If you’re looking for a recipe that is perfect to make ahead and just bake when you want it, this is the casserole for you. (You can also skip the chicken and serve as a side dish)

1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
6 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 head of broccoli, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 1/4 cups long grain rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
1 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
dash cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, half of the parmesan, garlic and 4 tbsp of the butter (melted) until well combined.

Microwave the broccoli for 2 – 3 minutes until bright green and slightly tender. Melt the last 2 tbsp of butter in a Dutch oven and cook the onion until soft. Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in stock, half and half, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until the rice is tender (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, cayenne, the rest of the parmesan and salt until combined. Add in the broccoli and chicken.

Pour into the baking dish and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for about 15 minutes or until bubbly (you know me, I always add a few French fried onions on top too)

If you’re making this ahead, keep the breadcrumb mixture in a container. Cover the casserole and refrigerate for 8-24 hours. When you’re ready to cook, sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

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