A small Internet search turned up Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole from www.skinnytaste.com. I was ready to go to work on this combo of comfort/broccoli/and chicken. The recipe proclaimed it to be “a simple dish the whole family will love–even the little ones!” The little one that has a standing grandparental visit on Friday nights made that a true statement. He loved it as we did.
No-yolk noodles, a creamy sauce of fat-free chicken broth and skim milk, and reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese were the pull-togethers for this lightened version of an old standby. I love recipes (as this one did) that call for breadcrumbs, since I can retrieve from my bread bin a couple of leftover heels I have stashed away and pulse them in a blender to make the topping.
We were comforted; good use was found for leftovers. Happy us!
Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole
6 ounces noodles (I used no-yolk)
2 teaspoons oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
12 ounces fresh broccoli florets, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium shallot, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 cup 1-percent milk (I used skim)
12 ounces cooked shredded chicken breast
4 ounces shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)
Cook noodles in water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside. In a large skillet heat oil. Add garlic; cook over medium heat until golden, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli and a little salt; sauté and cover the broccoli for about 3 minutes on medium heat until the broccoli begins to soften. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use cooking spray to lightly spray a 12-inch-by-9-inch casserole dish. In a large pot heat butter over medium-low heat; when butter is melted add the shallot. Cook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and a pinch of salt (or salt substitute) and stir well. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until it is well combined over medium heat; whisk well for 30 seconds; then add milk and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium heat; mix occasionally until it thickens (about 6-7 minutes). Remove mixture from heat and add reduced-fat sharp Cheddar and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese. Mix well until the cheese melts. Add to the sauce shredded chicken, noodles, and broccoli; mix well until they are evenly coated. Pour into a casserole dish; top with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top; bake for about 20-25 minutes. For a few minutes place the casserole under the broiler to get the crumbs crisp and golden (careful not to burn). Makes 6 servings. (Source: http://www.skinnytaste.com)