Chicken Broccoli Cheese Bake

This is something I made while I was pregnant to freeze for post-partum. I’m so glad I did! I made one big batch, and put some of it in a casserole dish to eat that night, and froze the rest in those little foil bread tins… a couple sized for enough for me and my husband, and a couple “individual” ones for me to eat while he was away with his Navy training stuff.

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My version wasn’t totally grain-free, because I used corn starch as a thickener (The health food store here is very small and only orders a few times a year… but the woman there said she would order Arrowroot powder for me the next time she puts in an order.) I also used those store-bought fried onion “crunchies” on top, but I’ll give some other options in the recipe.

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Bake – to Make and Freeze

You will need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • A few bunches of broccoli
  • A couple onions
  • Butter
  • Thickener of some sort – corn starch or arrowroot powder, or another you like
  • Heavy Cream
  • Chicken stock
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded (shred it yourself – not the pre-shredded kind)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • “Crunchies” (fried onions, crushed pork rinds, crushed crackers, chopped nuts, etc)

First, cook the main ingredients. Poach your chicken by bringing water to a boil, dumping in all the chicken breasts, covering and simmering on low for about 12-15 minutes. Steam your broccoli. Saute your onions.

Cut your chicken into bite-sized chunks.

Melt butter in a saucepan, then add your thickener, splash in cream, and splash in chicken stock. Melt in the cheddar cheese, and stir. It should be a nice glossy cheese sauce. If not, I’m sorry… I didn’t measure anything so I can’t really help you out.

In a huge bowl, mix everything together (the main ingredients and sauce) and add seasonings to taste.

Divide into casserole dishes and/or foil loaf pans (seal with aluminum foil) to freeze. Top with “crunchies” if you’d like. Though my “crunchies” got soggy with freezing, so next time I might just freeze without them but tape a baggie of them to the top of the frozen dish so it’s there when I’m ready to make it.

If you’re eating some tonight, top with your crunchies and bake at 350 degrees until everything is warm… everything is already cooked so don’t worry about that – just heat it up.

If you’re freezing it, you’ll want to thaw it in the fridge for a day before baking – again, you’re just heating it in the oven since it’s already cooked… but if you throw it in the oven frozen solid, it’ll take about an hour to an hour and a half at 350 to heat through. That’s fine too, but might be hard if you’re really hungry!

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Thank you, Pregnant Me, for freezing these while you were pacing around waiting for Anneliese to be born! I really appreciated having a few meals to just throw in the oven and eat, especially while T was away!

SAHM & Navy Wife blogging grain-free real-food recipes, cloth diapering, babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, crafts, decor, & more.

23 Comments

  1. Sharon
    Apr 13, 2013 @ 10:28:47

    Please give measurements..very hard to know ratio of thickener and heavy cream…etc….

    Reply

    • AnaliZa
      Mar 25, 2014 @ 11:05:17

      You make your own measurements to however thick you’d like it to be.

      Reply

  2. sharon
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 12:32:44

    help..anyone figure out the ratio for sauce…cream..stock..cheese???

    Reply

  3. Cathe
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 08:23:18

    Sounds good but what are the measurments

    Reply

    • sharon
      Jan 31, 2012 @ 12:31:36

      i am wanting to make this chicken brocc cheese back…has anyone come up with the sauce ratio…stock..cream..cheese???
      let me know ASAP!!!! how long did you back it..if doing it all together and not in portions?

      Reply

  4. Virginia
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 13:23:37

    Okay so I noticed I replied on this a long time ago, but never made it.. BUT since I need some awesome freezer friendly recipes, I am totally going to make these! Oh and I love your disposable bread tin idea for freezing. I am going to do the same thing. Perfect size for me and Sarah and Landon while I am recovering from surgery! I am so thankful for this recipe! Thanks!

    Reply

  5. Casserole Craze « Kate the Cook
    May 08, 2011 @ 19:12:00

    [...] chicken broccoli cheese bake from Joyful Abode [...]

    Reply

  6. Lauren
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 14:34:31

    This was yummy but challenging for me to make with out measurements. I’ll try it again sometime to make adjustments so that it’s amazingly good.

    Reply

  7. Lori
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 10:27:46

    thumbs up here! dh and i loved it, ds said is was pretty good. still working on dd — she takes offense to the broccoli and crunchies (i used pork rinds).

    Reply

  8. Jamie
    Nov 15, 2010 @ 20:58:06

    I made this tonight for my family! We all absolutely LOVED it! I highly reccommend this nutritious meal to people who really are craving a good filling, delicious casserole! I do “Primal” and so it is absolutely Primal friendly!

    Reply

  9. Tristina
    Nov 06, 2010 @ 09:55:58

    Made this last night! I only had one chicken breast so it was a little pan of it but it was so delicious!

    A couple of things I did different:

    Sauteed the chicken breast in the same pan after the onions and deglazed with a bit of stock at the end. You get nummy caramelization on the chicken which adds a nice texture to the bake.

    And I made a cheesy beschamel after reading through your sauce instructions. Equal parts butter and thickener. Whisk constantly. Add cream. Add pinch of salt and white pepper and nutmeg. Whisk constantly. Add cheese by small handfuls until it’s all melted in.

    Omnomnomnomnom….

    Reply

  10. KCaffee
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 09:46:40

    This looks delish!! I wonder if you could add cooked rice (I know, not grain free) for a little change of pace?

    Reply

    • Joyful Abode
      Oct 27, 2010 @ 09:57:08

      you definitely could. it would be a cheap filler though, not a nutrient-dense food. your choice!

      Reply

  11. AndreAnna
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 19:53:00

    I need to stop checking my fellow food bloggers at 10 pm when I’m sipping my tea to soothe my starving belleh. Just doesn’t compare to the delicious ooey gooey goodness on the screen!

    Reply

  12. Jill
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 16:54:22

    I found this recipe last week and I’ve been coveting it since. Tonight, I finally stopped drooling at the pictures and decided to actually make it. It’s a ridiculously easy recipe, which is always a huge help. Better than that, it tasted amazing!!

    I’ve been eating Paleo (usually no dairy) for almost two months now and this is the first recipe I’ve come across that actually tastes like “comfort food”. It was delicious! Thank you!!

    I have a dozen other recipes of yours bookmarked. Can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

    • Joyful Abode
      Oct 25, 2010 @ 18:17:15

      Thanks so much for the comment! Glad you enjoyed it. :) I actually made it again a couple nights ago and used fresh broccoli plus some broccoli/cauli/carrot frozen mix… so good.

      Reply

  13. Isfahel
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 13:00:59

    I’m making this tonight, got lots of broccoli to use up. Did want to comment, I’ve tried Arrowroot Powder and I think it tastes nasty. I use either Tapioca Starch or Potato Starch for thickeners, therefore you can be grain free and have no funky taste. Both can be bought at a local Asian Food market, that is, if you have one around. Or a health food store, but it’ll cost about 3 times as much at the healthfood store than an Asian Food store :)

    Reply

    • Joyful Abode
      Oct 25, 2010 @ 18:17:52

      Thanks for the comment! I should look for tapioca/potato starch to play around with too. :)

      Reply

  14. Marianne
    Sep 14, 2010 @ 20:15:02

    Thanks so much — this is a great recipe! I’m trying to eat as primally as possible and really appreciate finding a comfort food type of casserole that doesn’t call for a “can of condensed chemicals” or carbs. My husband is still skeptical about primal but a big casserole fan, too, and he LOVED it. Wow — that’s a triumph!

    Reply

  15. Decker Virginia
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 20:46:21

    emily this sounds SO good and I can't WAIT to make it! thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  16. Camille in Slovenia
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 08:27:23

    Thanks for putting this here. Absolute comfort food and lucky for me, my mother brought me a can of those crunchies when she visited from the states over Christmas. I haven't eaten much and would never go out and buy my own but I guess they were waiting for this yummy (and delightfully American!) recipe.

    Reply

  17. kristen j
    Sep 09, 2010 @ 12:38:29

    Yum! I love this kind of stuff. Total comfort food for me. And this reminds me, my husband owes me a chest freezer for the garage! lol

    Reply

  18. Amber
    Sep 09, 2010 @ 04:50:26

    YUM! Wish I could get my hubby to eat broccoli though. When he was growing up he lived on chef boyardee and kraft mac n cheese. In my family we ate EVERYTHING so it took sometime for him to get adjusted to my cooking :) I am grateful he eats MOST of the stuff I cook, although broccoli cheese soup is still out of the picture…. LOL! (All 4 kids love it though!)

    Reply

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