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

This recipe is…

Why We Love Casseroles

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 surface

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

Do 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.

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.


broccoli chicken and rice casserole

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

4.58 — Votes 38 votes
By Cassy Joy Garcia
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This cheesy chicken broccoli and rice casserole is so comforting and delicious, and comes together in minutes!


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
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Recipe Notes

  • 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.


Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 48.7g | Protein: 38.9g | Fat: 18.1g | Saturated Fat: 9.4g | Cholesterol: 126.8mg | Sodium: 1641.6mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 5.2g

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 520
Keyword: broccoli, cheddar, dairy free, easy, gluten free, make ahead

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! Making this for a friend who just had their first little babe!

    If I want to bake it the day before and put it in the fridge to deliver to them the next day, what reheating instructions should I provide?

    1. They can heat it in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes, until warmed through!

  2. Is this recipe gluten and/or wheat free? If not, how can I make it gluten and wheat free?

  3. 3 stars
    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 🙂

  4. 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. 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!

  5. 5 stars
    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. I’m so glad, Lexi! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  6. 5 stars
    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. Wahoo! So glad to hear that, Jessica. It’s one of my favorites too!

  7. 1 star
    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. 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. I’m having the exact same issue! Trying 425 for an additional 25 min to see if that will help. Fingers crossed!!

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

  8. 5 stars
    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. Awesome, Tiffany – that’s so great to hear! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  9. 5 stars
    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. Awesome, Jeanette! That’s so great to hear. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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

  11. Greetings!

    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

  12. 5 stars
    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. We’re so glad it was a hit, Virginia! Thank you so much for sending this to us.

  13. 5 stars
    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 🙂