I know I waxed poetic about my love for Pintrest.com recently. I think my addiction is growing...I may need an intervention at some point. There are just so many yummy recipes, crafty projects, neat house ideas, cute outfits. Sigh. Complete time sucker, let me tell you.
Anyway, if you have a Pintrest account, chances are you've seen this recipe. I'm fairly certain everyone I know on Pintrest pinned this at some point in the last couple weeks. I love a good casserole, so I was excited to make it. Plus my brood loves broccoli, and I loved finding a casserole recipe that didn't include cream of something soup. Turns out it's from a blog called Get Off Your Butt and Bake. I haven't checked out many other posts, but I think I probably will. She calls it Chicken Broccoli Supreme. I changed mine up a bit from how the recipe appears on that blog, so the recipe below is how I made it.
Pintrest Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Source: Adapted from Get Off Your Butt and Bake blog
1 lb. broccoli (steamed slightly if fresh, thawed if frozen)
3 cups cooked chicken breasts – Break up in small pieces
3 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese, divided
1 tube Ritz Crackers
1/2 stick melted butter
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/3 C. Butter melted
1/4 C. Cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 C. COLD Water
1/3 C. Chicken Broth
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 Cups skim milk
1 1/2 cups of the above Cheddar Cheese
In greased 13×9 pan, layer the broccoli and chicken, then set aside. In saucepan over medium heat, combine the sauce ingredients--melted butter, cornstarch dissolved in water, chicken broth, seasonings, and milk. Stir well, and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn heat down to low, and add 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over the chicken and broccoli. Top with 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese.
Melt the half stick butter, and add the poppy seeds, garlic and onion powders, and stir well. Crush Ritz crackers in large zip-lock bag with a rolling pin. Don’t crush too small. Add crumbs to the melted butter. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the grated cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until hot & bubbly.
I used frozen broccoli for mine, so I just threw some in a microwave steamer for a couple minutes so it wouldn't be frozen. I didn't want to completely heat it for fear it would get soggy in the casserole. The original recipe calls for two sleeves of crackers and an entire stick of butter for the topping. I thought that was a bit much (plus my kids are cracker monsters and had eaten all but the one sleeve of crackers I stashed away, so I really didn't have much choice), so I also cut down the amount of butter too. I was worried it was going to be a bit bland, so I threw in the garlic and onion powders to give it a little kick. It really helped. I think next time I would probably season the chicken a little, too. I baked mine earlier in the day and just threw the chicken breasts in a pan into the oven; in hindsight I should have done something to them so there'd be a little more flavor. You could easily add some seasoning to the sauce as well.
All in all, this was a casserole that we really liked. Boy #1 put up a bit of a stink about eating it, but the rest of us all enjoyed it. I think he was just having an off day--chicken, broccoli, and cheese are all things he normally loves. Who knows with five year olds. Am I right?! This is definitely something I'd make again, especially since most of the ingredients (aside from the crackers, which my family just tears through too quickly) are things I normally have on hand.