Chicken & Broccoli Cheesy Rice #glutenfree

This recipe for Chicken & Broccoli Cheesy Rice is a gluten-free adaptation and modification of an original recipe for “Chicken ‘Divine'” from the Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook.  This cookbook is amazing and most of the recipes can easily be converted to gluten-free!

At first I used quinoa pasta to replace the regular pasta, but then switched to brown rice. Either will work in this recipe. Just cook according to directions before adding it to the casserole.  I also ditched the bread crumb topping for this rice version.

Originally, I used the recommended Gouda or Edam cheese.  I’ve switched to Sharp Cheddar and Applewood Smoked mozzarella (yes, I love this cheese!) and added more of it.  The great thing about this recipe is that you can really use any cheese or combo of cheeses you like, just make sure they melt well.  Sometimes I just use up the cheeses left in the fridge.

Okay, last thing.  This casserole is great reheated (left-overs my husband will actually eat) and it freezes well.  I usually portion it out into a 9″ square casserole dish to bake and put the rest in a small aluminum pan to freeze.

Serves 6-8 people

1 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked (about 3 cups)
16 oz package frozen broccoli, thawed (or 2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped)
1 small rotisserie or roast chicken, shredded
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 jar (16 oz) Classico Alfredo sauce
2 cups Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated and divided
3/4 cup Applewood Smoked mozzarella, grated
3/4 cup Lactose-free whole milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Paprika for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

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If using fresh broccoli, steam until bright and tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and drain.  If using frozen broccoli, let thaw and squeeze out excess water. Set aside.

IMG_0347Heat the olive oil in a medium or large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the wine and increase the heat to high.

IMG_0349Cook until the liquid has evaporated.

IMG_0352Remove from heat.  Stir in the Alfredo sauce.  Pour the milk into the Alfredo sauce jar and shake with the lid on, then add to the saucepan.

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Add the mozzarella cheese and nutmeg.

IMG_0356In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, broccoli, rice, and all but 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese.

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Add the sauce and mix thoroughly.

IMG_0363Transfer to the baking dish (or dishes if freezing) and top with the remaining cheddar cheese.   Sprinkle with paprika (optional).  Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese starts to brown and the casserole is bubbling, about 10 minutes more.

If the casserole was frozen, thaw in the refrigerator and bake as directed.  Alternatively, it can be cooked directly from the freezer at 400 degrees for about 1 hour.  Hope you enjoy!

Deana Larkin Evans

Hi! I'm Deana. Thanks for stopping by. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food, developing gluten free recipes and creating weekly menus to save time and money while reducing stress and food waste. I had to start eating gluten-free in November of 2010 and dairy/casein-free January 2014 (except for the occasional Parmesan cheese). I'm kind of a nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in Biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! \m/ Then followed up with a PhD in Biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I'm currently learning about bioinformatics and genomics from Johns Hopkins University online program.

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4 Responses

  1. That looks like a great recipe - am thinking that I should eat a lot less gluten and I've got lots of broccoli growing in the garden right now, so here we go! only thing is, what will I substitute for the Alfredo sauce - I'm not going to be able to get that here in France. And thanks for following my blog!
    • dphdjd says:
      Thank you! How lovely that you live in southern France - it looks so beautiful there. I've been to Paris once and it was amazing! As for the gluten, I encourage you to avoid it in your diet if you find yourself not feeling well after eating certain meals. I have an intolerance to it and have felt so much better since I stopped eating food with gluten about 2.5 years ago. As for the Alfredo sauce, you can make it with butter, cream, garlic and parmesan. Here is a simple recipe (don't use the parsley): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/alfredo-sauce-2/
  2. That looks like a great recipe - am thinking that I should eat a lot less gluten and I've got lots of broccoli growing in the garden right now, so here we go! only thing is, what will I substitute for the Alfredo sauce - I'm not going to be able to get that here in France. And thanks for following my blog!
    • dphdjd says:
      Thank you! How lovely that you live in southern France - it looks so beautiful there. I've been to Paris once and it was amazing! As for the gluten, I encourage you to avoid it in your diet if you find yourself not feeling well after eating certain meals. I have an intolerance to it and have felt so much better since I stopped eating food with gluten about 2.5 years ago. As for the Alfredo sauce, you can make it with butter, cream, garlic and parmesan. Here is a simple recipe (don't use the parsley): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/alfredo-sauce-2/