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Chicken and Broccoli Cheesy Casserole

Chicken and Broccoli Cheesy Casserole

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This Chicken and Broccoli Cheesy Casserole is a comforting and hearty dish that’s perfect for any night of the week. The combination of tender chicken, flavorful broccoli, and rich, gooey cheese makes this casserole a family favorite. Plus, it’s easy to prepare, making it an ideal choice for busy evenings.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups cubed chicken
  • 16 oz (1lb) bag of frozen broccoli
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon (or 1 teaspoon bouillon powder)
  • 1/2 cup water (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease (optional, for added flavor)

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray.

Step 2: Cook the Chicken

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the cubed chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Season with pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Step 3: Sauté the Onion

  1. In the same skillet, add the diced onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. If using, add 1 tablespoon of bacon grease for extra flavor.

Step 4: Combine Ingredients

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, sautéed onions, frozen broccoli, shredded mozzarella cheese, sour cream, and ricotta cheese. Mix well to combine.
  2. If the mixture seems too thick, add 1/2 cup of water to help disperse the chicken flavoring.

Step 5: Add Chicken Bouillon

  1. Dissolve the chicken bouillon cube (or powder) in the mixture, ensuring it is well distributed.

Step 6: Assemble the Casserole

  1. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  2. Sprinkle additional mozzarella cheese on top if desired for an extra cheesy crust.

Step 7: Bake the Casserole

  1. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the casserole is heated through.
  2. If the top browns too quickly, cover with aluminum foil to prevent burning.

Step 8: Serve

  1. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
  2. Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.

Tips and Variations

Tips

  • Fresh Broccoli: If you prefer fresh broccoli, blanch it in boiling water for 2-3 minutes before adding it to the casserole.
  • Cheese Options: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend of your favorites.
  • Seasoning: Adjust the seasoning to your taste. Adding a pinch of red pepper flakes can give the dish a little kick.

Variations

  • Low-Carb Option: Substitute the ricotta cheese with cottage cheese and reduce the amount of cheese used to make it more diet-friendly.
  • Additions: You can add other vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, or carrots for extra flavor and nutrition.
  • Protein Swap: Substitute the chicken with ground turkey, beef, or a vegetarian protein like tofu for a different twist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use rotisserie chicken for this recipe?

A: Yes, using rotisserie chicken can save time and add a different flavor to the casserole. Simply shred the rotisserie chicken and proceed with the recipe as directed.

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Q: Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

A: Absolutely! Prepare the casserole as directed but do not bake it. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, allow it to come to room temperature and then bake as directed.

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Q: How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

A: Ensure that the chicken bouillon and other ingredients you use are gluten-free. Most of the ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten-free, but always check labels to be certain.

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Q: What can I serve with this casserole?

A: This casserole pairs well with a simple green salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables for a complete meal.

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This Chicken and Broccoli Cheesy Casserole is a versatile and delicious dish that is sure to become a staple in your recipe collection. With its creamy, cheesy texture and hearty ingredients, it’s perfect for a comforting family dinner. Enjoy the ease of preparation and the delightful flavors of this classic casserole. Happy cooking!

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