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Cheesy Broccoli, Chicken and “Rice” Casserole with Bacon

It’s six degrees in Cleveland right now. Yes, six degrees. It’s also snowing, so needless to say, it’s more than the perfect day for a hearty, filling casserole for lunch or dinner. This recipe was inspired by one of my Facebook friends who posted a photo of her broccoli rice casserole last night. I’d been thinking about it ever since.

If you’ve never made riced cauliflower (a great low carb, low calorie substitute for rice), it’s one of the easiest things you’ll do. You’ll just slough off the florets from a head of cauliflower, put them in a food processor and then process them until they reach a rice-like texture. After that, place them into a microwave-safe container (use a glass container if possible– putting plastic in the microwave is never a good idea) and microwave the “rice,” uncovered, for five minutes on high. That’s it– you now have “riced” cauliflower. Yummy.

I used chicken from a leftover rotisserie chicken, but you could easily dice up some plain chicken breast or even use canned chicken breast, if you’re really desperate. If you do use canned, be careful to check the ingredients for wheat-containing products or hidden carbs.

Cheesy Broccoli, Chicken and “Rice” Casserole with Bacon


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups steamed, small broccoli florets
  • 2 1/2 cups riced cauliflower (see text for instructions; about one small head)
  • 1/4 small red or yellow onion, minced
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced (could sub 1/8 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 5 strips bacon, fried and crumbled (reserve one tablespoon of bacon drippings)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (I used shredded leftover rotisserie chicken meat)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (preferably organic and grass fed)
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, full fat
  • 2 T butter (preferably organic, grass fed)
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (1 1/2 + 1/4 cup set aside)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Directions:
 
 
1. Sautee onion and garlic (or garlic powder) in the bacon drippings and place into a small container and set aside.
2. In a medium sized casserole dish, combine riced cauliflower, broccoli florets, onion and garlic and chicken into an even mixture. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. In a large sauce pan, combine cream, yogurt, butter, salt and pepper and heat over low-medium heat until mixture begins to simmer. Use a wire whisk to constantly stir the mixture. Once smooth and hot, add in 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese. Continue to whisk the mixture together over low-medium heat until the cheese is completely melted and does not stick to the whisk. Turn off heat.
5. Pour the cheese sauce over the casserole mixture and gently stir to assure the sauce coats the mixture evenly.
6. Top the casserole with 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon pieces. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until it is hot and bubbly.
7. Allow casserole to cool for 10 minutes then serve. Makes 5 servings.
Nutrition (in 1/5 recipe): 340 calories, 5 g total carbs, 2 g fiber (3 g net carbs), 22 g protein, 25 g fat 

 

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It takes a lot of trial and error to find the "right" fit for a low carb recipe. I have made some ... different low carb desserts. You don't need to go through that! I made a list of my favorite ingredients as well as what stores you can find them at. Enjoy!

About the author

Leeann Teagno

Eating healthy, for me, is about more than weight loss like it used to be. It’s about controlling my blood sugar levels and obtaining normal–or relatively normal–hormone levels. I still struggle to lose weight efficiently, but eating a wheat, sugar and gluten free diet helps to control some of the problems I’ve encountered with these health issues of mine.

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