Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Just the word “casserole” reminds me of Sundays at my Grandma’s or weird microwavable leftovers that would be eaten f0r days.  But in Central Illinois where I grew up, casseroles were pretty commonplace with the more mayonnaise the better.  They were pretty much invented as a catch-all of whatever was left in the fridge, with leftover meat and possibly questionable vegetables hidden in mayo, cheese and/or some kind of creamy soup.  Plus, they were cheap and quick.  For a working mom pinching pennies, casseroles were life savers.  This Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole takes me back to being young in Illinois when my mom was still around and eating dinner meant the TV was off.

Onion and mushrooms are cooked until soft, thickened with flour and milk and mixed with broccoli florets and precooked chicken.  A combination of fat-free plain yogurt and mayonnaise (I used low-fat) are added off the heat which really thickens up the casserole while keeping it low in calories.  Finally, a topping of cheddar (again, I used low-fat) and parmesan cheeses are added and the dish is broiled until melted and golden.  You are left with a one-pot dish that doesn’t require any baking.  This is such a quick and easy casserole to make and really could be used with any meat or vegetable – just the way a casserole should be.  So turn the TV off and enjoy an old classic.

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Preheat broiler.  Prepare broccoli in microwave according to package directions.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook 12 minutes or until mushrooms brown and liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.

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Sprinkle mushroom mixture with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly.

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Stir in broccoli and chicken; cook 1 minute.

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Remove pan from heat. Stir in yogurt, mayonnaise, pepper, and salt.

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Top evenly with cheeses; broil 2 minutes.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Low-fat mayonnaise
  • Reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

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