Baked Broccoli Casserole

The first time I had Baked Broccoli Casserole was 18 years ago.  We were in Jacksonville, Arkansas then.  My husband’s co-worker invited us for dinner at their house.

Back then I was very shy, and was therefore too timid to ask for the recipe.  I did not get the recipe until two years later when we visited my husband’s brother in Sumter, South Carolina.  His wife, Val… is a great cook.  And one of the dishes that she cooked while we were visiting was – you guessed it – Baked Broccoli Casserole.

The contrasts between sharp cheddar cheese (salty) and sweet corn bread is what made this dish luscious.  I usually make a big pan every time… that’s how much my husband and son like it.

Baked Broccoli Casserole is one of those dishes that have almost everything in it – protein (chicken), vegetables (broccoli) and carbohydrates (rice).  So we eat it by itself, unless I have other leftovers that go with this dish…

I know… it looks like a lot of work.  But most of the work is really in the preparation of the ingredients you will need to assemble the casserole.  And once you have the ingredients prepared as detailed below, you’ve done most of the work.

Here’s what you  need:

Steamed or blanched broccoli, cooked rice, cooked chicken, cream of mushroom and cream of chicken, chicken broth, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and cornbread batter.

The key is to have all these ingredients ready.  And once they are ready, then you are ready to assemble the casserole.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large pot over medium heat, combine cream of chicken and cream of mushroom.

Add 2 cans of chicken broth.  I used one of the cans for the cream of mushroom or chicken to measure the broth I need.

Also, this is the broth from the cooked chicken breast…

Whisk mixture until soupy.

Add the chopped or shredded chicken breast meat…

Add cooked rice… stir to combine.

Add the broccoli…

Stir to combine.

That’s why it’s always good to measure the broth.  Because if you’re like me, which I don’t think you are, I am bad when it comes to “eyeballing.”

*** Always have an extra cup of cooked rice to thicken the casserole if there’s too much broth in it. Like this one here…

Butter a 10.5 x 15.5 baking dish

Pour the broccoli and rice mixture into the buttered baking pan…

Add the shredded cheddar cheese on top of the broccoli and rice mixture…

In medium size mixing bowl, prepare the cornbread batter…

And pour this over the cheddar cheese layer.  (I can’t believe I do not have a photo for this step… I don’t know where I was that day.  I know I was in the kitchen, but I can’t guarantee where my mind was…)

Bake Broccoli Casserole for 27 – 30 minutes or until corn bread is golden brown.

Serve warm…

Baked Broccoli Casserole

Ingredients:

2 large heads of Broccoli, cut into flowerets (about 4 cups broccoli) – STEAMED

5 – 6 cups cooked rice

1 (10 ¾ ounces) can cream of mushrooms

1 (10 ¾ ounces) can cream of chicken

2 cans chicken stock

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 large chicken breasts cooked and shredded (see cooking instructions below)

Herbed Corn Bread – see recipe

*** Below are the ingredients that MUST be prepared before assembling the Baked Broccoli Casserole in a baking pan:

1)      Cut the Broccoli into flowerets or bite sizes.  Steam for 3 minutes.  Or if you don’t have a steamer, blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Remove and drain and set aside.

2)      Cook the rice.  Uncle Ben’s Rice is fine… In my case I use a rice cooker.  I usually cook 3 cups of rice just to be on the safe side. In case I need more rice to thicken the casserole.

3)      Cook the Chicken Breasts.  You could simply boil the chicken breasts.  But I like my chicken to have flavors.  So I boil the chicken breasts along with these ingredients.  And I use the broth for the chicken broth needed.

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 carrots – cut into 3 or 4 large pieces
  • 2 celery sticks – cut into 4 large pieces
  • 1 medium onion – quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic – cut in half, unpeeled
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 10 black pepper corns
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 6 cups cold water – enough to cover the chicken and vegetables.

In a medium size pot, combine chicken, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, pepper corns, salt, and water.

Bring to a slow boil and simmer for 45 minutes.  Skim any foam that may arise to the top.

Turn the off heat and remove the chicken breasts onto a plate to cool.  Strain the broth to be used later.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones.  Cut the chicken meat into bite size chunks.  Set aside.

4)      Prepare the Herbed Corn Bread mixture – last:

  • 1 ¼ cup corn meal
  • ¾ cup self- rising flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ tsp. marjoram
  • 1 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 ¼ cup milk or chicken broth
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 extra large eggs – well beaten

In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Add milk and canola oil.  Add the well – beaten eggs.  Stir until thoroughly combine.  (You should have a mixture with no lumps.)  Set aside.

5)      Preheat oven to 350°F.

Assembling all the ingredients:

In a large pot, combine cream of mushrooms, cream of chicken and chicken broth.  Whisk until free of lumps and mixture is soupy.

Add the steamed broccoli, chopped chicken, and rice.  (You should have a thick but NOT dry broccoli casserole mixture.  The rice should absorb most of the liquid.)

Grease a 10 ½ x 15 ½ inch baking dish.

Layer the bottom of the baking dish with the broccoli casserole mixture.   (The baking dish should only be half – filled.  If you have too much broccoli casserole mixture… remove some. Because you’re going to need the remaining space for the shredded cheese and Herb Corn Bread mixture.)

Top broccoli casserole mixture with shredded cheddar cheese.

Pour the Herb Corn Bread mixture over the shredded cheese layer

Bake Broccoli Casserole for 27 – 30 minutes or until corn bread is golden brown.

Serve warm.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!

Tess Harris

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4 thoughts on “Baked Broccoli Casserole

  1. I never had the time to download my pictures to MT from Easter, since I left for vacation right afterwards. Yes, the casserole was very similar to yours. I used both broccoli and cauliflower, along with the rice, soup, and cheese. Crumbled Ritz crackers for my topping before baking.

    If you’d like, I can post a picture here. Don’t know what Photobucket code you use here on your page.

    • Thank you Tess! for the info… I might try one with a crumbled Ritz crackers since I’ve never made one with it.

      As for posting a photo from Photobucket… not sure if it’s going to work. But you can try… and see what happened… 🙂

  2. I made something very similar to this for Easter Brunch. It was called Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole. Mine didn’t have the chicken breast in it, but I do like that idea. Instead of a cornbread topping, mine was just a crushed cracker topping. It was very tasty. Cornbread is very popular down in the South. Maybe that’s why my recipe was different. That’s the cool thing about cooking. One can change and mix up the original recipe to their liking, and still come out with about the same dish. These are great for Pot-Luck dinners. Thanks Tess for posting this recipe, and the next time I make this, I’m gonna try it with chicken. 🙂

    • That’s what I thought you did. But I wasn’t quite sure how it was made and what was in it…

      So I am assuming your casserole was just like this one, except the chicken breast and cornbread…? The crushed crackers topping is interesting. I’ll visit your MP page to see if you’ve posted some photos from your Easter Brunch…

      You’re right. Cornbread is a staple side dish here in the South.

      … you’re welcome Tess. I’m happy to share…

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