Easy Chicken Broccoli & Rice Cheesy Casserole
Casseroles are always great for a quick and easy weeknight dinner fix. When you're in a rush to get dinner on the table, just toss all of your ingredients in a casserole dish and pop it in the oven.
This Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole is so cheesy and it's topped with a crispy, buttery breadcrumb crust. This recipe is perfect for using up any leftover chicken, turkey or rice that you have on hand. And it's freezer friendly. Just whip up a bigger batch and freeze it in foil baking pans. Then its ready to go when you want to make it. All you have to do is toss it in the oven.
This casserole also makes a great one pot dish to bring to a potluck or dinner party. No one can resist a cheesy casserole dish. If you want to make it as a side instead, just leave out the chicken.
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups broccoli, fresh or frozen
- 2 cups rice, cooked
- 1 can cream of broccoli and cheddar soup
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- pinch salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the chicken, broccoli, and cooked rice in your casserole dish. If you are using fresh broccoli, you will need to quickly blanch it in boiling water (until it's partially cooked) before adding to the dish. If you are using frozen broccoli, no need to pre-cook it. Just add it to the casserole dish.
- In a bowl, mix the cream of broccoli soup with the milk. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish.
- Add the shredded cheddar cheese and mix all of the ingredients together.
- Melt the butter and mix it with the bread crumbs in a small bowl until well blended.
- Evenly cover the top of the casserole with the bread crumb mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake the casserole uncovered, on the center rack for about 30 minutes or until your casserole is heated through and the breadcrumb topping is slightly browned and crispy.
This casserole recipe is also very versatile. You can add your favorite ingredients to customize it to your taste.
If you love onions, then mix in some chopped onions. If you have a little extra time you could saute the onions first to give them that sweet caramelized flavor. Or if you're a bacon lover (who isn't), you could sprinkle some cooked bacon pieces over top.
Another variation idea is to use crushed cheese flavored Ritz crackers on top instead of the breadcrumbs. Or you could top it with French's crispy fried onions. The possibilities are endless!
How to Freeze and Reheat
The great thing about casseroles is that you can make them ahead of time and freeze them. Just make up a big batch over the weekend and freeze it in foil baking pans. Then when you're looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner to throw in the oven, you will have something ready to go.
The best way to reheat this casserole from frozen is to take it out of the freezer in the morning or the day before and let it thaw. Cook it uncovered, according to the cooking instructions above.
If you don't have time to thaw it and your reheating it from frozen, you will have to cook it at a lower temperature for longer. I would suggest cooking it at 325F at the most. Keep it covered until it's fully heated through and remove the cover for the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking time or until your topping is slightly browned and crispy.