Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Chicken


So I usually find my recipes from various blogs on the internet, but this one is a spontaneous creation of my own. My plan, when I set out for the grocery store, was to make a yummy broccoli cheese soup and serve it in a bread bowl. It was this delicious-looking recipe that I found online earlier today. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any bread bowls and had to just substitute some french bread on the side. And yes, I know, I could have made my own bread, but I didn’t have time for all the kneading and rising and all that jazz–french bread it was. So I got the rest of my ingredients and headed home. Just as I set out all my ingredients on the counter, I realized that I forgot the most important one–chicken broth! Chicken broth is the whole foundation of the soup! After spending about 10 minutes debating whether or not I should go back out to get it or not, I decided to try and make something else with the ingredients that I had. Thus, my broccoli cheddar casserole with chicken was born.

In the process of naming this dish, I had to look up what the word ‘casserole’ actually meant. Turns out that anything that has been cooked and served in a casserole dish is considered a casserole. Simple enough.So my recipe is basically broccoli cheddar soup (sans chicken broth), with baked chicken pieces, poured over pasta, sprinkled with Swiss cheese and baked in a casserole dish.

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Chicken

Ingredients:
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. Pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
3 cups chopped broccoli
2 chicken breasts
1 package of pasta (any kind of small pasta would work–I used macaroni, but you could also use something like rotini or fusilli)

Directions:
Boil water and cooks pasta. Drain and rinse.

Season 2 chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

In another pot, melt butter and add flour and milk. Mix until smooth. Next, add in 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese. Keep this mixture on very low heat and once it is all combined, turn off heat and put a top on the pot. Steam chopped broccoli and add to cheese mixture. Remove chicken from oven and cut into small pieces (about 3/4 inch long). Add chicken pieces into cheese mixture as well.

Return drained pasta to its pot and pour cheddar mixture over top. Mix together and then transfer to a well-greased casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a brown crust forms.

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