Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole

cheesy broccoli chicken casserole squareWe don’t really have a plethora of casserole recipes here on Our Best Bites. We have a few, and they’re really, really good (like this Chicken Noodle Casserole or this Burrito Pie or this  Tuna Casserole.) It’s not because we don’t like casseroles–we really like casseroles. But it’s hard to photograph them and have them still look appealing and they also often use condensed soups, which we use from time to time, but try to avoid when possible.

Well. This Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole is so delicious that I don’t care what it looks like and it doesn’t have any condensed soups in it. It’s the perfect way to use up leftover chicken, leftover rice, and broccoli that’s on its way out. It’s something you definitely need in your recipe arsenal.

To get started, you’ll need some butter, about a cup of chopped onion, and a few cloves of minced garlic.

cheesy broccoli chicken casserole butter onion garlic

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When melted, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Round up 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour.

cheesy broccoli chicken casserole chicken broth and flour

Add the flour and stir until it starts coming together with the butter and the onions. Slowly add the chicken broth, a little at a time, whisking after each addition until any lumps of flour are smooth. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add the salt and pepper and remove from heat. Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar

cheesy broccoli chicken casserole shredded cheese

and stir until smooth. Add 4 cups of broccoli florets broken into bite-sized pieces.

cheesy broccoli chicken casserole broccoli florets

While the sauce is cooking, spray a 9×13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Combine 3-4 cups cooked chicken (like rotisserie chicken. 4 was too much for our family, but if you want to go heavier on the meat, it will still taste amazing) and rice in the dish.

cheesy broccoli chicken casserole chicken and rice

After you’ve added the broccoli to the sauce, add it to the rice/chicken mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the shredded parmesan and the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

cheesy broccoli chicken casserole

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbly. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole from Our Best Bites

Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole
Serves 8
This creamy, satisfying one-dish Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole is a guaranteed to be a hit at your dinner table!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 1/2 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup chopped onion)
  3. 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  8. 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, divided (grate it off the block; don't use pre-grated cheese)
  9. 4 cups bite-sized broccoli florets
  10. 3 cups cooked brown rice or brown rice/quinoa mixture (like Seeds of Change or Uncle Ben's)
  11. 3 cups bite-sized cooked chicken (like rotisserie chicken*)
  12. 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When melted, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Add the flour and stir until it starts coming together with the butter and the onions.
  3. Slowly add the chicken broth, a little at a time, whisking after each addition until any lumps of flour are smooth. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add the salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  4. Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar and stir until smooth. Add the broccoli.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, spray a 9x13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the chicken and rice in the dish.
  6. After you've added the broccoli to the sauce, add it to the rice/chicken mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the shredded parmesan and the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbly.
  7. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Important Note: The original recipe called for 4 and it was way too much chicken for our tastes, but you can go up to 4 if you need to use it up or if you just really like chicken.
Adapted from The Food Network
Adapted from The Food Network
Our Best Bites http://ourbestbites.com/
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36 comments

  1. I am so glad you posted this! I have been looking for a chicken broccoli rice casserole recipe that doesn’t use any condensed soups! I’ll have to try this one out. Do you think this would freeze well? If so, would you assemble it all together then freeze it before baking? I would like to have more freezable casseroles. Thanks!

    1. You definitely can freeze it, but I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure how long to bake it straight from the freezer. I’d maybe say around an hour, and give yourself a little bit of flexibility in both directions?

  2. I usually have all those ingredients on hand at all times! Yay! We’ll be trying this tonight!!

  3. I don’t know how my husband will feel about me messing with his beloved chicken/broccoli casserole, but this sounds like a delicious version of it. It’s going on the menu for next week!

    How many people would you say this serves?

      1. So it should be perfect for 2 reasonable adults, a teenage boy and his 5 smallish-portion younger sisters. Thanks!

  4. I love it when you guys clean up old stand-by recipes that aren’t that good for you or quite yummy enough. Comfort food at its best!

  5. I love all the casseroles you listed, they are amazing. I’m going to have to give this one a try.
    On a side note, Kate is your name Kate or Katherine? I’m pregnant with my 4th and my husband and I are considering the name Katharine. I love the name, just not sure about the 1000 different ways to spell it. I also like Kate as a nickname, just trying to get some input from someone who actually has the name.

      1. My mother-in-law’s name is Kathy and my sister-in-law’s name is Katie, and I think it was actually after I was married before I learned they’re both actually named Katherine. For some reason it hadn’t occurred to me that Kathy and Katie are both nicknames for Katherine.

  6. This looks really good! Thank you for posting. 🙂 I’m curious – why do you recommend using freshly grated cheddar cheese? I usually use preshredded Sargento as a shortcut. Thanks in advance!

    1. I used the shredded cheeses all the time for other stuff, but they’re coated with something to keep the shreds from sticking to each other that also make the cheese melt kind of clumpy and gross when you’re using it in sauces and stuff. And the pre-shredded parmesan just doesn’t have enough moisture in it to melt properly (I learned that from making Alfredo sauce that looked like cottage cheese, haha!)

  7. This looks fantastic! Do you think I could do all the prep (to the point where everything is in the casserole dish), cover and let it sit in the fridge all day & then bake in the evening? Or do you think I could bake it in a slow cooker for a few hours? That would be more of an afternoon project.

    1. If you make it in the slow cooker can you let me know how it turns out and for how long you cooked it? I’d be interested in trying that! Thanks!

  8. Any chance you could give the nutritional information for this recipe? I made it yesterday and it was delicious! Side note -I love your website and read it often.

  9. This was sooo good. Made it for dinner tonight and even my picky 6-year-old ate it, and she doesn’t like to eat foods that are “touching”. I somehow convinced her because she loves all these foods separately.(random note: Thanks to Kate for mentioning in some long-ago blog post that everyone in your family likes the Seeds of Change brown rice/quinoa blend. I tried it with my family and it’s now a favorite for us all. Those are not easy to come by!)

  10. The flavor was good, but if you don’t at least partially cook the broccoli before you put the casserole in the oven, it is way too undercooked. It was barely one step above raw. A bit of crunch is fine, but this was over the top.

  11. This was pretty good, but the broccoli was definitely not soft enough for our taste. I even used frozen broccoli and cooked it a bit ahead of time before putting it in the oven and it was still too crunchy. For those that like their broccoli soft and not crunchy, then make sure and cook it at least half way beforehand.

  12. We really liked this. Used a wild rice blend and frozen veggies. Only had 2 cups broccoli so the other 2 cups were the frozen pea, carrot, green bean and corn mix I had. Worked well because my son is broccoli averse. Slightly thawed and strained veggies first. Also added 1/2t of red chili pepper flakes. We will make it again…perfect to use with leftover chicken. Thanks!

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