I have been on the hunt for meals that are quick and healthy and this Chicken, Broccoli Pasta Casserole definitely fits the description. When I was a child we had many different types of casseroles because they were quick and easy and always fit the bill. I love casseroles so much and this Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta bake is a great dinner for those nights when you are in a rush. It is filling, contains broccoli (yay for veggies), and totally cheesy!
Chicken, broccoli and cheese make a winning combination in this mouthwatering casserole that bakes in just 30 minutes. If you do not have any broccoli on hand, you can always use any kind of vegetables that you do have. I think stir-fry vegetables would be great as well. You can also switch out regular pasta for whole-wheat pasta if you want to keep it really healthy! Either way is great for me. You will have to boil the pasta in a separate pot. After the pasta is finished cooking, then you can use that same pot to boil the broccoli. In a skillet cook the chicken and after the chicken has already been cooked, add in the pasta, broccoli florets and finally Bachamel or white sauce. I added shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese on top to make it a little cheesy. Broil until the cheese melts and then dinner is ready!
Here is a great tip for you; I buy chicken breast in bulk because it’s less expensive. When I get home from the store I separate the chicken placing some in my refrigerator to use right away, I take a portion and place them in freezer bags to freeze for the future and I set two or three chicken breasts aside and throw them in a pot. I pour some water over them and 1-2 hours later I have perfect shredded chicken to use in other recipes though out the week such as Biryani, Chicken Salad, Pasta or anything really! A great way to save time in the kitchen and only takes minutes to do.
For the pasta:
- 2 ½ cups steamed broccoli florets
- 2 cups pasta of your choice
- 1 chicken breast cut into slices
- 1 medium onion cut into slices
- 3 garlic gloves mashed
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Salt and black pepper to taste
For the topping:
Bachamel (White) Sauce
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Sautee onions and garlic until browned. Stir in your chicken slices along with the spices and cook until chicken is done.
- In boiling hot salted water, cook the pasta. The time varies depending on which pasta you are using; make sure to follow the instructions on the back of your pasta package. Drain and place the pasta into a casserole dish.
- Boil the broccoli in the same pot that was used to boil the pasta.
- Place the chicken and broccoli on top of the pasta.
- Pour the milk into a medium pan to make the Bachamel or white sauce. I used the same pan pasta was cooked in. Whisk in the flour and cook over low to medium heat until the sauce is thick and bubbly, about 10 minutes or so. Whisking consistently.
- Pour the Bachamel sauce over the chicken, broccoli, and pasta. Stir until all ingredients are combined and evenly distributed.
- Sprinkle shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese mixture over the top of the pasta mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until browned.