Italian Cream Cheese Chicken Casserole
We love this casserole around here, and it’s such a fabulous comfort food for these cool fall days.
The warmth and richness of the cream cheese sauce, mixed with plenty of vegetables, lends to a dish that everyone loves. This was one of my first recipes posted on this blog and it is still one of the most tried and gets some of the most traffic here at NKU.
To those who knock a casserole, or say they aren’t “healthy”, this dish is whatever you make of it. If you’re gluten-free, just use a gluten-free pasta, or rice, or potatoes. On a primal diet but eat dairy? Just use extra vegetables instead of grains or potato.
I’ve made a few variations of it and we’ve enjoyed each one.
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour or organic/non-GMO cornstarch
- 3 cups chicken broth*
- 8 oz cream cheese*
- 1 Tbsp Italian Dressing Mix
- ½ Tbsp dried minced onion
- ½ Tbsp dried minced garlic
- 2-3 cooked and cubed chicken breasts
- 1 box of rotini pasta (we use brown rice pasta)*
- 2 heads of steamed broccoli or 1 bag of frozen broccoli (you can also use whatever vegetable mix you enjoy)
- Cook pasta until al dente or slightly firm. (if you’re freezing this under cook it about 3 minutes)
- Melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour or cornstarch (cornstarch for you gluten free folks) to make a rue. Once mixed together well, add the broth in slowly while whisking. When it gets to a gentle boil, whisk occasionally and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
- Add in cream cheese and all the seasonings, mix well and taste. If you like more seasoning, add it now. Let simmer for a few minutes while you grease a 9×13 pan and place the pasta, chicken, and broccoli into it.
- Pour cream cheese mixture over everything and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Take out, stir, and enjoy!
Use 4 cups of cooked rice instead of the pasta. (If using rice, soak overnight to increase nutrient absorption.)
For an extra creamy version you can use milk in place of all but 1 cup of broth
This is also great over potatoes! Just cut up about 5 medium-sized potatoes, mix together the sauce, chicken, veggies, and potatoes. Bake until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 30-35 minutes.