Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Cheese

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If you love a good casserole as much as we do, you are going to flip for this one.

We’ve ditched the canned condensed soup and opted for an incredible fontina cheese bechamel sauce layered with rice, broccoli, and shredded roasted chicken. We’ll even show you shortcuts that can make this incredible casserole easy to make for a quick weeknight dinner. Serve with a green leaf salad and cloverleaf rolls for the perfect Sunday dinner!

A close-up view of a 9 by 13 baking dish filled with a chicken and rice casserole with broccoli and cheese.

How To Make Chicken with Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Cheese

This really is the quintessential Sunday night dinner.

It takes some time for all the prep, but it’s so worth the extra effort. However, see below for some shortcuts that will cut the time dramatically, but not the taste.

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The Ingredients You Will Need

We’re going to include shortcuts you can take with the following ingredients to make preparation faster. We love the original version best, but the shortcuts still deliver an amazingly delicious casserole.

Here’s What You’ll Need to Have on Hand

Butter – Unsalted
Onion – Chopped
Garlic – Minced
Flour – All purpose
Chicken brothHomemade or store-bought
Half and half – Can substitute whole milk or heavy cream
Fontina cheese – Grated, can substitute Gruyere, cheddar, or Colby Jack
Thyme – Dried (1 tsp) or fresh (1 tbsp)
Dijon mustard – Can use stone ground or grain mustard for a more pronounced taste
Salt – Kosher
Pepper – Freshly ground
Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed or bottled is fine
Cooked chicken – From a rotisserie chicken or roasted in your oven (with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper)
Cooked long-grain rice – Can substitute instant (Minute) rice
Broccoli florets – Fresh is best, but can substitute frozen
Bread crumbs – Fresh is our favorite, but you can substitute purchased breadcrumbs, crushed buttery crackers, or crushed cornflakes

EXPERT TIP: Use your favorite melting cheese. Stir it directly into the bechamel sauce and stir until melted. The only melting cheese we wouldn’t recommend is mozzarella.

A person dropping a handful of finely shredded fontina cheese in a skillet filled with a creamy bechamel sauce.

Tips for Perfect Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Cheese

Vary the Components – This casserole is so versatile and it’s great with all types of ingredients. Try any of the following combinations (in place or combined with the chicken, rice, broccoli, and cheese): Sautéd mushrooms, shredded turkey, grilled Kielbasa, cauliflower, cream cheese

Make Ahead – The recipe takes some time to prepare as written. However, it can be completely assembled up to 48 hours in advance (leave the breadcrumbs off until ready to bake). Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. If baking chilled, you may need to increase the cooking time by another 10 to 15 minutes.

Keep an Eye on the Breadcrumbs – Toasted breadcrumbs really put this casserole over the top. They should be nicely browned after 30 to 40 minutes of baking. Turn the casserole around in the oven halfway through. If they didn’t brown enough, you can turn on the broiler on HIGH for a minute or two, but keep an eye on it, it will burn in a matter of seconds!

EXPERT TIP: You’ll want to bake the casserole in a greased 9″x13″ dish. Before baking, the mixture will be thick and not very pourable. Use a large spoon or spatula to transfer from the skillet to the dish. As the casserole bakes, it will become creamy and bubbly.

A person using a wooden spatula to transfer the contents of chicken and rice casserole into a 9 by 13 white baking dish.

How To Serve

This casserole is practically a meal in and of itself.

A nice green leaf salad with your favorite salad dressing is the perfect addition. Homemade rolls round out the perfect Sunday dinner or dinner party.

We make this casserole for a Sunday dinner and then enjoy leftovers all week. However, if it’s too much casserole for you, the recipe can easily be cut in half.

An overhead view of a 9 by 13 white baking dish filled with a chicken and rice casserole topped with toasted breadcrumbs and flanked with a bowl of a green leaf salad and a basket of bread pieces.

Other Casserole Recipes To Try

Everyone loves a good casserole. They are comforting and easily feed a hungry family. Here are some of our favorites that you would likely love, too:

Mexican Lasagna Casserole
Chicken and Sage Casserole
King Ranch Casserole
Chili Cheese Dog Casserole
Best Tuna Casserole
Turkey and Dressing Casserole
Classic Rice, Cheddar, and Broccoli Casserole
Best Yellow Squash Casserole
Corn Casserole

These are all awesome, but isn’t this one calling your name right now?

A large spoon is used to raise a helping of chicken and rice casserole with broccoli and cheese from of baking dish filled with the casserole.

There is just so much to love about this chicken and rice casserole. You can take the shortcuts listed above and it’s an easy weeknight meal.

It’s really one of the best Sunday dinners we’ve ever made or eaten. And remember, you can make it in advance, and then just bake it for about 30 to 45 minutes for an amazing meal, whenever you want it!

And it is truly as gorgeous in presentation as it is delicious in taste. We always get rave reviews when we make it for family or friends, and you will, too!

A dinner plate filled with a serving of chicken and rice casserole sitting next to a green leaf salad and several slices of cucumber.

Ready to make a dish that your family will be requesting on a regular basis? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A close-up view of a 9 by 13 baking dish filled with a chicken and rice casserole with broccoli and cheese.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Cheese

This casserole is comfort food at its very best. It takes a little time to prep all the components, but it's so worth the effort. You can also assemble it up to several days in advance. We also provide some shortcuts if you're pressed for time. This is a favorite in our house and we think it will become one in yours, too.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: casserole recipe to feed a family, chicken and rice casserole recipe
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 684kcal


  • 1 9"x13" baking dish


  • 4 cups chicken cooked, shredded from a rotisserie
  • 4 cups long-grain rice cooked
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter 1½ sticks
  • 4 cup broccoli florets from 1 or 2 broccoli heads
  • cup onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • cup chicken broth
  • cup half and half or whole milk or heavy cream
  • 8 oz fontina cheese grated
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • cooking spray or softened butter
  • 2 cups bread crumbs fresh
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted


Do Ahead

  • Shred the chicken from the rotisserie, steam the rice, and blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for 1 minute, and then transfer to an ice bath. Set all of this to the side.
    4 cups chicken, 4 cups long-grain rice, 4 cup broccoli florets

Make the Casserole

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring often.
    ¾ cup unsalted butter, 1½ cup onion, 3 cloves garlic
  • Add the flour and stir constantly with a wooden spatula for about 2 minutes.
    ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • Whisk in the broth and half and half, whisking constantly to remove any lumps. Use a wooden spatula or spoon to stir until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
    1½ cup chicken broth, 1½ cup half and half
  • Stir in the cheese and continue stirring until melted.
    8 oz fontina cheese
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the thyme, Dijon, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
    1 tsp dried thyme, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 2½ tsp Kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Stir in the chicken, rice, and broccoli and continue stirring until fully mixed. Spray your baking dish with cooking spray and then transfer the mixture into the dish (it will be very thick).
    cooking spray
  • In a medium-sized bowl, toss the bread crumbs with the 2 tbsp of melted butter. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the casserole.
    2 cups bread crumbs, 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Bake the casserole for 30 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and the breadcrumbs are toasty and lightly browned.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel
Depending on the size of your rotisserie chicken, you may need to pick up two of them. If you have more than four cups of shredded chicken, save it for another use. 
You can use any kind of melting cheese such as Gruyere, gouda (not smoked), cheddar (white or yellow), or Colby Jack. We don't recommend using mozzarella.
To save time, you can substitute the long-grain rice with minute (or instant) rice and you can use frozen (thawed) broccoli in place of fresh. 
The casserole can be assembled up to 3 days in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to bake. Add the breadcrumbs just before baking.  It can also be frozen before baking for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw completely before baking. If baking a chilled casserole, add another 10 to 15 minutes, or until bubbly (cover with foil if the topping is browning too much). 
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 to 6 days. Reheat in a 350°F until heat through, or cook on HIGH in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. 


Calories: 684kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 98g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 942mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1096IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!


  • 5 stars
    I made this yesterday. I have to say, it was delicious! Since there’s just the two of us, I separated the casserole. I made myself laugh (and actually took a picture hoping I could post it with my comment, darn) that says “Broccoli casserole from the How To Feed A Loon guys!” on the outside! ha. No guessing which casserole it is. Love your You Tube channel and recipes! Thanks so much.

    • Hi Susan! We are so so happy you made the chicken and rice casserole and had great success with it! It does make quite a bit as written, so cutting the recipe in half was perfect! We would LOVE to see that photo! If you have Instagram, you could post it there and tag us (#howtofeedaloon)! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the GREAT review. That honestly means so much to us! xoxo

  • Diane this recipe works great with cauliflower if your husband likes that. Personally I add both broccoli and cauliflower but cauliflower is probably my fav vegetable. Thanks guys for the new version I have made the older version of this recipe several times. Its my fav casserole dish. Regards,

    • 5 stars
      You’re correct! I made it again last week with cauliflower and it was a huge success. I think that this has become my favorite casserole dish as well. Hard to beat it!

  • 5 stars
    Well I scrolled to the bottom and saw that this recipe was lonely without any reviews! Well… was delicious. The fontina cheese was a great choice. Silky smooth texture in the casserole. I used thawed frozen broccoli and roasted my own chicken since it’s a tad healthier than rotisserie.I cut the recipe in half and was plenty for another night of leftovers for the two of us. What a fabulous recipe over all. My husband is not a huge broccoli fan but ate it all. I imagine you could substitute another veggie and it would be just as tasty. Well done, my friends. Thanks again for making me look like a way better cook than I am.

    • You are nothing short of amazing! We love that you’ve already made the casserole and loved it! And thank you for being the first person to leave a comment and a GREAT review! Diane, you are the BEST!!!

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