Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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This cheesy chicken broccoli and rice casserole is the ultimate comfort food! We've replaced the traditional canned condensed soup with a simple homemade cream sauce for a healthier take, and there's no need to pre-cook the rice, broccoli, or chicken – simply dump it all into a casserole dish and bake.

chicken broccoli and rice casserole with cheese in a white casserole dish on a marble surface

Here at Fed and Fit, we love a good casserole. Typically, they're easy to make, a great candidate for hiding veggies, and they can feed an army. This cheesy chicken broccoli and rice casserole is no exception. In fact, it's probably one of the easiest and tastiest casseroles you'll ever make because it doesn't require any cooking ahead of time. Instead, you'll simply mix up the raw ingredients, dump them into a casserole dish, and bake. The resulting dish is creamy, flavorful, and perfectly balanced. Your whole family will love this one!

How to Make Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

If you ever look at the recipes for the casseroles you ate growing up, you'll probably notice that cream of chicken or mushroom soup was included in the recipe. We wanted to make this chicken broccoli rice casserole a bit healthier, so we decided to skip the traditional gloppy, flavorless, filled-with-odd-ingredients canned soup in favor of a homemade version. Don't be intimidated though – it only takes a few steps and the homemade cream of chicken soup will give this casserole tons of flavor!

  1. Saute onion and garlic. The first step for the soup is to saute half a diced onion and 3 cloves of garlic until they are just lightly browned. If you're short on time, you can skip this step and add in 1 teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder instead!
  2. Whisk in 2 tablespoons flour. Next, you'll sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic and whisk to combine it with the butter in the pan. This recipe works great with a gluten-free flour like this one as well!
  3. Whisk in the broth and milk. Finally, you'll pour in the chicken broth, whisking constantly, until there are no lumps, then pour in the milk. For a dairy-free version, we recommend substituting full-fat coconut milk.

While making the homemade cream of chicken soup is super easy, you can still rely on canned if you need to! This gluten-free, organic version from Pacific Foods is our go-to. Just use two boxes plus one cup of broth in place of the broth, milk, and flour in the recipe.

cheesy chicken broccoli rice casserole in a round white pot with a scoop taken out of it and set on a white plate on a marble surfaceDo you have to cook the rice before putting it in the casserole?

Nope! Once you've made the sauce, all you have to do is chop up the raw chicken and broccoli, then combine it with the rice and sauce. Then, you'll place it all in the casserole dish, cover with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil, and cook for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, you'll remove the lid from the pot and sprinkle the cheese over, then bake for another 15 minutes to let it melt.

Will raw rice cook in a casserole?

It will. As long as your lid is tight-fitting (if it isn't, feel free to cover tightly with aluminum foil), your rice will steam and cook while in the oven. Pretty amazing, right?!

Can you put raw chicken in a casserole?

YES! That's the beauty of this dish, honestly! Everything goes in the oven raw and comes out perfectly cooked.

Can I freeze chicken broccoli rice casserole?

Yes! This casserole freezes like a dream. You can either freeze a fully-baked casserole whole then reheat it in a 350 F oven for 1 hour, or you can freeze individual portions and reheat them by microwaving for 3-4 minutes or by baking in a 350 F oven for 15-20 minutes.

broccoli chicken and rice casserole

Here are the most common questions we've gotten about this Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Can I use frozen broccoli?

Yes! You can use 3/4 pound frozen broccoli florets in place of fresh for this recipe.

Can I substitute cauliflower rice or brown rice for white rice?

Unfortunately, you can't substitute cauliflower rice for white rice. The liquid in this recipe is absorbed by the rice, so substituting cauliflower rice would result in a very soupy texture. BUT the good news is that we've already got a Paleo cheesy broccoli casserole. If you want to make it a full meal, we recommend adding about 4 cups shredded chicken to the broccoli and cauliflower mixture before baking.

We haven't tested substituting brown rice for white rice in this recipe yet. Typically, brown rice requires more liquid to cook than white rice, so we'd recommend adding an extra cup of broth to the recipe.

Can I make this chicken broccoli rice casserole in the Instant Pot?

We tested this casserole in the Instant Pot but found that the Instant Pot failed to come to pressure and the casserole routinely burned the bottom of the pot – so we can only recommend the oven method for now!

Can I make it without chicken?

Many of you have asked about making this casserole without the chicken so you can make it as a side dish for Thanksgiving. You can absolutely leave the chicken out and it will still bake up perfectly.

We hope you love this easy chicken broccoli and rice casserole as much as we do!


Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

This cheesy chicken broccoli and rice casserole is so comforting and delicious, and comes together in minutes!

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American



For the cream of chicken soup*:

  • 1/2 onion, diced (may substitute with 1 teaspoon onion powder)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (may substitute with 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter or ghee
  • 3 tablespoons flour (we used this one for gluten-free)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk or full-fat coconut milk

For the casserole:

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 pound broccoli florets (about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Add the butter to a saute pan over medium heat, once melted, add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
  3. Add the flour to the pot and whisk to combine, then slowly pour in the chicken broth, whisking the mixture constantly to ensure there are no lumps. Once smooth, whisk in the milk, salt, pepper, and thyme and let cook for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce is thick and bubbling.
  4. Add the rice, chicken, and broccoli to a 4-quart baking dish, then pour the sauce over and toss to combine. Make sure that the sauce completely covers the rice mixture, if it doesn't, add another 1/2 cup of broth or switch to a different dish. Cover the dish with foil and make sure that the foil is secured very tightly. It needs to steam to ensure the rice cooks through.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes, until the rice is fully cooked through and the liquid is absorbed, then remove the foil and sprinkle with cheese and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted.


  • If you'd like to save time, you can use 2 boxes of this cream of chicken soup plus one cup of chicken broth in place of making the homemade version.
  • For dairy-free: use full-fat canned coconut milk in place of the milk.

Keywords: gluten free, dairy free, broccoli, cheddar, easy, make ahead

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Recipe rating

  1. Brittany Rondello says:

    I will be making this this week as I was going to do a wing it version anyway! Curious if I wanted to freeze a portion for another night would this do well to do so before baking? And if so do you have suggestions on any substitutions for bake time or temp? Thank you!! Can’t wait to try!

  2. Rosey says:

    I made this tonight and it was wonderful! So easy and my kids all loved it.

    5.0 rating

  3. Andrea says:

    So easy and so delicious!

    5.0 rating

  4. Gray says:

    Can you use light buttermilk in place of regular milk?

  5. Dahlia says:

    Thinking about making this without chicken and just having chicken on the side! Will it cook the same? Can’t wait to make this cozy meal!

  6. Michele says:

    Just put this in the oven, but my largest baking dish is only 3 quarts! Hope it doesn’t overflow.

  7. NIkki says:

    Could I do it as a one pot meal in a dutch oven?

  8. Jessica says:

    Is the chicken supposed to be cooked before you add it? Or it goes in raw and cooks through in the oven?

    1. Jessica says:

      Same with the rice? It goes in without being cooked first? Thanks!

  9. Melanie VanMeter says:

    I am baking this recipe right now! I used jasmine rice instead of white, and it’s been in the oven for 55min thus far and I just stuck it back in because the rice is still hard. Is this because I used jasmine rice?

  10. Shanna says:

    I love the flavour of this dish and the idea but my rice didn’t cook and it was covered with foil for the allotted time then cooked uncovered for the 15. Any ideas? I used white long grain rice for reference.

    2.0 rating

    1. Ashley says:

      I am having the same issue! Cooked exactly as directed. I’m using a 4 quart all-clad covered pot. Not sure what the issue is but my family sure is hungry 😐

    2. Ashley says:

      Update: I turned the heat up to 400 degrees F, and about an hour more it was done! We will eat it tomorrow.

    3. Michelle says:

      My advice for the rice is make sure it’s at the bottom of the pan so it gets fully coated with liquid.

  11. Jessica says:

    Can I use sprouted whole grain rice?

  12. Ashley says:

    Update, I meant a *4 quart pot above and also when I turned the heat up to 400 and baked for an extra hour it was done! We’ll try reheating it for tomorrow….

  13. Caroline strand says:

    Is it possible to make ahead of time and let sit in fridge before baking? Or will that mess up the rice?

  14. Jenna says:

    What about using quinoa? Will that change bake time or liquid requirements?

    1. Jill says:

      Did you ever try this with quinoa?

  15. Megan says:

    This was actually even better than I expected! Wanted a health-ified comfort food and this was spot on. Was flavorful and delicious. Hubby and I both went back for more. Will be making again! I did add a little liquid while I mixed the ingredients and then had to add 5 more minutes of cooking time with foil, but only 10 minutes with cheese without foil.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      SO glad you and your hubby loved it, Megan!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. Megan says:

    If I plan to use a dutch oven, should I alter the cook time? Any other changes to the recipe if using a dutch oven? Its my first time using one!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      It should be the same amount of time, Megan!! Enjoy!

  17. Lindsay says:

    Thank you so much for providing such high-quality recipes. Nothing is more frustrated than putting a lot of time and effort into a dish only for it to be bland or just not good, but that’s never a problem here! I could not get my rice to soften so next time I will have to really work on my foil skills, but it was delicious and I love the convenience of a casserole!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Oh no, I’m so sorry your rice didn’t soften, but I’m so glad you still enjoyed it!

  18. Brooke says:

    Making this tonight! My broccoli is frozen – do I need to thaw first, or can I cook it frozen?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Frozen is fine, Brooke!

  19. Mallory Shull says:

    Can I make this with already cooked chicken? 🙂

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      That should work, Mallory!

  20. Mindy Stedem says:

    I made this recipe tonight and it was a hit! I used ghee, coconut milk, almond flour and I didn’t have broccoli but I did have frozen broccoli rice(finely diced broccoli). with the rice and it was perfect!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So awesome, Mindy! We’re glad it was a hit!

  21. Sam says:

    Would swapping in chicken thighs for breasts require any change in the cook time for this recipe?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Nope, the time should stay the same, Sam!

  22. Kelley M says:

    Could I substitute brown rice for white?? Do I need to change anything else if I do that?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We haven’t tested it, Kelley, but we know it would definitely take some tweaks to the recipe. It’s on our list to test!!

  23. Wendy says:

    This is tasty and oh, so easy. You could probably sub cauliflower for chicken to make it meatless…(except for the chic broth)
    I used the ghee, and low fat coconut milk options. I didn’t feel like chopping so used garlic powder and 2tsp umami seasoning (Trader Joe’s) in place of onion powder and S&P), and of course tons of fresh broccoli. I also add cheddar at the end .

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you loved it, Wendy!

  24. Sophie says:

    I marinated the chicken ( I used chicken thighs) in plain Greek yogurt with salt/pepper/garlic/oregano/onion powder and lemon for a few hours before and it was AMAZING! I have made this recipe 3 times and loved every time! So easy to sub!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Yay! So glad you love it, Sophie!

  25. Michelle says:

    I had high hopes for this recipe, but should have known that cooking all these different ingredients for the same time would be a disaster. I made a 2/3 recipe (since I had only 1 pound of chicken). After 35 minutes the chicken was mostly raw, the broccoli was already very over cooked and the riced hadn’t absorbed any of the liquid.

    Luckily we had leftovers in the fridge, because this entire dish got tossed.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Oh no, so sorry to hear this, Michelle! We haven’t had that experience and are so bummed that happened to you!

  26. Rachel says:

    Second time making this recipe and it will definitely be a staple in our house through the coming fall and winter months. So good!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad to hear that, Rachel! We’re so happy that you love this recipe!

  27. Satah says:

    That’s a lot of sodium. Does all of that sodium come from the chicken broth, salted Butter and salt itself? If so – could I use low sodium chicken broth and unsalted butter?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Sure, Satah!

  28. Linzy says:

    Maybe a silly question, but do you cook the chicken before adding to the mixture??

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Not a silly question at all! Nope, it goes in raw!

  29. Cecy says:


    I’d love to make this recipe but hubby really doesn’t like broccoli… any other veggies that could be used instead?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We’ve only ever tried it with broccoli, Cecy! If you swap the broccoli for another veggie, please let us know how it goes!

  30. Michelle says:

    Are we putting raw chicken in the casserole or cooked?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Raw chicken! Enjoy!!

  31. Ashley says:

    LOVE this recipe! It will definitely be a staple this winter. It’s the perfect comfort food and super easy to make. I used coconut milk, a 1-1 GF flour, chicken thighs and DF cheese. It was everything I wanted in the classic casserole. Keep the delicious recipes coming 🙂

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Amazing! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Ashley!

  32. Virginia says:

    This was a big winner in my house. I ended needing a lot more liquid, but that is because of the size of dish I was using and the high altitude we live at. We always need more liquid for rice. Both my husband and my toddler went back for seconds (they can both be a little picky). It made a ton so I am freezing a little for emergency lunch or dinner. Thank you!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We’re so glad it was a hit, Virginia! Thank you so much for sending this to us.

  33. Monet says:


    I’ve made this dish before and my family loves it! Great flavor and super easy to prepare. I want to turn this dish into a soup instead of a casserole – how much liquid would you recommend using? Other thoughts/recommendations? Thanks!! Monet

  34. Marci says:

    I added gluten free panko with the cheese for the topping and bumped the temp up to 425 for the last 15. It was golden brown and delicious! I didn’t have broccoli on hand, so used what I had (asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, onions and celery). sooo good. I followed everything else as written. It was the best casserole and a winner! Thank you!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you loved it, Marci! Love that you worked with what you had on hand!!

  35. Jeanette Reinecke says:

    This was delicious! I didn’t include any cheese and it was still super tasty. I pulled it out after the 50 minutes and everything was perfectly cooked. It made a lot so I am going to put some in the freezer for later. Thanks for another winning recipe.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Awesome, Jeanette! That’s so great to hear. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  36. Tiffany says:

    Just made this; it’s amazing!!! It is now one of my new favorite meals and one that my daughter (6) loves as well! Thank you!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Awesome, Tiffany – that’s so great to hear! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  37. Estelle says:

    Can you substitute the chicken for an other meat? I have Pork chops on hand.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We haven’t tried it, Estelle, but I think it would work. The pork chops may be a little bit dry though!

  38. TheresaS says:

    Just made this, followed recipe with exception of used organic cream of mushroom soup (UK brand) and bone broth. Covered all ingredients in Dutch Oven with tight-fitting lid (no steam). Baked for the first 50 mins on 375′ (my stove runs hot btw)..and just took it out to check and it looks like soup…with partially cooked chicken and hard rice (which I couldn’t taste as the chicken wasn’t cooked). I used organic, easy-cook long-grain rice with (12-15 min regular cooking instructions).
    Please re-test this recipe and update it with the exact type of rice that should be used, exact measurements of I saw others had the same issue, but apparently I was overly confident that since I was using easy cook long-grain rice and made sure I had enough liquid..that this would work. Nope. It is now cooking on the gas stovetop to see if I can at least get the ingredients to cook…and hopefully be edible as it was meant to be a 2-night meal.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Oh no! I actually just made this recipe last week for dinner and didn’t run into any of these issues. It’s been tested with jasmine, basmati, and long-grain white rice, all with success. We’ll retest, Theresa!

    2. Lori says:

      Me too!!!! Just gonna cook it longer in the oven

  39. Jessica Trevathan says:

    Honestly the best chicken broccoli and rice casserole I’ve ever made! I shredded the broccoli like one of the other fed and fit recipes and it worked out great.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo! So glad to hear that, Jessica. It’s one of my favorites too!

  40. Lexi says:

    Love this recipe!! I made the dairy free version and was a little worried about having a coconut flavor, but couldn’t taste it at all! Great recipe to make ahead of time and freeze. I know my husband will love this!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      I’m so glad, Lexi! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  41. Adrienne Faist Scruggs says:

    Has anyone made this with their (brown) rice already cooked? I prefer brown and don’t want to risk undercooked rice and overcooked chicken. Thanks

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We haven’t tried it with already cooked rice, Adrienne, and this recipe is definitely specifically designed to be used with dry rice. Adding cooked rice instead would result in a very soupy texture!

  42. Allison Zullo says:

    I prepped this in the morning and baked for dinner, so it took a lot longer going in cold (I made the sauce, did not use the prepared cream of chicken). My 11 year old step son wasn’t into it, he didn’t like how the broccoli tasted, and I had to agree with him, it just seemed off. My husband and I liked it well enough to have seconds but it won’t make it into the regular rotation. Maybe if the kid had been sold 🙂

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So sorry to hear that, Allison!

  43. Lori says:

    Having the same issue with the rice not being cooked- guess I’ll just keep cooking it and checking it till it’s ready?

    1. Melissa Guevara says:

      Hi Lori! I am so sorry that you are having the same issue! We appreciate your feedback and have this on our list of troubleshooting to see if we can provide more specific instructions (e.g., specific type of rice) since this has been a recurring challenge with some of our readers. ~Melissa

  44. Rachel says:

    I have been making this recipe regularly for a year now. It is a family favorite, our go-to meal, my three year old asks for it all the time. I always have the ingredients on hand or have this in the freezer. Whenever someone needs a meal after having a baby, surgery, sickness, whatever, this is the meal I make!! I leave the cheese off if someone is dairy free and it’s still amazing. I just figured I should write a review since this is my favorite recipe. Since food sensitivies entered my life I thought I’d never be able to enjoy this childhood favorite again, but the homemade cream of chicken soup is a life changer. Thank you!!!

    1. Melissa Guevara says:

      Hi Rachel! Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review and share your feedback with us! I am so glad that this recipe is such a hit in your home and that it has allowed you to enjoy your childhood favorite again! ~Melissa