In the winter I like to make casseroles. They are usually fairly easy to make, come out of the oven warm and bubbly, and are the perfect winter comfort food. Casseroles are perfect for weeknight meals because they don’t take too much hands on time and there is usually plenty left over for lunch or dinner the next day.
I’ve been trying to find casseroles that I think J will eat. My husband and I will eat mostly anything so I don’t worry too much about us. I came across a recipe for Chicken & Broccoli Casserole that was make with cheese and rice and thought that it might be good for the three of us. J will eat rice, he loves cheese, and chicken is one of his favorites. I thought if nothing else he would eat the chicken out of this dish.
Putting the casserole together was fairly easy. Everything is cooked in a large skillet and then transferred to a baking dish. If you have a smaller Dutch Oven that can go from stove to oven then you wouldn’t even have to change pans.
Basically this casserole combines chicken, broccoli, and rice in a homemade creamy cheddar cheese sauce. I made the cheese sauce according to the recipe but it didn’t have enough flavor. I added in some chicken broth which was definitely the right choice. It added flavor and depth to the sauce which just made the entire casserole better.
When it came out of the oven it was hot and bubbly. I love that it had crispy fried onions on top of it because who doesn’t like those? This casserole is good. It’s a one pot meal so I didn’t need to serve anything with it which made it really easy. The sauce tops everything and it’s really warm and comforting. I wouldn’t say it’s the best casserole I’ve ever made but it was good and it was perfect for a cold winter evening.
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 lb. chicken breasts
- ⅓ c. flour
- 2 c. reduced fat milk
- 2 c. chicken broth
- 2 (9 oz) packages precooked brown rice
- 3 c. broccoli florets
- ½ c. onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. pepper
- ½ t. thyme
- ½ c. crispy fried onions
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board. Allow to stand for 5 minutes then cut into 1 inch pieces.
- In a small bowl combine the flour and 1 cup of milk. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the milk and chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Gradually whisk in the flour milk mixture. Return to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened.
- Stir in rice, broccoli, onion, and garlic. Return to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken, cheese, salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Pour the chicken and rice mixture into a baking dish. Top with crispy fried onions.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling.
- Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
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