Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (Cracker Barrel Copycat)

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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.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (Cracker Barrel Copycat)

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)

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken (Cracker Barrel Copycat)

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 489kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
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.
Print Recipe


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, defrosted
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a casserole dish.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in prepared dish.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together milk, soup, paprika, and cheddar cheese.
  • Pour half of cheese mixture over chicken.
  • Scatter broccoli pieces over cheese mixture.
  • Top with Ritz cracker pieces and remaining cheese mixture.
  • Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes. (I look for small chicken breasts for this recipe. Larger ones I cut in half horizontally. You will need to increase cooking time by at least 10 minutes if your chicken breasts are larger and you do not cut them into 2 thinner pieces.)


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.
I look for thin, small chicken breasts for this. Larger breasts may take longer to cook.


Calories: 489kcal

Sharing with The Weekend Potluck

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

  1. Ok so my question is where is the recipe for the cheese sauce that is supposed to be drizzled on top of the broccoli cheddar chicken when you plate it up? That’s how cracker barrel does it and I’m making this dish now but I don’t see the recipe for the cheese sauce

  2. Pretty tasty meal. However just like a few other people have said it has come out very wet.
    My broccoli was defrosted, and I did triple the recipe for a family of 10. I cut my 4 BIG chicken breasts in half and sliced them up… At 45 minutes @350 degrees, the chicken is perfect.
    I slice them in half like what you would do if you were making Cordon Bleu or something like that where you stuff your chicken. And then sliced it up into smaller pieces. Right now I just hey moved everything around in the pan with a spoon and it’s just way too wet so it’s going back into the oven for another 15 minutes and we’ll see how that works. Hopefully it’ll take some of that fluid out. At cracker barrel this meal is very hearty and thick. That’s not what I have as of right now. It’s very soupy?
    I’d love to hear what the person who placed this recipe here from the spicy southern kitchen I would have to say about fixing that very soupy problem?

    1. Mine was soupy too and too cheesy tasting. Not at all like Cracker Barrel’s. Will try again but use c of c soup and cut back on the milk.

  3. Looks really good and I want to try making this tomorrow. Can I make this in the crockpot? Would it be done the same way? Can I use Velveeta cheese instead of the can cheese? Someone please let me know

  4. Has anyone used Broccoli Cheddar Soup rather than Cheddar Soup? Curious if this would make a big difference. Suspecting not, but never know.

  5. I accidentally bought condensed cheddar soup instead of regular. Wilk I need to add extra milk or water?

  6. Do you think you could dice the chicken instead of using whole breasts. I have a big family so I feel like it would make a bigger dish vs having to double everything.

  7. Being diabetic, my doctor has me on a strict low carb diet. I am really craving comfort food today, so I’m modifying this a little to make it diabetic/low carb friendly. Instead of using cheese soup I’m making a low carb cheese sauce by taking 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup heavy cream & 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (combine all 3 and heat over med high heat until the cheese is melted; makes about 1 1/2 c sauce). I’m going to also substitute the Ritz crackers with ground pork rinds. I’m still going to mix it with a little butter just to make them taste a little richer. I’m using chicken thighs that I plan to cook ahead in my instant pot and will steam the broccoli and drain well before baking this. Thinking that will cut the bake time and eliminate some of the water from the frozen broccoli. Can’t wait to try this out. Most casseroles are filled with processed carbs.

    1. Jennifer, it’s not totally different, but try Chicken Divan (an old recipe from the 50’s for a very carb-friendly casserole.

  8. This is great. Even my picky husband loves it.
    I used three chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise. I used a 11×13 pan and was only able to fit three chicken breasts, not sure how the recipe manages 4 in a 9×13. I made my own cheddar cheese soup using cheddar and pepper jack cheese instead of store bought. I sprinkled the crackers on top after coating them in 1 T of melted butter because I wanted them crunchy. I didn’t feel like 1-1/2 cups was enough (I did use a bigger pan) so I used about 2 cups.

  9. I used rotisserie chicken! So easy! Less baking time. Otherwise followed recipe exactly and it’s so delicious

  10. *TIP* when I cook large chicken breast like this I use a mallet to pound & flatten them then cut them in half! Works like a charm everytime 😍 also I wasn’t sure what cheese soup I was suppose to use so I bought velveeta instead & used that & the shredded cheese! Came out awesome! Also steamed the broccoli for 6 minutes before because I was worried it would melt & make everything watery!

  11. I give this recipe an A- because it satisfies my expectations for a good casserole – easy to make and good comfort food taste. I bought two large chicken breasts (1 1/2 lbs), sliced them into 1 inch strips and sprinkled course salt to tenderize. I also used two crowns of fresh broccoli which I blanched for 5 minutes, drained, soaked in ice water for a couple minutes, drained and then gave a quick whirl in my salad spinner. I used white cheddar cheese. I wanted the crackers on top so I mixed in 2 T of butter. I pulsed the crackers a little too fine so next time I will just crush with my hands so I get more of a crunch than a mushy texture. I also might try 3/4 cup of milk for a thicker sauce. Baked for 50 minutes and it was cooked thoroughly.
    I liked it a lot; people went back for seconds…served with rice and a caesar salad.

    1. then don’t be looking for pinterest recipes,, honestly, i found this as rude for someone to post this. I found the recipe, pinned it and cooked it, EXCELLENT!

    2. I have made this several times as it has become a household favorite. I did make one change that I found worked easier for me. I boiled the chicken breasts/thighs first in some onion and garlic power. Then shredded up the chicken. More flavor, cheese gets into all the chicken and bake time is substantially shorter.
      No RAW chicken! Curious if anyone has done this…

  12. Why do you not offer an email option? Not everyone cares to take part in social media. I couldn’t email this recipe to myself, so I was kinda ‘ticked’! Sorry, but for this reason – I will not sign up to receive your blog in my inbox.

  13. This was amazing- I made a mistake and bought garlic butter ritz instead of plain and I’m soooo glad I did! The added garlic/butter flavor really made this a hit so definitely recommend trying that! I also sliced my chicken breasts in half length wise to make thin breasts and I baked for 55 min. (Only bc I’m paranoid about things being done) and it came out perfect. This will be added into our dinner rotation so thanks!! 🙂

  14. I’m making a double batch for the first time I’m trying it so I can give one batch to my daughter with a newborn. I’m going to use Costcos chicken tenders … add some garlic bread and either fruit or green salad sounds perfect to me. Do you think I should bake my daughters portion and they can microwave on a plate for dinner or give it to her uncooked so she can put the whole batch in the oven? It would remain uncooked overnite so I’m a little hesitant to do that.

      1. I thought it was too ‘wet’so would add rice to the soup or delete the milk. I know that would totally change the recipe but the soup was just too soupy like water. Flavour was def delish!

  15. It is in the middle of summer. I hate to use the oven and am wondering if this could be made in the crock pot?

    1. I have frozen it, both before and after cooking, and it does not freeze well, at all. I would not recommend freezing this.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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, 🙂 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. 🙂

    3. Mine were cooked completely! There was no pink in the meat at all, and the chicken was very moist and tender!

      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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. When you say a can of soup, how many ounces? I could only find a 10 ounce can at the store I went to.

  22. Do you put the chicken breasts in whole or cut up? It doesnt seen like they would fit in a casserole dish whole.

    1. The closest thing I cam across that’s similar to Chicken Fried Chicken is “Fryin Magic”. It’s in (or should be) aisle with the bread crumbs. I add some grlic powder and onion powder. It’s really good. Just make sure you slice the chicken breasts kinda thin.

    2. Melissa. The closest thing I cam across that’s similar to Chicken Fried Chicken is “Fryin Magic”. It’s in (or should be) aisle with the bread crumbs. I add some grlic powder and onion powder. It’s really good. Just make sure you slice the chicken breasts kinda thin.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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. 🙂

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. Oh, my! I am SO going to make this…..I might add some curry powder to the cheese sauce ! Thank you for sharing!

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

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

  33. 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. 🙂 Absolutely gorgeous photos too, girl!

  34. 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.

  35. Oh this casserole looks so inviting and comforting! I could gobble it all up myself. Thanks for sharing with us at Weekend Potluck. Hope you stay warm, wherever you are, this weekend.

  36. 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. 🙂

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

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