This healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole recipe is made with your choice of pasta, tender chicken and broccoli, and the most delicious creamy cheddar mushroom sauce.
Raise your hand if you grow up eating broccoli chicken casserole! Make that two hands if yours always included a cream of mushroom soup! Ah, what can we say, it's all the cool kids were doing back in the 80s. C c c c c c c chicken c c c c c c♡ c c c c c c c c c c c c c now now now now now now now now now now now now now now adays adays adays adays adays adays.
Meet my 100% -from-scratch, lightened-up, still-ultra-creamy-and-cheesy, comforting chicken and broccoli casserole recipe!
2019. We're talking lots and lots of broccoli (chicken tenderloin), chicken tenderloin (casserole recipes of my childhood) feel free to use a rotisserie as a shortcut), your choice of pasta, and lots of sharp cheddar cheese (get the good stuff!). Casserole is anything but bland. Ingredients: Casserole is anything but bland.
It's modern, creamy, cozy comfort food at its best. And get ready, because it disappears in a flash.
Let's make some chicken casserole!
Chicken Broccoli Casserole Ingredients:
OK! Before we get to the full recipe, let's talk about our shopping list. To make this broccoli chicken casserole recipe, you will need:
- Pasta: Literally any type of pasta that you would like to do – traditional (semolina), whole-wheat, gluten-free, egg, or any other kind of alternative-grain pastas that you prefer.
- broccoli: You can either use fresh broccoli (about 1 large head, cut into florets) or frozen broccoli (about 1 pound) for this recipe.
- Mushrooms: I love the flavor of baby bella (creamy) mushrooms in this broccoli casserole recipe. But any of your favorite mushrooms will do.
- Creamy sauce stuff: Butter (or olive oil), onion, garlic, flour, stock (chicken or veggie), milk (any kind), Dijon, salt and pepper.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: I really recommend buying a block of good-quality aged cheddar for this recipe, and then shredding it yourself.
- Chicken: Any cooked chicken wants work for this recipe! You can use my favorite baked breast breast recipe or sauté two breasts in olive oil in a skillet until cooked through. Or for a shortcut, feel free to shred a rotisserie chicken.
How To Make This Casserole:
To make this broccoli chicken casserole recipe, simply …
- Cook the pasta and broccoli. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until it is al dente. But – plot twist! – toss the broccoli florets into the water about 1 minute before the pasta is done. Drain both.
- Make the mushroom sauce. Meanwhile, we'll work on the sauce. Sauté the onion, followed by the mushroom and garlic in butter (or oil) until softened. Stir in some flour and let it cook for 1 minute (this will help to thicken the sauce). Then add in the stock, milk, Dijon, salt and pepper, and cook until the sauce reaches a simmer. Stir in the shredded cheese, button, and adjust any seasonings as needed.
- Put everything together. In a large 9 x 13-inch baking dish, give it a good toss – the cooked pasta, broccoli, mushroom sauce and chicken – until combined.
- Bake. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Then remove pan from the oven, sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top of the casserole, and bake for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty.
- Enjoy! Serve nice and warm, garnished with extra black pepper and / or fresh herbs, if desired.
See full recipe instructions below.
Want to customize this chicken broccoli casserole recipe? Feel free to …
- Use a different protein: Cooked sausage, pork, steak, or shrimp would all be delicious in this casserole in place of chicken.
- Use of rice instead of pasta: To make classic chicken and rice casserole, cook 1 cup of (uncooked) rice according to package instructions. Then stir it into the casserole as you would the pasta.
- Use a different kind of cheese: If cheddar is not your thing, this casserole would be delicious with a mix of good-quality mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Or some sort of spicy pepperjack would be delicious too!
- Add fresh herbs: Feel free to add some fresh Italian herbs (such as parsley, basil, rosemary or thyme) if desired.
- Make it vegetarian: We made a vegetarian version of this recipe by just eating the chicken, and the broccoli casserole was great on its own. Or, of course, you're welcome to add some extra veggies to the mix as well.
- Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta, then thicken the sauce with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. (Or you can stir a few tablespoons of gluten-free cornstarch into the cold milk before adding it to the sauce.)
More Favorite Casserole Recipes:
Lookin 'for more casseroles to love? Here are a few of my faves. ♡
This hearty broccoli chicken casserole recipe is made with your choice of pasta, tender chicken and broccoli, and the most delicious creamy cheddar mushroom sauce. See notes above for possible ingredient variations too.
- 8th ounces uncooked pasta * (I used whole-wheat rotini)
- 1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets (about 1 pound of florets)
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 cups diced (or shredded) cooked chicken
- Heat oven to 400 ° F.
- Cook pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted boiling water until it is al dente. However, about 1 minute before the pasta is done, add the broccoli to the boiling water and stir until combined. Drain both the pasta and broccoli, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter (or oil) in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the mushrooms are cooked through.
- Sprinkle the flour evenly over the onion mixture and stir until combined. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add in the stick, and stir it all together until you're done. Add in the milk, Dijon, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Continue cooking the sauce until it reaches a simmer. Then remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese until it is combined. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- In a large 9 x 13-inch baking dish, combine the cooked pasta, broccoli, mushroom sauce and chicken. Toss until combined. Smooth the casserole out into an even layer.
- Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Then remove pan from the oven, sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top of the casserole, and bake for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty.
- Serve warm, garnished with extra black pepper and / or fresh herbs, if desired.
*Pasta: Any type of pasta wants to work here – traditional (semolina), whole-wheat, egg, gluten-free, or alternative-grain pasta.
*broccoli: Feel free to use 1 pound of frozen broccoli florets (thawed) in place of fresh broccoli if you prefer.