Why you’ll love this recipe:
Sure to become a quick family favorite, this easy chicken broccoli casserole is made with tender chicken and fresh broccoli coated in a rich, creamy sauce. Finished with a Ritz cracker topping, weeknight dinner casserole is buttery, cheesy, and completely irresistible!
- Easy – This is a fuss-free meal you can have on the table in under an hour! All you have to do is combine the ingredients on the stovetop, bake them in the oven, and dinner is served.
- Meal prep-friendly – One batch makes enough to serve up to 8 people and stores well for quick meals throughout the week.
- Picky-eater approved – I’ve yet to find someone who doesn’t love this casserole! It’s so tasty the kids won’t even realize they’re eating their veggies.
This cheesy chicken broccoli casserole recipe is perfect for potlucks and weeknight dinners!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Butter – This recipe uses butter to make the sauce and coat the cracker crumbs for a rich flavor throughout the entire dish. I recommend using unsalted butter but salted will work, too. Just be sure to adjust the amount of extra salt included in the casserole!
- All-purpose flour – Combine this with the butter to form a roux that thickens the sauce.
- Chicken stock – Stock helps create a smooth, flavorful filling. I like to use homemade chicken stock, but store-bought will still taste great.
- Whole milk – To enhance the creaminess of the sauce.
- Shredded cheese – I use 100% Cheddar cheese but feel free to use a different cheese or a combination of your favorites. Monterey Jack or Colby cheese make for great alternatives.
- Sour cream – Included for an extra creamy, decadent sauce. For the best taste and texture, I recommend using full-fat sour cream.
- Spices – Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper are included for extra depth and a savory taste.
- Broccoli – You can use fresh or frozen broccoli for this chicken broccoli casserole recipe.
- Chicken – Use pre-cooked shredded chicken. Or, skip a step, and use a rotisserie chicken instead.
- Ritz crackers – Coated with butter, these add the finishing touch! Ritz are a favorite, but feel free to use any butter crackers. Off-brand varieties taste just as good at a fraction of the cost!
How to make this easy casserole recipe:
1. Make the sauce
- Make a roux: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Then, add the flour, and cook, stirring constantly until the ingredients are well combined.
- Simmer: Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking until it has thickened. Next, whisk in the milk. Make sure there are no clumps! Once the mixture is smooth, continue to cook until it thickens and comes to a low simmer.
2. Prepare the casserole mixture
- Reduce the heat to low, and stir in part of the cheese until it is melted and smooth.
- Add the sour cream, Dijon mustard, and spices, and stir until they’re well combined.
- Then, fold in the broccoli and chicken, stirring to coat them with the liquid.
3. Assemble the casserole
- Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish, and spread it out in a smooth layer. This helps ensure it cooks evenly!
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
4. Add the cracker topping
- Combine the crushed Ritz and melted butter in a small bowl, coating the crackers completely.
- Sprinkle the mixture on top of the casserole.
5. Bake the cassserole
- Bake: Transfer the dish to a preheated oven, and let it bake until the liquid is hot and bubbly and the crackers are golden brown.
- Cool: Allow the chicken and broccoli casserole to cool slightly, and dig in while it’s warm!
Tips for Success:
- If you’re using fresh broccoli florets instead of frozen, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until they are slightly tender before adding them to the casserole.
- If possible, buy blocks of cheese, and grate them yourself. Pre-shredded varieties contain additives that prevent them from clumping in the package, meaning they don’t melt as well either.
- You can make this chicken broccoli casserole up to two days in advance, and bake it when you’re ready!
- For the best results, I recommend omitting the cracker topping until just before you’re ready to bake. Otherwise, it might become soggy.
- Assemble the casserole as the recipe states, and transfer it to a casserole dish. Then, cover it with foil, and place it in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to eat, top the casserole with the cracker topping, and bake at 375°F until it’s hot and bubbly!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat the entire dish in the oven at 375°F until warm. Just be careful not to let it burn! Or, warm individual portions in the microwave.
- Freeze this chicken broccoli casserole for up to 2-3 months. Let the cooked casserole cool completely, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap and foil. To serve, thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight, and warm it in the oven.
Yes, using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken makes this recipe even easier. Just make sure to shred the chicken before adding it to the dish.
Yes, you can experiment with different cheeses based on your preference. Monterey Jack or Colby cheese can be great alternatives to cheddar.
Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- 1 (9×13-inch) baking dish
- 1 large saucepan
For the casserole:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheese ½ cup separated, Note 1
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 12 ounces frozen broccoli florets heated, Note 2
- 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken Note 3
For the topping:
- 1 cup Ritz crackers crushed, Note 4
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes.3 tablespoons butter, ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Gradually whisk in the chicken stock until thickened. Whisk in the whole milk, ensuring there are no lumps. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens and comes to a simmer.¾ cup chicken stock, 1 cup whole milk
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese until melted and smooth.1 ½ cups shredded cheese
- Add the sour cream, dijon mustard, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to the sauce. Stir until well combined.⅔ cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- To the saucepan, add the broccoli florets and shredded chicken, stir until well combined.12 ounces frozen broccoli florets, 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- Pour the chicken and sauce mixture into the prepared casserole dish and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup shredded cheddar over the top.1 ½ cups shredded cheese
- In a small bowl, combine the crushed ritz crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the casserole.1 cup Ritz crackers, 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbly, and the topping is golden brown.
- Remove the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
– Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
– Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
– Freeze the casserole for up to three months. Let the casserole cool completely, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
Sharing of this recipe is encouraged and appreciated. Copying of full recipe to any social media is prohibited.