This chicken broccoli and rice casserole combines classic flavors for a quick and easy dinner. Chicken thighs are cooked with a creamy cheesy broccoli cheddar rice for a complete meal without all the cleanup.I love a good chicken and rice dish, and this version incorporates plenty of cheese and fresh broccoli for a meal that’s a real crowd pleaser.
This chicken broccoli and rice casserole is a great recipe to have in your dinner time rotation – it’s quick to put together, all bakes together in one pot and uses ingredients that you probably already have in the house. And cheesy rice is always a family favorite.The chicken and rice bake together and then the flavorings are added in towards the end of the cooking process. No one likes mushy broccoli, so I lightly cooked it in the pan first, then added it back in at the very end to keep it bright and fresh tasting. The cheese also gets added later which makes for an ultra creamy rice.
I use a short grain rice because when it bakes in the oven it turns into a risotto-like consistency. You can really use any type of short grain rice that you find at the store, I go with an inexpensive variety and it works just as well as the more expensive arborio or carnaroli rice.
- 4 bone in skin on chicken thighs (medium sized)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small yellow onion , finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups of short grain rice
- 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
- 2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- chopped parsley for garnish (optional).
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place a large deep skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Add the broccoli and 1/2 cup water to the pan. Cook the broccoli, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and crisp tender, about 4-5 minutes.Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the broccoli from the pan and set aside; remove any excess water from the pan.
- Heat the oil in the pan over medium high heat. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down, and cook until the chicken is a deep golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Flip the chicken and repeat the process with the other side.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and add the onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add the rice, cooking for 1 minute. Place the chicken back into the pan.
- Pour in the chicken broth and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Cover the pan and place it in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes or until liquid has absorbed and chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place the chicken on a serving plate, cover with foil. Stir the broccoli and cheese into the rice mixture and place it back in the oven. Cook for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Place the broccoli cheddar rice on the platter alongside the chicken. Garnish with parsley (optional) and serve.