Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blue Cheese Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

When I reached the end of my pregnancy, I made a ton of freezer meals, so that I would have easy dinner fixings after the baby arrived.  One of my favorites was a dish I created by thinking of a few of my favorite things:  Blue Cheese Chicken & Broccoli Casserole.  This is a rich and decadent casserole; it's definitely not low calorie, but it is for sure high comfort food!  I wanted something that would be soothing and delicious, and more importantly, something my picky toddler would eat without a fight. It did all those things!  

Blue Cheese Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
Serves 5-6

1 1/2 lb Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced
4 Cups Steamed Broccoli Florets
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
8 oz Cream Cheese
8 oz Blue Cheese Crumbles
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth (or more)
3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper
2 1/2 Cups Crushed Ritz Crackers, divided
4 Tbsp Butter
1 1/2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Steam the broccoli and cook and dice the chicken.  Set aside.

2.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Once the butter is melted and frothy, add in the flour and whisk for 2 minutes.  Slowly pour in the milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly.  Bring to a simmer, and allow it to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.  Stir in the cream cheese and blue cheese crumbles, and cook and stir until smooth and creamy.  Remove from heat, season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and then stir in the diced chicken, steamed broccoli, and 1 cup of the crushed crackers.

4.  Pour mixture into the greased casserole dish and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven.  In a small bowl, toss together the remaining 1 1/2 cup of crackers with 4 tbsp of butter, mix in the shredded cheese, and spoon the cracker mixture evenly on top of the casserole.  Return the casserole to the oven, and cook uncovered for an additional 15 minutes, or until topping is golden.

*To Freeze:  Do Steps 1 through 3, except only make enough of the crackers to mix in the casserole.  Bake uncovered for 20 minutes and remove from oven, cool, and then freeze.  When it's time to eat it, remove it from the freezer and bake covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until warm throughout, and then add the cracker topping and bake for an additional 15 minutes uncovered or until golden.

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