Nothing brings warmth to a dinner table quite like a savoury and hearty chicken broccoli rice casserole – an easy-to-make dish for those busy nights. This all-in-one perfect weeknight meal isn’t just filled with layers of delicious flavors but also brings a comforting and nutritious spin to your meal options, making it an excellent choice for family dinners or potluck parties. So, let’s take a look at what exactly it is and how do we make it!
What is a Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole?
This weeknight recipe is a classic family favourite dish that marries tender chicken pieces, fresh broccoli, and perfectly cooked rice in a rich, creamy sauce. The casserole dish is often crowned with a layer of melted shredded cheddar cheese, that makes it a fantastic cheesy comfort food with a beautiful golden finish. This delicious meal’s beauty lies in its simplicity – both in ingredients and preparation.
How to Make a Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole?
Creating a chicken broccoli rice casserole might seem to be a bit daunting task at first glance due to the variety of ingredients. But worry not and take it step by step, because with each step, you’ll see how the elements harmoniously come together to form this flavourful dish.
White Rice or Brown Rice?
A common question in preparing a chicken broccoli rice casserole is whether to use white rice or brown rice. Both can be used, but for this popular recipe, we recommend opting for our Dainty Basmati Rice, a white long grain rice. This choice isn’t just about flavour, but also practicality. White rice cooks faster and absorbs flavours better than brown rice. If you’re looking for a fiber-rich, healthier twist, Dainty Brown Basmati Rice can also be an excellent alternative. We invite you to discover more about our range of rice products here!
Total Time for Making your New Favourite Recipe
When considering the cook time for this family-friendly cheesy casserole, you’re looking at roughly 60 minutes from prepping the ingredients to pulling the bubbling casserole out of the oven. This time includes everything: dicing your chicken, chopping broccoli, and stirring up your homemade cheesy sauce.
The great thing is, most of the work is done by the oven as it melds all the flavours together, giving you time to attend to other chores or simply put your feet up. This efficiency makes the dish not just tasty, but also incredibly convenient for a busy weeknight meal. Hence, despite a total time of 60 minutes, the hands-on effort required is quite minimal, allowing this chicken broccoli rice casserole to be a winner on all fronts.
Level of Difficulty
This meal is classified as a medium-difficulty level dish. While it requires some specific preparation such as chopping and sautéing before it hits the oven, each step is rather straightforward, which makes it an achievable dish for home cooks of all levels. You can easily prepare this even on a busy weeknight!
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- 2 cups Dainty Basmati Rice
- 2 cups Milk (can be replaced with non-dairy Milk)
- 2 boneless skinless Chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces (or 2 cups shredded rotisserie Chicken)
- 4 cups fresh Broccoli florets (frozen broccoli can also be used)
- 1 yellow Onion, finely diced
- 2 Peppers, chopped
- 3 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Salt and other seasonings to taste
Make sure to have a preheated oven to 375 °F (ca. 191 degree Celsius). While the oven is heating, cook your rice according to the package instructions
In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook your chicken until it's no longer pink in the middle. Once done, remove your chicken and set it aside in an ovenproof casserole dish
In the same pan, sauté the onion and peppers until they are soft, and the onion is translucent, add to the casserole dish with the chicken
To the casserole dish add the broccoli florets, cooked rice, and seasonings. Stir all these ingredients to combine
Add the milk and half the cheddar cheese, giving it a stir to incorporate also
Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese over top. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown
The Dainty Difference
The secret to a great chicken broccoli rice casserole, or any rice casserole, lies in the quality of the rice used. Dainty offers a wide range of high-quality, Canadian-milled rices that are the perfect addition to your casserole. Whether you’re making a broccoli chicken rice casserole or any other dish, you can achieve the perfect texture and flavour every time with Dainty Rice.
This dish is not just a one-time wonder. Its flavours continue to develop, making it a perfect leftover casserole for weekdays. Store the remaining chicken broccoli rice casserole in an airtight container in the fridge, and it will keep well for up to 2 days.
Cooking this dish isn’t just about feeding your family; it’s about creating memories and traditions around comfort food. More tips and tricks for cooking with rice can be found here.
A Delicious Meal for the Whole Family
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, making a chicken broccoli rice casserole is a task that can be mastered with a bit of practice and patience. Remember, cooking is an art, and every step, from choosing the right rice to layering the flavours, is an integral part of the process. For more comforting recipes and rice dishes, explore our wide range of rice recipes. Happy cooking!