This recipe for Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole is a great way to serve a hearty and satisfying meal for dinner. Cooked chicken is mixed with steamed broccoli and wild rice which gets tossed in a homemade cream sauce that’s packed full of protein. Bake it in the oven for a chicken and broccoli bake everyone will enjoy!
Hi everyone, Danae from Recipe Runner here. To keep me from stressing out about dinner, we try to make healthy dinners that can be assembled in advance. We love popping them into the oven on days where we don’t have a lot of time to cook.
This Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole is one of those dinners. Prep it in advance and then cook it during the week or on busy nights when you want to save time. It’s even the perfect addition to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with a side of Cranberry Sauce or Dinner Rolls.
We also skip condensed soups and heavy cream in favor of Greek yogurt. The yogurt adds a wonderful creaminess to this casserole without any guilt. Plus, less guilt means you can add a little extra cheese too
On top of being an easy dinner that can be made ahead of time, this chicken and broccoli casserole is healthier than most casseroles. We use whole grain wild rice instead of white rice. Wild rice is more filling than white rice and is packed with nutrients.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- No condensed soup or milk is in this chicken broccoli and rice casserole. Instead, greek yogurt is used to make the dish creamy without any extra fat.
- Whole grain wild rice is used instead of regular rice as it’s more filling and is packed with nutrients.
- There’s no need for side dishes as the entire cheesy chicken broccoli casserole has protein, carbs, and healthy fats all baked together.
- You can make it ahead of time, or freeze it for later making it a great option for meal prep!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Wild Rice Mix – Adds a nutritious carbohydrate source with an earthy taste. You can use any type of rice, but we recommend a wild rice mixture.
- Broccoli Florets – Gives this casserole nutrition and a pop of green color.
- Onion & Garlic – Infuses the casserole with aromatic onion and garlic flavors.
- Chicken Breasts – Use boneless skinless chicken breasts.
- Salt & Pepper – Helps to season the chicken breast when pan-seared.
- Butter – Makes up the base of the creamy sauce and gives it a rich buttery flavor.
- Flour – Whisked into the butter, flour is a thickening agent that helps create a creamy sauce.
- Milk – Thins out the sauce while keeping a creamy texture.
- Shredded Cheese – You’ll need a mix of shredded sharp cheddar and swiss cheese to go inside and on top of the casserole for a salty, cheesy flavor.
- Greek Yogurt – Adds to the creamy texture of the sauce while adding healthy protein. Full or non-fat Greek yogurt works fine for this recipe.
How To Make Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Cook the wild rice: Get a pot of water boiling with enough water to cook 1 cup of wild rice according to the package instructions. Once cooked, set aside.
- Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 2-quart rectangular basking dish with nonstick cooking spray or butter and set aside.
- Steam the broccoli: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the chopped broccoli florets and saute for one minute. Add in water, then let the broccoli steam until fork tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Cook the chicken: Return the skillet to the stove, then heat up some cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant for about 2 minutes. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add it to the skillet with the onion and garlic mixture. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F. Remove the chicken from the skillet and add it to the reserved broccoli.
- Make the creamy sauce: Return the skillet to the stove again, and heat over medium heat. Add the butter and heat until melted before whisking in the flour. Cook for one minute, then slowly pour in the milk while whisking the mixture. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. Whisk in most of the cheese until melted and creamy.
- Assemble and bake: Remove the sauce from the oven and add the sauce to a large bowl, then whisk in the greek yogurt until fully combined. To the sauce add the cooked chicken, broccoli, and cooked rice. Toss with the sauce until fully coated. Top with remaining cheese, loosely cover with foil, and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
- Cut the chicken into even pieces to make sure the chicken cooks evenly.
- Cook broccoli just until fork tender. When steaming the broccoli, make sure it only cooks just until fork tender as the broccoli will finish cooking as the chicken broccoli and rice casserole bakes.
- The sauce is ready to be mixed with Greek yogurt once it is thick enough to coat with the back of a spoon. For a creamy sauce base, sift your flour beforehand.
- Wild rice may need more time to cook than other types of rice, so be sure to use the individual package instructions.
- Taste test the sauce after whisking with Greek yogurt to adjust any seasonings before baking.
Variations & Substitutions
- Gluten-Free Chicken and Broccoli Casserole: To make a gluten free version of this casserole, make sure you use gluten free flour and check any labels on ingredients for wheat-containing ingredients.
- Use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Replace the chicken breasts with boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Add heat. Give it some heat by adding a sprinkle of cayenne pepper into the sauce or topping with red chili flake.
- Add some more veggies to the chicken broccoli and rice casserole by tossing in some sautéed mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, or cooked asparagus.
- Frozen broccoli can be used in this dish. Just make sure it’s microwaved properly beforehand.
- Use your favorite type of cheese. Swiss and cheddar are a great cheese combination, but feel free to use your favorite cheeses such as gouda, pepper jack, muenster, or parmesan cheese.
- Don’t have time to cook the chicken? Try using canned chicken breast or meat from a rotisserie chicken to save time.
Yes, you must cook the rice before putting it into the casserole. Save time by preparing the rice in advance and store in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to use. If you want to use brown rice instead of wild rice in this recipe, try our Instant Pot Brown Rice.
No, you cannot place raw chicken into the casserole dish. Because this dish only cooks in the oven for 20-30 minutes, that may not cook the chicken all the way through which can cause it to develop bacteria. Always cook the chicken before adding to the casserole dish.
In this casserole, Greek yogurt is used to thicken the sauce making a base that does not need to be thickened.
This casserole is the perfect meal prep dish. Prepare it in advance and store in the refrigerator for up to two days. When you’re ready for dinner, all you have to do is stick it in the oven and bake it until it’s bubbly and the cheese is melted. Kids and adults love this casserole. It’s the perfect dinner party dish or side for the holidays.
More Casserole Recipes
- Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole
- Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole
- Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Casserole
- Cheesy Potato Casserole
- Turkey Enchiladas
- Chile Rellenos Casserole
Did you make this Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole? Leave a recipe rating and review below.
Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 3/4 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- Cook the wild rice according to package instructions.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 2 quart casserole dish (or similar size) with cooking oil. Set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot add in the broccoli florets and sauté for 1 minute. Add in 1/4 cup of water and cover with a lid. Let the broccoli steam for approximately 3 minutes then remove it from the skillet onto a plate.
- Return the skillet to the stove and spray with cooking oil. Add in the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add in the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken until it is cooked through then remove the mixture from the skillet and onto the plate with the broccoli.
- Lower the heat to medium and melt the butter in the skillet. Whisk in the flour, let it cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk until the flour mixture is dissolved and the sauce starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and continue to whisk until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Add in the cheese, reserving 1/4 cup and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the Greek yogurt. Add the chicken, broccoli and wild rice to the sauce and stir together until everything is combined.
- Pour into the prepared casserole dish and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted.
- The wild rice can be made in advance, cooled and stored flat in a freezer bag and frozen until ready to use. Prepping the rice in advance will save you an hour of cooking time.
- The casserole can be made a couple days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. It may need a little longer cooking time if you are baking it cold straight from the refrigerator.