Skinny-ish Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken Bake
I think its funny when the word “skinny” is used to make a dish appear healthy.
I can’t wait to make this Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken Bake dish again!
Well I am not going to lie to you. This Skinny-ish Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken Bake dish has calories, cheese, and carbs (if you care about that sort of thing). That is why I did not want to use the word ‘skinny’. Instead I am going to say this dish is ‘skinny-ish’. What is the difference between ‘skinny’ and ‘skinny-ish’? Well, I’ll give you my point of view. When the word “skinny” is used as an adjective to describe a dish or food of any kind, it suggests that the food has fewer calories, carbs, and/or sugars. This in turn makes us feel that we are eating something that is healthier. Hence, in my opinion when something is “skinny” it is necessarily healthy, it is just lower in stuff that makes us gain weight. Now for something to be ‘skinny-ish’ ( I made that term up myself) that means it isn’t healthy or ‘skinny’. It’s somewhere between the two. This dish still has some ingredients that aren’t great, but I didn’t cut it down enough to make it ‘skinny’. Therefore, its ‘skinny-ish’. Make sense?
I bet you are wondering how I made this dish ‘skinny-ish’? Well I used 0% Fat Free Milk, Veggie Noodles, and added broccoli. Hence, Skinny-ish Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken Bake Dish. Aside from that I still used the ingredient that is the culprit of my flabby arms and that is cheese. I guess you could use lower fat cheese. Believe me I thought about doing the same thing but I was worried that the cheese wouldn’t melt the way it is suppose to. If you do not have that experience, by all means use that lower fat cheese and tell me about it as well. Oh yes! Veggie Noodles. So Barilla (pasta brand) has some of their pasta’s made with 1 serving of vegetables. I used Rotini that has 1 serving of vegetable from spinach and zucchini. This is a great way to add more vegetables in my diet because I definitely don’t get a full 8 servings. I have to sneak it into the foods I eat daily.
The best part of this dish ( and I must take full credit for) instead of baking or roast some boneless chicken breast, which can be boring, I bought a store-bought Rotisserie Chicken, pulled it apart, diced it into chunks, and used that in this dish. What I love about Rotisserie Chicken is that flavor! It has boat loads of flavor! When baked chicken….well..let’s just say it’s not as fun to eat. However, if you don’t have the ability or like Rotisserie Chicken, you can bake 5-6 chicken breast and that should work out just fine. In any case, I am sure you guys are over listening to me rambling about what’s ‘skinny’ and not so skinny. You will love this Skinny-ish Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken Bake Dish. It is super easy and quick to cook and it works for the entire family. Let me know what you think!
- 12 oz. Veggie Rotini Box, cooked al dente
- ⅛ c. Chicken Stock
- 1 1lb. Whole Rotisserie Chicken, pulled and diced
- 12 oz. Frozen Broccoli, unthawed
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 4 tbsp. flour
- 3¼ c. Non-fat milk
- 12 oz. Cheddar Cheese ( 1½ blocks of 8 oz. cheese), shredded
- 4 oz. Colby Jack/ Cheddar Cheese (the last half of the block cheese), shredded
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp.onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ c. panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp. butter
- Cook pasta until cooked al dente. Drain the pasta and return back to pot but not on burner. Pour in the chicken broth and toss.
- Take the Rotisserie Chicken and pull the meat off the bones and remove the cartilage. Take the large pieces of chicken and cut into large chunks. This should give you about 6 cups of chicken or more. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees and spray a large non-stick casserole dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a large pot on low medium heat. Melt the 4 tbsp. butter. Once the butter is melted, sprinkle in the 4 tbsp. of flour. The sauce will appear clumpy and may brown slightly. Whisk in the milk a cup at a time to smooth out the lumps. The sauce will thicken. Once all the milk has been added, stir ensuring that clumps are smoothed out. Allow the sauce to come to a steam simmer.
- Add the 12 oz. cheese and stir until smooth. Allow to steam simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Next, add the seasonings (salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, and smoked paprika. Finally, add the Worcestershire Sauce and stir. In the pot with the pasta, add the broccoli, chicken, and cheese sauce. Also, add the butter. Stir until evenly incorporated. Pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle the last 4 oz. cheese on top of the casserole and sprinkle the panko bread crumbs on top. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes ( just until cheese has melted), allow to cool slightly, and serve!