When we’re craving comfort food, we often turn to Grandma’s creamy chicken casserole. This old-fashioned chicken-and-rice dish features a rich, creamy, incredibly cheesy sauce that pairs perfectly with the colorful bits of broccoli inside it, and the buttery-cornflake crunch of the topping always puts a smile on our faces. Unusual ingredients sometimes make for the best meals. Cornflakes are fairly boring on their own, but when slathered with butter and toasted over top of a savory dish, they become much more remarkable.
We take this to potlucks, it’s a staple at family gatherings, and it’s actually easy enough to make on weeknights. We just love the retro look and taste! Some people might be put-off by cornflakes here, but don’t knock it ’till you try it! It’s an unexpected surprise that adds flavor and texture to a creamy dish. This classic recipe has satisfied tummies in our family for over half a century, and we’ll never get tired of it.
Cheesy Creamy Chicken Casserole
50 minutes to prepare serves 6
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 1/4 cups Italian cheese blend, shredded
- 1 1/4 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 head broccoli florets, chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 cup cornflakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Warm vegetable oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, broccoli and celery until vegetables are soft and broccoli is bright green. Transfer to baking dish and spread around evenly.
- Add rice and chicken to vegetables in baking dish.
- In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour, and continue stirring for two minutes.
- Add milk slowly, continuously whisking until sauce thickens, then remove from heat. Add cheeses and Greek yogurt. Stir until melted. Pour cream sauce over top of rice, chicken and vegetables.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Toss over cornflakes until moistened and sprinkle over casserole.
- Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Uncover, and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes for a golden, crispy topping.
Recipe adapted from Humorous Homemaking