One Pan Chicken and Rice with Broccoli

When it comes to weeknight dinners for the family, you really can’t go wrong with classic combinations like chicken, rice and broccoli. This one pot recipe combines all three with creamy sauce and melty cheese on top. It’s like a chicken rice casserole with broccoli but it’s made in a skillet!

cheesy rice and broccoli skillet from overhead with a spoon in it

Why Try This Recipe

I surveyed readers recently and the message was loud and clear: you wanted more one-pot recipes. Simple all-in-one dinners like our One Pan Roast Chicken and Potatoes or this stovetop Chicken and Rice with Spring Veggies. So I got to work developing another easy recipe with frozen broccoli, so it can be enjoyed any time of the year!

This Chicken, Rice and Broccoli recipe is like a cross between our Chicken Divan and this cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole. But it’s all made in one pan, in 30 minutes on the stovetop! So it is perfect for a kid-friendly weeknight meal.

Ingredients for this Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Recipe

the ingredients for the skillet casserole with text overlay
  • Butter: To saute the onions you’ll need a little unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Onion: Next you’ll want to mince or finely chop a small onion. You can sub in a couple of shallots if you happen to have them on hand. Garlic is another yummy addition.
  • Chicken: I’ve tested this recipe with either boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes. If you have frozen chicken, here’s how to safely thaw it.
  • Seasoning: Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence, coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
  • Long-grain rice: Any variety of white rice will work but we recommend a long grain rice for the best texture. Look for jasmine or basmati rice in the bulk department or rice aisle of the grocery store.
  • Broth: To add flavor to the recipe, we used stock instead of water. You can use a purchased chicken broth or vegetable broth. Or try out our homemade chicken stock or veggie stock sometime. They freeze beautifully and can be quickly thawed for recipes like this chicken and rice.
  • Cream cheese: To make the sauce nice and creamy I used cream cheese. It melts right into the cooked chicken and rice. Just make sure to cut it into small pieces so that it melts nicely.
  • Broccoli: To make this a winner-winner weeknight chicken dinner, I opted for frozen broccoli. It is so easy! [See note below to use fresh.] I tested with both chopped frozen broccoli and frozen broccoli florets. Just make sure to thaw it in the fridge overnight or in the microwave before adding to the recipe. Note that most bags of broccoli are 16 ounces. But some (particularly organic broccoli) come in 10 ounce bags, so you will need to buy two bags and measure out 16 ounces.
  • Cheese: If you can find it, use Colby Jack or Monterey Jack cheese. If not, another mild melting cheese works well like Gouda, Fontina or even Mozzarella.

How To Make With Fresh Broccoli: Use cooked or steamed fresh broccoli instead of frozen broccoli. Cook separately until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes, and add to the rice in step 4.

How To Make this Chicken Broccoli Rice Recipe

To begin, make sure your skillet has a lid that fits nicely. It is important because if the lid is too loose the broth can evaporate away before the rice is the perfect texture. Also, to simplify your cleanup, you may also want to dice your onion before you bring out the raw chicken.

saute the onion, then add the chicken and cook it to brown it before adding the rice and chicken

Step 1: Cook Onion

Melt either your butter or heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (See the note above about the fact that you’ll need a good lid in a sec.) Add in the chopped onion. Cook the onion until it is just starting to brown a little bit. This only takes about 2 or 3 minutes. 

Step 2: Saute Chicken

Next we’ll add in the cubed chicken. Spread it out in a single layer and then sprinkle it with the Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Let the chicken cook, stirring only once or twice until browned in spots and mostly no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Please note: the chicken will continue cooking in step 3 so it doesn’t need to be completely cooked. You’re just looking for browning as this helps boost the flavor.

adding the rice and broth to the chicken and onions then adding in the broccoli and cream cheese

Step 3: Simmer Chicken and Rice

Stir the long-grain rice and chicken broth and bring the combination to a simmer over high heat. Cover the skillet. Turn the heat to low or medium-low depending on your stove and simmer 15 minutes. Make sure it is just gently bubbling. You don’t want it at a full boil necessarily so if your stove has to be all the way down that’s fine.

Step 4: Add Cream Cheese and Broccoli

Remove the lid and stir in the chunks of cream cheese and thawed broccoli. Keep stirring until the cream cheese is completely melted into the rice. Which takes about a minute over the low heat.

the shredded cheese on top before it is melted

Step 5: Melt Cheese On Top

Sprinkle cheese over the rice. Cover the skillet with the lid to allow the cheese to melt over low heat. Let the cheese melt completely for a couple of minutes. Once the cheese is melted, turn off the heat and allow the skillet to sit, covered for about 5 minutes.

overhead of the skillet with the cheesy rice and broccoli recipe in it with a blue napkin

Serving Suggestions

Serve this Chicken and Rice with Broccoli on it’s own. It’s a one-pot dinner after all. If you are looking to extend it a bit with sides, here are some suggestions:

Make Ahead, Storage, Leftovers and Reheating

This recipe is optimal when it is freshly cooked as it does dry out a little bit when it is made ahead.

  • Meal Prep: To make ahead you can chop your onion and dice the chicken and keep them separate in two air-tight containers in the refrigerator up to three days in advance. Check the expiration dates to make sure the chicken will be good on your cooking date. The broccoli can be thawed in its bag in the refrigerator up to 2 days ahead.
  • Leftovers: Any leftover chicken rice and broccoli recipe can be kept in resealable containers in the refrigerator up to 3 days. I like to portion it out into individual servings for our lunches. If you are planning to reheat the whole amount of leftovers at once I recommend transferring it to a small casserole dish, cheese side up. Cover it with plastic wrap or foil to refrigerate.
  • Reheating: Heat each serving in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish covered with parchment. Heat on 50% power for 3 minutes 30 seconds to 4 minutes, or until steaming hot all the way through. Timing will vary based on your microwave. You can also reheat it in the oven. Make sure to keep the chicken and rice covered with foil and add a little broth to the bottom of the casserole to keep it moist. Bake at 350 degrees F until it is hot all the way through, about 20 minutes.
  • Freezing: TBH the texture of this can get pretty dry when frozen, thawed, and reheated, but technically you can (safely) freeze it up to three months. Try to make sure there isn’t a lot of air in the container you freeze it in. And to help moisten it, add a little broth when reheating. Melting a little extra cheese on top would help too!
the one pan chicken and broccoli recipe in a straight sided skillet with spoon scooping into frame

Variations To Try

  • How To Make With Brown Rice: While brown rice does take longer to cook, you will get the additional nutritional benefits of whole grains! Use short-grain brown rice for the best texture and add 1/2 cup of additional broth. Then simmer for 35 minutes in step 3.
  • Carrots: Try adding a finely chopped carrot with the onion.
  • Use Rotisserie Chicken: Skip step 2 and add 2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken instead. Simply stir in with the onions, followed by the rice and broth and continue with step 3.
  • Mushrooms: In step 1 after the onions are brown add in 4 ounces sliced mushrooms. Saute them for a few minutes with the onion. If they are letting off a lot of liquid increase the heat a little then add in the chicken in step 2 as directed.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: We love cherry tomatoes (cut in half) added in with the broccoli. Chopped sun dried tomatoes are also a good veggie to add.
  • Fresh Herbs: For a pop of freshness add in chopped dill or tarragon before topping with the cheese. Chopped fresh parsley is also a welcome addition on top.
  • Turkey Sausage: Instead of cubed chicken breast (or thigh meat) try with turkey sausage instead! Simply remove the sausage from the casing, and break up in the skillet with a wooden spoon in step 2. Stir a little basil in with the cream cheese and broccoli.
  • Use Another Star Veggie: Instead of frozen broccoli try with 1 pound frozen cauliflower florets or 10 oz chopped frozen kale. Use a 4-ounce box of raw baby spinach instead of broccoli. Just stir it into the rice in step 4 until it is wilted. 

More Chicken, Rice and Broccoli Recipes

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie


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This chicken, rice and broccoli is a one pan meal in 30 minutes. Tender chunks of chicken, creamy rice and cheese and broccoli come together in a dish that kids and adults will love!

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion (or 2 shallots), minced
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 cup long grain rice, such as jasmine or basmati
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1 16-ounce bag chopped frozen broccoli or frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 4 ounces shredded Colby jack, Monterey Jack or another mild melting cheese

  1. Melt butter or heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often until starting to brown slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. 
  2. Add chicken in a single layer and sprinkle with seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring once or twice until browned in spots and mostly no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice and broth and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Remove lid and stir in cream cheese and broccoli until the cream cheese is completely melted into the rice.
  5. Sprinkle cheese over the rice and cover with the lid to allow to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Once cheese is melted, turn off heat and allow to sit, covered 5 minutes. Serve hot.


Meal Prep: Dice onion and cut the chicken up to three days ahead.  Keep separate in air-tight containers in the refrigerator. The broccoli can be thawed in its bag in the refrigerator up to 2 days ahead.

Storing and Heating Leftovers: Keep leftovers in a resealable container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Alternatively transfer it to a small casserole dish, cheese side up. Cover it with plastic wrap or foil to refrigerate.

Freezing: Freeze up to three months. Add a little broth when reheating and melt a little extra cheese on top in last few minutes of heating.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 415
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 28 g

Keywords: chicken and rice with broccoli, broccoli chicken and rice recipe

About the Author

Katie Webster

Katie Webster studied art and photography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first started working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications among others. Her cookbook, Maple Quirk Books was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.

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