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Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Casseroles are the #2 least-fuss meals (crock pot meals are #1) for people who are busy (or just lazy) and need to get dinner on without a lot of hassle.  Once they are in the oven they require very little watching, stirring or messing with in general.  

A couple of weeks ago I posted a Green Bean Casserole that went together easily all in one dish and was pretty much fuss-free once it went into the oven.  This Chicken Broccoli casserole is the same way, and it makes a great main dish or a meal in itself.  I made it a day or two after I made the Green Bean Casserole, so I used the same cheese on this that I used on that, so the results are about the same as far as its meltability.  But don’t let that keep you from trying this dish — you can’t beat a combination of chicken, broccoli and cheese!

Our family used to have this dish all the time when I was younger and my mom was working.  She would put the casserole and a jello salad together the night before, cover them and put them in the refrigerator.  Then the next day after work she would just pop the casserole into the oven and a half hour later dinner was served. My version here was pared down to make enough for only two people (City Boy and I are empty-nesters), so you may want to double up on the ingredients and use a 13×9 baking dish for a whole family.  

I use frozen broccoli — in 16oz or 12oz bags, either the kind that steams or the regular.  I make sure the broccoli is cooked before it goes into the casserole because the time in the oven will not get it done if it is uncooked beforehand and you will end up with your casserole having a chewy component to it.

Frozen BroccoliBroccoli On The Stove

????????????????????????????????The chicken can be boiled before it is diced or else diced first and then sautèed until done.  

The cream of chicken soup can be heated up before putting it in the casserole to make it easier to spread.  I have even added a little bit of milk before if the particular brand of soup I was using was extra stiff.  Try to avoid adding too much liquid so that the casserole doesn’t end up being watery in places.

It’s just a matter of layering after that, then putting in the oven.  Then you have 30 minutes to do whatever you want!

I didn’t use the foil, so some of the cheese didn’t melt and the topping had a harder, crispier texture.  Plenty of cheese still melts, it just doesn’t look as good, so whichever method gets this casserole the way you like it is going to be right!

Here is the simple recipe.

CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE — Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • One 12-16 oz bag frozen broccoli, cooked according to package directions
  • One pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
  • One 14.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • One cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2-1 cup bread crumbs
  • optional dab of milk to dilute soup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Layer cooked broccoli on bottom of oven safe 11×7 oblong casserole dish.  Layer the cooked diced chicken over the top of broccoli.  Evenly spread the can of cream of chicken soup (slightly diluted with milk, if necessary) over the top of the broccoli and chicken.  Sprinkle grated cheese over the top of that, and then bread crumbs over the top.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

I hope you will try Chicken Broccoli Casserole and enjoy this quick meal as much as we do, or use it as a good make-ahead meal.  Hey, anything to save time and effort while still tasting good can’t be a bad thing!

Hope all of you are having a great weekend!

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