This Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole is perfect for family dinner. It is stuffed full of cheese, chicken, broccoli, and rice for a meal that everyone will enjoy!
I am back! This is my first live post from across the pond! Yep, I’m in Italy now!
I feel so blessed that I get to spend five weeks here. So far it has been amazing to see Matt everyday and to be able to enjoy Italian culture whenever I want. I have already enjoyed a good margherita pizza, a steamy cappuccino, and a fresh caprese salad! Oh, and of course have found a good local pastry shop. I mean, how could I survive without my daily intake of sugary goodness?
One other thing that I have experienced is a European kitchen. It is way different than my kitchen at home! My counter space went down from yards and yards to about 2 feet. It has been an experience! I also got here and forgot that the ovens here are in Celsius. At first I thought it was going to be a disaster trying to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius but it has actually proven to be less of a challenge than initially anticipated.
The other new challenge I’m experiencing is that I’m forced to be a little bit more creative in the kitchen. The grocery store on base does not always have everything I need, and I do not have a car to drive to another store in town. Therefore, I’m having to find some creative improvisations. One of which is in today’s dish, Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole.
One improvisation I had to make was on the chicken. If you’ve been following my posts long enough, you probably realized that I love to use rotisserie chicken whenever I can. The chicken is so nice and moist and so easy! Base, however, does not have rotisserie chicken, forcing me to roast some on my own.
The second improvisation wasn’t the result of base at all, but instead of the recipe. This is one of my mom’s old recipes that we have been making recently. We had it more frequently when I was younger and it seemed to fall off of the radar as time went on. Recently, however, we have rediscovered just how good this dish is. Cheesiness at its best!
After I reviewed the recipe I went to base and bought what I needed. Today, however, while making the casserole, I realized an ingredient was left off of the ingredient list but appeared later on in the recipe- breadcrumbs. Since I could not get to base but had to make this today, I started my search around the town home for a substitute. I needed something crunchy. Cheerios? Maybe. Quinoa? Eh, too much work. Then I spot it. Ruffles potato chips. That would surely bring a nice crunch to my dish and work in place of the breadcrumbs.
The Ruffles chips are actually a very nice addition to my casserole. Although not initially intended, they add a really nice and light crispness to this dish! So when you make yours, feel free to use either the original breadcrumbs or my substitution of Ruffles!
Cooking has been an experience so far but I am looking forward to sharing my other findings with you over the next few weeks!
Prep time 1 hour, 20 minutes, Serves 6
- 1 cup dried rice
- 3 to 4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
- 1 32oz bag frozen broccoli, cooked and drained
- 2 cans reduced fat cream of chicken soup
- 1 and 1/4 cups mayonnaise
- 2/3 cup milk, or half and half
- 1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 cup crushed Ruffles chips, or breadcrumbs/panko
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.
- Cook rice according to package directions. Once cooked, spread rice evenly in the bottom of the reserved baking dish. Top with a layer of broccoli and then a layer of diced chicken.
- In a separate bowl, mix together soup, mayonnaise, milk, cheese, lemon juice and curry powder. Pour mixture on top of chicken, spreading mixture gently so that it touches each side of the pan.
- Top casserole with crushed Ruffles. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes uncovered.