This chicken and broccoli rice is loaded with crispy bacon and doused in melty cheddar cheese. It’s an easy no-fuss dinner all made in one pot!
The Ultimate One Pot Chicken & Rice
If you’re looking for a no fuss family dinner this one’s for you! It’s kind of a cross between a rice casserole and a risotto. Here’s why you’re gonna love it:
- One Pot – This all goes down in one pot *yay for less washing up*
- Combo – Chicken, broccoli, bacon and cheddar. There really is no better combo for dinner!
- Filling – This will easily feed 5. It’s big, carby and hearty!
It’s also ridiculously delicious, which is always a plus. All good chicken and rice dishes start with good chicken. Follow me…
Chicken Breast vs Chicken Thigh
For this recipe your best bet is boneless skinless chicken thigh. I prefer using thigh over breast for 3 reasons:
- Tender – Chicken thigh tends to be more tender than breast and is far less likely to dry out during cooking.
- Fat – Thigh is fattier than breast which means it also tends to carry more flavour.
- Price – Generally speaking chicken thigh is cheaper than chicken breast.
Render the Bacon!
To start the dish you actually want to begin with the bacon. Keep it on a medium heat and render out as much fat as possible. This will not only allow the bacon to crisp up, but it’ll also leave enough oil to start the chicken.
One Pot Rice
Like I mentioned this is a one pot recipe so there’s no need to precook the rice. This way the rice will absorb all those gorgeous flavours as it cooks. The starch from the rice also thickens the sauce.
Process shots: fry bacon then remove (photo 1), add chicken (photo 2), fry both sides (photo 3), stir in rice (photo 4), add in milk and chicken stock (photo 5), add chives and dijon mustard (photo 6).
Cheddar and Broccoli
Once you’ve added in the liquids it’s time for the broccoli. Same as the rice, this doesn’t need pre-cooking as it’ll cook in with the rice. I usually let the rice simmer for 10mins or so before adding the broccoli, just because I like it to have a bite to it. But you can add it in with the rice if you like it softer.
Do I have to use cheddar?
Cheddar is the classic combo with broccoli, but I have subbed out for parmesan before which works nicely, as does Gruyere.
Process shots: simmer rice (photo 7), add in broccoli (photo 8), simmer until cooked (photo 9), stir through cheddar and bacon (photo 10).
How do I store leftovers?
This keeps great in the fridge for 3-4days. Just allow to completely cool and tightly cover in the fridge.
If you’re after another delicious broccoli recipe check out my Broccoli Pasta Bake!
If you’re looking for more similar recipes check out these beauties too:
One Pot Dinner Recipes
- Spanish One Pot Chicken Orzo
- One Pot Meatballs and Rice
- Creamy One Pot Pasta with Asparagus and Bacon
- One Pot Creamy Mushroom Orzo
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this broccoli, cheddar, chicken & rice shall we?!
How to make Chicken Broccoli Rice (Full Recipe & Video)
Cheddar, Chicken, Broccoli and Rice
- Large Casserole Dish & Wooden Spoon
- Slotted Spoon & Side Dish (to remove bacon)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Jug (for stock and milk)
- Cheese Grater
- Serving Spoon
Ingredients (check list):
- 1lb / 500g Chicken Thigh, diced into large bite sized pieces (bring close to room temp)
- 1x 14oz/400g head of Broccoli, cut into florets (approx 9oz/250g)
- 7oz / 200g Bacon, diced
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups / 100-150g Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups Uncooked Long-Grain Rice
- 2 1/2 cups / 625ml Chicken Stock
- 2 cups / 500ml Milk
- 1/2 cup / 125ml Double/Heavy Cream at room temp (or more milk)
- 2 tbsp finely diced Fresh Chives
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, Black Pepper (to season chicken)
- Olive Oil, as needed
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Bacon: Add bacon to a large casserole dish over medium heat and fry until nicely crisp with the fat rendered. Remove with slotted spoon (leaving fat behind) and place in a dish to the side.
- Chicken: Coat chicken pieces in 1/2 tsp onion powder, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Turn heat to medium-high and place the chicken in the leftover bacon fat (add a drizzle more oil if needed). Leave to fry until golden, then flip and fry until golden on the other side. The main goal here is to brown the chicken, you want it mostly cooked through but it'll continue cooking when the rice is added.
- Rice: Turn heat back down to medium and stir in rice. Pour in chicken stock and milk/cream and add in dijon mustard and chives. Give it all a good stir (scraping off any flavour from the bottom of the pan). Leave on a simmer, stirring occasionally until the rice is cooked and the sauce has thickened. Around 15-20mins. (see next step for broccoli).
- Broccoli: I like my broccoli with a bite to it, so I usually add in around 5-10mins into simmering. But if you're florets are particularly large or you like your broccoli completely cooked through add it in with the liquids and simmer right through.
- Serve: You won't have too much liquid, but if the sauce over thickens just add a touch more stock. Stir through cheddar and crispy bacon, then season to taste.
Quick 1 min demo!
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