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Chicken and rice with broccoli and melted cheese in a white casserole.
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4.82 from 11 votes

Cheesy Broccoli Chicken and Rice Casserole

Make this delicious cheesy chicken and rice casserole loaded with broccoli and cheddar cheese! This dinner recipe is so creamy and comforting and everything is made in one pot!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 472kcal
Author: Veronika's Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts cut into 1x1-inch cubes
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups white long grain rice rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups broccoli florets roughly chopped
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded, divided

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken breasts into 1x1-inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper and mix it up.
  • Preheat the pan to medium/high heat and add olive oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown it on all sides for about 5-7 minutes.
  • NOTE: At this point, we don’t need to cook the meat through, as it will finish cooking later. We just want some brown crust for additional flavor.
  • NOTE: If you have a lot of chicken, you can brown it in two batches. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan, as it will start to boil instead of browning.
  • When the chicken is browned, transfer it to a plate and set aside.
  • Add chopped onion and cook it for about 5 minutes, until it gets soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and stir for about 30 seconds to release the aroma.
  • Add the browned chicken back to the pot.
  • Now we can add rinsed rice, chicken stock, and water. Mix everything and bring it to boil. Then lower the heat to low and cover with the lid.
  • After 10 minutes, add chopped broccoli and stir. Cover with the lid again and cook until the rice is fully cooked, stirring occasionally.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • When the rice is cooked, add milk and stir. Then add 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar and fold it in.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and transfer the pan to the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Notes

  • For this recipe, I like to use a pan with a heavy bottom (like this casserole), so nothing gets burned and you can put it safely in the oven.
  • When browning the meat, I like to do it in two batches, so it doesn’t release its juices and gets a beautiful golden color.
  • Also, when you put the meat on the pan, don’t touch it until you are ready to flip it. That help with better browning.
  • If you want to use frozen broccoli, let it defrost for 20-30 minutes before adding to the pot.
Can I make it ahead of time? Yes! You can make it a day before, skip the cheesy topping, and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes, sprinkle cheese on top, then put in the oven. Bake at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes.
What kind of rice shall I use? Long grain white rice, like Basmati, should work the best. Arborio (which is used for Risottos) will work as well and will be even creamier. I wouldn’t recommend to use brown rice, as it takes longer to cook.
How to store? After it’s cooled off completely, transfer to an air-tight container. You can keep it in the fridge for about 2 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 467mg | Potassium: 651mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 717IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 343mg | Iron: 1mg