Easy Chicken and Broccoli Bake Recipe
Easy to Prepare Baked Chicken Dish that the Family will Love
If you're like me, you are constantly looking for family dinner recipes that are easy to prepare at the end of a busy day. Carpooling my four children to and from activities in the evening is taxing, but I do try to cook homemade meals at least 3-4 times a week.
This easy to prepare baked chicken and broccoli recipe is a dinner that I enjoyed from my own childhood. With protein-filled chicken breasts and chopped broccoli, it can keep the kids energized and healthy. Since it includes shredded cheddar cheese, bread crumbs and mayonnaise, it's a hit with even picky eaters. If you are concerned about reducing the fat content in this recipe, use low or non-fat mayonnaise and reduced fat cheese.
I learned to make this chicken and broccoli bake with my mom, and I'm pretty sure she learned it from her own mother. I've tweaked the recipe to match my own tastes over the years and have even asked my children to suggest changes to the recipe when they help me in the kitchen. In fact, involving kids in the preparation of meals can help encourage them to try new tastes. Its also a great way to sneak in some parent time in an otherwise busy schedule.
Ingredients for Chicken and Broccoli Bake Recipe
When I'm planning this easy family dinner, I usually only need to pick up boneless chicken breasts and broccoli at the grocery store. In fact, if you use frozen broccoli instead of fresh, a trip to the grocers could be very quick!
- 6-8 boneless chicken breasts, washed, trimmed and patted dry (best results if you also slice the breasts into smaller pieces before baking)
- 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli (frozen broccoli florets can also be substituted)
- 1 cup mayonnaise (low fat mayo works well as a substitute)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon red pepper (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs (plain is fine, but I enjoy the added flavor)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (reduce to 1 cup and/or use low-fat cheese if desired)
- 2 tablespoons butter - melted
Cook Time for Chicken and Broccoli Bake
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cook time: 1 hour
- Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
- Yields: 6 generous servings
Involve Kids in the Preparation of Chicken and Broccoli Bake
My oldest son has always enjoyed creating and trying out recipes. Since he first learned to read, he has collected children's cookbooks. Even as a teenager, he finds time to join me in the kitchen to help prepare meals.
Kids ages 4 and up can help prepare this chicken and broccoli bake with adult supervision. Wash hands thoroughly and roll up your sleeves!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Lightly spray a 13X9 glass baking dish with oil - kids love to help with this!
- Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in the baking dish
- Add the broccoli around the chicken breasts
- In a large bowl, stir together the sauce, using all remaining ingredients except the bread crumbs and butter (have little helpers work on measuring and stirring)
- Pour over the top of the chicken and broccoli and spread to the edges of the dish
- Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and then carefully pour melted butter over the entire dish (note that if you don't have prepared bread crumbs, kids can help by crumbling 2-3 slices of bread by hand)
- Bake at 350 for 1 hour, until sauce is bubbly and internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches at least 165 degrees with a meat thermometer
- Have an adult remove the Chicken and Broccoli Bake from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving
This recipe makes 6 generous servings.
Tips for Making this Chicken and Broccoli Bake Recipe
I know you're busy. You might think that this recipe sounds like it takes too much time to prepare. But you can make the dish ahead of time, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it during the day. When you get home in the evening, simply pull it out of the fridge, remove the plastic and bake dinner in the oven while you go through the mail or help the kids with homework.
As noted above, frozen broccoli can be used instead of fresh for an added time saver. My mom always made this recipe with frozen instead of fresh broccoli.
For a lower fat version of this recipe, use low-fat mayonnaise, low-fat cheese, and reduce the amount of cheese to 1 cup. You can also skip the melted butter over the top of the bread crumbs.
We enjoy chicken and broccoli bake served with rolls and salad. Veggies are included in the recipe, so that's one less dish to clean after dinner. The cheesy dish can taste a little rich for some younger palettes. However, if your children like this recipe as much as mine do, they will probably gobble it up and ask for seconds!
Refrigerate leftovers once completely cooled. Leftover chicken and broccoli will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
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