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

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)

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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