This One Pot Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole not only makes the perfect family dinner, but its also quick, healthy and delicious comfort food!
I talk about the importance of family meals all the time on my blog. My husband and I don’t always agree on everything, but sitting down and having dinner as a family has always been something both of us completely support. In a time when our kids (and let’s face it, the adults) more often than not have their attention on an electronic device rather than each other, its truly important to hold something like family dinner sacred.
I love me some good old fashioned comfort food. What does comfort food look like to me? Well, it has to be reminiscent of some kind of family meal we enjoyed while growing up. Comfort food usually comes in the form of a protein, a starch, and a veggie all tied together is some sort of hot cheesy concoction. As a parent of two rapidly growing kids, I do my best to try to make my dinners taste good but also have them include healthier options like whole grain, veggies (and my trick is to chop them up so fine that the kids couldn’t pick them out if they tried), and lean protein like this Foster Farms Simply Raised fresh chicken.
I call dinner like this The New Comfort Food because it doesn’t require too many ingredients, its easy to make, its not difficult (i.e. chop, cook, and clean only one pot), it takes very little time to make (which is crucial on a busy weekday), and it will not only fill our bellies but will make us feel good. There are a ton of chicken + broccoli + rice + cheese recipes out there so you certainly have your options, but I think this version is particularly fantastic. It has everything I want in a meal and goes perfectly with a nice green salad on the side. Enjoy!
- 1 (10 ounce) microwavable pouch brown rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, chopped
- 1 - 1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 12 ounces (4-5 cups) fresh broccoli florets, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups (about 6 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 1-2 teaspoons salt, according to preference
- freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a large 12 inch ovenproof skillet or 8 quart dutch oven over high heat. Add oil and butter and once heated, add chicken. Allow to cook for a few minutes until it turns golden brown. Add onion and mushrooms, stir, and cook until most of the liquid has cooked out, 5-10 minutes.
- Cook rice according to package directions; drain.
- Cook broccoli in microwave by added a tablespoon of water, covering bowl with a plate, and heating on high for 2 minutes. Drain off any excess water.
- Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk or fork until smooth.
- Stir milk mixture into chicken mixture in skillet.
- Cook 2 minutes or until bubbly and thick, stirring frequently.
- Stir in rice, broccoli, and half of the shredded cheese, along with the salt and pepper.
- Top with remaining cheese.
- Preheat broiler to high and broil 1 minute or until cheese melts and just begins to brown.