A classic dish that is easy to make and actually great to make ahead and freeze for an even easier meal on a busy day. You can really adjust this recipe as much as you like to match your own tastes. This was the first time I had made it and Hubby loved it, I thought it could use more of a “kick” – I like spicy food though.
A great thing about this recipe is you can throw all of the ingredients into the casserole pan and just mix it up right in there. No need to dirty an extra bowl at all! You see here the shredded chicken, cream of chicken soup, plain Greek yogurt, cheddar cheese, cooked rice, and broccoli, plus the seasoning.
My grocery store had a special on the roasted whole chickens this week so I bought one of those and just shredded it by hand. This is super easy. You could though, cook any pieces of chicken you like to add to this casserole. If you are cooking chicken earlier in the week add a few extra pieces when you cook to set aside for this even or just use leftover chicken. I mixed both the white and dark meat, but you can do all just of one if that is your preference.
I used plain Greek yogurt, no fat, in my casserole. You could use sour cream or mayo if you would rather – I just like to save on the fat and calories with this and the Greek yogurt has a nice tang and is thick and makes a good creamy base.
Cheddar cheese is a favorite here, I highly recommend you shred it fresh from a block of cheese but I won’t call the food police if you use a bag of pre-shredded cheese.
The broccoli I used was fresh, but you could use frozen broccoli as well. If you are not a broccoli fan try putting in another veggie instead. Again, it is whatever you and your family like.
I use a Pampered Chef rice cooker all the time. It is super easy, just throw it all in and stick in the microwave. I actually cook rice about 5 minutes less than called for though when I am going to mix it into a casserole like this. Include all the liquid that is still in the cooker (pan) also. It will finish cooking in the oven and soak up more of the flavors from the other moist ingredients you use.
Once you have all of your ingredients in the casserole, just use a large wooden spoon to mix it all together really well. After you think it is mixed, mix it for just a bit more to be sure. You want all the ingredients evenly distributed. Then throw it in a preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes. It’s that easy!
If your family likes fairly mild and plain dishes this one is great the way it is. If you want to perk it up a bit though I would add more spices, like garlic, onion, cayenne, or paprika. I think mixing in a little Parmesan or Asiago cheese would also add a nice dimension to the flavor. For an even bigger kick maybe add a can of diced green chiles!
You can freeze prior to baking in a tightly sealed container. To cook from frozen, take the dish out of the freezer and then preheat the oven to 350° F. Keep the casserole covered and cook for 35-40 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes or so.
Do you make a casserole like this for your family? What type of ingredients do you use? Do you have any special ingredients that make your casserole stand out?