This Simple & Easy Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole is chock full of broccoli, rice, juicy white meat chicken, and an incredibly creamy and cheesy sauce then topped with more cheese!
Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole
This Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole is the ultimate comfort food, sometimes referred to as Chicken Divan, and this version does not use any canned condensed cream of soups.
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is a family favorite that everyone in my family enjoys.
As a busy mom, I appreciate that Chicken and Broccoli Casserole is versatile enough that ingredients can be interchanged, it’s simple to assemble, and comes together quickly, which is perfect for busy weeknight meals.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the chicken and season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Sauté until the chicken is cooked through.
When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and place it in a 9×13 baking dish.
Add the chicken broth, cornstarch slurry, and milk to the pan used to cook the chicken.
Whisk to combine all the ingredients.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, around five minutes.
When the sauce has thickened remove from heat and stir in one cup of cheese until melted.
Add the broccoli and rice to the baking dish with the chicken and stir to combine.
Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the chicken, broccoli, and rice.
Top the casserole with remaining shredded cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese on top is melted.
Do I have to use chicken?
Even though the chicken only takes a few minutes to cook in a skillet, sometimes those are precious moments you may not have to spare.
If that’s the case, it’s perfectly fine to substitute in 2 cups of cooked rotisserie chicken or any other precooked chicken you may have tucked away in your refrigerator.
Don’t like chicken or have any on hand? Other proteins will work, too.
You could swap in some cooked sausage, pork, ground beef, steak, or shrimp.
Vegetarian? Just omit the chicken, and the cheesy broccoli casserole will great on its own.
Rice vs Pasta
When making Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole, I do not recommend using Minute Rice.
Long Grain Rice has a creamier consistency, higher nutritional value, and better flavor, so if you use white rice, stick to long grain and adjust the liquid using the package directions with the end goal of 2 cups of cooked rice.
In this recipe, I used brown rice.
To add more flavor to rice, use broth or bouillon with water when cooking.
Out of rice? Feel free to swap in Pasta instead.
Any pasta will work, my crew likes it with egg noodles the best.
If cheddar isn’t your favorite cheese, feel free to substitute in most any other type. Good quality Mozzarella or Parmesan works great, Colby Jack or a spicy Pepper Jack would also be a great choice to use in Chicken Broccoli Cheese Casserole.
I used 12oz of frozen broccoli in this recipe, but fresh broccoli could also be used.
Don’t have any broccoli? Cauliflower or asparagus will also work.
Feel free to add in or exchange other vegetables, too, such as mushrooms, onions, diced tomatoes, peas, carrots, black beans, etc.
Fresh herbs, especially Italian herbs such as Basil, Cilantro, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, etc. can also add additional layers of flavor.
Want some heat? Add a dash of tabasco or some red chili flakes.
We enjoy this with a layer of melted shredded cheese on top, but you could also put a layer of cornflakes, like in Hashbrown Casserole, bread crumbs, crushed Ritz crackers, or French fried onions on top.
How to store leftover Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole:
Be sure to store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is an excellent freezer meal.
I tend to use disposable pans when I freeze casseroles so that I’m not tying up my casserole dish AND if I need to gift it to someone who is sick, had surgery, a baby, or a death in the family, etc. it’s easy to do and they don’t have to worry about washing or returning a casserole dish.
Be sure to clearly label and date the container, and store in the freezer for no longer than 3 months.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 12-ounce package frozen broccoli, prepared
- 1 cup brown rice, prepared
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the chicken and season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder,
salt, and pepper.
- Sauté until the chicken is cooked through.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and place it in a 9x13 baking dish.
- Add the chicken broth, cornstarch slurry, and milk to the pan used to cook the chicken.
- Whisk to combine all the ingredients.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until
thickened, around five minutes.
- When the sauce has thickened remove from heat and stir in one cup of cheese until melted.
- Add the broccoli and rice to the baking dish with the chicken and stir to combine.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the chicken, broccoli, and rice.
- Top the casserole with remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese on top is melted.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 380Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 837mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 36g