This chicken broccoli casserole is exactly what you need when you need an EASY but delicious meal! The ingredient list is short and the method is simple.
This cheesy baked casserole appeals to all ages!
There are some recipes that I make over and over again and it never occurred to me to blog about them. They are ordinary dishes, sometimes on the simple side. These are the dishes that I make without thinking. Which is probably why I should be blogging about them.
I grew up eating a version of this Chicken Broccoli Casserole. It is pure comfort and made with pantry friendly and kid-friendly ingredients (no creamed soup needed)!
How Do You Make Chicken Broccoli Casserole From Scratch
Ok, I do have a confession to make, this recipe isn’t entirely made from scratch. I did use a store-bought rotisserie chicken. I love using a rotisserie chicken, it makes my life so much easier and really makes meals come together so much quicker!
And now for the “scratch” part!
- Melt butter in a large shallow Dutch oven or ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add frozen veggie mixture to Dutch oven, and cook until the veggies are soft. Season the veggies, add garlic and sprinkle with a little flour to thicken the mixture.
- A mixture of broth and milk is added to the veggies along with a little sharp cheddar cheese.
- A lot of chicken broccoli casseroles use white rice, but I like to use orzo pasta instead. I think it is more filling and adds a thicker texture to the dish.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, steam the broccoli.
- When the pasta is ready, stir in the broccoli and shredded chicken. Top with additional cheese and breadcrumbs. Broil until toasted if desired.
Can Chicken and Broccoli Casserole Be Frozen?
Yes, prepare the recipe as directed, making sure to use a baking dish that is both freezer and oven safe.
Allow the casserole to cool completely. This is very important. Covering a warm casserole will trap in steam and make the casserole mushy and soggy.
Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and foil. The casserole can be frozen for up to 2 months.
When needed, allow the casserole to thaw in the fridge overnight. Remove the plastic wrap and heat the casserole according to the recipe directions
What To Serve With Chicken Broccoli Casserole?
Chicken Casserole Substitutions:
- I prefer to avoid using creamed soup in my dishes, but if you would like to use cream of mushroom soup or a cream of chicken soup, this can be used in place of the broth and the milk (although you may need to add a little broth or water to thin it out).
- I used fresh broccoli for this recipe, but thawed and drained frozen broccoli is fine.
- Rice can be used in place of the orzo.
- Cooked chicken can be used in place of the rotisserie chicken.
- Bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, or even cornflake crumbs can be used in place of the Panko breadcrumbs.
This cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole is pure comfort food!
My favorite comfort food casseroles are:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
- 3 cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup diced celery, onion, pepper mix (frozen veggie mix)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground red pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo
- 8 oz garlic herb Alouette cheese tub
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt 2 Tbsp. butter. Combine melted butter with panko and 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese; toss to coat, set aside.
- Bring broth and next 3 ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep the mixture warm until ready to use.
- Melt remaining 4 Tbsp. butter in a large shallow Dutch oven or ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add frozen veggie mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes or until veggies are soft.
- Stir in 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and a pinch each of black pepper and ground red pepper. Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly 45 seconds. Stir in flour until combined. (Mixture will be dry.)
- Gradually stir warm broth mixture into celery mixture. Add remaining 1 cup cheese, and stir until well blended and smooth. Stir in orzo and herb cheese. Cover Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove Dutch oven from oven; increase oven temperature to broil.
- Microwave broccoli, 1/4 cup water, and remaining 1/2 tsp. kosher salt in a covered microwave-safe bowl at HIGH about 2 minutes or just until broccoli is tender and bright green. Drain and pat broccoli dry.
- Stir broccoli and shredded chicken into orzo mixture.
- Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over broccoli mixture. Place on middle oven rack, and broil 2 to 3 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Let casserole stand 5 minutes before serving.