Dairy-free cheesy broccoli chicken casserole

This cheesy broccoli chicken casserole is gluten-free, dairy-free, and high in protein! It’s a perfect family and kid-friendly dinner for a busy weeknight. You can make it in advance, heat, and eat.

Let’s just open the clouds and hear the angels sing:

I made a dinner that my children ate.
 This cheesy broccoli chicken casserole is gluten-free, dairy-free, and high in protein! It’s a perfect family and kid-friendly dinner for a busy weeknight. You can make it in advance, heat, and eat. fitnessista.com 
We’ve been in a serious dinner rut over here. I’ve been making *real dinners* pretty much every night, and I never know what the girls will actually eat. I’ll plate up something that was once their favorite, and they’ll groan as I set it on the table. Or even better, P will be like, “I just wanna go to a restaurant.”
Me too, P.

So, they currently hate things they used to love and sometimes will clean their plates when I make something new or exotic. So basically, I have no clue what to do. Nothing like having young kiddos to give you a true kitchen skills reality check. I went from feeling pretty confident in my abilities to feeling like I suck. 

Last week, I was on a mission to make dinners that were as kid-friendly as possible. Sloppy joes: check. The girls ate two bites, didn’t like them, and guess who had sloppy joes leftovers for lunch the next couple of days?

MY OTHER VIDEOS

The next night, I made them mac and cheese with fruit and roasted broccoli (always a hit) and heated up an Eat Fit Go meal for myself.

The night after that, I was determined to make something they’d actually want to eat. I thought of the creamy chicken and rice casserole my mom used to make growing up, and created something kinda similar, using the ingredients I had on hand.

This cheesy broccoli chicken casserole is gluten-free, dairy-free, and high in protein! It’s a perfect family and kid-friendly dinner for a busy weeknight. You can make it in advance, heat, and eat. fitnessista.com

Some major changes:

– I used Banza pasta (from Thrive Market) since we all love it

– I used So Delicious coconut milk mozzarella to keep it dairy-free (I don’t eat a ton of dairy, and found that when P eats a lot of it, her stomach gets really upset)

– Added some cooked chicken, spices, and broccoli, and it ended up being a seriously comforting and delicious dinner casserole

 This cheesy broccoli chicken casserole is gluten-free, dairy-free, and high in protein! It’s a perfect family and kid-friendly dinner for a busy weeknight. You can make it in advance, heat, and eat. fitnessista.com

Macros (8 servings): 354 kcal // 19g fat // 31g carbs // 16g protein

I highly recommend it if you have picky kiddos, or if you’re just looking for an easy make-ahead weeknight meal. The leftovers were amazing, too!

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a whirl:

Dairy-free cheesy broccoli chicken casserole

20 minutes prep // makes 8 generous servings

Ingredients:

– 1/2 sweet onion, diced
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tablespoon butter (dairy free: avocado oil)
– 1 cup almond milk
– 1 tablespoon flour of choice (I used brown rice)
– 8oz mozzarella (I used the So Delicious brand)
– 8 oz pasta, cooked almost all the way (I used Banza)
– 6 oz steamed broccoli (drain and pat dry)
– 9 oz cooked chicken breast, diced (hack: use rotisserie chicken!)
– 1/4 cup grated parmesan (or more dairy-free cheese of choice)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375.
In a large pot on medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt.
Stir in the onion and garlic, season well with salt and pepper, and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant and soft.
Add the flour and stir well, and then the milk. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow to thicken slightly (1-2 minutes) before stirring in the mozzarella. Stir well until creamy.
Remove from heat, and add the pasta, chicken, broccoli, and season well with salt and pepper.
Pour into a casserole dish and sprinkle with the parmesan on top.
Bake, covered, for 15-20 minutes until bubbly. If desired, pop the casserole dish until the broiler for a minute or two to brown the cheese on top.

Note: The casserole is totally customizable depending on the veggies you have on hand! The sauce is what makes it.

So, tell me, friends: what was your favorite thing your parents cooked for dinner when you were growing up? My mom’s enchiladas will always be #1.

xo
Gina

Today’s Summer Shape Up workout: This leg workout + steady state. Can’t wait to do this at the gym later today!

Post Navigation:

11 Comments

  1. Josie on August 14, 2018 at 9:32 am

    It’s dreary and rainy here in New York and I was thinking a casserole type dish would be perfect for dinner tonight. Now I know what I’m making!

    I do have a question about the So Delicious cheese. I try to go as dairy free as I can for my lactose intolerant husband, but he’s a picky eater already! How much coconut flavor is in the cheese? I’ve tried So Delicious ice cream and the coconut flavor was a bit much for me and I like coconut. Will other seasonings mask the coconut flavor? Thanks!

  2. Elyse @ Healthier Holland on August 14, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Yum! I recently purchased Banza pasta and have yet to make a meal with it. Meal planning this week just got easier. Thanks!

  3. Hilary on August 14, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Did you use a dairy-free parmesan? I have a dairy allergy and haven’t found a suitable alternative.

  4. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on August 14, 2018 at 10:28 am

    My boyfriend sounds like your kids! I can never tell what he’ll be in the “mood” for. He also just got his blood work back and has high triglycerides and A1C (pre-diabetic) so, needless to say he’s resolved to start eating like me.

  5. Bob Barker on August 14, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Of note, butter does indeed qualify as dairy thus it is not a dairy-free recipe ☹️

    • Anne on August 14, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      *it states avo oil for a dairy free option

  6. olive jason on August 22, 2018 at 6:24 am

    amazing recipe gonna try it out tonight.

  7. Lauren on August 31, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight using Daiya cheese and Earth Balance for the butter. Easy comfort food! Great recipe 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 2, 2018 at 12:11 am

      yay, i’m so glad you liked it!

  8. Emily on September 25, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    This looks delicious! And for it to be dairy free makes it so much better! Will be cooking this soon!

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest