This healthy chicken casserole made with broccoli, water chestnuts, and cheddar cheese is the perfect home-cooked meal for a family dinner! Add to your food prep and meal plan today.
I was chatting with a friend about food prep the other day (sure sign of a ‘grown up life’ right there), and she was telling me how difficult it is to get dinners made throughout the week.
I insistently told her,
But, it’s so easy when you food prep. Dinner can come together in less than 30 minutes!
Granted, it probably is a bit tough for her, because she has a full-time job as an engineer (we became BFFs at Purdue) and is going to school for her MBA. Even though she’s awesome, I supposed she is slightly warranted on the no-time-to-make-dinner front. #grownupproblems
I then realized why all my dishes seem to come together in 30 minutes or so.
It’s because I food prep so much protein!
Every week, I prep at least a couple pounds of crockpot shredded chicken, pork, or ground turkey. I don’t typically completely prep any of my dinner dishes through the week (like you’ll see on my meal plans and grocery lists), but I always have meat precooked and veggies chopped. The ingredients are ready to go. I can throw them together in a skillet or in the oven. And sometimes the microwave…because we all get lazy. It’s a fact of life.
Making a casserole like this takes less than half the time it normally would when you already have chicken cooked. And actually, after a quick Google search of healthy broccoli chicken casserole, it looks like nearly all the recipes out there calls for cooked chicken. Some call for a rotisserie chicken, which sounds 1) like too much work or 2) way more expensive than it needs to be!
Since we’re obviously going to talk about this healthy chicken broccoli casserole recipe for a minute, let’s also talk about cheese. We can do this because there is cheese in it—two kinds of cheese actually. I used part-skim shredded mozzarella (a standard 5 pound bag Costco purchase) and mild cheddar. A good casserole must always have cheese!
Actually I just blatantly lied to you, because paleo spaghetti squash casserole has no cheese and it is fantastic.
But seriously, the worst kind of cheese is having NO cheese in your fridge. This happened to me the other day and I was honestly a bit devastated. No cheese for my eggs? Or my salads? Or my cutting boards for slicing? This type of catastrophe requires an immediate trip to the grocery!
Unless you are at the end of the month and have no more money in your grocery budget. Then you just cry for a bit about how hard it is to be a grown up.
Since you already know about my love for cheese, I’ll tell you about my other favorite part of the casserole. The water chestnuts!!
I love cooking with water chestnuts, because they maintain an awesome crunch after you bake them. They are perfect for stir fries, and giving casseroles like this a little more texture. If you’ve never cooked with them, I seriously suggest you give them a shot! You can find them near the canned vegetables at your local grocery.
- 1 pound raw broccoli, chopped
- 1 pound shredded chicken, cooked (about three large chicken breasts, cooked)
- 1 cup cooked jasmine rice
- 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup unsweetened original almond milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ⅛ teaspoon thyme
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup shredded mild cheddar
- 2 T panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add broccoli, chicken, rice, and water chestnuts to a bowl. Stir together.
- In a separate bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, almond milk, corn starch and seasonings. Once mixed completely, stir in the mozzarella and ½ cup of shredded cheddar.
- Pour yogurt mixture over broccoli and chicken mixture. Stir together until mixed completely.
- Grease a casserole dish. Pour the whole mixture into dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, then sprinkle panko.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until broccoli is cooked through.