-easy pasta boiling method to prep the rice while the rest of the dish is being cooked. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add rice and boil on medium heat until al-dente, about 15 minutes.
- Sauce: thicken chicken broth with flour to make the gravy. Whisk in sour cream and secret ingredient mayo to add richness and tang.
- Protein: I’ve made this recipe many times with many protein variations. It’s great using cooked chicken thighs, rotisserie chicken, or leftover turkey.
- Veggies: onions add savoury depth and broccoli is the star.
How to Make It: Quick & Simple
- Start with a saute of the onions and garlic in butter. Sprinkle the flour over before adding the liquids and remaining ingredients. As long as you’ve used an oven-proof vessel, this entire recipe can be made in one skillet (I consider a large cast iron skillet is an absolute kitchen essential) or dutch oven.
- Don’t be tempted to add extra rice, it’ll absorb sauce as it bakes, continues to absorb sauce after it comes out of the oven, and is excellent saucy.
- Occasionally the sauce will appear a bit curdled when you add the sour cream and mayo. To avoid this, you can whisk a cup or so of the steaming sauce into the mayo/sour cream in a heat-proof dish to thin it and make it easier to whisk into a full skillet. It also helps to turn off the heat and let the sauce cool a bit before you whisk it acidic ingredients. But honestly, once everything bakes together it is imperceptible.
- If you don’t have cooked chicken on hand, feel free to start the recipe by searing 4-6 skin-on chicken thighs to get the skin crispy, transferring them to a plate and adding back in where you’d add the cooked chicken. Just take the internal temperature to make sure it’s cooked through to 165ºF before you pull it from the oven.
If you’re looking for another new creamy, cozy chicken dinner option, my Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas are also a favourite.
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 cups finely chopped onion from 1 large or 2 small
- ½ tsp kosher salt*
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ½ tsp freshly-ground pepper
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 cups broccoli florets, cut small from 1 broccoli crown
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (or any other variety)
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 1 cup grated cheddar
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Heat butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and 1/2 tsp salt and stir. When onions soften (about 6 minutes), add the garlic and cook a minute more.
- Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir. Whisk in the broth, 1/2 cup at a time to prevent lumps. Allow mixture to come to a boil and thicken up.
- Once the sauce is bubbly and thick, turn off the heat. Whisk in the sour cream, mayo and black pepper. Taste and add more salt to taste (see recipe note below).
- Gently stir in the broccoli, chicken and rice. Top with cheese.
- Drizzle olive oil over breadcrumbs in a small bowl and use your fingers to combine until all the breadcrumbs are moistened. Sprinkle over cheese. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 20 minutes.
Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD