Only 10 minutes to prep and 1 dish to clean, this quick Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Rice is a cheesy, easy dinner loaded with simple ingredients and perfect for a busy weeknight.
After the success of my Queso Chicken and Rice, I was excited to try out a new version by switching up just a few of the ingredients. I decided to give this one a try after a long day of meetings and video shoots, and boy was I glad! It was easy dinner perfection!
I know you have those weeknights too. You’re so tired that standing over the stove is the LAST thing you want to do. This recipe is made for nights like that!
Broccoli and cheese is a match made in food heaven, and who doesn’t love a good chicken and rice casserole? Combine these two delicious combos and VOILA…Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice. A new family favorite dinner! Simple, quick comfort food!
Table of Contents
What You’ll Need
- Knorr Cheddar Broccoli Rice Sides
- Chicken Broth
- Cream of Chicken
- Frozen Chopped Broccoli
- Cheddar Cheese
- Chicken Thighs or Breasts
- Garlic Powder
Tools You’ll Need
How to Make Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Rice
- The beauty of this recipe is that you can mix everything directly in the baking dish! Combine both rice packets, broth, cream of chicken, water, some cheese, and broccoli in your pan.
- Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Nestle the seasoned chicken into the rice in one even layer. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly on top.
- TIGHTLY cover the dish with aluminum foil. This is important so that the steam doesn’t escape. Bake the cheddar broccoli chicken and rice for 1 hour, then remove the foil and cook an additional 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the top is slightly browned.
Adding a colorful side dish is ideal for this delicious casserole. Some yummy side ideas are:
Tips and Substitutions
- It is important that the pan is SECURELY covered with the foil. The steam must be captured in order for the rice to cook properly.
- Searing the chicken first 1-2 minutes per side in oil in a skillet over high heat is optional. The bake time should be about the same or 5-10 minutes less.
- Swap chicken thighs for breasts if you prefer dark meat, just make sure the chicken comes to the right temperature at 165ºF at the end of baking. The chicken shouldn't be thicker than ½-inch. If the pieces are too big, it will not be cooked through in the specified time.
- If your chicken cuts need additional cook time, simply recover and bake an additional 5-15 minutes or until and internal temperature of 165ºF is met.
Storing Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Rice
Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 3 days and freeze for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cream of chicken can be substituted with cream of mushroom, cream of broccoli, cheddar cheese, and broccoli cheese soups. You can also make it homemade as well.
Homemade Cream of Chicken:
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk in ⅓ cup all-purpose flour and cook for 1 minute.
Whisk in ⅓ cup milk and ⅓ cup chicken broth until well combined.
Season with ¼ teaspoon onion powder and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes or until thickened and creamy.
Certainly! Fresh chopped broccoli can be substituted for frozen broccoli.
Dark or white meat both work in this dish. If chicken tenderloins are used, they will likely only need a total cook time of 50 minutes covered plus 10 minutes uncovered. Breasts or thighs will need the 1 hour covered plus 10-15 minutes uncovered. If your chicken breast or thigh is thicker than ½ inch, flatten it with a mallet or cut them in half horizontally. The USDA-safe internal temperature for chicken is 165°F.
If you want to sear the seasoned chicken first, go ahead! Searing adds some texture and flavor to the chicken. Just adjust the covered oven cook time to 35-45 minutes.
You can prepare this dish in advance and cover/refrigerate it. Place on the counter 30 minutes prior to baking. At the end of cook time, check the internal temperature of the chicken for doneness.
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Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Rice
- 2 5.7oz packs Knorr Cheddar Broccoli Rice Sides
- 14.5 oz chicken broth regular or low-sodium
- 10.5 oz cream of chicken soup regular or low-sodium
- ½ cup water
- 10 oz box frozen chopped broccoli thawed
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 2 ½-3 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts ½-inch thick pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- To a 13”x9” baking dish, whisk together both Knorr rice packets, broth, soup, water, broccoli and ½ cup of the cheese. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place the chicken into the rice mixture and sprinkle cheese on top.
- Cover TIGHTLY with foil and bake 1 hour. Remove the foil, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until slightly brown and bubbling at the edges