The Cheesy Pasta Chicken Broccoli Casserole is like a big, comforting hug for my family. It’s a delicious mix of chicken, broccoli, tomatoes, and lots of cheese all baked together in one dish. It’s the kind of meal that makes everyone happy and gathers us around the dinner table.
Why I Love This Recipe
As someone who loves to create delicious yet budget-friendly meals, this casserole holds a special place in my heart.
It’s a complete meal in one dish, saving both time and effort. Plus, the combination of flavors and textures is pure magic.
Every bite is like a warm, cheesy hug on a plate.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
▪️ Family Favorite: This casserole is a surefire hit with kids and adults alike, making it a perfect family dinner option.
▪️ Versatile: You can customize it with your favorite pasta, cheese, or veggies for endless variations.
▪️ Make-Ahead: Prepare it in advance and pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat – it’s a fantastic time-saver.
▪️ Freezer-Friendly: Great for batch cooking and freezing for those days when you need a quick meal.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
▪️ 2 cups of uncooked pasta: Pasta is the heart of this dish, giving it that comforting feel.
▪️ 2 cups of cooked chicken: Cooked chicken adds protein and a savory flavor.
▪️ 2 cups of broccoli florets: Broccoli not only adds nutrition but also a pleasant crunch.
▪️ 1 can (14 oz) sliced tomatoes, drained: Diced tomatoes bring a zesty, tangy twist to the casserole.
▪️ 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese: Cheese makes it rich and, well, cheesy!
▪️ 1 cup milk: Milk forms the creamy base for our sauce.
▪️ 1/2 cup chicken broth: Chicken broth adds depth of flavor to the sauce.
▪️ 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour: Flour helps thicken the sauce.
▪️ 2 tablespoons butter: Butter adds a rich, buttery taste.
▪️ 1 teaspoon garlic powder: Garlic powder gives it that lovely garlicky aroma.
▪️ 1 teaspoon onion powder: Onion powder adds a hint of oniony goodness.
▪️ Salt and pepper to taste: Salt and pepper are our trusty flavor enhancers.
STEP 1: First things first, turn your oven on to 350°F (175°C). While it’s warming up, take a moment to grease a big baking dish. Just a little oil or butter should do the trick.
STEP 2: Grab your pasta and follow the directions on the package. We want it to be ‘al dente,’ which means it’s cooked but still has a slight bite to it. Once it’s just right, drain it and set it aside to cool off.
STEP 3: It’s time to make our creamy sauce! Get a saucepan, melt your butter over medium heat, and add that all-purpose flour. Stir it all together until it’s smooth and looking good.
STEP 4: Gradually pour in your milk and chicken broth while whisking away. Keep stirring until the sauce gets nice and thick.
STEP 5: Now, let’s add some extra flavor. Sprinkle in that garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir it in and let it simmer for a few minutes. The kitchen should be smelling fantastic by now!
STEP 6: Time to get creative! In your greased baking dish, start by putting half of your cooked pasta down. On top of that, add half of the chicken, broccoli, sliced tomatoes, and shredded cheese. Then, pour half of that creamy sauce we just made. Repeat the layers like you’re building a delicious tower of goodness.
STEP 7: Cover your baking dish with some aluminum foil to keep everything cozy inside. Pop it into the preheated oven and let it bake for 30 minutes. Then, take off the foil and let it bake for an extra 15 minutes until the cheese on top is all golden and bubbly.
STEP 8: Let it cool for a bit before you start digging in. No one wants a burnt tongue. Once it’s safe to eat, serve it up and enjoy the cheesy delight you’ve created!
Tips and Techniques
▪️ Cook your pasta just until it’s slightly firm (al dente) because it will continue cooking in the oven. Nobody likes mushy pasta!
▪️ When layering the casserole, try to distribute the ingredients evenly to ensure each bite is a harmonious mix of flavors.
▪️ Covering the casserole with foil while baking keeps the cheese from getting too brown too soon. Then, uncover it for that golden, bubbly cheese finish.
▪️ Got leftover cooked chicken from another meal or a rotisserie chicken? It’s a time-saver and adds great flavor to your casserole!
This Cheesy Pasta Chicken Broccoli Casserole recipe generously feeds 6-8 hungry folks, making it perfect for a family dinner or leftovers for the next day’s lunch!
▪️ Serve with a simple garden salad on the side for a crunchy contrast.
▪️ Pair it with some garlic bread or warm rolls to mop up all the cheesy goodness.
▪️ A sprinkle of fresh parsley adds a pop of color and freshness to your plate.
▪️ Load up on extra veggies like bell peppers or spinach if you’re feeling extra healthy.
▪️ Swap the chicken for cooked turkey or ham for a different twist.
▪️ Experiment with different types of cheese, like mozzarella or Gouda.
▪️ Add sautéed mushrooms or bell peppers for extra veggies.
After indulging in this cheesy delight, store any leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 3 days. When you’re ready for round two, reheat it in the microwave or oven until it’s hot and ready to enjoy all over again.
Q. Can I use a different type of pasta?
Absolutely! Feel free to use your favorite pasta shape for this casserole.
Q. Can I make this casserole ahead of time?
Yes, you can assemble it in advance and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake.
Q. Can I freeze this casserole?
Yes, it freezes well. Just be sure to wrap it tightly before freezing.
Cheesy Pasta Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- 2 cups of uncooked pasta any shape works
- 2 cups of cooked chicken rotisserie chicken is perfect
- 2 cups of broccoli florets fresh or frozen
- 1 can (14 oz) sliced tomatoes drained
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a large baking dish.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour until smooth. Gradually add the milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.
- Stir in the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the flavors meld.
- In the prepared baking dish, layer half of the cooked pasta, followed by half of the chicken, broccoli, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese. Pour half of the sauce over the top. Repeat the layers.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
- Let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy the cheesy goodness!
- Don’t overcook the pasta initially; it will continue to cook in the oven.
- Feel free to add your favorite veggies like bell peppers or spinach.
- You can use leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken to save time.