Leftover Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole, a healthy family dinner that takes comfort food to the next level. Easy to make from scratch, it can be made ahead and popped in the oven just before dinner time. It is made in one pot, which saves time and effort. It’s cheesy, filling, and so creamy. My kind of food!
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 rice 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. Or you can use rotisserie chicken. 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.
How to make rice casserole with leftover chicken and broccoli
This dish might sound complicated, but it’s actually one of the easiest casserole you can cook. It only takes about 20 minutes to cook on the stove top, plus other 20 minutes in the oven. 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.
- start by sauteeing the onion with butter, then add the rice, chicken broth and chicken soup
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.
- leave to cook until the liquid is nearly all absorbed, and the rice is nearly cooked
- add the leftover chicken, chopped broccoli and half of the cheese, season well, then transfer everything to an oven-proof dish and top with the remaining cheese
- bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the rice is cooked through
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.
Can you freeze the rice casserole?
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. Or you can try and pop it in the oven for a few minutes once it’s defrosted, to give the cheese a little bit of colour, but you don’t really have to.
And there you have, a fantastic chicken and rice casserole for the whole family to enjoy. But, if you are looking for something beefy, how about my Cheesy Ground Beef and Rice Casserole?
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Leftover Chicken Broccoli Rice 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. Super easy to make, this casserole is always a winner with my family.
- 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.