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Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

This chicken and broccoli casserole is a delicious, affordable dinner that will feed a crowd. In this recipe, chicken breast, broccoli and macaroni are combined with a creamy, cheesy sauce and topped with crunchy breadcrumbs.

A large spoon serving the chicken and broccoli casserole.

 

Using common pantry ingredients keeps this casserole simple and budget friendly!

 

Order of preparation

This recipe has multiple components that need to be cooked separately and come together at the end. They’re all easy to do, but should be done in a certain order for maximum efficiency.

  • First, we’ll start the water for the pasta and set the chicken to poach. Boiling the water and cooking the pasta will take about the same time as poaching the chicken.
  • Then prepare the breadcrumb topping, broccoli and sauce while the chicken and pasta cook.

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • Pinch Salt
  • 8 ounces Elbow Macaroni, cooked to package directions (do not overcook)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Salt, for the pasta water
  • 10-12 ounce Package Steam-in-the-Bag Broccoli Florets, cooked 1-2 minutes in the microwave
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • ⅓ cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 4 ounces Prepared Cheese (like Velveeta)
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

The ingredients for the casserole displayed on a wood cutting board.

 

You will also need

Casserole Dish, we used a 3 quart casserole. Don’t use anything smaller. We were right to the top with when all the ingredients were added.

 

Prep Work

There’s not a lot of prep work involved with this dish. We’re basically just going to measure out the ingredients and open a couple of cans.

 

Poach the chicken breast

Poaching is an easy and versatile technique that consists of cooking food by submerging and gently simmering in liquid, such as water or broth.

 

Place the chicken in a saucepan that’s large enough that the pieces fit side by side without overlapping. Cover the chicken with the chicken broth. Add a pinch of salt.

Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts covered with broth in a medium saucepan.

 

Start the chicken on high heat. As soon as the liquid starts to boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is at least 165°F at its thickest part. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure. If it’s not up to temperature cook another 5 minutes and check again.

 

Remove the chicken breast from poaching liquid and set it on a cutting board to cool. Don’t discard the cooking liquid, we need it for the sauce. Strain using a mesh strainer.

 

Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes when it’s cool enough to handle. Check out this post for more information on poaching chicken breasts and more recipes ideas to use it.

 

Pasta instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When the water is at a full boil, add 1-2 tablespoons of salt and the macaroni. Cook the pasta to package directions for al dente. Depending on the type of pasta it will take anywhere from 9-12 minutes. To avoid overcooking, check after 7-8 minutes and gauge the remaining time from there.

 

Par-cook the broccoli

Par-cooking is a technique that involves partially cooking food that will finish cooking later. It’s like getting a head start on an ingredient before adding in the rest.

 

We don’t want the broccoli fully cooked when we add it to the casserole so it doesn’t get mushy. But, we do want to get it going. Cook the broccoli for 1-2 minutes in the microwave (assuming you’re using a steam in the bag variety).

 

Then, carefully open the bag and let the steam escape so that the broccoli doesn’t continue cooking. Cut any large florets into smaller pieces when they are cool enough to handle.

Broccoli florets on a wood cutting board.

 

Make the breadcrumb topping

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the breadcrumbs. Stir until they’re completely moistened with the butter. Remove the skillet from the heat.

 

Make the sauce

Leave the sauce for last because we need the chicken broth from the poached chicken to make it.

 

Heat the cream of chicken soup, reserved chicken broth (poaching liquid) and the 4 ounces prepared cheese in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir the sauce with a whisk or fork until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir every once in a while.

 

Before you build the casserole, preheat oven to 375°F

 

Build the casserole

  1. Add the macaroni, diced chicken and broccoli to a large, oven-safe casserole dish or baking pan. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  2. Add the creamy sauce.
  3. Stir gently to combine the ingredients well. Keep stirring and tossing until everything is coated with sauce.
  4. Sprinkle the top with the shredded cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle them lightly, don’t pack them down.

A collage of four images building the casserole.

 

Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet, just in case it bubbles over. Cover the top loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

 

Uncover and cook another 10-15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are a nice golden color and the chicken and broccoli casserole is bubbly.

An image of the baked casserole before serving.

 

Let the casserole rest for a few minutes before enjoying.

The chicken, broccoli and macaroni served on a gray plate.

 

You may also like these easy recipes:

Chicken Egg Noodle Soup

Lasagna Soup

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Creamy Pasta with Chicken

Sausage Tortellini Soup

 

A large spoon serving the chicken and broccoli casserole.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

This chicken and broccoli casserole is a delicious, affordable dinner that will feed a crowd. In this recipe, chicken breast, broccoli and macaroni are combined with a creamy, cheesy sauce and topped with crunchy breadcrumbs.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli, casseroles, chicken
Servings: 8
Calories: 380kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Chicken Breast boneless, skinless
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • Pinch Salt
  • 8 ounces Elbow Macaroni
  • 1-2 tablespoons Salt for the pasta water
  • 10-12 ounce Package Steam-in-the-Bag Broccoli Florets
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 2 10 ounce cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 4 ounces Prepared Cheese like Velveeta
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Instructions

  • You will also need: casserole dish (3 quart), aluminum foil, mesh strainer, instant read thermometer

Poach the chicken breast

  • Place the chicken in a saucepan that’s large enough that the pieces fit side by side without overlapping. Cover the chicken with the chicken broth. Add a pinch of salt.
  • Start the chicken on high heat. When the liquid starts to boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is at least 165°F at its thickest part.
  • Remove the chicken breast from poaching liquid and set it on a cutting board to cool. Don’t discard the cooking liquid. Strain it using a mesh strainer.
  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes when it’s cool enough to handle.

Pasta instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When the water is at a full boil, add 1-2 tablespoons of salt and the macaroni.
  • Cook the pasta to package directions for al dente. Avoid overcooking the pasta. Drain and reserve.

Par-cook the broccoli

  • Cook the broccoli for 1-2 minutes in the microwave. Carefully open the bag and let the steam escape so that the broccoli doesn’t continue cooking. Cut any large florets into smaller pieces when it’s cool enough to handle.

Make the breadcrumb topping

  • Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the breadcrumbs. Stir until completely moistened. Remove the skillet from the heat and reserve.

Make the sauce

  • Heat the cream of chicken soup, reserved chicken broth and the 4 ounces prepared cheese in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir the sauce with a whisk or fork until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir occasionally.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F

Build and bake the casserole

  • Add the macaroni, diced chicken and broccoli to a large, oven-safe casserole dish or baking pan. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  • Add the creamy sauce.
  • Stir gently to combine the ingredients well. Keep stirring and tossing until everything is coated with sauce.
  • Sprinkle the top with the shredded cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle them lightly, don’t pack them down.
  • Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet, just in case it bubbles over. Cover the top loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and cook another 10-15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden and the chicken and broccoli casserole is bubbly.
  • Let the casserole rest for a few minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

Order of preparation:
Start the water for the pasta and set the chicken to poach.
Prepare the breadcrumb topping and broccoli while the chicken and pasta cook.
Prepare the sauce. Leave the sauce for last because we need the chicken broth from the poached chicken to make it.

Nutrition

Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1249mg | Potassium: 538mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 735IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 230mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.


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