On weeknights, I need something fast, easy, and approved by my 14 month-old. My go-to’s during the week usually involve my Crock Pot or a super fast 30 minute wonder (thank you Rachael Ray for all the nights you’ve saved dinner at my house). This super easy and yummy casserole is full of cheesy goodness complete with a lean protein and green vegetable!
It can be eaten as is or served over rice, whichever you prefer. I also think it would make a delicious stuffing for a baked potato – it’s on my to try list. You can make the casserole up the night before, stopping before you add the butter and breadcrumb topping, so all you have to do is bake it the next day. I usually boil or grill my chicken, but you can use a rotisserie to make it even faster. I’ve made several variations in the past, but this one I found on Pinterest is the closest to what I make. I usually make it in a 9×13 casserole dish, and most of the time there are no measuring cups involved. The important thing to remember is you really can’t mess this up. I’ve used Italian breadcrumbs when I didn’t have plain, colby jack cheese when I didn’t have cheddar, etc. Here is my version with estimated measurements:
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Prep time: 5 minutes (closer to 20 if you’re cooking your chicken and broccoli)
Bake time: 25-35 minutes
Serves: 6 (more if you’re serving with rice)
2.5-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 cups broccoli, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces (I just dump about 1/2 the giant bag in the picture into a steamer)
2 cans Cream of Chicken soup (I use the Healthy Request or 98% fat free)
1 cup sour cream (1/2 to 3/4 of a 16oz. container)
3-4 cups Cheddar Cheese
1-2 cups Breadcrumbs (mynameissnickerdoodle on Pinterest uses 1 1/2, which is probably a safe bet)
1/2-3/4 stick butter, melted
Fresh cracked black pepper
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, mix your cooked and cut up chicken and broccoli, soup, sour cream, a few good turns on your pepper mill, and about 1/3 of that 4c bag of Cheddar Cheese (or 1-1 1/2 cups).
My broccoli here was really soft, so it fell apart a little as I stirred it all together. No worries though – it still tasted yummy!
Step 3: Spread your mixture on the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Top with enough cheese to give you a NICE, even coating on the top.
Step 4: Mix together 1/2 stick melted butter and your breadcrumbs. You can add more butter if the first 1/2 stick isn’t enough. You don’t want to use a whole stick, it’s just a little too much. 1/2 stick is usually pretty perfect. Spread this over the cheese in your casserole dish.
Step 5: Pop this into your preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs brown and the casserole is bubbling around the edges, like this…
Enjoy all by its-cheesy-self or serve on top of rice. Bon Appetit!!