Frozen Broccoli Cheesy Chicken & Rice (one pan!)
This Cheesy Chicken Rice and Frozen Broccoli dinner is one of those magical meals that is nourishing, satisfying, but also feels like comfort food. Made in one pan, it is quick and easy to make with simple ingredients like frozen broccoli, white rice, chicken breast, flavorful broth, and some serious cheesy goodness. Done in just 30 minutes, it will comfort you from the inside out.
With a busy tween daughter to shuttle around, two full-time working adults, and a dog that demands (with those wildly effective puppy eyes) regular walks, I find myself leaning more and more into healthy one pot recipes at dinner time. They are so delightfully easy! Complete meals (no thinking about veggie and carb sides!), they feed an army, store like a dream, and the flavors get even better the next day for leftovers. With winners such as my unstuffed cabbage soup and veggie-loaded hamburger helper in the TNN vault, I’m always looking to add to my line-up of one pot wonders.
While many casserole or one pot meals tend to call for “cream of” soups, this cheesy chicken broccoli and rice recipe includes no cream and no canned soup yet doesn’t sacrifice flavor! Don’t get me wrong—I LOVE a good shortcut! But this dish still achieves that comforting, hearty feel we all love without all the heaviness of a canned soup or cream—yet requires only about 10 minutes of prep work!
This easy chicken broccoli and rice recipe is made in one pot in about 30 minutes. The rice, chicken, and thawed frozen broccoli all come together with broth and a simple (yet flavorful!) blend of spices. At the very end we stir in some cheddar cheese for the ultimate boost of ooey gooey deliciousness! It is an easy, complete dinner that saves my sanity on those extra busy week nights—which seem to be most nights these days! My family also simply adores its flavor and how comforting it is. No-muss, no-fuss…and no need to rack your brain for sides or warm up separate components as it’s all done for you! Ahhh…the beauty of a one pot wonder!
How to make this one-pan dinner: step-by-step visual guide
If you are a visual person, here is a picture guide for how the recipe should look at each step. Be sure to grab the exact measurements for the ingredients by scrolling down to the recipe card below.
- Use fresh broccoli. If you prefer or have fresh broccoli on hand, you can absolutely use that in place of frozen. However, since frozen broccoli is blanched and doesn’t take as long to cook as fresh, make sure you cut your fresh florets small so they cook quickly in this recipe.
- Use precooked chicken. If you have some rotisserie chicken on hand or just need this meal to be extra effortless, use some pre cooked chicken in this recipe. Just toss it in when you add the defrosted broccoli to warm up.
- Reduce or increase the cheese. In my opinion, cheese is one of those things you measure with your heart. Adjust the amounts in this recipe to fit your personal taste preferences.
- Swap the chicken breast with your favorite chicken sausage. I’d suggest using sliced precooked and browning it up in the pan before adding the rice and broth.
- Swap broccoli for cauliflower florets. Just be sure to also defrost those before adding them in!
Note from Taesha
I don’t suggest using brown rice in this recipe. I know someone will ask, so I just want to tell you upfront that it is a no-go. Brown rice is lovely and something I love to add to many dishes, but takes longer to cook and more liquid than this recipe calls for. Since I want this dinner to be as delicious, successful and easy for you as I am promising, I am going to lovingly tell you to stick with the white rice for this recipe. However, I am going to point you in the direction of my Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole which DOES use precooked brown rice, is also delicious and flavorful,
Other one-pot veggie-loaded dinner recipes to try…
- One-Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Soup (with ground beef)
- One-Pot Corn & Potato Chowder
- Veggie-Loaded Taco Pasta
- 15+ Veggie-Loaded One Pot Recipes
- One-Pot Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Loving this one pan dinner recipe and now you’re hungry for more?
Cheesy Chicken & Rice with Frozen Broccoli (one pan!)
- 1½ Tablespoons avocado oil, or olive oil
- 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup uncooked white jasmine rice
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 ounces frozen small broccoli florets, (about 3 cups) Thawed and water drained off, *see below for how to best do this
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese , + extra for topping
- In a large skillet or pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook until onions start to soften and turn translucent. About 4 minutes.
- Once onions are cooked, add cut chicken to the pan and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic. Cook for about 1 more minute or until fragrant.
- Pour the uncooked rice and chicken broth to the pan with the chicken and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover.
- Cook covered 12 minutes.
- After the 12 minutes is up, add the defrosted broccoli to the skillet and stir everything together. Cover again and cook on low for 5 more minutes or until the broccoli is tender and rice is cooked.
- Once done cooking, remove the pan from the heat. Remove the lid and stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and well incorporated into the rice, chicken and broccoli.
- If desired, top with extra cheese and let that melt for a few minutes before serving. Allow leftovers cool completely before storing in an air-tight container in your fridge for up to 3 days.