Comfort Food Casserole

So we really love cheese. A lot. And this casserole has AN ENTIRE POUND of cheese in it. Is that the definiton of comfort food? We think so. Plus, it has chicken, wild rice, and broccoli in it, so just think of all that nutrition to balance out the cheese coma!

Chicken, Wild Rice, and Broccoli Casserole

servings: 8


1 box Near East long grain & wild rice blend
1/3 cup long grain brown rice
2 pounds broccoli
cooking oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 Tbsp butter, divided
4 Tbsp flour
2 cups whole milk
1 1/3 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
16 oz grated cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees and grease a 9"x13" baking pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water, 1 Tbsp butter, rice, and contents of Near East spice pack to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces and boil for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Cook onion until softened, then add garlic. Cook another minute, then remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Cook chicken until browned on the outside and cooked through. Chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  6. To make the cheese sauce we will start with a roux. Melt 4 Tbsp of butter and heat until foaming subsides. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat, whisking constantly. Slowly add milk and chicken broth while continuing to whisk. Simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens - if it still seems too liquidy, add some more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, making sure to cook the mixture for at least one minute after each addition. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and dijon mustard. Remove from heat and stir in half of your shredded cheese.
  7. Combine your rice, chicken, broccoli, and onion in your baking dish. Pour your cheese sauce over the top and stir gently until it is well mixed. Top with the remainder of your shredded cheese.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly. If the cheese on top is not yet brown, turn your broiler on briefly. Remove and enjoy!
Note: You can easily make this ahead and then bake it at your leisure. You will obviously need to bake it a bit longer if it has been refrigerated - probably half an hour or so - until the cheese sauce is bubbling.

Again, this is amazing as leftovers! It reheats beautifully.

Rices to be mixed 

Spiced and cooked rice! 

Vibrant broccoli 

Yep, that's a TWO POUND block of cheese. Enough to make this casserole twice. Because it's still winter here, and, thus, comfort food season continues. 

One whole pound of shredded cheese! 

 All ready for assembly

 All that melty cheese!

Looks hearty, right? 

So good! And it should give you at least one night of leftovers when you won't need to make another meal!



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