chicken/rice/broccoli casserole in alfredo sauce

★★★★★ 1 Review
ThePretentiousChef avatar
By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

It’s getting cold outside, and the falling leaves are carpeting the grass in multi-hued colors of browns, reds, yellows and oranges… It’s Autumn, and time for some hearty soups, stews, and casseroles. I played around with this one in the test kitchen, while I was cooking, so when I started, I wasn’t sure what was going to go in it. I settled on chicken and rice (pretty basic), and then added the broccoli with some sautéed mushrooms, and to kick it up, I used an Alfredo sauce with some garlic. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves 4-6
prep time 35 Min
cook time 40 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For chicken/rice/broccoli casserole in alfredo sauce

  • ALFREDO SAUCE
  • 2 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 3 clove
    garlic, minced, about a tablespoon
  • 4 oz
    cream cheese, room temp, and cut into 8 cubes
  • 1 c
    whole milk
  • 1 c
    parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • salt, kosher variety, to taste
  • THE CASSEROLE
  • 2 lg
    chicken breasts, brined/cooked/diced
  • 2 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 1/2 c
    white rice, cooked al dente
  • 4 oz
    white button mushrooms, thinly sliced/sautéed
  • 4 oz
    broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces (raw)
  • 1/2 md
    yellow onion, finely chopped, sautéed
  • 1/2 c
    panko breadcrumbs
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How To Make chicken/rice/broccoli casserole in alfredo sauce

  • 1
    Gather your ingredients. At this point, I usually show you all the ingredients; however, since I started this recipe with no clear idea of what I was going to put into it... I didn't have a photo of the ingredients.
  • 2
    Cook the rice according to package directions, and shave a few minutes off the cooking time.
  • 3
    Chef’s Note: Standard rice calls for twice the water to the uncooked rice. For this recipe of 1.5 cups of rice, use 1/3 less water.
  • 4
    Cut up the broccoli into bite-sized pieces and reserve.
  • 5
    Chef's Tip: We will leave the broccoli raw, when adding to the casserole. The results are just the perfect amount of crunch.
  • 6
    Clean the mushrooms, remove the stems, and then thinly slice.
  • 7
    Finely dice the onions, and reserve. I forgot to take a photo of this step. My Bad.
  • 8
    Add two tablespoons of butter to a skillet over medium high heat.
  • 9
    Add the sliced mushrooms and diced onions, to the pan.
  • 10
    Sauté the mushrooms and onions until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • 11
    Remove from pan, and reserve.
  • 12
    Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse, and then slice into bite-sized pieces.
  • 13
    Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken until most of the pink is gone.
  • 14
    Remove chicken from the pan, and reserve.
  • 15
    Wipe the skillet out, and reserve for the Alfredo sauce.
  • 16
    Chef's Note: You could always do the Alfredo sauce in a nice sauce pan, but why bother... this keeps the kitchen mess down to a minimum.
  • 17
    Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350f (176c).
  • 18
    THE ALFREDO SAUCE
  • 19
    In the skillet add the butter, and melt over medium heat, until the foaming subsides.
  • 20
    Add the minced garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • 21
    Chef’s Note: Keep the garlic moving, and don’t allow to brown or burn.
  • 22
    Add the cream cheese to the pan, and begin to whisk into the garlic.
  • 23
    Chef's Tip: If you use low-fat cream cheese, it will taste a bit grainy after making the sauce.
  • 24
    Stir using a whisk until the mixture is smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  • 25
    Chef’s Note: It may look a bit curdled at first, but keep whisking, and it will smooth out nicely.
  • 26
    Add the milk, about a 1/4-cup at a time, and whisk until each addition is fully incorporated.
  • 27
    Chef's Tip: Many Alfredo sauces call for heavy cream, but resist that temptation. The cream will make this dish way too rich.
  • 28
    Add the Parmesan cheese; plus the pepper and salt, to taste
  • 29
    Whisk until fully incorporated.
  • 30
    Add the rice, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, and chicken to a large bowl.
  • 31
    Pour the Alfredo sauce over the ingredients, and fold together, until mixed.
  • 32
    Pour the ingredients into a baking dish.
  • 33
    Top with the panko breadcrumbs.
  • 34
    Chef's Note: To kick it up a bit, I added some freshly ground black pepper, and some cayenne to the panko breadcrumbs before adding to the casserole.
  • 35
    Place into the preheated oven, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.
  • 36
    Chef's Note: Mine went the full 40 minutes, and in the last 10 minutes, I turned the oven temp up to 400f (205c), to brown the top a bit.
  • 37
    Chef's Note: This came out exactly the way that I hoped it would. The dish had just the right amount of seasoning without being too heavy. And it wasn't too wet or too dry.
  • 38
    Serve with a nice side salad, and some crusty French bread. Enjoy.
  • 39
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.
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