This easy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is going to be a new favorite healthy family dinner recipe. Flavorful, full of good-for-you ingredients and a complete meal all in on dish! Easily dairy-free and gluten free.

Chicken broccoli casserole fresh from the oven and on the table. A spoon is in the casserole and there are plates and forks next to it on the table.

Healthy casserole recipe

Casseroles are kind of an easy dinner staple. At least in my head…for what it is worth.

Mix everything up. Toss it into one dish. Bake it up. Eat. The end. What is not to love and appreciate!? Especially since leftovers almost always seem to happen when a casserole is on the dinner menu. Plus, casseroles are super easy to transport, making them ideal for potlucks, family dinners or to bring to a family you adore that needs someone to take care of dinner for them (so, pin this for any families expecting a new baby!).

Broccoli and chicken is definitely a staple casserole combo, but I wanted to put my own veggie-loaded twist on it by mellowing out the dairy and upping the fiber with brown rice and extra broccoli! The flavor of this healthy casserole doesn’t disappoint and will 100% be a new family favorite!

Recipe created in collaboration with Heather Staller.

Suggested adaptations

Make this broccoli casserole vegetarian. You can easily leave out the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Add some cooked chickpeas to the casserole for a boost of plant based protein, if you like.

Need dairy-free? Easy! The cheese on top is completely optional. Broil for a few minutes after baking and you can gets a delicious browned top that will add some extra flavor and texture to the dish without adding any cheese.

Use white rice instead of brown rice. You can use cooked white rice or even cooked quinoa in this recipe if you’d prefer.

Use frozen rice. Many grocery stores (like Trader Joe’s) sell precooked frozen brown rice. It is a great time-saving short-cut since frozen rice can be found in most grocery stores these days and makes this casserole that much easier to throw together.

Swap fresh broccoli for the frozen. Just make a few minor changes to the recipe: chop your fresh broccoli into small florets so they cook all the way through during the baking and add an additional 1/4 cup of broth over the top of the casserole before baking.

Add even more veggies to the recipe. Swap out 1 cup of cooked rice for 1 cup cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen). You could also stir in some grated carrot, chopped spinach, or small cauliflower florets. 

Chicken broccoli casserole fresh from the oven and on the table. A spoon is in the casserole.

Other veggie-loaded casserole recipes.

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Chicken broccoli casserole on a white plate with a salad and fork.
4.86 from 35 votes

Flavorful Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: dinner
This easy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is going to be a new favorite healthy family dinner recipe. Flavorful, full of healthy ingredients and a complete meal all in on dish! Easily dairy-free and gluten free.

Ingredients
 

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 16 ounces frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch cubes*, see notes for using cooked chicken
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, + extra for greasing
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese, or to taste and optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400℉ and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with oil.
  • Add rice and broccoli to the bottom of the baking dish. If any of the broccoli florets are much larger than the other, you may want to cut them smaller.
  • Toss chicken pieces with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and a few grinds of black pepper. Distribute the seasoned chicken evenly over the rice and broccoli.
  • Heat olive oil in a sauce pan or small pot over medium-high heat, add chopped onion and a pinch of salt and cook until onion is golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile whisk cornstarch/arrowroot into the chicken broth, making sure the cornstarch is dissolved.
  • Once onion is cooked stir in the Italian seasoning then add the broth. Whisk in the remaining salt, mustard, and lemon juice then bring up to a simmer to thicken a bit. Once sauce is bubbling, pour evenly over the ingredients in the baking dish. Use a spoon to even out the top of the dish.
  • Cover the baking dish with foil then bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Remove foil then add cheese evenly over the top, if using. Return the dish to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese or use the broiler to get a golden, crunchy top. Serve warm.

Notes

*If you are using already cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces and add to casserole as normal. Since your chicken is already cooked, cook the casserole covered for 20 minutes.
Calories: 290kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 690mg, Potassium: 565mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 487IU, Vitamin C: 58mg, Calcium: 135mg, Iron: 2mg