Weeknight [Freezer] Meal: Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Maybe it's because I grew up in a church that had amazing luncheons and potlucks, but I love a good casserole. They catch a lot of flack about being boring and old school, and maybe they are. But they save us a lot of stress on busy days.
I love having a casserole in the freezer, and this is one that freezes really well. Whenever I'm at a loss for what to cook or if it's the day before we go grocery shopping, I'll pull the casserole out of the freezer and POOF! Dinner is ready. (This can be eaten the same day, but we hardly ever do!)
I've been making this casserole for years and it's one that hubby requests pretty often. It reheats really well, the kids both love, and it's pretty simple to throw together. In fact, it can all be made in one pot. Easy clean up. It works best to make in a large nonstick pot or a 5qt dutch oven.
The trick is cooking it on low heat so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. It takes a little longer, but you won't have a huge mess to clean up.
Let's not waste any more time and get down to business.
How to Make Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
1lb chicken breast, cubed
3 cups rice, cooked (approximately 1.5 cup uncooked rice)
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
2 cloves garlic
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 small heads of broccoli (or 1, depending on size)
8oz Velveeta cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar
1. Heat the EVOO in the dutch oven to medium heat. Cook chicken cubes until slightly browned and thoroughly cooked. Remove and set aside on a plate.
2. Turn heat down to medium-low and melt the butter. Sauté garlic and onions until translucent.
3. Combine milk, sour cream, cream of mushroom, and cream of chicken in the pot and stir until smooth.
4. Cube the Velveeta and stir in until completely melted. Cook until the mixture starts to slightly bubble.
5. Stir in chopped broccoli and cooked rice. The mixture will be very thick. Use a wooden spoon to mix slowly and make sure all the rice and broccoli are stirred in.
6. Transfer to a 9x13" lightly greased casserole dish. Depending on how much broccoli you add, it may make 2 smaller casseroles. This is best for small families or couples. You'll get 2 freezer meals out of this!
7. Let cool before covering and freezing.
If you are going to eat it the same day you make it, after transferring to a casserole dish, top with shredded cheese and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes on 350°. Remove foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.
If you freeze the casserole, let it come to room temperature before baking. Parts may still be frozen, but that's okay! Sprinkle with cheese, top with aluminum foil, and bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes. (every oven is different, so you may need more time if you bake it from frozen!)
I cannot stress how much my family loves this meal. It's simple to make, easy to cook, and makes clean-up a breeze. There's so much cheesy goodness that it even hides the broccoli flavor so your kids will eat it. HA!