This delicious Dairy-Free Chicken & Rice Casserole with broccoli is the perfect main dish for busy weeknights. It’s full of healthy and satisfying ingredients, and topped with a rich cashew cheese sauce. This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free.

chicken and rice casserole baked in a pan.

If you’re getting ready for a busy week and need a satisfying and healthy Chicken Rice Broccoli Casserole that you can enjoy for at least several nights, then this is the recipe for you!

There are two main steps to making the casserole. You’ll need to get the chicken, rice, and veggies ready. Then, you’ll make the creamy cashew sauce topping.

Once you have the casserole prepped, all you have to do is bake it.

I hope your family enjoys this dish as much as mine does!

Why You Need This Recipe

  • This dairy-free chicken rice casserole makes six servings. It’s perfect for a family, or for meal prepping for two people.
  • This recipe is entirely dairy-free and gluten-free. A homemade simple cashew cheese sauce makes it luscious and creamy.
  • The broccoli, chicken, and rice all get tender and perfectly cooked in the oven.

Key Ingredients

ingredients for dairy free chicken rice casserole.

Chicken breasts or tenders are used in this recipe. You can also use chicken thighs, if you prefer.

Broccoli and onion add nice texture, fiber, and nutrition to the casserole.

Rice makes this chicken casserole a balanced meal.

Chicken broth or stock cooks the rice right in the dish.

Cashews help make a creamy sauce with no dairy.

Nutritional yeast helps add a cheesy flavor.

Recipe Steps

process photos for chicken casserole.

Step One

Preheat your oven to 400°F and spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté lightly.

Please see the printable recipe card at end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Two

Add the chicken to the skillet and cook it for a few minutes.

Step Three

Add the broccoli and rice to the pan along with the chicken and onion.

Step Four

Pour the chicken and onion mixture into the baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

process photos for chicken casserole with sauce

Step Five

While the casserole is baking, make the cheese sauce. In the pitcher of a high-speed blender or bowl of a food processor, combine the soaked and drained cashew nuts, sea salt, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and water.

Step Six

Blend on high for about 30 seconds, or until the sauce is smooth and creamy.

Step Seven

After the casserole has cooked for 30 minutes, carefully remove it from the oven and take off the foil. Pour the cashew sauce over the top.

Step Eight

Then, place the casserole back in the oven (uncovered) to cook for an additional 20-30 minutes.

When the casserole is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5-7 minutes before serving.

This is the favorite of all the dairy-free casseroles I’ve ever tried. I hope your family loves it too.

serving spoon with cooked casserole

Recipes Tips & Substitutions

  • You can use chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs in this recipe.
  • You can use cauliflower florets instead of broccoli, if you prefer.
  • If you don’t have a high speed blender, you can make the cashew sauce in a food processor.
  • Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving. 
  • If you want to prep this dish ahead of time, get the casserole ready and cover it with plastic wrap. Then, make the cashew sauce and store it in a covered bowl until you’re ready to cook off the casserole.
  • Want another yummy chicken recipe suggestion? Try this Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad.
serving of healthy chicken casserole with broccoli.

Recipe FAQs

Is this dairy-free casserole recipe healthy?

I think it is. The casserole has a nice balance of protein and carbs, plus fat from the cashews that makes it satisfying. White rice is also easier to digest than brown rice, so it is considered paleo-friendly by many experts.
And, of course, broccoli is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Broccoli is rich is sulforaphane which has been proven to help fight cancer.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

Yes, you can substitute the same amount of thighs for the chicken breasts in this recipe.

More Healthy Chicken Recipes You Might Like

Or, check out my entire index of clean eating chicken recipes!

two plates of chicken casserole.

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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chicken rice broccoli casserole on white plate

Dairy-Free Chicken & Rice Casserole

This delicious Dairy-Free Chicken & Rice Casserole is the perfect main dish for busy weeknights. It’s full of healthy and satisfying ingredients, and topped with a rich cashew cheese sauce. This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free.

  • Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken cutlets or thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets or cauliflower florets (or a mix of the two)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (soaked for 15 minutes in very hot water, then drained)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch (or medium-sized) casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and chicken and sauté for 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally while the outside of the chicken starts to cook and turn white.
  3. While the onion and chicken are cooking, pour in the broth into the baking dish. Add the rinsed rice and the broccoli or cauliflower florets. 
  4. Pour the chicken and onion mixture into the baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. While the casserole is baking, make the cheese sauce. In the pitcher of a high-speed blender, combine the soaked and drained cashew nuts, sea salt, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and water. Blend on high for about 30 seconds, or until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  6. After the casserole has cooked for 30 minutes, carefully remove it from the oven and take off the foil. Pour the cashew sauce over the top. Then, place the casserole back in the oven (uncovered) to cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  7. When the casserole is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5-7 minutes before serving.

Notes

  1. You can use chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs in this recipe.
  2. You can use cauliflower florets instead of broccoli, if you prefer.
  3. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving. 
  4. If you want to prep this dish ahead of time, get the casserole ready and cover it with plastic wrap. Then, make the cashew sauce and store it in a covered bowl until you’re ready to cook off the casserole.
  5. If you don’t have a high speed blender, you can make the cashew sauce in a food processor.

Keywords: broccoli casserole, healthy chicken casserole, chicken and rice recipe

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