Sometimes I realize I'm neglecting my veggie needs. I love to pan sear a pork chop, or roast a whole chicken, but slicing and dicing veggies? Not so much.
I turn to steamed frozen veggies a lot because they're so easy. But you can only eat so many bags of plain, boring cauliflower before you're dying to change it up.
So what's my solution? Throw it in a casserole!
(But let's be honest: a casserole is pretty much my answer to all kitchen problems. Need a quick dinner? I've got a casserole for that. Need one prep to last all week? Casserole here I come. Alex's recent comment: "So are we the casserole family now?" Yep, yep we are, and I am not ashamed.)
When I was trying to figure out how to be better about incorporating veggies, I took a look in my freezer, saw a big bag of frozen broccoli and decided to throw together an old favorite--a delicious broccoli chicken and rice casserole, with a homemade roux cheese sauce.
Let me tell you, this sauce is DELICIOUS. I was tempted to eat it with a spoon.
And no—TASTE TESTING does NOT count as eating it with a spoon....even if it was five times. Don't judge me!
For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons of salted butter
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 3/4 cup chicken broth, divided
- 3/4 cup of milk, divided (I use whole)
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or greek yogurt)
- About 2 cups of shredded, cheddar cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
For the casserole:
- 3-4 cups of cubed, cooked chicken
- 1 large bag of frozen broccoli, thawed or two heads of fresh broccoli chopped
- 2 cups rice, cooked (I use brown rice; you could also sub a box of short pasta like rotini, penne, or bowtie)
- 1 cup of shredded, cheddar cheese (you can sub almost any cheese here that you prefer or use breadcrumbs, corn flakes, or any other preferred topping)
- Turn oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 9x13 casserole dish.
- Heat butter in medium sauce pan.
- Once butter is hot, whisk in flour until golden to make a roux (about 2 minutes)
- Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth (reserve the extra 1/4) and 1/2 cup milk (also reserve the extra 1/4) and whisk out the lumps. Add garlic salt and pepper.
- Let simmer stirring occasionally until it thickens up. About 3 minutes.
- Once thickened, add in mayonnaise (or greek yogurt) and stir together.
- Add shredded cheese and stir until melted. If the sauce is too thick, add in leftover broth and milk slowly, stirring in small bits at a time, until the sauce thins to your desired consistency. (You want it to blend well with all the casserole ingredients).
- Put rice, chicken, broccoli in casserole dish. Pour sauce over the rice, chicken, and broccoli and mix well. Top with remaining cheese.
- Cook uncovered for 30-35 minutes until heated through.
What did you think? Did you sneak spoonfuls of the sauce like I did? Comment below and let me know!