Chicken and Broccoli Casserole~ we’re sharing our family recipe that’s been passed down generations! Creamy cheese sauce mixed with delicious tender chicken and broccoli topped with buttery bread crumbs make it the perfect comfort food!
Chicken and Broccoli Casserole is a comfort food classic and one of our go-to casserole dishes that the entire family loves. I tend to make it more in the cooler months but I recently started baking it in my smoker- instead of our oven- and have found I prefer doing it that way because it keeps the house from heating up in the summer time! So now, it’s a recipe that we enjoy year round!
What is chicken broccoli casserole?
It’s a dish that so many families already make and enjoy in one variation or another. This variation is simple, easy, quick to throw together, and downright delicious! Serving this cheesy chicken and broccoli over rice is great comfort food too.
-Chicken Breasts- This recipe works best with grilled chicken breasts, but if you don’t have the time or ability to grill a few chicken breasts you can always use canned chicken. Pre-cooked chicken strips, a Rotisserie Chicken or boiling your chicken breasts works too.
-Broccoli: Using fresh broccoli (about 2 pounds) we can get a fresh taste and keep some good nutrients in our vegetables but frozen works great too!
-Cream of chicken: A solid base in a lot of casseroles is cream of soups. We only need 1 can for this recipe but for a different flavor you may use cream of mushroom.
-Whole milk: Adding a flavorful liquid to thin down and enhance this casserole is 1/2 cup of whole milk (or any milk you prefer). Half and Half or Heavy Cream will make this dish extra creamy (and more rich).
-Mayonnaise: Greek Yogurt is a great alternative as is sour cream. If you are worried about the fat content try using low-fat or fat-free versions of the yogurt, sour cream or mayo. You won’t want to leave it out the requested 1/2 cup all together because it really helps give this casserole that creamy base that makes it delicious and comforting.
-Cheddar Cheese: We need 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese to get this dish really cheesy.
-Grated Parmesan: Adding 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese adds a depth of flavor and a little saltiness. I always add Parmesan Cheese on top, too. But if you don’t have that you can always omit it and it will still turn out delicious.
-Lemon Juice: I always use 2 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon but you can squeeze a lemon too.
-Bread Crumbs: With 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (or even Parmesan cheese) for topping, this dish can be flavorful and pretty. We go back and forth using Panko and bread crumbs- it really depends on what we have on hand. If I had to choose- I’d pick breadcrumbs over Panko but it still turns out and gives it the same crumbly texture as bread crumbs.
How to make your grilled chicken:
Set your grill to a high setting so that it can preheat.
While is preheating, sprinkle salt and pepper generously over your chicken breasts.
Place the chicken on the grill and cook until it reaches 165F degrees.
Cube chicken into 1/2″ pieces.
How to assemble your casserole
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
In a casserole dish, arrange the broccoli around the outside edge and place the chicken in the center.
Combine all of the other ingredients in a large bowl and then pour it over the chicken and broccoli.
Top with 1 cup of bread crumbs or parmesan cheese.
Cover the casserole dish with foil and then place it into the oven.
Bake for 35-45 minutes and then remove the foil. Cook for another 15 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown color.
Serve over rice or eat as is. Enjoy!
Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- 4 Chicken breasts
- 2 lbs Fresh broccoli florets
- 1 can Cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup Whole milk
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cup Grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup Grated parmesan cheese
- 2 1/2 tsp Lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
How to Grill Chicken
- Preheat grill to a High setting.
- Salt and Pepper chicken breasts generously.
- Place on grill and cook until 165° internal temperature (be sure to use your meat thermometer) then cube into 1/2” pieces.
- If you are not grilling your chicken you can skip the steps above and chop whatever chicken you will be using into 1"-2" pieces and continue to make the casserole as follows:
How to Assemble Casserole
- If you grilled your chicken then decrease the grill temperature to 350° OR preheat your oven to 350° at this time.
- In a casserole dish, arrange broccoli around outside edge and place chicken in the center.
- Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and pour over chicken and broccoli.
- Top with 1 C crumbs or Parmesan-Cover with Foil and Place back on grill or in oven.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes then remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.
- Serve over rice or eat alone.
What do you serve with Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
This delicious casserole dish is often served on top of rice. You can use white, brown, Jasmin, or even cauliflower rice. Because this dish incorporates a veggie and a protein and grain (if you serve with rice) consider serving it with fruit, a light salad, or even garlic bread or rolls. You won’t need too many extra side dishes to make this dish complete.
How long does Chicken and Broccoli Casserole stay good for in the fridge?
You can store your leftovers right in your baking dish. Cover it with plastic wrap or transfer leftovers to a tupperware container. The casserole should stay good for 3-5 days in your fridge.
We don’t recommend freezing leftovers because once thawed it will turn out really mushy and watery.
To reheat in the oven:
Place the baking dish with leftovers in it in a warmed oven, cover with foil. Bake for 25 or until warmed through
To reheat in the microwave:
Place leftovers on a microwave safe plate or dish and heat for 3 minutes, stirring every minute until warmed through. It might take more or less time depending on your microwave setting.
Other comfort food recipes you may enjoy:
- Easy Smoked Meatloaf
- Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 3 Cheese Breakfast Casserole
- Chicken Dumplings
- Southern Potato Salad
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Butter
- Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese
- Easy Tomato Basil Soup
- Spinach Chicken Pasta Salad
- Bacon Alfredo Pizza
- Baked Potatoes with Broccoli Cheese Sauce
- Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole
- Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
- Creamy Baked Asparagus
- Cheesy Wild Rice Casserole
Our Chicken and Broccoli Casserole is a loved recipe that our family has used for many years. It consists of a creamy cheese sauce mixed with savory chunks of chicken and fresh broccoli topped with buttery bread crumbs that everyone will love!