This is a dump-and-bake Chicken Rice Casserole with broccoli that’s made from scratch. It’s creamy, cheesy, comforting and tastes like a risotto but so much easier to make! It’s the ultimate emergency meal – completely effortless but doesn’t sacrifice flavour for convenience.
NO CANNED SOUP!!!
How to make Chicken Rice Casserole – my Emergency way!
This is a dump-and-bake rice casserole that’s made from scratch.
And anyone who knows anything about cooking will (rightfully!) raise their eyebrows when they see how this emergency version of Chicken Rice Casserole is made:
- Dump UNCOOKED RICE in pan
- Sprinkle with flour and seasonings
- Mix with liquids (broth and milk)
- Top with RAW chicken and RAW broccoli
- Stir in cheese, melt cheese, serve.
And this is what comes out: a CREAMY Chicken Rice Casserole with PERFECTLY COOKED rice with JUICY SEASONED pieces of chicken! ??
What this Chicken Rice Casserole tastes like
It truly tastes like everybody’s favourite risotto – except you haven’t been slaving over a hot stove for 20 minutes. The rice is coated with a creamy cheesy sauce that’s made with milk and flavoured with chicken broth/stock plus stock powder.
It’s nice and creamy rather than stodgy like many rice casseroles are, and comes out of the oven with a bubbly golden cheesy top.
Most of the chicken has some browning on it, and the chicken stays juicy and isn’t overcooked.
The broccoli is on the soft side, but most definitely not cooked into mushy oblivion. You could steam it separately and stir it through at the end, but I chose convenience for a relatively small compromise!
What you need
Here’s what you need to make this Emergency Chicken Rice Casserole:
The key ingredient here that makes a real difference to the tastiness of this recipe is stock powder, also known as bouillon powder. I use this in lieu of salt in this recipe because it’s salt with flavour.
Use chicken or vegetable stock powder – my favourite is Vegeta which is a vegetable one, pictured below. Crumbled bouillon cube will work just great too – it’s the same thing, in cube form!
We need this extra flavour boost to compensate for skipping the usual flavour base step of sautéing onion and garlic in butter and searing the chicken until golden brown like I do with my stovetop Chicken Rice Casserole!
Other uses for Vegeta?
I’m a huge fan of Vegeta, it’s my secret ingredient for great soup broths, such as for from-scratch Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. It’s also my trick to make a really great QUICK clear soup broth for Chicken Rice Soup and faster Chicken Noodle Soup, and a really terrific creamy sauce for Chicken Pot Pie.
NO CANNED SOUP!
I would’ve loved to call it the WORLD’s easiest – but I know for a fact it is not!
The world’s easiest chicken rice casserole is made with just chicken, rice and canned soup that is dumped in a pan and baked, and you will never see that recipe on my site.
I do not judge (you’re talking to she whose parents would crack an egg over rice, add a drizzle of soy and call that dinner!) but using canned soup to make shortcut casseroles just isn’t the way I cook. ?
But I do truly believe this to be the easiest Chicken Rice Casserole that’s made from scratch because we by-pass the usual roux making process whereby melted butter is mixed with flour and used to thicken milk to make a creamy sauce for loads of things from Mac and Cheese, the Béchamel Sauce for Lasagna to Chicken Pot Pie.
And I promise you – it is 100% delicious. Not “hmm, it’s pretty good”. It’s SERIOUSLY delicious. Creamy, cheesy, comforting, can’t-stop-eating-it-good!!! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Emergency Chicken Rice Casserole
- 500g/ 1lb chicken thighs or tenders (tenderloin) , cut into 1.5cm / 2/3" pieces (Note 1)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp vegetable or chicken stock powder (granulated bouillon) (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) chicken broth/stock , low sodium
- 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) milk , any fat %
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice , uncooked (Note 3)
- 1/4 cup (35g) flour , plain / all purpose
- 1 tsp vegetable or chicken stock powder (granulated bouillon) (Note 2)
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter
- 2 broccoli heads (large!), cut into florets (Note 4)
- 2 cups (200g) shredded cheese
- 2 green onions , finely sliced
- Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F (180°C/350°F fan/convection).
- Mix Chicken Ingredients.
- Heat chicken broth and milk until hot using any method (stove, microwave). Can combine together in saucepan. (Note 5)
- Spread rice in 23 x 33cm / 9 x 13" ceramic or glass baking dish. (Note 6)
- Sprinkle with flour, stock powder and garlic.
- Add the hot chicken broth, stir until flour dissolved (some small lumps ok).
- Add milk, swish rice to spread out evenly.
- Spread broccoli on top, then chicken, then plonk butter on (anywhere).
- Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. (Might get some browned skin on surface, that's ok)
- CHECK rice before stirring - should be JUST cooked (Note 7).
- Add half the cheese, stir through, being sure to get rice in the corners and edges of pan. Should be creamy and quite loose (see video).
- Top with cheese, return to oven for 5 minutes until just melted.
- Sprinkle with green onion, if using, then serve!
Life of Dozer
This is why I never drive with the windows down – he’d lose his head with a passing car!!!???