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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Chicken Broccoli Casserole


IT'S ALMOST FALL!  
I can't help but to start thinking about all the things 
I LOVE about fall!!   The food, the smells, the food, the beautiful landscape that peers out my windows, THE FOOD!  
Wonderful comfort foods...
This yummy casserole is pure comfort food that is perfect for a weeknight meal. It's super easy to make and there's no better 
way to end the day (after a long day of doing school, errands, 
taking care of the house and chauffeuring the kids around 
town all day!) than with a tasty, comforting meal.
   This can be put together in the morning and placed in the fridge until dinner time or it's quick enough to start in the evening.  Either way your family will have a healthy, yummy meal on the table.
*see below about freezing this casserole
  

CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE
Ingredients
  • butter, for the baking dish
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (you can use brown rice, if you prefer)
  • One 10-ounce can/box condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream (you can use light sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (you can use light mayo or vegenaise)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated 
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking dish with butter.
  • Place the chicken in a large pot with water to cover. Add some salt, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook the chicken until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the chicken, cover, and refrigerate until cool.  Shred.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and boil 5 minutes.
  • Spread the rice in an even layer in the baking dish. Make a second layer with the broccoli. (Make rice using chicken broth for even more flavor!)
  • In a large bowl, mix the chicken soup, the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, shredded chicken, half the Cheddar and some salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the broccoli and top with the remaining Cheddar. 
  • Bake for 40 minutes; let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


This recipe feeds a small army!  
Serve with warm bread and butter or garlic bread and a green salad!  YUM!!   



 SHRED OR CUT UP CHICKEN.


CUT UP FLORETS INTO BITE SIZE PIECES.


MIX INGREDIENTS TOGETHER.


START LAYERING RICE.


THEN BROCCOLI.


THEN CHICKEN MIXTURE.


BAKE

___________________________________________________________________

This is a great freezer meal!
Put in freezer at this point!
Make 2...one for now and one for later!
If you plan to make this and freeze it, you will need a couple things to help you out---
Sharpie to label container (you will forget what it is!)
Aluminum container with lid.
*If baking straight from the freezer, extend cooking time an extra 20-30 mins.  Ovens will vary.



Making casseroles healthy is simple to do---
A few simple swaps like using fresh whole foods
and brown rice can boost the nutritional value.  
Here's a little tip: If you don't want to use a low fat cheese, use sharp cheddar.  Because it is stronger in flavor, you use less!  It's a great way to get that cheesy flavor without using a whole lot of cheese.

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