This one pot lighter cheesy chicken rice and broccoli tastes like total comfort food in a bowl. Rice is cooked in a combination of chicken broth and milk to create a tender, creamy base for this recipe. Combined with tender chicken breast, broccoli florets, and a combination of mozzarella and cheddar cheese, you’ll never believe this recipe is lightened-up. This one pot rice dish is the perfect family-friendly meal.
What will I need to make one pot lighter cheesy chicken, rice and broccoli?
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe, along with some tips and tricks:
- light butter
- olive oil spray
- uncooked white rice
- bouillon cube and water
- You can also use chicken broth instead.
- unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk
- If you or a loved one has a nut allergy, you can use skim milk instead.
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- broccoli florets
- cooked chicken breast
- I used juicy, rotisserie chicken breast here for the ultimate shortcut
- reduced fat mozzarella
- reduced fat cheddar cheese
The main components that make this dish “lighter” are the light butter, reduced fat cheeses, low-calorie milk, and the fact that it is bulked up by broccoli and chicken breast.
How do you make one pot meals?
One pot meals are such a great way to make a home-cooked meal for your family, but without using tons of pots and pans. Everything cooks in one pot, which makes for the easiest serving and clean up ever! I have several one pot dishes; some pasta dishes, and other rice dishes. The key to a good one-pot dish is getting the ratio right for the starch and the liquid. The first step to a one pot meal is to build the base flavor (think: sautéing onion or garlic in the pot) and then cooking the starch. After the starch is cooked, it’s all about adding more flavor and components to the dish to make it delicious! Here are some other one-pot meals you might enjoy: Sausage, Shrimp and Rice Rigatoni in Pink Sauce Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Sausage Skinny Buffalo Chicken Pasta Chicken Fajita and Rice Bake Orzo, Bacon and Asparagus Kielbasa Hash
How to make one pot lighter cheesy chicken rice and broccoli
To start this dish, melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot. Dice the onion, and add that to the melted butter. Saute the onion for about 5 minutes or until it is translucent and tender. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Next, add olive oil spray to the pan, and add the uncooked rice. Toss the rice around in the pan to pick up the flavors of the butter and olive oil. This will also allow the rice to get slightly toasty. You can let the rice toast up for about 2-3 minutes, but be careful not to burn it. Dissolve the chicken bouillon in water to create broth (or, you can use chicken broth here). Add the broth along with the milk to the pot with the rice. Stir to combine all of the ingredients.
Bring the liquid to a boil, and then cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to medium (medium to medium low). Simmer the liquid for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the broccoli florets to the top of the rice, and cover again to simmer for another 10 minutes. This will allow the broccoli florets to steam, but they will still have a slight bite to them.
After 10 minutes, check the rice to make sure it is tender. If you need to cook the rice longer, let it cook longer (covered still). You can add liquid as needed. In the meantime, shred the chicken breast, and fold it in to the rice along with the two cheeses and the spices (onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper). Taste for seasoning. Depending on the sodium level of your broth, you may need to add more salt to the dish.
Serving this one pot lighter cheesy chicken rice and broccoli
This dish makes 6 servings at a heaping 1.5 cups each. It is a generous portion, and is very filling. It also covers your protein, vegetable, and starch, all in one pot! If you are looking for something to serve with this dish, I suggest a simple garden salad on the side for some freshness. This makes a great meal prep too. To reheat, simply microwave individual portions before eating. You can add a splash more broth or milk if you need it.
One Pot Cheesy Chicken Rice and Broccoli
- dutch oven or large pot
- 1 tbsp light butter I use Land 'o Lakes with Canola Oil
- olive oil spray
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 cups uncooked white rice
- 1 bouillon cube chicken flavor; you can also use 2 cups of chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cooked chicken breasts I used rotisserie chicken
- 3 oz reduced fat cheddar
- 3 oz reduced fat mozzarella
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat.
- Dice the onion and add it to the pot.
- Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until translucent and tender.
- Mince the garlic and add it to the pot with the onion; sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add olive oil spray to the pot.
- Add the uncooked rice to the pot.
- Toss it around to get the flavor of the vegetables and butter. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes to get toasty, stirring often.
- Dissolve the bouillon cube in the water.
- Add the water with the bouillon and the milk to the rice, stir to combine.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover with the lid and reduce to medium.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the broccoli florets and return the lid.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes, then uncover.
- Taste the rice to make sure it is cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- If the rice is still hard, add more liquid and continue cooking as needed/
- Shred the chicken breast.
- Add the shredded chicken breast, cheddar, mozzarella, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
- Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.
- 9 WW points (green plan)
- 8 WW points (blue and purple plans)