Chicken, Rice, + Broccoli Casserole
Usually I take my recipe inspiration from somewhere. Mostly I’ll scroll through Pinterest, see something, and change it up. I don’t think I saw this recipe anywhere. I was just really craving a comfort food that I could make a little healthier. This isn’t exactly healthy, but it’s better for me. I use brown rice, white meat chicken, and broccoli. But then I also put quite a lot of cheese in there.
Usually I just make this at home, and we’ll eat it until it’s gone. But it would also be a great dish to take to a potluck. I love doing casseroles for potlucks. You can prepare everything ahead of time and just bake it before you leave. If you are just wanting to bring a side dish, you could leave out the chicken and double the broccoli or add some blanched carrots. There are really no rules here.
This dish does dirty a lot of dishes, but you can do it when you have time. If you work, you can prep this the night before. In my case, I prep when Ben is napping.
Another easy thing about this recipe is that is actually just takes from 2 other recipes I use and adds some extras. This recipe uses Perfectly Cooked Brown Rice and Basic Baked Chicken. Make those, do the broccoli and the binders, then bake. That’s it. Yum.
You can use any grated melty cheese if you don’t have mozzarella (like cheddar or Monterrey jack). More important than the type of cheese, it’s important that it’s freshly grated. It’s cheaper, tastes way better, and it only takes a minute.
Also, this makes a ton. Like most of my meals, I make a lot because there are 6 of us eating, but you can certainly half this. I make it in one regular sized casserole dish plus one half size.
Total Time (not including the chicken and rice): 90 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
1 Recipe of Basic Baked Chicken (4 chicken breasts)
6 broccoli crowns (2 bunches)
2 cans of 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream (light if you want)
2 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese
2 packets of dry ranch seasoning
1 tablespoon of dried ground mustard
salt and pepper
1 ½ cups of seasoned bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Dice the baked chicken once it has cooled. Add it to a very large mixing bowl. Add the cooked rice to the bowl, and set aside.
- Cut the raw broccoli into bite-sized florets. You’ll need to blanch them. I use my bamboo steamer, but you can also do it in boiling water. In a steamer, it will take about 6-7 minutes. If you blanch them directly in water, it’s only about 2 minutes. You just want to cook them enough so that it softens them and brightens the color without making them limp. Remove them from the water.
- Add the blanched broccoli to the mixing bowl. Add the cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, mozzarella, ranch seasoning, and dried mustard to the large mixing bowl.
- Fold the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. You shouldn’t need much extra seasoning, but go with your tastes.
- Add the mixture into one large and one small mixing bowl. Sprinkle evenly with breadcrumbs.
- Cook covered for 40 minutes. Turn the oven up to 425 degrees and continue cooking for 20 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are toasty.
- Let cool and set for 15 minutes before eating.