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CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI CHEESY CASSEROLE

Delicious Chicken and Broccoli Cheesy Casserole: A Comforting Family Favorite

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Are you in search of a comforting and hearty meal that’s both easy to make and packed with flavor? Look no further than this Chicken and Broccoli Cheesy Casserole! Loaded with tender chicken, nutritious broccoli, and gooey melted cheese, this dish is sure to become a staple on your dinner table. Whether you’re feeding a hungry family or meal prepping for the week ahead, this casserole ticks all the boxes. Let’s dive into the details of how to make this delicious dish!

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Ingredients:

For the Casserole:

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

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

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

Step 2: Cook the Chicken

  1. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the cubed chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the center. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 3: Prepare the Broccoli

  1. If using fresh broccoli, blanch it in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then drain and set aside. If using frozen broccoli, thaw it according to package instructions.

Step 4: Saute the Onion

  1. In the same skillet used for the chicken, sauté the diced onion until translucent and fragrant.

Step 5: Combine Ingredients

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken, broccoli, sautéed onion, shredded mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, chicken bouillon cube (or powder), water (if using), pepper, sour cream, and ricotta cheese. Mix until well combined.

Step 6: Assemble the Casserole

  1. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.

Step 7: Bake

  1. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Step 8: Serve and Enjoy

  1. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve warm and enjoy the deliciousness!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Add Some Heat: For a spicy kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the chicken and broccoli mixture.
  • Cheesy Option: Experiment with different types of cheese, such as cheddar or Monterey Jack, for added flavor.
  • Vegetarian Version: Omit the chicken and add extra veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach for a vegetarian-friendly option.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Ensure all ingredients, including chicken bouillon, are gluten-free if following a gluten-free diet.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Substitute cauliflower florets for the broccoli to reduce the carb content.
  • Use full-fat sour cream and ricotta cheese for a keto-friendly option.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Reduce the amount of onion and use it sparingly to lower the carb content.
  • Use a low-carb chicken bouillon or omit it altogether.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use fresh broccoli instead of frozen? A: Yes, you can use fresh broccoli. Simply blanch it in boiling water for a few minutes before adding it to the casserole.

Q: Can I make this casserole ahead of time? A: Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Just be sure to increase the baking time slightly if baking from cold.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Q: Can I use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream? A: Yes, Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute for sour cream if desired.

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In conclusion, this Chicken and Broccoli Cheesy Casserole is a comforting and satisfying dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just looking for an easy weeknight meal, this casserole is sure to please. With its hearty combination of chicken, broccoli, and cheese, it’s a wholesome and delicious option that the whole family will love. So why wait? Give this recipe a try and indulge in the savory goodness of this cheesy casserole!

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