I am not a fan of chicken casserole. In fact, I don’t like many casseroles, however, I needed a meal to take to a family with a new baby and decided that would fit the bill. I made the one for our friend and then decided that it needed some changing up. Most chicken casseroles are pretty much the same note all the way through and seasoned only with some cream of something soup. The one I took to our friend was met with raving reviews given to me via text. While I know that one was good, I also knew I could make a chicken casserole that would be amazing. We will be having the new version tonight and yes Laurie, I think it’s even easy peasy enough for you to like making it!! The big bonus is that you can make it up ahead and freeze it. No thawing necessary, just a longer bake time.
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 stick butter
4 chicken breast halves, skinless, boneless
1 cup cooked rice
2 small heads of broccoli, cut into florets
1 can cream of chicken; undiluted
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can French’s Fried Onions (Cheddar or plain)
Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in a preheated, 450° oven for 10 minutes on each side. I was using thin sliced chicken, for breast fillets cook them at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on each side.Remove and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Prepare the broccoli, and place in salted, boiling, water until just tender crisp. Set aside until you are ready to combine everything for the casserole.
Dice the onion, carrot, and celery; salt and pepper then add to 1/2 stick butter that has been melted in a medium sauté pan, over medium heat. Saute the veggies until the onion is translucent and the carrot is slightly softened.
Dice the chicken into bite size pieces. Combine the cheese, cream of chicken soup, rice, sautéed veggies, broccoli, and diced chicken in a large mixing bowl, stir to combine and pour into a 9×13 casserole. Top with the Cheddar French fried onions and bake in a 350° oven until the cheese is melted and the onions crispy and slightly browned.
~This casserole can be frozen if you are cooking ahead. Leave off the French fried onions if you are freezing. When ready to make it, bake in a 350° for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Top with the French Fried onions and bake for 10 minutes more to crisp up the topping.
Serve with a green salad and if desired, dinner rolls. Enjoy!!
By the way, it was a hit!!