Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice combines savory Italian-seasoned chicken sausage with roasted broccoli and onions, tender rice, and lots of melty Cheddar cheese! This entire dish uses minimal ingredients, cooks on ONE sheet pan, and is sure to be a household hit!

Pair this family-friendly meal with a quick and simple salad like this Cucumber salad or Fruit salad recipe.

Overhead image of Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice on a tray

Overhead image of Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice on a tray

This Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice meal is part of our “Back-To-School Lifesavers” — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice

It doesn’t get much easier than this recipe and it’s a total hit with the whole family! And that’s a combination that makes everybody smile.

I know broccoli isn’t typically associated with being popular among kids, but have they tried Roasted Broccoli? My kids actually request it! So combining that roasted broccoli with rice, lots of melty Cheddar, and chicken sausage? Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice is a huge dinner-time win!

And after enjoying a delicious meal, everyone’s even happier to find out there is just one pan to clean! 

Ingredient shot-- image of all the ingredients used in this dish

Ingredient shot-- image of all the ingredients used in this dish

Can You Cook Rice On A Sheet Pan?

Yes! With a store-bought shortcut, we can have beautifully cooked rice in a matter of minutes! 

In order for this recipe to work, we need Ready Rice or Microwaveable Packaged Rice. Ready rice is a type of rice that is already cooked and just needs to be heated to warm it through. Instead of heating it in the microwave, we add it on the sheet pan with the veggies and sausage and roast it — so easy and convenient! This type of packaged rice is typically found among other packets of rice and grains in the grocery store.

The only “prep” required for this type of rice is kneading the rice in the packet before opening it. This helps break apart the clumps of rice so it comes out in individual grains. If you prefer, you can use 2 cups of leftover cooked rice in place of the Ready Rice.

QUICK TIP

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice won’t work with regular white rice or any other variety of uncooked rice. That said, if you have leftover cooked white rice, it will warm up nicely on the sheet pan just like the microwaveable rice.

Process shots-- images of the veggies and chicken sausage on a tray with oil and seasoning

Process shots-- images of the veggies and chicken sausage on a tray with oil and seasoning

Sheet Pan Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Ingredients

Beyond the rice, here are a few other ingredient notes:

  • Sausage. Any smoked sausage works here, and we like smoked chicken sausage best (Aidell’s® Italian Style with Mozzarella is our fave; not sponsored). It keeps things nice and healthy, plus tastes great — the flavors pair well with all the other ingredients in this recipe. Turkey sausage is another favorite in this recipe!
  • Broccoli. We want fresh, firm broccoli for this recipe to work well, so avoid frozen broccoli; it will water the other ingredients down and not caramelize nicely.
  • Yellow onion. We love the longer strips of onion (delicious if you love onions and easy to pick out if you don’t!). If you prefer, you can cut the onion in 1-inch chunks instead. 
  • Seasonings. The seasoning line-up is simple, but packs a punch of flavor! Chicken bouillon, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper are all you’ll need. Don’t leave out the chicken bouillon; it adds an amazing depth of flavor!
  • Olive oil. Not only does the oil add flavor, but it’s also great insurance against burnt veggies.
  • Cheddar cheese. I recommend sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese; both have a much more robust flavor than regular Cheddar — they’ve been aged longer. For a more robust flavor on Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice, combine two types of cheeses for the topping! Parmesan would make another great topping.

Process shots-- images of the veggies being roasted, the rice being added, and finally Cheddar being added on top

Process shots-- images of the veggies being roasted, the rice being added, and finally Cheddar being added on top

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Tips

  • Wait for the oven to fully preheat. It might be tempting to slide everything in a little early, but the cooking time will be off and roasting will be inconsistent on the veggies. Position the tray in the center of the oven for even roasting.
  • Season to taste. Before adding the cheese, give the dish a quick taste for seasoning — it might need a pinch more of salt and/or pepper to make the flavors come alive.
  • Use freshly grated cheese. Pre-grated cheese has a cellulose coating. That can result in a greasier/clumpier cheese that becomes grainy and doesn’t melt as nicely.
  • Serve quickly! Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice is truly best right out of the oven — the Cheddar is nicely melted on everything, veggies are crisp, and rice is tender. Before you melt the cheese at the last minute, get your family to the table and ready to eat! 🙂 

Up-close overhead image of Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice on a tray

Up-close overhead image of Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice on a tray

My top tip for this recipe

Use a LARGE sheet pan. The more space the vegetables and sausage have to cook (and the less crowded they are), the better they roast.

When vegetables overlap or crowd onto a sheet pan, they end up steaming instead of roasting, which greatly affects the end taste and texture; it also takes longer for everything to cook when there is less space.

I recommend this 15×21-inch sheet pan or using two pans to cook this meal.

More Easy One-Pan Meals

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice combines savory Italian-seasoned chicken sausage with roasted broccoli and onions, tender rice, and lots of melty Cheddar cheese! This entire dish uses minimal ingredients, cooks on ONE sheet pan, and is sure to be a household hit!

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice combines savory Italian-seasoned chicken sausage with roasted broccoli and onions, tender rice, and lots of melty Cheddar cheese! This entire dish uses minimal ingredients, cooks on ONE sheet pan, and is sure to be a household hit!

Ingredients

  • 5-1/2 cups (335g) chopped broccoli (~1 lb.; 6 ounces or 2 very large heads)
  • 1 large yellow onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 package (12 oz.; 340g) smoked Italian chicken sausage Note 1
  • 2 packages Ready Rice/Microwaveable Packaged Rice, 8.8 oz each (or 2 cups cooked white rice)
  • 1/4 cup (59g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 cup (3 oz.; 85g) cheddar cheese, extra-sharp (or sharp)
  • Optional: fresh parsley, fine sea salt and pepper

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set out a very large (I use a 15×21-inch sheet pan) or 2 smaller sheet pans. Cut the broccoli into small florets (bite-sized), thinly slice the onion, and coin the chicken sausage thinly. Combine the seasonings: 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. (I add 1/2 teaspoon of each; I use fine sea salt here, so if you are using table salt you’ll want a lot less.) Stir the seasonings together and then remove 2 teaspoons of the seasoning and set aside.

  • ROAST: On the large sheet pan, add the broccoli, onion, and chicken sausage. Drizzle on 1/4 cup olive oil and add all the seasonings except the 2 teaspoons you set aside. With your hands, toss to generously coat everything and then spread in an even layer, leaving plenty of space for the veggies to roast. (If they’re overlapping they will steam instead of roast and take a lot longer to cook.) Add the tray to the fully heated oven and roast for 13-15 minutes.

  • ROAST RICE: Meanwhile, without opening the 2 rice packets, knead and break up the rice with your hands to remove any clumps. No need to microwave or prepare the rice in any other way! Alternatively, use add 2 cups cooked rice. Remove sheet pan from the oven and add the rice and reserved 2 teaspoons seasoning mix right on top. Toss everything together with a large turner/spatula, spread in 1 even layer, and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, grate the cheese.

  • ADD CHEESE: Remove from oven, toss everything once more and taste for any additional seasoning, adding extra salt/pepper if desired. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over everything. Return to the oven for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

  • ENJOY: Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh parsley if desired, and use a large spatula to serve from the sheet pan to plates (or go at it right off the sheet pan — no judgment here! 🙂

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Any smoked sausage works here, and we like smoked chicken sausage best (Aidell’s Italian Style with Mozzarella is our fave; not sponsored); it keeps things nice and healthy, plus tastes great — the flavors pair well with all the other ingredients in this recipe. Turkey sausage is another favorite in this recipe!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 541kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 613mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1516IU | Vitamin C: 135mg | Calcium: 515mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *