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Creamy Scratch Chicken Broccoli Casserole (No Canned Soup)

This completely from Scratch Chicken Broccoli Casserole is made without any soups or canned additions but is so easy to make and results in a homemade creamy chicken casserole the whole family will love.

scooping creamy scratch chicken broccoli casserole

In my novice days of cooking, casseroles had always intimidated me. For some reason, the image of someone setting a freshly baked casserole down at dinner time held the gold standard of a seasoned cook. Now as a seasoned cook, I realize just how incredibly inaccurate this image was. Casseroles were surely created for the sake of an easy dinner that was filling and easily reheated for leftovers.

This Scratch Chicken Broccoli Casserole is made well, from scratch however, don’t let that make you think that this is anything complicated. It is all assembly for the most part and the result is a creamy, filling casserole that even a seasoned cook can appreciate.

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Creamy Scratch Chicken Broccoli Casserole Is…

  • A healthy casserole recipe
  • A great choice for a weeknight dinner
  • A completely from scratch recipe
  • A great way to have comfort food on a busy weeknight
  • Deliciously creamy and satisfying main dish
  • Made with whole ingredients
  • A hearty meal and one the whole family will love

Ingredients

Chicken- Rotisserie chicken works wonderfully for this casserole but you can use shredded leftover chicken of any kind. If you don’t have leftover chicken you can bake or grill a seasoned chicken breast and shred it up for this recipe.

Broccoli- You can use frozen or fresh broccoli florets for this recipe just be sure not to overcook it. The broccoli should be just cooked and bright green.

Cheese- I like to use white cheddar for this recipe but have also used jack cheese and mozzarella with similar results.

Butter- I use salted butter for this recipe but if you have unsalted that will work fine too.

Pasta- I like to use either penne, fusilli, or rotelle-style pasta but you can also use cavatappi, or tortiglioni as well.

Milk-  A homemade sauce that is milk-based will be used in place of canned soup. I use full fat or at the lowest 2% milk to ensure a creamy sauce. Try not to use a fat-free as this will result in a runnier sauce.

Breadcrumbs- You can use homemade or store-bought bread crumbs. Plain is best. The breadcrumbs combined with butter will give a delicious crisp buttery topping to the casserole.

Spices- I suggest using sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if you can however, regular table and pepper will work fine too. Nutmeg and garlic will be added to the cream sauce to give it flavor.

What You Will Need To Make It

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken ( or leftover chicken)

5 cups broccoli florets

12 oz penne , fusilli or rotini pasta (about 3.5 cups dry)

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

2 cups white cheddar cheese

1/2 cup bread crumbs

3 large garlic cloves, minced

For the Béchamel Sauce

4 tbsp butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups whole milk

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Tools

9 x 13 baking dish

*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through the links I provide (at no cost to you).

Directions

Begin by boiling the noodles according to the package directions. Shred the chicken and cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces In a steamer or saucepan, cook broccoli until it is just cooked. It should be bright green with a bite.

broccoli, chicken and pasta in a large bowl

Transfer the cooked broccoli and pasta to a large bowl. Set aside.

To make the béchamel: heat a medium saucepan and begin melting the butter over medium heat. Add in the flour and use a whisk to stir it into the butter to combine. Slowly begin pouring the milk in about a half cup at a time. Allow it to thicken before adding more. Sprinkle in the salt and cracked black pepper. Add the minced garlic cloves along with the nutmeg. Continue whisking to help the sauce thicken.

When ready remove the sauce from the heat.

Add the shredded chicken to the large bowl with the pasta and broccoli. Sprinkle in the remaining salt and cracked black pepper.

bechamel sauce being poured into a large bowl

Pour the béchamel sauce into the large bowl and stir well with a large spoon. Spray or grease a casserole dish and pour the entire contents of the bowl into the casserole dish.

woman spreading cheese over casserole

Top with cheese. Place butter into a small saucepan and melt.

butter and bread crumbs in a pan

Add bread crumbs and stir until the bread crumbs look wet. Sprinkle them evenly across the top of the casserole.

chicken broccoli casserole ready for the oven

Bake at 350℉ for 20 to 25 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden crispy brown and the cheese is bubbling.

chicken broccoli casserole fresh from the oven

Cooking Notes

  • If you don’t have leftover chicken you can bake or grill a seasoned chicken breast and shred it up for this recipe.
  • If you don’t have a 9 x13 baking dish, a 12 inch cast iron skillet works too
  • It is important to slowly add milk when making the béchamel sauce. Adding it too quickly will result in a runny sauce.
  • You can use whole milk or 2 % milk for the béchamel sauce. I would not recommend using anything lower in fat as this will yield runnier results.

FAQ

What is the best way to reheat the casserole?

The best way to reheat a casserole without drying it out is to first pull it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before heating. Next, cover the dish with tin foil to lock in the heat and keep the pasta from becoming overly dry as it reheats. Heat it at 350 ℉. The time it takes for the casserole to reheat will depend on the amount of casserole in the dish left and how cold it was when it began heating. You can use a candy thermometer to check the center if you are unsure.

What other cheese can I use?

I like using white cheddar, mozzarella, and jack cheese for this. You can use any similar cheese you enjoy.

How To Store

Store any chicken broccoli casserole in an airtight container in the fridge. It should keep for up to 3 days.

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9 x 13 Baking Dish

Cast Iron Skillet Set

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creamy scratch chicken broccoli casserole

If you try this recipe and love it, I would appreciate you coming back to give it 5 stars!

Yield: 8 servings

Creamy Scratch Chicken Broccoli Casserole (No Canned Soup)

creamy scratch chicken broccoli casserole

a creamy easy to make casserole made completely from scratch with chicken, broccoli, and pasta

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie or leftover chicken breast)
  • 5 cups broccoli florets
  • 12 oz penne , fusilli or rotini pasta (about 3.5 cups dry)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • For the Béchamel Sauce
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Instructions

    1. Begin by boiling the noodles according to the package directions.
    2. Shred the chicken and cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces
    3. In a steamer or saucepan, cook broccoli until it is just cooked. It should be bright green with a bite. Transfer the cooked broccoli and pasta to a large bowl. Set aside.
    4. To make the béchamel, heat a medium saucepan and begin melting the butter.
    5. Add in the flour and use a whisk to stir it into the butter to combine.
    6. Slowly begin pouring the milk in about a half cup at a time. Allow it to thicken before adding more. Sprinkle in the salt and cracked black pepper.
    7. Add the minced garlic cloves along with the nutmeg. Continue whisking to help the sauce thicken.
    8. When ready remove the sauce from the heat. Add the shredded chicken to the large bowl with the pasta and broccoli.
    9. Sprinkle in the salt and cracked black pepper.
    10. Pour the béchamel sauce into the large bowl and stir well with a large spoon.
    11. Spray or grease a casserole dish and pour the entire contents of the bowl into the casserole dish.
    12. Top with cheese.
    13. Place butter into a small saucepan and melt. Add bread crumbs and stir until the bread crumbs look wet. Sprinkle them evenly across the top of the casserole.
    14. Bake at 350℉ for 20 to 25 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden crispy brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Notes

  • If you don't have leftover chicken you can bake or grill a seasoned chicken breast and shred it up for this recipe.
  • If you don't have a 9 x13 baking dish, a 12 inch cast iron skillet works too
  • It is important to slowly add milk when making the béchamel sauce. Adding it too quickly will result in a runny sauce.
  • You can use whole milk or 2 % milk for the béchamel sauce. I would not recommend using anything lower in fat as this will yield runnier results.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1/8th

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 488Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 845mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 27g

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