How about a nice, comforting casserole for a chilly February day? Because despite what that groundhog predicted, we’re in one heck of a cold snap in my area!
This is a recipe that I’ve been trying to perfect for years. There have been so many versions! And none of them blog-worthy until now!
I vaguely remember something like this recipe from my childhood, but never managed to get the recipe from my mom. So, I set out to make it myself and was just never successful.
Each and every time, the cheese was the problem. The issue, I finally realized, was that I was trying to stir the cheese in last. That is, I was leaving the rice just a bit liquidy (but still cooked through), then stirring the shredded cheese in. The first few bites would be fine, but the dish would quickly congeal. Still delicious, but unsightly.
Finally, I realized that I needed to make a roux and a cheese sauce first. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!
This recipe has toasted bread crumbs on top, but they’re totally optional.
This recipe was a crowd-pleaser! If you like cheesy broccoli in entrée style, this is the recipe for you!
Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, & Rice Casserole
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups cooked broccoli
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
½ loaf bread, cut in cubes
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon parmesan herb seasoning (or crouton seasoning of choice)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a baking dish.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
Stir in the flour and cook for an additional minute. Slowly add the milk, allowing the mixture to thicken after each addition. Bring to a simmer.
Add the cheese, stirring until completely melted. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the rice, broccoli, and chicken. Add the cheese sauce and stir until combined.
Pour the casserole into the prepared baking dish. If desired, sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Toss the bread cubes with the melted butter and seasoning. Place the bread cubes over the casserole
Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the casserole is heated through and cheese is melted and bread crumbs are browned.