by - 12:05

This Cheesy Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Bowls recipe is easy to make for lunch meal prep or weeknight dinners your choice, it is tossed with a lightened-up cheddar cheese sauce, and it’s totally comforting and delicious. And best of all quick and easy

The two main ingredients for this retro recipe?
You guessed it.  Chicken + broccoli

Feel free to cook them however you’d like.  You could either roast them together in the oven.  Or do what I did, and just sauté the chicken in a skillet until it is crispy and browned on the outside, and cooked through and juicy on the inside.  Then follow that up with some fresh broccoli, cooking it until it is vivid and crisp-tender.  (Meanwhile, cooking some rice or quinoa on the side.  I made mine in a rice cooker.)

Then — either in the same skillet (if you want to only wash one pan) or in a separate saucepan (if you want to multi-task and save time) — whip up a quick garlicky cheddar cheese sauce per the directions below.

Then toss the cooked chicken and broccoli with the cheese sauce, and serve it up immediately over your rice.  OR, you can portion it out into 6 little individual food storage containers if you want an easy meal prep for the week ahead.  I topped mine with some extra cheddar cheese while they were still warm, so that it added a nice melty cheesy layer on top.  (And even still, that only yields you a little over 1/4 cup shredded cheese per serving thanks to that lighter cheese sauce!)

The result?


To Make The Chicken: Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is no longer pink on the inside (and registers 165°F with a meat thermometer).  Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before dicing into bite-sized pieces.
To Make The Broccoli: Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same sauté pan.  Add the broccoli and season with salt and pepper, tossing to combine.  Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is cooked and tender, but still slightly crispy.  Transfer broccoli to a separate plate, and set aside.
To Make The Cheddar Cheese Sauce: Heat the butter in the same sauté pan (or a separate saucepan) until melted.  Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally.  Whisk in the flour until evenly combined and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.  Gradually add in the stock, whisking to combine.  Then add in the milk, pepper and salt, and whisk together until smooth.  Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer and thickens.  Then stir in the shredded cheese, and stir until melted.  Remove from heat and use immediately.
To Assemble: Toss the cooked chicken and broccoli with the cheese sauce until evenly combined.  Serve immediately over rice.  Or portion the mixture evenly into food storage containers along with the rice, garnishing with an extra sprinkle of shredded cheese and pepper.  Refrigerate in sealed containers for up to 4 days.
*I recommend purchasing a block of cheddar cheese and grating it yourself, rather than buying a pre-shredded bag of cheese.  The pre-shredded cheese usually contains a coating that prevents the cheese from melting quite as smoothly.


1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
1 batch cheddar cheese sauce (see below)
3 cups cooked rice or quinoa
extra shredded cheddar cheese*, for topping


1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup warmed milk
¼ teaspoon pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese*


Serving Size: 1 (196 g)     Servings Per Recipe: 4

Calories 396.9    Calories from Fat 60 15%    Total Fat 6.8 g 10%     Saturated Fat 1.2 g 5%     Cholesterol 72.6 mg 24%     Sodium 150.4 mg 6%     Total Carbohydrate 51.8 g 17%    Dietary Fiber 1.6 g 6%     Sugars 0.8 g 3%     Protein 29.1 g 58%

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