Casseroles are my jam. There is really nothing more that I love than a hearty and delicious comfort casserole. Growing up, my mother was the queen of the casserole kind (along with fried potatoes and eggs..but that's for another post.). Needless to say, comfort casseroles take me back. About 20 years, actually.
I am traveling for work this week - and luckily I'm only gone for two days, but while Jordan is perfectly capable of caring for himself and the girls very well, two days of chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese seems sort of excessive. So- self proclaimed wife of the year, I prepped ahead and whipped up one of my favorite childhood recipes for he and the girls to eat while I was gone.
He ate this without me - hence the lack of silly baby faces and mouth wide open photo-ops that regularly adorn the pages of this blog for the WE EAT posts.
Next week. Promise.
My momma used to make this meal with a couple or three cans of condensed soup and a heavy hand of mayo.. really it was Miracle Whip.. but it wasn't until much later in life that I was properly educated on Miracle Whip vs. Mayonnaise.
When I got married and came home from the grocery after I had made our first big purchase of all the necessities, Jordan about hit the ceiling when he went to make a sandwich and I had made the executive decision to buy Miracle Whip rather than real mayonnaise.
I discovered I hadn’t ever had REAL mayo. The things we do for compromise.
ANY-way.. now that we are back from memory lane, lets get back to the real ingredients of this recipe. I made several attempts at this recipe before I decided it was close enough to its original recipe and worthy of table setting for my family.
Lower sodium and a little healthier than the classic favorite - but not lacking in flavor at all.
2 (10-ounce) packages fresh broccoli (you can find this in the prepared produce section)
2 cups shredded chicken breast (I cook mine in the slow cooker on LOW for 7 hers)
1 (12-ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed reduced sodium, 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
The juice of one lemon
1 cup (4-ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon butter
Steam broccoli in the microwave, according to packaged directions.
In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken and broccoli. Set aside.
Combine evaporated milk, flour, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add mayonnaise, next 4 ingredients (through lemon juice), and 1/2 cup cheese, stirring until well combined. Add mayonnaise mixture to broccoli/chicken mixture; stir gently until combined.
Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
In a small bowl, combine parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and melted butter.
Sprinkle evenly over casserole.
Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until mixture bubbles at the edges and cheese and breadcrumbs begin to brown. Remove from oven; let cool 5 minutes before serving.