Everyday Meals

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Active time:20 min. Total time: 50 min.
Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

Kids aren’t the only ones who love this melty, Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole. The rice, broccoli, and chicken provide a nice substance for the creamy, béchamel type sauce, while the buttery topping adds crunch and richness. In other words, it’s pure comfort food, and you can have it ready for a weeknight dinner right at under an hour. Rotisserie chicken works wonderfully here, but you can use whatever leftover chicken you have on hand. To shake things up, substitute in a different cooked vegetable, such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus, for the broccoli.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 15rectangular buttery crackers (such as Club) (about 1 1/2 oz.), crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1garlic clove, finely chopped (1 tsp.)
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked broccoli florets
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Microwave 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small microwavable bowl on HIGH until melted, about 30 seconds. Add crumbled crackers; toss until coated, and set aside.

Step 2

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium. Add flour, mustard, and garlic; cook, whisking constantly, until flour is toasted (be careful not to burn), 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in stock and half-and-half; cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in salt and pepper; remove from heat. Add broccoli, rice, chicken, and cheese; fold to combine.

Step 3

Spoon mixture into an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with cracker mixture. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and bubbly around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with scallions. Serve. 

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