Good Ideas: Leftover Chicken (w/ Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole)

Here is my yearly casserole contribution.

Not really sure why casseroles get a bad rap in the culinary community.
I think most of us fall into the category of "home cooks" that are looking for simple, healthy, delicious meals that can feed our families (not haute cuisine every night). Meet the casserole.

The famous mac and cheese (I love it so much, I could eat the whole pan) and a delicious lasagne are familiar comfort casseroles for the cold weather hibernation months.

Yes, I would rather be out picking my arugula and fresh asparagus from my garden, but that's not happening for a while.

This was a great way to use up the leftover roast chicken and steamed broccoli from last night.

This is not as fattening as it sounds, it only uses a little cream and a little mayo, you could also omit the panko crumbs to make it even lower in fat and gluten free.

The fresh steamed broccoli and cauliflower give it a nice crunchy texture and it is easy to make ahead.

I prepared it in an 8" x 8" Pyrex square baking dish, to serve 4.
You don't have to be exact with any of the measurements, I never measure, so I just eyeball it.

Roast Chicken, Broccoli & Cauliflower "Casserole":

1 cup of small fresh broccoli florets (about 1/2 of a small head)
1 cup of small fresh cauliflower florets (about 1/2 of a small head)
1 cup of leftover roast chicken, shredded
Japanese panko crumbs for the top
olive oil
kosher salt & pepper

For the Sauce:

3 tbsp of REAL mayonnaise
1/4 cup of half & half
1 tsp curry powder (you can substitute dry mustard if you don't like curry)
a pinch of kosher salt & black pepper
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of grated sharp cheddar (I like white cheddar)

Brush an 8" x 8" baking dish with some olive oil.

Steam the broccoli and cauliflower florets for 2 minutes until bright and still firm.
Lay the vegetables on the bottom of the casserole.

Place the shredded cooked chicken on top of the veggies.

Whisk together the sauce ingredients, including the grated cheese & curry. Season with salt & pepper. (I really didn't measure here, but what you are going for is a nice thick, cheesy white sauce, sort of like for macaroni and cheese, so use your best cooking sense!).

Pour over the chicken and vegetables in the dish and press down with a spatula to absorb the liquid. If it seems dry, then add some more chicken stock to the dish.

Optional (but makes it even better!): Spoon some panko crumbs over the top to cover and drizzle with olive oil.

You can make this a day ahead and keep covered in the fridge until ready to bake.

Bake uncovered in a 375F oven for about 30 minutes until top is golden brown and casserole is bubbly.

Serve with rice or salad.

Stay warm and enjoy!

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StaceyEsq said…
This looks delicious -- I may have to go buy a roast chicken so I can make this tonight!
Fleur said…
I looks yummy.
Leslie said…
I agree, casseroles get a bad rap! I have leftover chicken, so will try this tonight! My mouth is watering!
Bluebird NY said…
I'm glad to see a bit of curry in your recipe! It really jazzes up a dish like this - the dry mustard alternative is a great idea.
Joanne said…
I think it's bad memories of lots of "cream of" soups that hold us back. but they needn't be that way! Love what you did with this.
Looks delicious Stace, I always loved the combo of chicken and broccoli!
kelly said…
Awesome this look perfect specially the last part of the photos.
i also want some salad. thanks for the recipe really lookin for it :)
dm said…
When I ate meat I used to make this all time, my then husband loved it. I can now use Quorn pieces to make it. Thanks for reminding me of this delicious recipe.
This looks so easy and good. Wish I had everything to make today, but still loving your meatloaf/bacon bites in muffin tins....Yummy. Thanks Stacey. I like the idea it can be ready before and then popped in the oven.
LovesAvocado said…
Perfect timing on this recipe. I have leftover grilled chicken in the fridge and cauliflower and broccoli I need to use up. Thanks for sharing :)
Patsyk said…
This looks like a great meal for busy nights... spring baseball season is looming and I'm all over anything I can prepare ahead and just heat in the oven when we need it.
Anonymous said…
Made this last night with just broccoli (DH does not like cauliflower.) Also cut curry powder to 3/4 tsp. because he is not crazy about that.

Next time I would not steam the broccoli. Baby broccoli florets should cook sufficiently during a half hour in sauce at 375 degrees. Ours got a little overcooked.

I would stick with the 1 tsp. of curry powder.

Did add some extra chicken broth as there didn't seem to be enough fluid.

I liked it. DH didn't complain. Always looking for simple, tasty things to do with leftover chicken and just a few usually available ingredients.

Anonymous said…
One more comment: One-half of a chicken breast is about 1 cup of shredded cooked chicken.

Yum said…
This looks absolutely delicious, thanks for sharing!
Isabelle said…
Made this over the weekend and it was terrific! The family loved it! Thank you for this delicious easy recipe.
Oui, Chef said…
This is a genius casserole, and a great way to use up tasty leftovers!
Betsy R. said…
I doubled the recipe and made it in a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish. Everyone loved it and not a lick left! Thank you!
Jen R. said…
My husband loved this and I am not a good cook! I doubled the recipe and we had a lot of leftovers.
This is the BOMB! Thank you Stacey for making me look good!
Carol said…
Delicious! I doubled recipe and made in 9 x 13 dish. Bummer that there were no leftovers. 😁
Unknown said…
I doubled the recipe and used a 9 x 13 casserole dish with Costco’s rotisserie chicken and a whole head of cauliflower and one chopped orange pepper and 1/4 cup of bacon bits topped with Panko crumbs and drizzled with garlic flavored olive oil which I also coated the dish with. The flavor was incredible but the sauce was runny, could’ve been from the cauliflower not being completely dry due to steaming it. Next time I’ll try some corn starch to thicken up the sauce. My husband loved it and is excited for the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Definitely a do over!