Broccoli Cheese Casserole with Chicken

Everyone most likely grew up eating broccoli cheese casserole, whether it be at a family gathering, Church potluck, or side dish during the holidays. My Mom would make this for me often as it was one of my favorites, but she would add chicken and it would be our whole meal! There is nothing better than a creamy and warm casserole to make you feel at home wherever you are. This dish is simple to make and never disappoints… I can always count on it as a go-to if I choose to bring something along to a friend’s house for dinner. As I do all of my casseroles, I make the cream of mushroom base from scratch, avoiding canned and processed as much as possible, except Velveeta because, well, it’s Texas and Velveeta is the best. So many of my recipes I do not measure things exactly, they are from memory so I have done my best to document it accurately as I create them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup White long-grain rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 small heads broccoli
  • 2-4 chicken breasts (depending on size)
  • 8oz velveeta
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • 4oz chopped button mushrooms
  • 4tbsp butter
  • 2tbsp flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

For this recipe I seasoned the chicken breasts very simply with salt, garlic, and pepper, coating it in a bit of olive oil. Bake the 2-4 chicken breasts (depending on size) in the oven at 350 for approx. 30 minutes until internal temperature is 165. Once cooked, cube the chicken to add to the casserole.

For the rice, put 2 cups of chicken broth in a medium saucepan to boil, once boiling, add the 1 cup of white rice. Reduce to simmer and place cover on pot. Add salt to taste. Let cook for about 16-18 minutes.

Cut up the 1-2 small heads broccoli in small florets. Steam the broccoli on the stove until tender.

For the sauce, add the 4 tbsp of butter to a pan to melt, once the butter is melted add the 4 tbsp of flour. Slowly whisk in the milk and chicken broth until the sauce has thickened. Add the mushrooms. Then add the Velveeta and cream cheese in cubes so it melts thoroughly.

Once the sauce is created, I get a large mixing bowl and add the cooked rice, cubed chicken, steamed broccoli florets, and sauce and toss it all together. Grease a casserole dish and put the mixture into it then top with the shredded cheddar cheese. I chose a Monterey jack and cheddar blend for this but you can choose whatever you prefer. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until cheese has melted on top.

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