Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Casserole

Creamy broccoli cheddar chicken casserole with rice is a mouth-watering comforting dinner that is sure to please the whole family. Gluten-free and cow’s dairy-free!

Casserole dish of broccoli cheddar chicken casserole

So…there’s good news and bad news. Which do you want first?

The Bad News: If you’re like me and you’re accustomed to meals that require approximately 2 steps and 20 minutes of time, this casserole is not that. 

The Good News: This Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is CRAZY tasty and only requires 7 basic ingredients, many or all of which you probably have on hand.

As a followup to the bad news, this casserole is not at all complicated to make…it simply requires several steps and pots and pans to get you there. But once you’re there, ooh la laa is this thing amazing?!

It’s perfectly creamy and cheesy without being overly so. It’s a great combination of carbs, fat and protein, PLUS it includes broccoli, so: health food.

horizontal image closeup of chicken casserole

Truthfully, I rarely make casseroles (mostly because they require more than .5 steps to make) but I can definitely attest that this one will be on constant rotation in my home. It is just that pleasurable!

Let us discuss the ingredients in this recipe, because they are a bit different from your standard casserole. 

What Type of Milk to Use:

Rather than using milk, I use full-fat canned coconut milk. Not only does this lend rich flavor and amazing texture, but you can’t detect that it’s coconut milk. I make it this way because I have a difficult time processing cow’s milk, like many of you.

If you like your casseroles to have a nice tang (such as casseroles that call for sour cream, cream cheese, or yogurt), you can add 2 tablespoons of stone ground mustard or dijon mustard. Or, you can of course replace the coconut milk with half & half, whole milk, or a combination of milk and sour cream.

What Type of Cheese to Use:

For the cheese, I use a raw goat milk cheddar (again, because I can’t do cow’s milk products), but you can really choose any meltable cheese you’d like. Feel free to go with standard cow’s milk cheddar, or gruyere or gouda if you’re looking to be fancy.

Aside from those two nuances, the recipe is straightforward: brown rice, chicken, broccoli. BOOM simplicity.

So let’s make it already!

close up photo of chicken casserole with wooden spoon

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Casserole:

Cook rice according to package instructions.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease or spray a large 9” x 13” casserole dish.

While rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe. Heat a large skillet or pot over medium heat and add the avocado oil. Add the chopped onion, broccoli, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and broccoli have softened but are still al dente, about 2 to 3 minutes. 

Scoot the vegetables off to one side of the skillet and add the chopped chicken thighs. Allow them to brown without touching for 2 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until browned but not cooked through. Stir everything together and remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, Add the rice, coconut milk, sea salt, black pepper, and 1 cup of the grated cheese. Stir well to combine.

Transfer the rice mixture to the pot with the sauteed veggies and chicken and stir well.

Pour the casserole mixture into the casserole dish. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbly and cheese begins turning golden-brown.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Use white rice instead of brown rice.
  • Replace goat milk raw cheddar with regular medium cheddar cheese
  • Use cauliflower instead of broccoli
  • Add more veggies such as carrot or celery.
  • Toss some GF breadcrumbs on top for a real wild ride!

More Healthy Casserole Recipes:

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @TheRoastedRoot on Instagram!

Casserole dish of broccoli cheddar chicken casserole

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Casserole

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked chicken, broccoli, casserole, gluten free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Julia

Hearty chicken casserole with broccoli, goat cheddar and coconut milk for a creamy meal.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease or spray a large 9” x 13” casserole dish.

  3. While rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe. Heat a large skillet or pot over medium heat and add the avocado oil. Add the chopped onion, broccoli, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and broccoli have softened but are still al dente, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Scoot the vegetables off to one side of the skillet and add the chopped chicken thighs. Allow them to brown without touching for 2 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until browned but not cooked through. Stir everything together and remove from heat.

  5. In a large mixing bowl, Add the rice, coconut milk, sea salt, black pepper, and 1 cup of the grated cheese. Stir well to combine.

  6. Transfer the rice mixture to the pot with the sauteed veggies and chicken and stir well.

  7. Pour the casserole mixture into the casserole dish. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbly and cheese begins turning golden-brown.

  8. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*I use raw goat milk cheddar. You can use any cheddar cheese you like, or use mozzarella, jack cheese, Gouda, or Gruyere 

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Comments

  1. Alex

    I made this for lunch today! I shredded the chicken instead and added more rice. It was so creamy and delicious. The secret is the coconut milk! Husband gave it 10 stars 🙂 Thanks for this recipe!

    Reply

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