Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

I grew up in a home of 9 kids, 4 boys and 5 girls, so keeping us fed and happy I’m sure was a challenge for my mom. She did an amazing job of that too, yet I didn’t really appreciate it until I had a family of my own. Sorry Mom! While growing up in a home that large, life was pretty chaotic sometimes and I usually found my peace by being outside, on my bike, or building a fort somewhere. But one of my favorite memories is of coming home for dinner time to scarf down my mom’s chicken, broccoli and cheese casseroles.

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole ~ See how to make this classic without a can of condense soup | Real Food by Dad

With Mother’s Day on my mind, I had a flashback of that and decided to make my own version of this classic, with a slight update to it, since I am so darn picky. Like most of you I imagine, we’ve usually had this made with a condensed soup of some kind, mushroom or chicken perhaps. I’m not a huge fan of either, so instead I went with sour cream and cream (heavy). I also swapped out the onions for something a little more mild, shallots. And let me tell you, this Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole was ridiculously good and enjoyed by all of us here.

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole ~ See how to make this classic without a can of condense soup | Real Food by Dad

And Mom, if you happen to see this post, thank you for all you’ve done and sacrificed for us. I am so incredibly blessed to have you in my life and I see so much of your spirit in me. And guess what? I’m making this for you soon, perhaps for Mother’s Day. However, it’s my way this time!

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole ~ See how to make this classic without a can of condense soup | Real Food by Dad

Yield: 6

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole from Real Food by Dad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 pieces bacon
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken (breast or thighs), cut to 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper, finely ground
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence, or your preferred seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Blanch broccoli by bringing 3 water and 3 teaspoons of salt to a boil. Plunge florets into water for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside.
  2. Cook the bacon. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Remove bacon from pan and crumble; set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken on each side until just brown, about 2 minutes (chicken may not be cooked throughly, but will be once baked). Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Using the same pan, add in shallots and cook until transculent. Add 1/2 cup marsala wine and deglaze pan. Let Marsala reduce to 2 tablespoon, then stir in chicken stock. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, cream, Parmesan, seasoning and crumbled bacon.
  4. Assembly: Add uncooked rice to casserole pan. Pour liquid mixture on top. Add chicken and broccoli and press into rice mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese on top and bake at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until casserole is creamy.
  5. NOTE: (1) The rice used for this recipe is short grain Japanese rice with a 1 1/2 cup rice to 2 cups of water ratio. (2) For the cream, any kind can be used ie. heavy cream, whipping cream, half and half or whole milk.

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48 comments to " Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole "

  • Cooking Classy

    These kind of meals are some of my favorites! Total comfort food right here that totally reminds me of home and my mom too :)!

  • Tutti Dolci

    There’s nothing better than an updated comfort classic – love your swaps and the Marsala is a great addition!

  • CrunchyCreamySw

    Comfort food on a plate! Love this dish!

  • Kate@Diethood

    This looks absolutely fantastic! I want to dive into that last photo! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This looks so much better than the soup-based versions, you did a great job updating this recipe! I also like that you used shallots instead of onion, I’ll have to try that the next time I make a casserole. By the way, I’m hosting a link party on my blog right now and I’d love for you to stop by and share this recipe. Have a great weekend!

  • Heather @FrenchPress

    this casserole is the best of comfort food – and holy 9 kids…yikes

  • Meredith Steele

    Love Love Love that there is not a can of anything in here! This looks amazing!

  • Alice Choi

    Matt, I love your version of this casserole dish! Marsala wine and shallots? yes! and oh my gawd, 9 kids?! I hope you’re getting your mom a nice, big gift for Mother’s Day! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy weekend!

  • kellyjanke2

    I love that this doesn’t a can of creamed soup. My mom used to make casseroles all the time, and I never make them anymore because of the canned stuff. This recipe looks fabulous, and I love the meaning behind it for you. Almost forgot mothers day was coming so fast! Thanks for sharing! Pinned for later ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Krista

    Ok, holy yum. I’m usually not one for casserole dishes because almost all of them have a can of cream of whatever in it. But this dish seriously sounds amazing, love the marsala addition to this. Pinned this for sure Matt, gorgeous pics as always!

  • Pure comfort food at its best! This casserole looks so delicious and perfect for enjoying lots of leftovers throughout the weekend. Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend.

  • I love this post — my mom’s not around anymore, but I still make her Tuna Casserole all the time <3

  • simplygloria1

    What fun memories! Growing up in a large family too, we had a lot of casseroles. I share some with my boys now and then. (Don’t think they’d go for the cream tuna on toast, we always had when I was younger…) But, my boys actually love broccoli. So, I know they would love this dish!

  • Jovana Sumar

    I’m not sure why but rice just isn’t cutting it for me since I’ve become pregnant ๐Ÿ™

    Do you think it’d work with substituting rice for whole-wheat pasta? My brother and his fiance are coming over tomorrow night and I really want to make this!

    • Hi Jovana, I haven’t tested it with pasta so it’s hard to say if the liquid ratio will work out the same. Although, if I were trying this, I would definitely make sure the liquid completely covers the pasta. And if you do try it with the pasta, please come back and let me know if it works out. Thanks!

  • Allie|Baking a Moment

    Such a sweet post! I love that you’ve honored your mom in this way. I make a similar dish for my son and he loves it! I use penne instead of rice, and cream cheese and milk to make it creamy. I love that you’ve added bacon, and he would love that even more!!!

  • On the grocery list!! If I get there in time it’s dinner tonight otherwise it will have to wait until tomorrow:) Looks sooo good.

  • Alicia

    Just made for dinner tonight!!! Very Delish! The cream sauce is so good you could thicken it a bit and use it for other recipes, like just to throw over boiled noodles with sausage or sundried tomatoes. It’s also a “make ahead” recipe, like when the baby is napping and throw in the oven when the husband is on his way home from work. Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Barbara

    This looks delicious! Has anyone tried it as a make-ahead meal? Or how does it re-heat? I am looking for a recipe for children at a local shelter facility that can be made ahead. Thank you!

  • Julie

    I think I might cry… the recipe is not appearing here anymore! I have it pinned and now I’m just getting photos and your blog post! We LOVE this casserole!

  • Jennifer

    I’m on the mobile version so maybe this is why, but I can’t find the recipe?

  • Michelle Muenich

    Soooo, I REEEEEEALLY want this, but I’m unwilling to buy wine for recipes bc we don’t drink it, so it makes recipes expensive. Can you think of a substitute that might work?

    • Julie Pokorny

      Marsala wine is sold with the oils, vinegars in the supermarket. The bottle isn’t that large and you can keep it in the pantry. I hope this helps!

  • G

    The same thing happened to me. I could see the recipe the other day when I was in the grocery store and purchased all of the ingredients, now I can’t see the recipe anymore only pictures and the story behind it. Kind of disappointed as I was all ready to start cooking.

  • JT

    Same as the comment before. Recipe has disappeared only pictures are there with the back story. Can the recipe be emailed?

  • Julie Pokorny

    My family LOVES this dish. I’ve made it more times than I can count over the past year! Thank you!

  • Tiffany

    Hi! I canโ€™t wait to make this recipe. I have looked at the ingredients list for the last 10 minutes and I canโ€™t seem to find Chicken in it. Am I crazy? Probably. Anyways I was just wondering if you use chicken breast or thighs and how much. Thank you!

  • Andrea Mills

    How much chicken do you use? There is none listed in the ingredients.

  • Jessi

    Can you make this and sit in fridge for 2-3 days then cook?

  • Mich

    How much chicken is in this recipe

  • Nancy

    I would love to make this but it doesnโ€™t mention what chicken pieces or how much? Can you please let me asap.?

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