I love making casseroles, because it usually means I only have to dirty 1 or 2 dishes, which makes for an easy clean up. One of our favorite restaurants here in Hendersonville is Cheddars, which serves American food. It can be compared with Chili’s or something like that. Anyway, the have the most amazing broccoli cheese casserole side dish! It is like heaven in your mouth! So I attempted to recreate it, and in the process added some chicken so that we could eat it as a main dish.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bag (8 oz) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
- 1 can of Campbell’s Condensed Broccoli Cheese Soup (I didn’t have any, so I used cream of chicken soup)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or more if you like)
- 1 cup instant rice, uncooked (can also use 1 cup of regular cooked rice)
- 1/3 cup crushed Ritz crackers (about 1 sleeve)
- 2 tsp melted butter
- salt & pepper
Start by dicing up some chicken and tossing it in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper. (You can also use shredded or rotisserie chicken)
Thaw your broccoli in the microwave (per package instructions) and place in a large bowl.
Add broccoli cheese soup, or in my case, cream of chicken.
Pour the milk into the bowl.
Next comes my favorite ingredient — freshly grated cheddar cheese. Yum! I can never grate this cheese without eating a handful.
Mix it all together, and then add the instant rice. The rice shouldn’t be cooked at this point, because it will cook with everything else in the oven (unless you’re using regular rice, in which case it should be cooked first).
Stir until everything is thoroughly combined.
Next, add your cooked chicken and stir to combine. It’s ok if the chicken isn’t completely cooked through since it will continue baking in the oven.
Place the mixture into a baking dish. You can always double or triple the recipe depending on how many people you are feeding (wow, that is really stating the obvious, isn’t it?).
Next, take some Ritz crackers (I used whole wheat cuz I’m super healthy like that) and place them in a Ziploc bag. You’ll want enough to cover the top of the casserole.
You can use a mallet to crush the crackers, but I found that using my fingers was just as easy.
Melt your butter and pour it into the bag with the crumbs. Close the bag and mix the crumbs around with the butter so that all the crumbs are covered in butter. This will help the top get nice and crispy and brown.
Scatter the crumbs on top of your casserole.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the top is hot and bubbly.
Serve and enjoy! Don’t those crunchy, crumbly bits look delish!?