I’m so excited to share this Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole with you. This is one of my favorite make-ahead freezer meals.
This easy chicken broccoli and rice casserole is filled with creamy cheesy goodness. It doesn’t take long to make, uses ingredients that we usually have on hand, and best of all, once you’re done mixing it up, it can be put in a gallon size freezer bag and frozen flat so it hardly takes up any room in the freezer.
I remember the first time I ever tried my hand at freezer cooking. It was almost 15 years ago and those make ahead freezer recipe franchises were popping up all over the country.
You’d go into the store/prep kitchen and there would be various stations with the ingredients already prepped. You just followed the instructions, added the ingredients and then left with a whole bunch of fully prepped freezer meals.
Remember, this was a long time ago and I hadn’t learned the art of saving money by shopping the sales and cooking at home. I think those 10 meals cost me $150. Now I can easily make 10 freezer meals for a fraction of that cost.
This Broccoli Chicken and Rice Casserole is one of those super easy, frugal freezer meals. I make it using chicken from Costco Rotisserie chickens, but you can cook up chicken that you have at home for this recipe.
You’ll notice on the recipe below that the ingredients aren’t very exact. Since I use Costco rotisserie chickens for this, I don’t always have the same amount of meat. I also usually do all of my freezer cooking at one time, so depending on where this recipe falls in the process, I may have already used a bunch of chicken to make freezer burritos.
The rice varies for the same reason. I often use rice for multiple recipes, so I’ll have my hubby cook me 10-12 cups at a time. And the cheese…well, I like me some cheese and would put as much as possible into anything I make, but you might be more moderate, so I thought I’d say 4-6 cups so I don’t seem so strange.
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole Ingredients:
- 10-12 cups of cooked chicken
- 2 bags of frozen broccoli (steam in bag or cook on stovetop)
- 26 oz can of cream of mushroom soup
- 26 oz can of cream of chicken soup
- 4-6 cups cooked rice (I make mine in my Instant Pot)
- 4-6 cups of shredded cheese (I use sharp cheddar if I have it, but throw in whatever shredded cheese I have if I don’t have sharp cheddar on hand)
- 1 T. homemade ranch seasoning (you could use store-bought seasoning or just leave this out altogether, but I like the subtle bit of additional flavor it gives)
Chicken Broccoli Cheese Casserole Directions
Microwave your 2 bags of broccoli according to the directions on the bag.
Shred chicken using a Kitchen Aid stand mixer or an electric hand mixer. (I usually use my Kitchen Aid for this, but made cookies earlier today with it so I opted to use my hand mixer. The hand mixer I used is the one that my mom used while I was growing up, so it’s at least 30 years old. I’m thinking I may replace it with this one because it’s pretty and it comes in fun colors.
Add cans of cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup and home ranch season to chicken and mix again with the electric mixer.
Mix in rice and shredded cheese using a spatula. When broccoli is cooked, stir that into the chicken, rice and cheese mixture.
Now divide your mixture into 4 or 5 freezer bags and freeze flat.
I usually thaw this overnight in the fridge and then add to a baking dish and bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s hot in the center and the cheese melty and bubbly.
You can even sprinkle Ritz crackers over the top for a little crunchy buttery goodness.