Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and "Rice" Casserole

ChickenBroccRiceCasserole1.jpg

Let’s be honest:  the transition back from the winter holiday break to January routines is hard!  Not only can holiday eating and being out of a normal work-school routine leave you feeling sluggish, but then add the return of early morning alarm clocks, homework, work deadlines, AND frigid temperatures.  Life – not to mention getting a healthy dinner on the table – can seem overwhelming. 

My solution?  Easy, one-dish comfort foods like my Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and “Rice” Casserole.  The mild flavors in cauliflower make it a lower-carb substitute for rice that’s still kid-friendly and c'mon, you can’t beat a meal that has your entire meal in ONE dish!  Wanting to add a side?  Keep it simple by pairing with a quick green salad, roasted green beans, or fruit salad. Another tip: when putting leftovers away, store some in individual serving containers for an easy-to-grab lunch to reheat at the office. 

ChickenBroccRiceCasserole6.jpg
print recipe
Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and "Rice" Casserole
Who knew comfort food could be so healthy? My house (kids included!) can’t get enough of this lower-carb spin on a classic casserole.
Ingredients
  • 4 to 5 cups riced cauliflower * (about 1 large head or 1 1/2 [12-oz] bags fresh or frozen crumbles)
  • 3 cups cooked skinless chicken breast, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 Tbsp butter or olive oil **
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour or gluten-free baking mix
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 cup shredded 2% cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Instructions
1. Place cauliflower crumbles in a large microwave-safe bowl; add 1 tablespoon water and cover. Microwave 3 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set cauliflower aside, and repeat process with chopped broccoli. Add cooked broccoli, chicken and ¼ teaspoon salt to cauliflower, stirring gently to combine. 2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 12-inch or 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. 3. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until onion begins to soften. Add garlic and mushrooms; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to combine and to lightly brown flour. Reduce heat to low, and add milk. Cook 4 to 6 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken, whisking periodically to prevent scorching. Add ½ cup cheddar cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, dry mustard, and pepper. Cook stirring constantly until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. 4. Add cauliflower mixture to melted cheese mixture in skillet, stirring gently to combine. Spoon into baking dish, and sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheddar cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese melts and casserole is warm and bubbly. *One large head of cauliflower typically yields 4 to 6 cups when crumbled in food processor. To save time, you can opt to use pre-crumbled cauliflower. Most fresh and frozen (12-oz) bags yield approximately 4 cups. **Feel free to use a mix of butter and olive oil to equal 1 Tbsp. This provides a little creaminess to the cheese sauce while minimizing saturated fat. 7 WW PointsNUTRITION FACTS : Calories 270 ; Total Fat 10g (Saturated Fat 5g) ; Cholesterol 75mg ; Sodium 590mg ; Total Carbs 10g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Total Sugars 5g) ; Protein 33g
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6