by Olena

Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe

by Olena

4.8 from 20 reviews

Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole with brown rice, broccoli and no canned soup makes one easy baked healthy chicken casserole from scratch.

Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Healthy Chicken Casserole

Who doesn’t love a combo of chicken and rice, right?! This healthy chicken and rice casserole is one of my older healthy casseroles I gave a makeover. Originally I used a skillet to pre-cook chicken, a pot to cook rice and then a baking dish to bake casserole in.

Whoa-whoa-whoa, it’s 2019! We can do so much better and prepare chicken broccoli and rice casserole without canned soup, and in just ONE POT. One pot, my friends. One Lodge dutch oven pot, I love it!

Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole ingredients

Isn’t it a beauty?! Not mushy and yet moist, with moderate amount of animal products and with 1.5 lbs of broccoli. This healthy chicken chicken casserole will become a staple in your house.

You and yours will love it! So easy to make as well. So, “good-bye” Betty and “hello” Olena. Let’s do it!

P.S. Check out all of my one pot meals and sheet pan dinners if you are always in a hurry like me. Also if you are a fan of chicken and rice and have an Instant Pot, try my Instant Pot chicken and rice.

How to Make Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Preheat large dutch oven on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat.
  2. Add chicken, garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. how to make Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole step by step
  3. Add rice and stock, stir and bring to a boil. Lay broccoli on top and do not stir, cover and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, add yogurt and green onion, stir. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake until cheese has melted. Serve hot. how to make Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole step by step

Tips and Substitutions

  • I like to use brown jasmine or basmati rice because grains stay separated once cooked. But long grain brown rice is just as good taste wise. Short grain rice will yield in more mushy casserole but still delicious. Ukrainian in me would use what I have on hand.
  • I have not tested this casserole recipe with wild rice or white rice. My gut tells me, it won’t work.
  • Dutch oven cooks food evenly in a cast iron pot. You need it to make this recipe and many others, trust me!
  • I used organic low sodium bouillon cubes to make vegetable stock. You can use from a carton as well, I just like the convenience.
  • Plain or Greek yogurt with 2% and higher fat content is the best. Skim yogurt lacks flavor and will not make casserole as creamy.
  • You can use boneless and skinless chicken thighs. Chicken breasts are more dry than thighs. Use what you have or like.
  • Broccoli comes out not mushy but rather soft. You can blanch broccoli separately and add before stirring with yogurt. If you are very specific about your broccoli.:)
  • Cannot make this in slow cooker. For pressure cooker version, see my Instant Pot chicken and rice.

How to Store and Reheat

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a microwave or in the oven at 375 F for 15 minutes with a splash of water.

To freeze, fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge overnight. Reheat like above mentioned. Rice and chicken freeze well.:)

After reheating you might add a bit more yogurt to bring back creaminess. Sprinkle fresh herbs as they always add another layer of flavor.

More Healthy Casserole Recipes

Print

Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe

4.8 from 20 reviews

Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe with brown rice, broccoli and no canned soup makes one easy baked healthy chicken casserole from scratch.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 57 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian American
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 lb raw boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cubed or 1 lb chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups brown rice, rinsed & drained
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, low sodium
  • 8 cups (1.5 lbs) broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, fat 2+%
  • 1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup marble or any hard cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Preheat large dutch oven on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat.
  2. Add raw chicken, garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add rice and stock, stir and bring to a boil. Lay broccoli on top and do not stir, cover and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, add yogurt and green onion, stir. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake until cheese has melted. Serve hot.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge overnight. Reheat in a microwave or in the oven at 375 F for 10 minutes.

Notes

  • I like to use brown jasmine or basmati rice because grains stay separated once cooked. But long grain brown rice is just as good taste wise. Short grain rice will yield in more mushy casserole but still delicious. Ukrainian in me would use what I have on hand.
  • I have not tested this casserole recipe with wild rice or white rice. My gut tells me, it won’t work.
  • Dutch oven cooks food evenly in a cast iron pot. You need it to make this recipe and many others, trust me!
  • I used organic low sodium bouillon cubes to make vegetable stock. You can use from a carton as well, I just like the convenience.
  • Plain or Greek yogurt with 2% and higher fat content is the best. Skim yogurt lacks flavor and will not make casserole as creamy.
  • You can use boneless and skinless chicken thighs. Chicken breasts are more dry than thighs. Use what you have or like.
  • Broccoli comes out not mushy but rather soft. You can blanch broccoli separately and add before stirring with yogurt. If you are very specific about your broccoli.:)
  • Cannot make this in slow cooker. For pressure cooker version, see my Instant Pot chicken and rice.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

82 comments on “Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe

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  1. I read your notes that say to use chicken thighs, so I will do that, but just so you know, the ingredients list says breasts. I’ll be sure to come back to rate it once I make it!

  2. Hello it sounds delicious and love the one pot idea! What size Dutch oven did you use? I have both a 5.4 qt and a 7 qt. Planning on making tomorrow! Thank you!

  3. I have made rice with other ingredients, but am sure to try it out with the chicken.
    It sounds to be tasty and it is very nutritious.

    1. Hmm, I don’t know. Did you use chicken breast or chicken thighs? Chicken breast tend to be more dry than thighs.

    1. Hi Karen. There is a nutritional info card located just under the recipe and instructions. Sometimes it takes a minute to load, but it is there!

  4. Hi Olena,

    We love the your recipe! How do I keep the brown rice together? Was I supposed to stir the chicken and rice? The broccoli and cheese on top was together. Thanks!

    1. I hope I understand your question correctly. 🙂 You stir rice and chicken and cook. If rice is too mushy, cook for less next time – all rice differs. Broccoli and cheese are supposed to stay on top and then yo ustir everything at the end. Glad you liekd it!:)

  5. Hi Olena,

    I came across your healthy chicken and rice casserole to make it healthier. I’d like to add mushrooms and leftover chicken that is already precooked. How do you recommend I do this?

    Thank you,

    Agnes from San Diego

  6. Really great one-pot meal. We all three enjoyed it (hubby, 2-year-old, and me), with plenty of leftovers for at least two full meals each, if not three. I followed the recipe exactly except used sour cream since I have a huge tub of it that needs using (but normally don’t have that on hand; we always have greek yogurt… so I’m sure I’ll try that next!) Thanks for the recipe; I will save it for sure!

  7. I have been making this dish for years. I LOVE that you updated it and made it a one pot meal. This is one of our favorites but I use sour cream in place of the Greek yogurt because I like it better and I always have sour cream on hand.

  8. Healthy and delicious. I bought myself a Dutch oven just so I could make this. My 9 month old baby also loved this! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I love everything about this Healthy Chicken & Rice Casserole! I can’t wait to prepare it, and come back with a glowing comment! My oven is out of order 🙁 Do you think it could be prepared in a slow-cooker? Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  10. I love your recipes and would love to try this one but how can I make it more low carb. Could I use cauliflower rice?

    1. Awe, you are so welcome! So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes! Maybe if you just cooked everything on the stovetop just like recipe states with just a touch of broth after and bake with cauli rice for 10 mins or so. You can wing it by if you are more or less experienced cook. Just keep in mind rice absorbs water and cauliflower releases it. Do to taste and way less time.

  11. Another winner! And the dutch oven saves the day! 🙂 And I agree about brown rice – Jasmine brown and Basmati brown are my favorites whenever I use brown rice. Their texture and aroma is wonderful. Thanks, Olena!

    1. Awe, you are so welcome! So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes! Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great week!

  12. This recipe is a keeper! It was very easy to make and turned out so flavorful and filling. I love your website and your healthy recipes.
    Thank you for posting!

  13. I haven’t made this dinner yet, but had a question. Do you need to cook the chicken first or just put it in raw?

  14. This was amazing. Not too much prep…and it was done to perfection!
    Another of JP’s favourites. He said …. is there some left for lunch tomorrow?

    Thank you so much for taking the work out of getting healthy recipes out there!

    Karen

    1. Hi Karen. I just put the 2 together and ask Christie, and it’s you! So happy you are cooking healthy food and you like it. Thanks so much for leaving your comments unlike your daughter haha. Enjoy and stay warm! Spring is late here too!

    1. Hi, I’m going to try this recipe soon. I love all low sodium recipes (I need low potassium as well 😢). My question is, can I use Arborio rice as a risotto?

  15. This looks lovely! Is there any way to make it all without a Dutch oven? How would you do it? Just cook everything separate and put it together in the oven and melt the cheese on top? I don’t have a Dutch oven but may just need to ask for one for Christmas lol! Thank you!

    1. I would cook everything in a skillet, then transfer to a baking dish, cover very tightly with a few layers of foil and add extra 10 minutes of baking time. Might need more baking time, just check. Why dutch oven? Because cast iron retains heat very well and cooks evenly and faster.
      Yes! Skip the candles and get yourself Lodge dutch oven for Christmas – best price for quality!:)

  16. I followed the recipe exactly but at the end of 40 minutes it was still full of water and the rice was hard. I put it on the stovetop and cooked it a little longer, of course burning the bottom layer of rice (maybe I should have put it back on the oven, but I was in a hurry). I had already added the yogurt and green onions and stirred before I realized it wasn’t done yet, so I did the best I could. Added the cheese, turned off the stove, and covered it to try to get the rice fully cooked. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a fancy dutch oven? I just used my cast iron dutch oven. . . .

    1. All Dutch ovens are made out of same cast iron, so that’s not the issue. It could be the rice. I have heard many times old rice or bad rice doesn’t cook. Believe it or not there is such thing. Or your oven temperature is off.

      1. It was a healthy, tasty and simple to make recipe; that was what I needed! I had to use a 9×13 glass dish. The broccoli and cheese stayed together on the top layer, but the rice was falling apart. I used Lundburg short grain brown rice. Olena or anyone can give me a feedback? Thanks!

  17. This casserole was to die for. We are trying to eat healthier. I was sceptical about brown rice but it was so good OMG. You are a good cook, Olena!

  18. Any thoughts on using different veggies? I have green beans, mushrooms, and kale on hand. I’m not a huge fan of broccoli or cauliflower. Think I could do everything the same and just replace the vegetables?

  19. This is the best folks!! Second time making it this month. Need to beat my 17yo son to the leftovers so I have some freezer lunches this time though!! Definitely a crowd pleaser!

      1. It was crazy!! I had two scoops from the first one. (I can’t eat too much at one sitting) The next day I went to put together my lunch for work and there was this little pie shaped piece left. Like holy crap!! Was the first time using my new Dutch oven today and I looove it!! Annoying that they’re $49.99 on USA amazon, up here in Canada they range from $106-$135 depending on colour. Of course my purple one was $125 lol. But the extra $19 was worth it!! Used my instant pot last night for the first time too lol. And this morning and I’m going to make your healthy chill tomorrow! I hate cooking. Look what you did to me lol

        1. My boys eat chicken and rice in one sitting too. It’s that perfect magic combo of ingredientss.
          Yes, Lodge costs so much here in Canada but it’s the best, especially for your such remote location. You won’t find it much cheaper even in Edmonton. I live close to the border, so I ordered on US Amazon and picked it up there.

      1. That’s good cuz I’ve fallen lol. (Don’t worry in an almost 40yo mother of an almost 18yo. Lol)
        This has 10 mins left on the initial bake time, your stuffed pepper casserole was a huge hit last night. I wonder how many of your recipes I can make in a week. ?
        I love that you shop at Costco too, I’m slightly OCD so my stuff matches and that’s awesome!! LOL
        Got anything off the top of your head that would be easy for after work tomorrow, using s head of cauliflower and plain yogurt? I have both that are going to go bad very soon.

        1. Double thumbs up from us both!! I used a quinoa/rice blend as I’m a fitness freak and like more protein than carbs. But wow. Yeah this is fantastic!! I will stop being a pain now I just had to tell you how awesome this one is!!

  20. Haha, more like healthy moms think alike – make a casserole.:) Casseroles are fast and make great leftovers. I make at least 1 a week, with testing recipes more like 3 a week.:)

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