We had so many sweets during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays that we were ready for some "real" food; i.e., something substantial and savory.
This recipe has been lurking in my to-make file and I had all of the ingredients, so it was the perfect time to make it. The sound of down-to-earth chicken, noodles and vegetables in a creamy sauce was music to our ears.
What's more comforting than a Chicken & Broccoli casserole covered with melted cheese?
I made quite a few changes to the original Creative Cook's Kitchen recipe and it came out as a hearty, fairly easy weeknight casserole that took about 35 minutes to prepare.
I had some large wide egg noodles I've been wanting to use and they work perfectly as the base to this dish. They end up providing a sort of soft pasta crust to the casserole, almost like a one-layer white sauce lasagna.
Bret suggested substituting mushrooms and fresh spinach for the chicken and broccoli, making a substantial vegetable-friendly option. That would be really good with the from-scratch creamy white sauce. It's not easy finding a good casserole recipe that doesn't use canned soup.
Chicken & Broccoli Casserole is exactly what we needed and wanted for a hearty, homemade meal. We even felt a little proud of getting a green vegetable in there!. It's definitely a delicious, homey casserole.
Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Cheesy casserole with chunks of chicken and broccoli.
- 1 lb skinless, , boneless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ C all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme, (or basil)
- 1 ½ C chicken broth
- ¾ C milk
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 oz wide egg noodles
- 1 pkg., (10 oz) frozen broccoli
- 2 C shredded cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 7x11 inch glass baking dish and set aside.
- Place the chicken breasts on a microwave-safe plate and microwave until cooked all the way through (5-7 minutes on each side at half power if frozen). Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, melt the butter in a large sauce pan and stir in onion powder; stir for about one minute to combine. Add the flour and thyme (or basil) and stir, then add the broth, milk, salt and pepper. Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes, until it thickens.
- Boil the noodles in a large saucepan for 6 minutes. Drain the noodles well. Chop the cooled chicken in ½" chunks. Spread the noodles evenly in the baking dish and top with chopped chicken and broccoli.
- Pour the thickened sauce over the top and sprinkle the cheese on as the top layer. Bake until cheese melts and is lightly browned - about 20 minutes.
Tips and Stuff:
The original recipe called for 1 chopped onion to be sauteed with the butter; I substituted onion powder, but real onion would be good in it.
Next time I will use basil - I just like it better than thyme.
I used cheddar-Monterrey Jack blend cheese, but regular shredded cheddar or muenster would be good. Use what you have (except blue cheese - don't use blue cheese - ewww).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 951mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 43g
Nutrition Values are Approximate
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