Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice
If you like broccoli cheese soup, you will LOVE this Cheesy Chicken and Rice recipe with broccoli and bacon! It’s like a chicken and rice casserole but made faster in a skillet.
This colorful cheesy chicken and rice recipe is PACKED with flavor. It tastes like creamy broccoli cheese soup, but with a few extra delicious ingredients added, like chicken, bacon, and spicy tomatoes. You seriously can’t go wrong with that combo.
If you’re looking for a chicken and rice casserole, this chicken and rice recipe is similar in flavor and texture, but it’s made faster in a skillet on the stove. You don’t have to bake it! It’s perfect for families because it’s delicious enough for pick eaters and easy enough for a fast weeknight meal. Try it ASAP!!
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Bacon — I chose to go with Turkey bacon this time. Give it a try if you’re looking to cut back on fat and calories. Or feel free to use the real stuff. You can also simplify this recipe even more by using pre-cooked bacon (real or Turkey). I’ve done it both ways depending on what I have on hand.
- Chicken Broth
- Broccoli Florets
- Extra Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese — Make sure to keep an eye out for extra sharp cheddar so the cheesy flavor will really shine through in this dish.
- Diced Onions — I used the frozen, diced onions in a bag found in the freezer section of the grocery store.
- Chicken — This is a great recipe for boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you could certainly use pre-cooked chicken or a rotisserie chicken as well.
- Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles
How To Make Cheesy Chicken And Rice Recipe
Get started by dicing the bacon.
Add the bacon to a very large skillet or dutch oven and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the bacon until crisp, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, dice the raw chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Chicken and Rice Tip
Now would be a good time to start the rice. I’ve been using the rice recipe at the bottom of this post for YEARS. Makes light, fluffy, delicious rice — works perfect every single time!
When the bacon is crisp, use a slotted spoon to remove to a plate.
Since I used turkey bacon, I didn’t have enough grease left in the pan to cook the chicken, so I added a little butter and olive oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
Add the chicken in a single layer and cook on one side for two and a half minutes.
Flip the chicken to the other side (as best you can) and cook for another two and half minutes.
Five minute chicken! Done! Add the chicken to the plate with the bacon.
This time I had enough butter and olive oil left in the pan, so go ahead and add the diced onions…
And top with the broccoli. If you have picky eaters you may want to give the broccoli a rough chop before adding it just to make the pieces smaller and blend in easier.
Cook, stirring occasionally until broccoli is tender and onions are brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Then add in the tomatoes…
And by now your rice should be done, so add it to the skillet along with the chicken, bacon, and any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Stir all to combine, then reduce heat to low to keep warm.
Now for our creamy cheese sauce. Add butter to the bottom of a small saucepan over medium heat, I used the same pan I cooked my rice in.
When the butter is just melted…
Add an equal amount of flour…
And whisk (or stir with a fork) until just combined.
Pour in the chicken broth (You could also use milk if you don’t have chicken broth) and turn the heat to high and cook until it starts to thicken and bubble.
Now remove the sauce from the heat and add in the shredded cheese and plenty of salt and pepper to taste. I like to use 1/2 teaspoon each.
Stir until the cheese is melted, then pour the cheese sauce all over the skillet. Stir to combine.
This cheesy chicken and rice recipe is one of our favorites! Broccoli and cheese were made to go together.
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice
Yield: 5 servings.
- 8 slices bacon, diced
- 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 12 oz (about 4 cups) broccoli florets, roughly chopped into small, bite-sized pieces
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (10-oz) cans Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
For the rice
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the cheese sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth (or milk)
- 1 cup extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
- Add the diced bacon to a very large skillet or dutch oven and turn heat to medium high. Cook the bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
- When the bacon is crisp, use a slotted spoon to remove to a plate. If needed to grease the bottom of the pan, add butter and olive oil to the skillet. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for five minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon.
For the rice
- Add the rice, water, and salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 14 minutes. When done, remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, add the onion and broccoli to the skillet where you cooked the bacon and chicken. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until broccoli is tender and onions are brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add in minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Top with tomatoes, rice, chicken and bacon and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.
For the sauce
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour until just combined. Add in the chicken broth and stir well. Increase heat to high and cook until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and add in cheese and salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted, then pour in the skillet with the chicken and rice. Stir to combine and serve.