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.

two servings of cooked chicken casserole on two white plates

Even when I haven’t been grocery shopping in awhile, I almost always have chicken and broccoli ready to cook. Are you like that too? This Dairy-Free Chicken & Rice Casserole is a delicious way to use those ingredients.

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

Recipe Highlights

  • This healthy casserole makes six servings. It’s perfect for a family, or for meal prepping for two people.
  • This chicken and rice recipe is entirely dairy-free and gluten-free. A homemade simple cashew cheese sauce makes it luscious and creamy.
labeled photo with ingredients for chicken rice casserole

Recipe Steps

Step One

Preheat your oven to 400°F and spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Then, add the broth, rinsed rice, and broccoli and/or cauliflower.

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

vegetables, rice, and broth in a casserole dish

Step Two

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and chicken, and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the outside of the chicken starts to cook.

Step Three

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

Step Four

photo with labeled ingredients for cashew cheese sauce

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.

ingredients for cashew cheese sauce in blender

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

Step Five

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.

Step Six

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

cooked broccoli rice casserole out of the oven and ready for serving

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 cutlets?

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

Other Healthy Chicken Recipes You Might Like

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

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casserole served on a plate with a bamboo spoon

Dairy-Free Chicken & Rice Casserole


Description

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.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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
  • ¾ 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

Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Healthy

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

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