Broccoli Rice Chicken and Cheese Casserole Recipe


1 pound shredded chicken
2 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of onion soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces Velveeta cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 bag fresh broccoli
Optional: Panko bread crumbs for added crunch
Instructions: Follow these simple steps to create a mouthwatering Broccoli Rice Chicken and Cheese Casserole:

Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Cook the Rice: In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Stir in the instant rice, cover, and remove from heat. Let the rice sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside.
Prepare the Casserole Base: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream of onion soup, cream of chicken soup, milk, and heavy whipping cream. Stir until well combined.
Add Chicken and Rice: Add the shredded chicken and cooked rice to the soup mixture, stirring until evenly coated.
Steam the Broccoli: Place the fresh broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl with a splash of water. Cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender-crisp. Drain any excess water.
Layer the Casserole: Spread half of the chicken and rice mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the steamed broccoli.
Add Cheese: Cut the Velveeta cheese into cubes and distribute half of it over the broccoli layer.
Repeat Layers: Repeat the layers with the remaining chicken and rice mixture, broccoli, and cheese cubes.
Finish with Butter: Cut the unsalted butter into small pieces and scatter them over the top of the casserole.
Optional Crunch: For added texture and flavor, sprinkle Panko bread crumbs over the top of the casserole.
Bake: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the casserole is heated through.
Serve: Allow the casserole to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley or chopped green onions if desired. Enjoy your delicious creation!
Cook Notes and Variations: Elevate your Broccoli Rice Chicken and Cheese Casserole with these creative tips and variations:

the casserole by adding your favorite seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or Italian seasoning.
Swap the Cheese: Experiment with different cheeses such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Swiss for a unique twist on the classic recipe.
Add Crunch: Mix crushed Ritz crackers or French-fried onions into the casserole layers for an extra crispy topping.
Make it Spicy: Add a kick of heat by stirring in diced green chilies, jalapeños, or a dash of hot sauce to the soup mixture.
Vegetarian Option: Skip the chicken and substitute it with additional vegetables such as diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or peas for a meat-free version of the casserole.
FAQs: Let’s address some common questions and concerns about making Broccoli Rice Chicken and Cheese Casserole: Q: Can I use fresh broccoli instead of frozen? A: Absolutely! Fresh broccoli will work just as well in this recipe. Simply steam or blanch the fresh broccoli until tender before adding it to the casserole. Q: Can I make this casserole ahead of time? A: Yes! You can assemble the casserole up to a day in advance and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Just be sure to cover it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Certainly! This casserole freezes well. Allow any leftovers to cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake in a preheated oven until heated through.

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