One Pot Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole: Is This The Comfort Food You Need?

By Krista


Last Updated: March 16, 2023

When we feel depressed or sad, we, sometimes, lose our appetite entirely.

This is often related to an imbalance of hormones from stress. For some, this drives us to eat. For others, this significantly decreases our appetite. This is how some people may gain or lose weight due to depression and anxiety.

However, no matter how you’re feeling, eating balanced meals is crucial to feel good and maintain overall health. In fact, you might feel worse by not eating regular meals. At the same time, what you eat matters as well. 

While quick and convenient processed and pre-packaged meals may seem easier, an abundant amount of these can lead to nutritional deficiencies and an overconsumption of calories.

Thus, it might be better to opt for easy-to-make at-home meals where you know exactly what goes into the food you eat (and where you can up the nutritional density!). 

This one pot cheesy chicken broccoli casserole offers the perfect mix of comfort plus nutrition. It won’t even feel like you’re eating “healthy.” So, let’s dive in and start cooking!



An Easy & Convenient One Pot Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole for Optimal Comfort & Mental Health

When you’re feeling kind of blah or down in the dumps, this is one recipe you can rely on.

It’s easy and simple to make. It’s also got loads of goodness that will give your mind and body a leg up. Plus, it tastes delicious and makes the perfect go-to for cold and dark days. 

On top of this, you can make double (but even if you’re making it for the whole family, you’ll probably still have leftovers!).

So, how do you make this yummy cheesy recipe?


Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • ¾ cup of rice (uncooked)
  • 1 can (10 ounces) of cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley (chopped) (optional)
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese



  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, then add the chicken and onion. Cook for five minutes or until chicken has browned and there is no pink left. 
  2. Season with the salt and pepper.
  3. Add the minced garlic, cooking for another 30 seconds or until the garlic is aromatized.
  4. Pour the cream of chicken soup and chicken broth into the mix, and add the rice.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, then cover and let simmer fro about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. If you need more broth than the recommended two cups, add it until the rice has cooked.
  6. Stir in the broccoli and half of the cheese. Cook for two minutes or until the broccoli is soft.
  7. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top, and broil the skillet for a couple of minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  8. Divide onto six plates and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

Don’t be shy about adding more to this recipe if you want to! For example, mushrooms or other veggies would also taste great in this mix!



How Does This Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole Help You Feel Better?

This recipe does this in a few ways.

First off, it’s super easy to make with few ingredients and prep and cooking time. This means you don’t need to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. And you can make this ahead of time, making dinner that much easier.

All you’ll need to do is heat it up. Undeniably, this takes a lot off our plates, especially after a particularly tough day.

But there’s more than what meets the eye here. This delicious casserole also has a few ingredients and characteristics that make it one of the best things you can eat for your mental health. Here’s the details!


1. Cheese Doesn’t Just Taste Great; It Also Can Boost Your Mood.

Many of us turn to cheese for comfort. It’s one of those so-called “guilty pleasures,” but should you even feel guilty about it?

Here’s the good news: Research shows that low fat cheese consumption is associated with reduced stress and better social functioning. Now, that’s a study I can get behind!

Cheese further contains an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan may help improve your mood by boosting serotonin levels, with some suggesting it could be even more effective than popular light therapy. So, cheese lovers, eat up! It’s actually doing you some good. 

A word of caution… Too much of anything isn’t good for the body. Make sure you eat cheese in moderation and opt for low-fat varieties to avoid a high-fat diet.

Related Article: 5 Tested Tips to Turn That Grumpy Mood Around In No Time


2. Broccoli May Reduce Inflammation and Fight Depression.

Not everyone is a fan of this green veggie. However, throw on some cheese and most people can be convinced to eat it. This is probably one of the magical pieces of this casserole. It’ll get you to eat some veggies in disguise!

Broccoli is widely talked about due to its sulforaphane content. Now, sulforaphane may help decrease inflammation contributing to depression or low moods. It may also help reduce stress hormones and ease anxiety. Just a few more reasons to eat your broccoli.


3. Chicken Offers a Good Source of Protein.

You can even up the protein in this recipe by adding double the chicken (You might need a bigger skillet though!).

So, what does protein have to do with your mental health and well-being? Well, protein offers the building blocks for the body. It is the basis for various structures and tissues, as well as contributes to production of essential neurotransmitters and hormones.

Protein also can help balance your blood sugar levels (along with fiber found in the broccoli in this recipe). Protein and fiber slow down the digestion of carbs in the digestive tract, ensuring your body receives a steady flow of glucose as opposed to a huge spike.

This means we feel level throughout our day as opposed to experiencing a high and a serious low. 

If you’re feeing up and down when it comes to your mood and energy levels, balancing your blood sugar level is probably something you want to pay attention to.

And it comes down to more than just protein. Meal timing, sleep, and other factors also play a role here, and may be worthwhile exploring in relation to your mental wellness.

Related Article: Your Go-To Mental Health Resources: Here When You Need a Helping Hand



Go Easy On Yourself With This Easy & Convenient Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Let’s not overcomplicate things, especially when we don’t feel great.

Keep your food simple. Make one meal that will last you for days. This cheesy chicken casserole is perfect for this and offers plenty of nutrients your body and mind need.

Make it, and let us know what you think in the comments.

How was it? Did you change anything regarding the recipe above?

Read Next: Have You Ever Wondered How Much Your Diet Affects Your Mental Health?

Credit:Ann Zhuravleva


4 comments on “One Pot Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole: Is This The Comfort Food You Need?”

    1. Thanks Beverly!! You caught that early, and it has been updated. Thanks for helping us out!! Let us know if you enjoy the recipe 🙂

    1. Beverly was all over it, Kneeva - there was a missing ingredient, and it has been updated 🙂

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