by Olena

Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
4.9 from 11 votes

Easy Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole with lots of sauce, not mushy pasta, and crunchy broccoli. No canned soup, cheesy top, and kids love it!

You might also like this ground turkey and broccoli pasta, chicken and broccoli stir-fry, and healthy broccoli cheese soup!

Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Healthy Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake

It is so cold at my beach house, all I can think of is comfort food like pesto pasta, cabbage stir-fry, Instant Pot lasagna, and this healthy chicken broccoli casserole is the one this week.

Sometimes when I mark a recipe “kid friendly” I understand that’s a very broad definition. Just like “healthy”. However, today this chicken broccoli pasta bake is for 99% of kids. Ha!

It is so good! Everything cooks almost in one pot ( you don’t even have to drain pasta). It has healthy amount of white sauce, pasta is not dry and broccoli isn’t mushy. In fact, I love one-pot pasta dishes; chili beer mac n’ cheese, Instant Pot goulash, parmesan chicken pasta, and turkey tetrazzini are just a few of the one-pot dishes I have on the blog!

And it’s easy, no bazillion steps and simple ingredients. My family members love casseroles, hope yours will too.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Pasta: I used whole wheat pasta. Any whole grain or gluten-free short pasta that can “scoop up” some of the cheese sauce (really it’s super healthy white sauce involved here) is good. Just follow pasta’s package instructions when cooking because for example, brown rice and quinoa pasta cook very fast.
  • Chicken: I used leftover cooked chicken. You can use any pre-cooked chicken breast or thighs, I have very simple Instant pot chicken breast recipe that is perfect for this dish. Worst comes to worst, rotisserie chicken is OK too. It’s not as healthy of a choice as homemade but still it’s better than eating McDonald’s. Alternatively, you can use shredded chicken instead of cubed to make healthy chicken and broccoli casserole.
  • Broccoli: Both fresh or frozen broccoli florets work. You can add frozen broccoli without thawing first because they cook fast.
  • Cheese: I used marble cheese which is a mix of yellow and white cheese. You can use cheddar cheese, however, it’s hard to find organic which is my preference for dairy, or mozzarella cheese. Full fat would be the best meaning anything with fat content of more than 15% and that doesn’t say “low fat” on the label.

Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole in white baking dish

  • Milk: Whole milk with 3.5% fat content a.k.a homogenized milk is A MUST for tasty chicken broccoli casserole. Why? Because it makes the sauce creamy. I would highly recommend not to use low-fat milk or skim milk because dish will come out flat.
  • Cornstarch: It thickens the sauce. If you are out or have sensitivity or preference, you can substitute with whole wheat flour or arrowroot powder.
  • Broth: Vegetable or chicken broth work well. Make sure it’s low sodium though because that’s what I used developing this recipe. Regular broth is VERY high in sodium plus if you don’t adjust amount of salt, the casserole will come out super salty.

Can I Add Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt to the Sauce?

  • Sour cream: I personally love the taste of sour cream but not its ingredients list, even organic has additives. However, it tastes very good and different from yogurt. Maybe once in a while it “won’t kill me” like I like to say.
  • Greek yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt is strained yogurt that is high in protein. It is more tangy than sour cream.

Stir in desired amount of any (I would say 1/2 cup) after casserole has baked but before sprinkling cheese. Do not add to the sauce and bake with sour cream or yogurt. Yogurt will curdle for sure, and sour cream will dry out anyways iMHO.

 How to Make Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

how to make Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

  1. Cook pasta al dente and do not drain. 
  2. Make a slurry with milk and cornstarch and add to the pot with pasta and spices. Cook until thickened.
  3. Turn off heat and add cooked chicken and broccoli.
  4. Stir, transfer to a baking dish and bake covered for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and let it melt in the oven.

Can I Freeze Leftovers?

Yes, technically you can but I will be very honest with you and say that I wouldn’t.

  1. Casserole has been already cooked, stirred and mushed around. I wouldn’t like the texture of this bake particularly thawed. Especially if you use gluten free pasta like brown rice or quinoa – to me it would reminds a texture of baby puree.
  2. My offer to you is cut recipe in half if you are cooking only for 2. If for more, make full recipe and leftovers refrigerate well for a few days and prevent you from eating junk food.

More Healthy Broccoli Recipes

Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole with melted cheese and pepper

Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Easy Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole with lots of sauce, not mushy pasta and crunchy broccoli. No canned soup, cheesy top and kids love it!
4.91 from 11 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Casserole
Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 237kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pasta
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock low sodium
  • 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey cubed
  • 1 lb broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp basil dried
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup marble cheese shredded
  • Cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, add stock and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 5-6 minutes or al dente, stirring occasionally. Do not drain.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together milk and cornstarch and add to the pot with pasta along with garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Cook for a few minutes until thickened, stirring once or twice.
  • Turn off heat and add cooked chicken and broccoli. Stir, transfer to previously prepared baking dish and bake covered for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with cheese, turn off the oven and “bake” until cheese is melted. Serve hot.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.


    • Stir in desired amount of plain Greek or regular yogurt (I would say 1/2 cup) after casserole has baked but before sprinkling cheese. A few readers really love this addition!


    Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 369mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 602IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 2mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    21 comments on “Healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

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    1. 5 stars
      Really great recipe. I added sour cream at the end and it added a little extra creaminess to the sauce. My family ate it all up – even our fussy three year old! Tasted light and healthy. Thanks for the fantastic week night recipe!

    2. 5 stars
      The flavors are great. I used banza pasta and I was worried because it says boil in at least 8 cups of water but I followed the instructions here with the chicken broth and just kept and and eye on it.

      I halved the recipe with no issues. My only problem is I think I cut the broccoli too big because they aren’t quite cooked – but that was the cooks fault not the recipe

    3. 5 stars
      Made this today and added a bit more spice, lemon juice from one lemon, and lemon pepper. This was delicious!

    4. 5 stars
      This was so good! I had everything on hand except chicken stock, but I had broth, so I used that. As per some comments, I was going to add in the yogurt to thicken it up, but mine came out nice and thick, so I didn’t add the yogurt. Had a great taste with just enough zip from the red pepper flakes. My husband liked it and said I could make it again, so it must be good. Leftovers reheated nicely and were just as good as when I made it. Thank you for a great recipe!

    5. 5 stars
      This recipe is so delicious!!! We have made this many times. My favorite way to make it is to add the greek yogurt at the end, it makes it so creamy and delicious!!!!!!!!! Thank you for another wonderful recipe that is a staple in my kitchen

      1. 5 stars
        I have to suggest adding 1/2 greek yogurt after cooking but before the cheese. She mentions this in the post above the recipe. I did not notice the first few times, but once I tried that, it made this dish much more moist and delicious. I personally enjoy both ways, but you should def try adding the yogurt or sour cream

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