Delicious Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
How would you rate chicken and brocolli casserole?
Our Favorite Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Originally the word casserole is a French term that means saucepan, while in contemporary terms a casserole dish refers to a deep dish that is used in the oven. Here in America, casserole generally means the food cooked in such a manner, rather than the pan itself. Although, this type of one pan meal has existed through-out many countries around the world, it's modern equivalent in this country goes back at least to the 1950's, while others point way back to the 1870's.
Casserole now refers to the food that is cooked in this type of dish, whether in the oven, on a stove top, a Dutch oven on a campfire, or a modern crock-pot. Although some may say those cooked on a stove top are stews rather than casseroles, many modern casseroles are done on a stove top.
Casseroles in America typically refer to a main dish where the meat, a starch; such as potatoes, rice, or noodles, and broth, soup,or wine, as well as cut up vegetables are all cooked together for ease in preparation resulting in a tasty meal, with efficient clean-up in only one main cooking utensil.
Since good casserole dishes have been a economic staple in American families for at least the last century and a half, good cooks have perfected family favorites such as Shepherd's pie, tuna casserole, and other favorites. This delicious chicken and broccoli casserole will be a new creative way to add flavor to a chicken and keep your family eating healthy, while coming back for seconds. This quick and easy recipe has been a family favorite for us, while being a tasty way to serve up a nutritious vegetable like broccoli.
Start with four nice plump, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Boil them in a medium covered saucepan in enough water to cover them. (I like to season the chicken at this stage with some black and red pepper to enhance the flavor) Remove the chicken from the saucepan and cut it into bite size pieces. Then set aside letting cool, while you make the sauce.
Meanwhile, steam the broccoli and stems about 10 minutes until it is almost tender.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the can of cream of mushroom soup, the cup of chicken broth and the shredded cheddar cheese. Heat this mixture over medium heat until the cheese melts. Remove the pan from the burner.
Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line the casserole dish with cracker crumbs. (Ritz crackers are what I like to use). Layer chicken, broccoli and cheese sauce over the cracker crumbs. Sprinkle black pepper over, then top with additional shredded cheese, if desired.
Bake in a pre-heated, 375 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Although many casseroles are typically meant to be an all in one meal, this favorite is a lighter dish that doesn't have potatoes, noodles, or rice. This makes it a perfect casserole dish for lighter eating in the summer heat, and can be served with green beans, cole slaw, or a nice tossed salad.
You may find that you will have to double this recipe as everyone is going to want seconds!
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bunch fresh broccoli, separated into florets and stems chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup cracker crumbs
- 1/4 tspn black pepper
- 1/2 stick butter or margerine
- Boil chicken until tender. Chop or tear apart into bitesize pieces.
- Steam broccoli about 10 minutes until tender crisp.
- Mix butter, chicken broth, soup and cheese. Heat until cheese melts.
- Line a greased 2 quart casserole with cracker crumbs. Layer chicken, broccoli, and cheese mixture over cracker crumbs.
- Bake 20 - 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Top with shredded cheese before baking if desired.