Chicken broccoli casserole is one of the healthiest dishes out there and is a mixture of tender chicken and broccoli, pasta and finally mushroom sauce.
Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole Recipe by Gimme Some Oven
Raise your hand if you grew up on chicken broccoli casserole! Do this with two hands if you’ve always had a can of mashed mushroom soup! Ah, what can I say, this is what all the cool kids did in the 80s. ♡ For those of you who still crave a good old chicken casserole from time to time, today we have a modern version that I think you’ll love.
So here’s our 100% recipe for a lightened, still ultra-creamy and cheesy, comforting chicken and broccoli casserole!
It’s made with all the classic ingredients from my childhood Broccoli Chicken Casserole recipes, just a little refreshed to take us back to 2019. We’re talking lots of broccoli (you can use fresh or frozen), tender chicken (feel free to use the grill as a shortcut), pasta of your choice, and lots of spicy cheddar cheese (get the good stuff!). Then instead of canned creamy mushroom soup, this chicken broccoli casserole recipe features a light homemade creamy mushroom sauce made with lots of fresh mushrooms and savory seasonings to keep this casserole fresh at all.
This is modern, creamy, cozy comfort food at its best. And be prepared, because it disappears in the blink of an eye.
Let’s make chicken casserole!
Broccoli Chicken Casserole Ingredients:
Table of contents
OK! Before we jump into the full recipe below, let’s talk about our shopping list. To make this chicken broccoli casserole recipe, you will need:
- Pasta: Literally any type of pasta that you love the most will work here – traditional (semolina), whole grain, gluten free, egg, or any other alternative grain pasta you prefer.
- Broccoli: You can use either fresh broccoli (about 1 large head, cut into florets) or frozen broccoli (about 1 lb) for this recipe.
- Mushrooms: In this broccoli casserole recipe, it has the wonderful taste of baby bella mushrooms (cremini). But any of your favorite mushrooms will do.
- Cream sauce ingredients: Butter (or olive), onion, garlic, flour, broth (chicken or vegetable), milk (any), Dijon salt, pepper.
- Spicy Cheddar Cheese: For this recipe, it is highly recommended to buy a good quality block of aged sharp cheddar and then grind it yourself.
- Chicken: Any boiled chicken will work for this recipe! You can use my favorite baked chicken breast recipe, or you can sauté two breasts in olive oil in a skillet until tender. Or, if you prefer, slice the grilled chicken.
How to cook this casserole:
To make this chicken broccoli casserole recipe, just…
- Boil pasta and broccoli. Cook the pasta in a large pot of simmering water (don’t forget to generously salt the water!) until it’s al dente. But – a plot twist! – Toss the broccoli florets into the water about 1 minute before the pasta is done so they cook quickly too. Drain both.
- Prepare the mushroom sauce. In the meantime, let’s get on with the sauce. Sauté the onion and then the mushrooms and garlic in butter (or vegetable) oil until they are soft. Add some flour and cook for 1 minute (this will help thicken the sauce). Then add the broth, milk, Dijon salt, salt and pepper and simmer until the sauce boils. Add half of the grated cheese, taste and season if necessary.
- Gather everything together. In a large 9″ x 13″ baking dish, toss everything—cooked pasta, broccoli, mushroom sauce, and chicken—well until combined.
- Bake. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Then remove the baking sheet from the oven, evenly sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the casserole and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Enjoy! Serve nice and warm, garnished with black pepper and/or fresh herbs if desired.
Want to tweak this chicken broccoli casserole recipe? Do not be shy…
- Use a different protein: Boiled sausage, pork, steak or shrimp will be delicious in this casserole instead of chicken.
- Use rice instead of pasta: For the classic chicken and rice casserole, cook 1 cup (raw) rice according to package directions. Then stir it in the pan like pasta.
- Use a different kind of cheese: If you don’t like cheddar, this casserole will also be delicious with a mixture of high quality mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Or some hot peppercorn would be delicious too!
- Add Fresh Herbs: Feel free to add fresh Italian herbs (such as parsley, basil, rosemary, or thyme) as desired.
- Make it Vegetarian: We made a vegetarian version to test this recipe by simply omitting the chicken, and the broccoli casserole was great on its own. Or, of course, you can also add a few extra vegetables to the mix.
- Make It Gluten Free: Use gluten-free pasta, then thicken the sauce with gluten-free all-purpose flour mixture. (Or you can add a few tablespoons of gluten-free cornstarch to cold milk before adding it to the sauce.)
Other recipes you might want to try: Low Carb Zucchini Keto Fries Recipe, Cookie Dough Protein Balls Recipe, Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Squares Recipe
Chicken casserole with broccoli
So here’s our 100% new, lightweight, still ultra-creamy and cheesy comforting chicken broccoli casserole recipe.
Preparation time fifteen minutes
Time for preparing 45 minutes
Total time one hour
Well 15 best breakfast ideas, main course
- eight ounces raw pasta
- one big head broccoli*, chopped into small florets (about 1 lb florets)
- 2 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- one small white onion, thinly sliced
- eight ounces baby bella mushrooms (cremini), thinly sliced
- four carnation garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon flour
- one a cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1½ cups milk
- one tea spoon Dijon mustard
- ½ tea spoon fine sea salt
- ¼ tea spoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups (8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 cups diced (or shredded) boiled chicken
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of heavily salted boiling water until al dente. However, about 1 minute before the pasta is ready, add the broccoli to the boiling pasta water and stir until just combined. Drain pasta and broccoli and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the butter (or butter) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the mushrooms are cooked through.
Sprinkle the flour evenly over the onion mixture and stir until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add stock and stir everything together until most of the lumps are gone. Add milk, dijon, salt and pepper and stir until smooth. Continue cooking the sauce until it boils. Then remove from heat and add 1 cup grated cheese until blended. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
In a large 9″ x 13″ casserole dish, combine the cooked pasta, broccoli, mushroom sauce, and chicken. Stir until combined. Spread out the casserole in an even layer.
Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Then remove the baking sheet from the oven, evenly sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the casserole and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Serve warm, garnished with black pepper and/or fresh herbs, if desired.
*Pasta: Any type of pasta will work here – traditional (semolina), whole grain, egg, gluten-free, or alternative grains.
*Broccoli: Feel free to use 1 pound frozen broccoli florets (thawed) in place of fresh broccoli if you prefer.
Total Fat 10.2 g | Saturated fat 5.6 g | Cholesterol 74 mg | sodium 328 mg | Total Carbs 38.1 g | Alimentary fiber 0.7 g | Total Sugars 11.3 g | protein 20.2 g | Vitamin D 4 mcg | Calcium 292 mg | Iron 2 mg | Potassium 442 mg
Keyword casserole recipe, chicken broccoli, chicken recipes, keto chicken recipe