This Creamy Turkey Rice Casserole is real food meets comfort food. Made from scratch without MSG, prepackaged sauces, or cream of anything soups, this dish is quick and easy and uses up that pesky leftover Turkey and maybe even some vegetables if you still have them laying around.
Casseroles are a wonderful winter dish. To me, it’s like wrapping my family in a warm hug (channeling my inner Olaf here). Being from Massachusetts, grew up eating scratch made Boston baked beans, slow cooked stews and more than my fair share of clam chowder (pronounced Chow-dah). My favorite warm-winter-hug-dinner was always Yankee Pot Roast. A big plate of pot roast with a piece of bread and a glass of milk. Delicious. But let’s not forget this comfort food classic – the casserole. Specifically Creamy Turkey Rice Casserole with Broccoli. Yum.
This casserole has its own velvety sauce that is made from scratch! It works perfectly for creating that mild, creamy texture for which casseroles are known. Creamy. Yummy. Nothing from a can. Win/Win for my family. I’ve used panko as the topping to give it some texture but if you prefer, you can use crushed crackers which is more traditional.
This Creamy Turkey Rice Casserole is the perfect way to use up leftover turkey or chicken and maybe even the roasted vegetables you still have in the fridge.
Creamy Turkey Rice Casserole
For the Casserole:
- Nonstick cooking spray or butter , for the baking dish
- 2 cups cooked turkey or chicken , shredded or cubed
- 2 teaspoons salt , more or less to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups white rice , cooked
- 8 ounce cream cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup Cheddar , shredded
- 1 head broccoli , cut into small florets
For the Topping:
- 2 tablespoons butter , melted
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or butter.
- Spread the rice in an even layer in the baking dish.
- Bring a medium pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets, and boil or steam until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well and add broccoli layer on top of the rice layer in the casserole pan.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the cream cheese with the milk. Add the seasonings and stir to combine. Next, add the cheddar cheese and sour cream and stir to combine. Then add the turkey or chicken chunks and just heat through.
- Pour the turkey (or chicken) cream sauce over the top of the broccoli-rice layers.
- Mix the melted butter with the panko and toss to combine. Sprinkle panko over the top of the casserole.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the panko is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling; let stand for 5 minutes before serving.