Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (Cracker Barrel Copycat)

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Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (Cracker Barrel Copycat)

Tender and juicy white meat chicken topped with broccoli and a cheesy sauce with Ritz crackers. This Cracker Barrel copycat is easy to make and will become a family favorite.

Every time a craving for comfort food hits me and I don’t feel like cooking, we head to Cracker Barrel. And next to the Chicken Fried Chicken, the Broccoli Cheddar Chicken is my favorite thing on the menu.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (Cracker Barrel Copycat)

I decided this needed to be something I could make at home. For those cold winter nights when I don’t dare leave the house. I searched the internet for recipes and found them to all be pretty much the same with slight variations.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (Cracker Barrel Copycat)

This casserole can be assembled in just minutes and popped in the oven to bake for 45 minutes. I love that you don’t need to precook anything. I used frozen broccoli that I had defrosted overnight in my refrigerator. There’s no need to cook it or even warm it before adding it to the dish. You could use fresh broccoli instead, but you should at least partially cook it or it will most likely not get soft enough.

Instead of putting the Ritz Cracker crumbs on top, I put a thin layer of the cheese sauce on top of them. The crackers blend into the sauce and thicken and flavor it. But if you want a crunchy topping, mix them with a tablespoon or two of melted butter and sprinkle them on top of all the cheese sauce.

Buttery crackers, broccoli, and cheese are a hard to resist combination. Your kids are going to ask for this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken again and again.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (Cracker Barrel Copycat)

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Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (Cracker Barrel Copycat)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, defrosted
  • 1½ cups crushed Ritz crackers
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a casserole dish.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in prepared dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together milk, soup, paprika, and cheddar cheese.
  4. Pour half of cheese mixture over chicken.
  5. Scatter broccoli pieces over cheese mixture.
  6. Top with Ritz cracker pieces and remaining cheese mixture.
  7. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Notes
I layered a little of the cheese sauce on top of the cracker crumbs. I like how they blend into the sauce and thicken and flavor it. If you want a crunchy topping, mix the cracker crumbs with a tablespoon or two of melted butter and sprinkle on top.

Sharing with The Weekend Potluck

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55 thoughts on “Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (Cracker Barrel Copycat)

  1. The copycat chicken was good but next time I will try crackers on top not under cheese. We like them crispier. And I like the idea another person had about using a cheese sauce instead of the soup and partially cooked fresh broccoli.

  2. This is my son’s favorite dish at Cracker Barrel but it is so popular that they usually run out before we get there. Last time we went, we ordered it as soon as we were seated and he got the last piece. He was still grinning the next day! Thank you for the recipe. I think I will surprise him tonight by making it for dinner!

  3. Cracker Barrel chicken needs more than 45 minutes to cook or a higher temperature than 350 degrees. Chicken came out raw. You should seriously change this on your website…

    1. In my experience chicken breasts cook all the way through in 45 minutes. I do tend to look for small chicken breasts though. Some of the chicken breasts these days are almost the size of a turkey breast! I don’t know what they’re feeding those chickens. When I get large chicken breasts I cut them in half horizontally into two thinner pieces. They cook better and serve more people.

    2. Hi, πŸ™‚ I’m actually a line cook at Cracker barrel and I. Can explain why 45 minutes doesn’t work on the recipe. (For starters, the recipe is basically right-on-target minus a few little things) but cracker barrel chicken breasts are only 5oz and very very thin, while most meats we get at the grocery store are much larger Sizes and weigh a lot more. When we make this recipe in the store, Iur five ounce chicken breasts, with broccoli, cheese and all, are usually fully cooked and looking delicious in about 30 minutes, So I hope this helps in how you prepare the dish. πŸ™‚

      1. You’re right on target, Lisa! It all depends on the size of the chicken breasts which you use. The internal temperature of the breasts should read 165 deg. when they’re done.

  4. I made this last night and it was delicious! I decided to do the crackers over the cheese and mixed some melted butter in with them. I also served it over rice. Everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks so much.. This was amazing!!!!! So easy, so good, and makes quite a bit so for the two of us, we have wonderful leftovers. I made this while up in our log cabin and had to use the Garlic Butter Ritz but they were perfect. Except for that, I made as published and also did the crumbs under the sauce as you do. I love your site and will continue to visit here.

    On a side note, I did not have a grater at the cabin so will need to remember to get one for here. Instead I cut the cheese up in small pieces and melted them into the sauce by warming it a bit. I have learned to “Mcgyver” a lot on the weekends when I find myself rather isolated on a mountain.

  6. Love this recipe! My fav at Cracker Barrel is also the Chicken Fried Chicken and sadly I haven’t tried this one. What in the world is wrong with me on that. I need to change that next time we go. This one is going on my menu soon at home. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Ok, my chicken came out a little chewy…thoughts on why that happened? I started to cover with foil when cooking but the recipe didn’t call for it so I didn’t. Maybe I should have cut the chicken breast in half or flattened them out a little – they were a little thick.

  8. I want to make this tonight and I have everything in hand except the cheddar cheese soup. Could I use cream of chicken Soup?

      1. That’s ok, Christen. Since I was very anxious to try this recipe, I just went ahead and used Cream of Chicken Soup. I gotta tell you, this casserole was scrumptious! I did however, add in a few sliced mushrooms, since my family & I love them. I didn’t use “Ritz Crackers” (because we watch our sodium intake), so I (roughly) crushed some “Corn Flakes”, and seasoned them w/dried herbs & some Parmesan cheese (from the green jar). I sprinkled that on top of the casserole, and sprayed a little “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” on top. Even though I made a couple of changes, this is (indeed) a very delicious casserole…. and I’ll definitely make it again & again!

        1. So glad it was an enjoyable meal for you Angie! And thank you so much for taking the time to comment and let us know what alterations you made. Corn Flakes sound like a delicious topping and I always love a few mushrooms. πŸ™‚

  9. When I fix this I precook chicken and then cut into chunks before putting in casserole. We like it either way.

  10. I love this chicken at Cracker Barrel. Do you think they really use cheddar cheese soup? The one time I used cheese soup in a recipe, I hated the taste. Would making a cheese sauce from scratch work? Suggestions please…

    1. I don’t think they use cheddar cheese soup. I think they probably have a cheese sauce they have manufactured for them that’s somewhat similar to cheddar cheese soup. I do think it would taste mush better with a homemade sauce if you have the time to do it. You could try melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan, add 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook for 1 minute. Then whisk in about 1 1/2 cups milk. Let it come to a boil and thicken, then reduce heat to low and gradually add shredded cheddar until it tastes cheesy enough to you. It may need some tweaking, but I would think it would be a good starting point.

  11. Excuse me for asking a dumb question, but – is the chicken raw or boiled when you put it in the casserole dish? I’d like to make when my son comes to visit. He loves broccoli and it sounds easy to make. Thanks

  12. Now you have me wanting to go to Cracker Barrel! They have the best food!! Then I’ll need to try this. Pinning it!!

  13. It’s been so cold here this week and hearty comforting dishes like this are just what we need to stay warm! This looks absolutely mouthwatering! Mmm, I am drooling over all that cheesy goodness!

  14. I buy broccoli in bulk from Costco – so thank you for the tip to partially cook it before adding it to this recipe, also love the tip to put the cheese on top of the ritz crackers – this casserole sounds so comforting and perfect for this crazy cold weather!

  15. Oh my gosh….this is total comfort food!! All that lovely broccoli and cheesy goodness is calling my name! Anything that’s a copycat from CB has gotta be amazing! Can’t wait to try this. πŸ™‚ Absolutely gorgeous photos too, girl!

  16. This goes on my menu for tomorrow’s dinner! It sounds wonderful and full of comfort for the tummy and the soul. Thanks for posting.

  17. I’ve never been to a Cracker Barrel, and from the looks of it, I’d like to go! Or I can just make this at home now that you’ve shared it — I’d love to devour a plateful of this for dinner right at the moment! Pinned. πŸ™‚

  18. YUM!!! This looks amazing!! …and Cracker Barrel is def the place to go for comfort food!! …now you don’t even have to! πŸ™‚ Great recipe girl!! Hope that you’re doing well!!

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