Chicken & Broccoli Cauliflower Rice Casserole – a low carb spin on a classic casserole made with riced cauliflower in place of actual rice and a dairy free sauce that’s easy to whip up! | Gluten Free + Paleo + Whole30 + AIP adaptable
First recipe of 2018!
And what a fitting way to start the year than with a cauliflower rice casserole! So healthy. So tasty. So comforting.
this past week I’ve been going back over all the stats that I’ve got here on A Saucy Kitchen to get a better idea of what people are really after so that I can better plan future recipes. If there’s one that was made abundantly clear about 2017 is that y’all are really into savoury, grain free/paleo friendly foods! Which is kind of perfect because so am I and remember that fact keeps me from going over board on all the baking…as fun as that may be.
In case you’re curious – these were the top 10 recipes of 2017:
- Coconut Lime Chicken (paleo + whole30)
- 3-Ingredient Grain Free Tortillas (grain free + vegan)
- Sweet & Sour Chicken (paleo + low fodmap)
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chia Pudding (grain free + vegan + low fodmap)
- Thai Meatball & Egg Drop Soup (paleo +whole30)
- One Pan Chicken With Lemon Garlic Potatoes & Sprouts (paleo +whole30)
- Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (paleo +whole30 + vegan )
- One Pot Moroccan Stew (paleo)
- Jerk Chicken with Mango + Avocado Salsa (paleo +whole30)
- One Pan Lemon Chicken with Asparagus (paleo +whole30)
So. Much. Chicken.
Now onto 2018!
New month, new year, new reason to recommit to eating healthy again after all the holiday binging. I ate so much cookie dough last month. It was equal parts disgusting and glorious and I have precisely zero shame about that.
That being said – I’m soooo ready to clean up my diet again.
How to Make: Chicken & Broccoli Cauliflower Rice Casserole
Making this casserole isn’t difficult, but keep in mind that it does involve dirty a few pots and and possibly a blender/food processor so keep that in mind as you go. I promise it’s worth it in the end! I’ve broken up the ingredients/method into smaller chunks to hopefully make it easier to follow and understand.
A couple things you can do to make this easier:
- Use leftover/pre-cooked chicken. This will save you a key step in making this casserole to save on time.
- Use pre-riced cauliflower. You can usually find this near the produce or frozen sections of your grocery store.
If you have those two things prepped in advance making this casserole will take 40 minutes at most because the only thing you’ll need to really do is make the sauce.
If you rice your own cauliflower and end up with extra just throw it in a ziplock bag and toss in the freezer. You can make cauliflower rice from frozen at a later time.
Speaking of freezing – this does freeze/reheat well so if you end up with leftover casserole you can pack it away and pull out another day. It’s great for batch cooking/meal planning for busy schedules. I include tips for how to bake from frozen in the recipe card below.
Here’s to a new and improved year!
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Chicken & Broccoli Cauliflower Rice Casserole
Low carb, Whole30 friendly spin on chicken & broccoli casserole
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons | 30 ml olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped/ about 1 1/2 cups chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 1 cup | 240 ml unsweetened, plain almond milk (coconut milk for AIP)
- 1/4 cup | 25 grams tapioca flour or arrowroot starch
- 1 cup | 240 ml chicken stock
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste (this will vary depending on what type of chicken stock you use)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes, optional (leave out to make this AIP friendly)
- 1 small cauliflower head, riced/ about 4 cups riced cauliflower
- 1/2 head broccoli, roughly chopped/ about 2 cups chopped broccoli
Prep the chicken
- Lay the chicken breasts at the bottom of a medium sized sauce pan - make sure not to overlap the chicken so they cook evenly. Cover with at least 2 inches of cold water. Add the salt. Bring the chicken to a boil over a medium/heat and then cover and reduce down to a simmer. Let gently simmer for about 15 minutes to cook internally.
- Once done remove the chicken from the water and let cool a couple of minutes. You should be able to easily shred the chicken with a couple of forks at this point.
- While the chicken is cooking begin on the sauce.
- Add the olive oil to another medium sauce pan. Warm on a medium heat. When the oil is hot add the chopped onion and sauté for about 3 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
- In a small cup whisk together the almond milk and the tapioca flour/arrowroot until no lumps remain. Add the starch milk to the onions along with the chicken stock , nutritional yeast and lemon juice and stir. After a minute or two the mixture will thicken and become a bit goopy. Taste and season with salt - depending on the type of chicken stock you use may need more or less.
- Add the oregano and red chilli flakes if using and stir. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside until needed.
Assemble + Bake
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C and lightly grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
- Add the cauliflower rice, chopped broccoli and shredded chicken to your casserole dish and toss together mixing well.
- Pour the sauce over the top of the veggies and mix again fully coating everything in sauce. When everything is completely coated in sauce spread out the casserole so it's in an even layer. When the oven is ready bake for 25-30 minutes. The top will be lightly golden and slightly bubbly. Let lest about 5 minutes before dishing out and enjoy!
How to make this even easier:
- Use pre cooked chicken - shredded or chopped into bite sized pieces
- Use pre-riced cauliflower. You can usually find bag of cauliflower rice near the produce aisles and sometimes frozen sections of your grocery store.
How to rice cauliflower:
- Use can do this by grating raw cauliflower florets or pulsing chopped florets in a blender or food processor
Make it cheesy:
- Mix in 3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast (<--affiliate) into the sauce. Add it when you add the oregano & chilli flakes. This will give it a cheesy taste but keep it dairy free & whole30 friendly.
- Add grated cheese over the top of the casserole about half way through the cooking time. Not paleo but very tasty.
Make it vegan:
- Use chickpeas instead of chicken and vegetable stock instead of chicken stock
Make it nut free:
- Use another unsweetened milk of choice: rice, oat, coconut dairy etc
Freeze it for later:
- Cook as you normally would and then freeze it. Click here for tips on how to freeze casseroles. When you're ready you can bake from frozen. Cover with foil and bake at 400°F/205°C for about 35-40 minutes or until completely warmed through.
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