If you've never had Chicken broccoli rice casserole like this, then you're missing out. With the stringy melted swiss cheese, soft broccoli florets, and fluffy flavorful white rice in every bite, this swiss cheese chicken bake is amazing.
You know, this chicken, rice, and cheese casserole recipe has been a staple in our house for as long as I can remember. We've experimented with various tweaks to it over the years, but honestly, nothing quite hits the spot like the original recipe right here.
We've tried some interesting things, like adding mayo (a suggestion from one of my mom's coworkers who swore it was a game-changer), but, to be honest, it was a no-go. It just didn't taste right.
Then there was the time we decided to use fresh broccoli instead of the frozen stuff. It seemed like a good idea, but the flavor and texture just didn't work.
We attempted to make a healthier version by going all-in with homemade soups, long-cooking rice, and other modifications. We even went so far as to try making it on the stovetop instead of baking it in the oven, but nothing, I mean NOTHING, compared to the original.
So, after all these years of savoring this mouthwatering dish, I'm thrilled to finally share this beloved recipe with all of you!
From the crispy rice around the edges of the pan to the melty cheese, tender rice, soft broccoli, and cooked chicken in every piece, this is a comfort food like no other.
🍯 Why This Recipe Works
- It's easy. The process for making this casserole is very simple and easy, making it perfect for a busy night. About 5 minutes of prep and an hour in the oven and you'll have a wonderful casserole to share with the whole family.
- It's cheap. Made with minimal ingredients, this recipe is very frugal and budget friendly. I love to make this a part of our frugal dinner plans.
- It's filling. My husband and I love this recipe so much we could both eat half a pan full if we wanted to, but the recipe is very filling, so it's almost impossible to do so.
Cream of chicken soup- Use cans of cream of chicken soup or swap them for mushroom soup if desired. We prefer chicken soup, but some readers say condensed celery is their favorite choice.
Frozen broccoli florets- You'll want to use frozen broccoli because it tastes much better when cooked. Fresh broccoli just doesn't turn out the same.
Chicken breast- Use multiple strips of thinly sliced chicken breast or a diced chicken breast. I usually just do one large breast, but you can honestly put in as many as you want.
Quick cook minute rice- Fast cooking rice is ideal for the perfect fluffy texture once baked.
Swiss cheese slices- Sliced Swiss cheese will give you a nice melty crispy topping that is fabulous. I usually leave it off a portion of the top of our pans, though, as my kids aren't fans of Swiss (more for me, haha).
For specific ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Add your rice to a greased 9x13 baking dish.
Step 3: Pour in the water.
Step 4: Add 1 can of cream of chicken soup.
Step 5: Mix well to combine.
Step 6: Add in and scatter the frozen broccoli around.
Step 7: Add in diced chicken or lay strips of chicken breasts over the top of the broccoli and rice.
Step 8: Layer your Swiss cheese over the top so that it covers as much surface space as possible. It's okay if the cheese overlaps.
Step 9: Pour a can of cream of chicken on top of the Swiss cheese.
Step 10: Carefully spread the soup around to fully cover the top of this casserole.
Step 11: Bake in the oven at 350F degrees for about 1 hour.
Step 12: Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
🍴 Recipe Tips
Making this Swiss chicken cheese casserole is very easy and there are a few simple ways that you can make it a little better. If you like your cheese a little harder along the edges of the pan then you can bake it at 375F instead of 350F degrees.
If you want to use shredded Swiss cheese instead, then mix the second can of cream of chicken soup into the rice to make it more flavorful. This will also help your cream of chicken and rice casserole to not dry out as it cooks.
You can use any cut of chicken meat. We like to use one diced chicken breast, but you can use chicken tenders or even shredded chicken if you have it on hand.
⏲️ Baking Time
This rice bake should almost always be cooked at 350 for an hour but there are some variables to consider. You can use small cut or frozen chicken pieces at this temperature and cook for an hour or if using thawed or small chicken pieces then you might find that the dish is finished around 40 minutes. The added time in the oven helps the cheese to get to that crisp and gooey goodness we want though.
Cooking it at 375F for 45 minutes can be okay if you have thawed or already cooked chicken involved or if the chicken is in smaller pieces (like 1in cubes or thin tenderloins). If using frozen extend the time to 1 hour.
You'll know that it's done when the chicken reaches a proper 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and all of the water has been absorbed by the rice. The edges of the dish should appear dry, crispy, and golden brown.
Nope! No need to! This recipe is designed to fluff up the rice while it's baking so that you don't have to do any extra work. It's literally an easy cheesy chicken and rice dump casserole.
Yes, it's preferred that way so that the chicken doesn't dry out. You can place thawed raw chicken or even frozen chicken into this recipe and it turns out the same. If using large frozen chicken breasts (uncut) then I recommend baking at 375F degrees to make sure that they're fully cooked.
I've tried this recipe with fresh and with frozen and frozen wins hands down. With fresh broccoli, you get some crisp roasted edges where the broccoli pokes through the top layer but the smell and flavor are a little stronger than when using frozen. You can try it both ways and see which one you prefer.
❤️ More Delicious Casserole Recipes
If you tried this Chicken Rice and Cheese Casserole, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and share your feedback in the 📝 comments section below. I would truly appreciate it!
Chicken Rice and Cheese Casserole
- 4 cups Water ($0.00)
- 4 cups White Quick Cook 5 Minute Rice ($1.53)
- 2 cans (10.5oz) Cream of Chicken Soup ($1.16)
- 8 slices Swiss Cheese ($1.32)
- 1 bag (12oz) Frozen Broccoli Florets (or 2-3 cups) ($1.00)
- 1 chicken breast, chopped (or 4-6 tenders) ($1.99)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add your rice to a greased 9x13 baking dish.
- Pour in the water.
- Add 1 can of cream of chicken soup.
- Mix well to combine.
- Add in and scatter the frozen broccoli around.
- Add in diced chicken or lay strips of chicken breasts over the top of the broccoli and rice.
- Layer your swiss cheese over the top so that it is covering as much surface space as possible. It's okay if the cheese overlaps.
- Pour a can of cream of chicken on top of the swiss cheese.
- Carefully spread the soup around to fully cover the top of this casserole.
- Bake in the oven at 350F degrees for about 1 hour.
- Let cool about 10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!