Cheesy Chicken, Rice and Broccoli Packets
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 - 1½ lbs chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces (2-3 medium chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated or sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ cup cheese, grated (Provolone, Mozzarella, cheddar, monterey jack, etc.)
  • 3-4 cups broccoli florets (chop the broccoli stalk and use in the rice)
  • 2½ cup chicken broth, divided (1½ cups to cook the rice in and ¼ cup broth extra per packet)
  • salt, ground black pepper
Marinade for chicken:
  • 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chicken seasoning (dry basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, etc)
  • fresh parsley, thyme, minced
  • ½ - ¾ teaspoon salt, ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and add the chicken, mixing thoroughly so all the chicken is coated in the marinade. Place in the refrigerator.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter or oil in a large skillet or pot on medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender and cooked through.
  4. The broccoli florets cook a lot faster than the stalk, so I cut off the crown into florets and then peel the hard part off the stalk and chop it up. This way, I use up all the broccoli. Add the chopped broccoli stalk to the veggies. This will give them a head start on cooking.
  5. Add the rice to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, until all the rice is coated in the vegetables. Pour in 1½ cups hot chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered for about 10 minutes, just until the rice is almost cooked through and all the broth is absorbed.
  6. Add the grated cheese to the rice and mix.
  7. Tear off 4 pieces of aluminum foil, each one about 16-18 inches wide. I like to use the heavy duty, extra large foil for this. Place ¼ of the rice on one half of each piece of aluminum foil.
  8. You can also use parchment paper instead of aluminum foil. Divide the rice among the 4 packets. You can make 4 larger portions, or make 6 smaller portions, by making 2 more packets.
  9. Divide the marinated chicken among the 4 or 6 packets, placing the chicken on top of the rice. Make sure that the chicken is spread out in one layer, not on top of each other, or it will not cook through all the way.
  10. Place ½ - 1 cup of broccoli florets on top of the chicken. The amount of chicken and broccoli you use is totally up to you. You can completely omit the chicken, if you're pregnant and meat makes you nauseous, or leave out the broccoli, if you have a husband who doesn't like it. You can also add cauliflower, bell peppers, zucchini, etc. See? When you're the cook, you get to make adjustments according to your likes and dislikes.
  11. Pour about ¼ cup of chicken broth over the whole beautiful creation. You can also add more cheese on top of the broccoli, but that's up to you.
  12. Fold the other half of the aluminum foil or the parchment paper over the mounded rice, chicken and broccoli and crimp the edges closed, making sure they are sealed completely.
  13. Place the packets on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. If you like your broccoli to be very soft, bake your packet for 20-25 minutes. Don't cook it longer than that, or your chicken will be overcooked. If you are one of the people that likes their broccoli really soft, microwave the broccoli, covered, in large bowl until bright green and nearly tender, 2 to 4 minutes, before adding it to the packets.
Make ahead:

Marinate the chicken and prepare the rice and cut the broccoli. Store the marinated chicken separately from the cheesy rice mixture in the refrigerator. Have the broccoli florets ready as well, stored in a sealed bag or in a bowl in the refrigerator.
You can store this in the refrigerator up to 2 days in advance. When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and continue with the recipe, filling the packets and then baking.
If you will be cooking it the same day, you can pre make the packets and store the sealed packets in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.
Recipe by Olga's Flavor Factory at