Cheesy chicken rice broccoli casserole, a fantastic dish that makes dinner with your family a special moment. Comforting, filling, deliciously cheesy, this casserole is a great favourite of mine.
Casseroles are usually my first choice when I need to use up whatever has been leftover from a hearty roast with vegetables. I have said it so many times, yet I’m still unable to cook less, in order to avoid a heart-aching waste of food. Roast chicken is one of my most beloved recipe, but how great it tastes and smells when it’s freshly cooked, and how bland it becomes the day after.
Nothing like a good casserole to bring the leftovers back to live. If you don’t have any leftover chicken, you can either bake or grill some, 2 smallish chicken breasts should be more than enough for this dish. I also happened to have some cooked broccoli, so again freshly-cooked one can be used instead.
This rice casserole reminds me of a chicken risotto, it has that creamy texture, but the cooking technique is different. No need to stir constantly in this dish, especially if you have a good non-stick pan, a few times only is more than enough.
I prefer using a round grain rice like the one used in the Spanish paellas or Italian risottos, rather than basmati rice. Basmati tends to become a bit mushy in casseroles, which would change the texture we want. Arborio rice is usually the best here.
To bring some extra flavour, I used one tin of cream of chicken soup, to make it extra creamy and extra tasty. You can use only chicken stock though, if you don’t have tinned soup. I cooked the dish on the stove top for about 20 minutes, just until the liquid was almost reduced and the rice was nearly cooked. It cooked further in the oven, until the cheese was fully melted, and that took other 20 minutes.
So, 40 minutes to cook a hearty casserole from scratch, that’s not bad at all! It takes a lot longer to make other dishes that sound a lot quicker and easier. If for the first 20 minutes you kind of have to be around it, once you threw it in the oven, you can get on with other things. I took advantage and cleared the mess I made in the kitchen, I am terrible at cleaning as I cook.
In all fairness, I could probably be less messy, but with my two little girls around, I feel that cooking has become a race against time, I need to act quickly, and tend to get thousands of utensils and plates dirty, and a real mess behind me. How I hate the cleaning part!!! Oh well, you can’t get everything done the way you want, can you?
I used only one cup of rice for this dish, and I thought that was more than enough for 4 generous portions. You could freeze some as well if you make more than needed, a good tupperware is all you need, then into the freezer until you need it. To re-heat, just pop it in the microwave until hot and bubbly, and that’s another dinner sorted for you.
You can go as cheesy as you like, I used half a cup to mix with the other ingredients, and have a cup to top the dish, and that really took a simple rice recipe to the very next level. I think I’ll be cooking it quite a lot now, since little ones loved it too. And trust me, if kids like a dish, it really must be special!
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Cheesy chicken rice broccoli casserole, a hearty dish that makes dinner with the family a special moment. Comforting, filling, and so delicious.
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3 cups chicken stock (broth)
- 1 tin cream of chicken soup
- 1 red onion, copped
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
- 1/2 cup cooked broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- a knob of butter
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 Fahrenheit).
Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
In a non-stick pan, heat up the oil, add the butter and onion and cook for about 3 minutes until soft, then add the rice and stir for about 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock and tinned soup, give it a good stir, then leave to cook for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid has been reduced and the rice is almost cooked. Stir from time to time so that the rice does not stick to the pan.
Add the chicken, broccoli and half of the cheese, stir well, then transfer the rice to an oven-proof dish.
Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is completely melted, and the rice is fully cooked.
Garnish with parsley.
- If you'd like the measurements displayed in cups and ounces, please click on the US CUSTOMARY link.
- The amount of ingredients needed can change according to the number of servings needed, please click on the number next to SERVINGS to see it.