Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Cherries and Almonds – a healthy and delicious twist on your typical broccoli cheese casserole recipe! With shredded chicken, tender broccoli, Greek yogurt, Feta cheese, tart cherries and toasted almonds, it’s a totally unexpected yet award-winning combination that’s fabulously delicious!
We’ve had a bit of a temperature drop in Florida this weekend. I have to admit 60’s and 70’s feels amazing after 90’s all summer. They say this is “winter” in the sunshine state. Umm, whaaa?
Did fall happen and I missed it? I really need to see a few leaves turn colors or maybe just one leaf fall off a tree.
What’s a Florida girl to do??? Fly to Boston you say? Good idea!!
It’s hard to get in the mood for Stout Beer Chili and Crock Pot Beef Ragu when it’s blazin’ hot outside. But I’m working through my issues, and I have to say the slightly cooler temps have me craving some hearty comfort food like this Chicken and Broccoli Casserole with Cherries and Almonds.
I absolutely LOVE dried tart cherries, aka sour cherries. I prefer them to raisins, and even dried cranberries. It’s probably because I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, so for me their sour flavor balances out their sweetness perfectly.
Plus, they have some really great health benefits…
Some things to know about Tart Cherries and their Health Benefits:
- Tart Cherries are super-rich in antioxidants. They have about the same antioxidant capacity of blueberries. And when they’re dried, their antioxidants are super-concentrated. We’re talking over double the amount of benefits than when the fruit is fresh. Whaaa!??
- They’re high in fiber, and an excellent source ofvitamin C.
- They are considered one of the top anti-inflammatory foods. They can ease muscle pain, gout, and even arthritis. One study showed that tart cherries had better anti-inflammatory properties than aspirin. Now that is pretty amazing – right!?
- They’re high in potassium, which reduces the risk of stroke, hypertension and high blood pressure, and reduces muscle cramping.
- Cherries are a great sleep aid. They are one of the few good food sources of melatonin – the hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles. Tart cherries actually have more melatonin than any other fruit. So cool!
So the next time you’re feeling sore after a hard workout try munching on some dried tart cherries, or better yet whip up this easy and delicious casserole for the whole family to enjoy. You’ll all be pain-free and sleeping like babies.
I’m not sure why, but sometimes dried cherries can be hard to find at the grocery store. Usually they’re in the produce department next to all the other dried fruit, or in the area where dry goods are sold in bulk. And if they’re not in stock, I just order a big bag of them from everyone’s favorite virtual store – Amazon.
Either way I try to always keep them on hand for snacking, salads, or for recipes like today’s yummy casserole.
It’s not only delicious, it’s really good-for-you too.
We used two shredded chicken breasts from a roaster chicken, a large head of broccoli, sliced toasted almonds, dried tart cherries, Greek yogurt and feta cheese.
See – so much goodness in there. And those flavors… mmm, mmm!
The creamy saltiness from the yogurt and feta cheese paired with the sweetness from those cherries is a really delicious combination. Plus, the crunch from the toasted almonds gives the dish some really nice texture.
And it’s quick and easy – so perfect for those weeknights when you want to have something warm and comforting but you don’t want to spend the entire evening in the kitchen.
Allow me to show you the way.
Here’s the deets on how you make this Chicken Broccoli Casserole:
- Clean and cut your broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces (or buy a large bag of broccoli florets), drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then into the oven they go for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
- While that’s cooking, shred the chicken and set it aside.
- Heat up a medium-sized skillet on the stove, add olive oil and minced garlic. Cook that for a minute then add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add in the chicken and give it a good stir. Fold in the Greek yogurt, 3 ounces of the feta cheese, green onions, half the cherries and half the almonds.
- When the broccoli is finished roasting, fold the chicken mixture into the pan. Then sprinkle with the remaining feta, almonds and cherries. Bake for 15-20 minutes covered, and serve.
Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Cherries and Almonds – Hearty, healthy, cheesy, creamy, salty, savory, with the perfect touch of sweet!
Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Cherries and Almonds - a healthy and delicious twist on your typical broccoli cheese casserole recipe!
- 1 large head of broccoli cut into bite-size florets (or buy a large bag of broccoli florets)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup chicken stock (use more if your think your mixture seems dry)
- 2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded (I used a rotisserie chicken!)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 6 ounces Feta cheese
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- ½ cup dried tart cherries
Preheat oven to 425F.
Clean and cut broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a 9 X 13 baking dish for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
While the broccoli is roasting, shred the chicken and set it aside.
Heat up a medium-sized skillet on the stove, add olive oil and minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute then add the chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and stir. Fold in the Greek yogurt, 3 ounces of the feta cheese, green onions, half the cherries and half the almonds.
When the broccoli is finished roasting, turn the oven temp down to 375, and fold the chicken mixture into the baking dish with the broccoli. Then sprinkle with the remaining feta, almonds and cherries. Bake for 15-20 minutes covered, and serve.
*You can swap out the dried tart cherries for dried cranberries if desired. *The broccoli will still be a bit firm - we like our veggies al dente rather than soft. Cook the casserole longer for softer broccoli.
Looking for more easy weeknight dinners??