chicken and broccoli
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Easy, Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Bake

This isn’t your average chicken and broccoli casserole.

This is one tasty meal that won’t keep you in the kitchen for hours. It’s full of flavor, cheesy goodness, and even some veggies! Chicken and cheese are two things kids can totally get on board with. The broccoli is an added bonus for you that they won’t even notice.

Kelsey Nixon shares how easily this dinner comes together. You don’t need a ton of ingredients. In fact, you probably have everything you need in your pantry right now! Throw it together on a busy holiday night for a quick and delicious meal.

Find more of Kelsey’s recipes on Instagram, @kelseynixon, or at


Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Bake


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced OR 1 frozen garlic cube
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white rice (*I like Basmati or Jasmine)
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet (at least 12”) over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute, cooking until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cooking for an additional minute. Stir in the chicken, season with a pinch of salt + pepper. Cook chicken for 2 minutes, just until the outside is seared. Add butter, rice, orzo, and 1 tablespoon parsley, and cook until golden and toasted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add broccoli and another pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to simmer, cover and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cook, covered for 15min, until the rice and orzo are cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, parsley, a glug of olive oil, and pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Once rice is cooked, stir in heavy cream, and ½ of the cheese. (if skillet isn’t oven-safe, transfer to a 9×13” baking dish at this point) Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top followed by the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are just beginning to brown.

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