*The Velveeta may be omitted. I add this as Velveeta stops any cheese sauce from separating and keeps it creamy. I happen to like it too, but if you don’t, just leave it out.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 1.5 quart oven-proof baking dish.
Cut broccoli florets into pieces all about the same size.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine soup, evaporated milk, butter and Velveeta. Microwave on HI for about 1 minute; remove and stir. If mixture still has large chunks of the Velveeta, then microwave an additional 30 seconds on HI. Remove and stir until almost smooth.
Add cooked rice, broccoli, shredded cheddar, salt, pepper and chicken if using, to bowl with the soup/cheese mixture. Mix well.
Turn into prepared baking dish.
Mix Ritz crumbs with melted butter, so all crumbs are coated. Top casserole with buttered crumbs.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until crumbs are browned and sauce bubbles on the edges of the baking dish.