Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food! This version of chicken divan is creamy, cheesy, and topped with crushed Ritz crackers.
This chicken broccoli rice casserole is a family favorite! My niece even requested it for her birthday dinner. There’s something irresistible about the combination of the creamy casserole topped with buttery crackers! The topping takes chicken divan from good to outstanding.
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole Ingredients
Chicken broccoli casserole is a popular dinner choice year-round. To make it you need the creamy sauce, chicken, cheddar cheese, broccoli, and Ritz crackers.
Easy Ingredient Shortcuts
The ingredients needed to make this chicken and broccoli casserole recipe are simple and here are some shortcuts to make the prep even faster.
- Chicken: A rotisserie chicken to make things really easy! All you have to do is cut it into pieces. Otherwise, you can cook chicken breasts in an air fryer, fry them on the stovetop, or bake them in the oven before getting started.
- Broccoli: We used fresh, steam-in-the-bag broccoli and cooked it in the microwave. You can also use frozen broccoli, a head of broccoli, or precut broccoli.
- Rice: For the rice, you can use store-bought, ready-made rice or instant rice. Or if you have enough time, make long grain rice ahead of time.
Do you cook frozen broccoli before putting it in a casserole?
You need to precook the broccoli before adding it to the casserole so ensure that it is tender when the casserole is done baking. Depending on the kind you buy you can steam it or cook it on the stovetop.
Should you cook rice before putting it in a casserole?
Yes, rice needs to be cooked before adding it to this easy chicken broccoli rice casserole. So leave yourself a little extra prep time. Or you can buy ready-to-use store-brought rice if you are looking for a shortcut. If you want to add more veggies to the casserole, you can use cauliflower rice.
Best Toppings for Casseroles
- Cheese: Shredded cheese is a classic topping for casseroles. It melts and browns in the oven and adds flavor as well. The best cheese to use depends on the casserole you are making.
- Crackers: We used crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter to make a crunchy, buttery topping for this chicken broccoli casserole.
- Breadcrumbs: You could also use plain or flavored breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs. Mix the breadcrumbs with melted butter before sprinkling them over the dish.
- French Fried Onions: Crispy French Fried Onions add so much flavor to green bean casserole and veggie casserole! Why not use the on a chicken casserole as well?
- Potato Chips: Crushed potato chips are a classic midwestern hotdish (aka casserole) topping.
How To Make Easy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
There are four steps to making this easy chicken broccoli rice casserole. Mix together the sauce, stir in fillings, sprinkle on the topping, and bake until bubbly.
- Sauce: Prepare the creamy sauce by beating the cream cheese until smooth and then add the cream of chicken soup, milk, chicken broth, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Filling: Add the diced chicken, steamed broccoli, cooked rice, and one cup of the shredded cheddar cheese to the sauce and stir to combine. Spread the mixture in a greased casserole dish and top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
- Topping: For the topping, mix together the crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chicken and broccoli casserole.
- Bake: Bake the casserole until the filling is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Yes, you can prepare the casserole dish ahead of time, but leave the topping off. Cover and refrigerate. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and leave it on the counter for 30 minutes before baking. Add the topping and bake as instructed.
You can substitute ingredients for lighter options but keep in mind that any substitutions may alter your results. Here are a few suggestions: use Neufchatel cheese, use skim milk, reduce the amount of cheese, and add additional cooked veggies.
Chicken divan is a creamy, cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole from the 1950s and 60s but remains popular today. Our version includes a crispy, buttery, topping that is irresistible.
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