When we think of all the possible ways to use leftover turkey, we naturally think of a casserole, and this is one of our favorites, for sure. We take a few pantry ingredients, dig into the spice drawer for some seasonings, add in turkey and broccoli and a little bit of cheese, mix it all together and bake for 30 minutes. A rich and satisfying dinner awaits us and we’ve barely broken a sweat to make it.
We’ve taken a few fresh ingredients and combined them with pantry staples and some shortcut ingredients, like quick-cooking rice, to make this dish something almost effortless to make. Sautéed onions add a nice savory flavor to the rice, which is cooked in chicken broth so the rice absorbs all of that yummy flavor. To keep the broccoli from getting too wilted, we’ve quickly blanched the florets and then cooled them to stop the cooking process. This will keep the broccoli nice and green while retaining some crunchiness. Next, we mix the rice with the seasonings, add the turkey, cheese, and broccoli, and transfer it to the prepared baking dish. If you don’t have leftover turkey, then some shredded chicken is a great alternative protein.
Of all the ingredients in our casserole, it’s the topping that has to be our favorite. Crushed crackers, not too finely, as we still want to see some larger bits scattered throughout the topping, along with shredded cheese and melted butter. If you’ve got a buttery cracker on hand, that will work beautifully here, but we’ve also been known to use saltines as well. Now we simply bake it all together and wait for a delicious dinner to come out of our oven. The casserole comes out with a drool-worthy buttery golden cracker topping and a rich and creamy filling on the inside. Our turkey and broccoli rice casserole is good food made simple and delicious!
Cheesy Turkey and Broccoli Bake
Serves 6-8; 45 minutes
- 3-4 cups cooked turkey, shredded
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups instant white rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (10.5oz ) can cream of chicken soup
- 1 (10.5 oz) can cream of broccoli soup
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup saltine or butter crackers, crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9x13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Sauté diced onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until softened.
- Slowly add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in rice, cover, and turn off the heat, 5 minutes.
- Blanche broccoli florets for 1 minute, then place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix cream of chicken soup, cream of broccoli soup, milk, sour cream, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir in the cooked rice.
- Stir in turkey, broccoli florets, and 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Pour mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
- Combine crushed crackers, butter, and remaining shredded cheddar cheese. Sprinkle topping over top of the casserole.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes until crackers are a toasty-golden color. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
- Cool briefly before serving.
Recipe adapted from Spend With Pennies.