Couscous and broccoli chicken casserole transforms a side into a main dish
Hello, hello! Lauren here from LaurenKelp.com and we are whipping up something delicious today!
If you are anything like me, you value a delicious meal that doesn’t take a ton of prep or time to make. Your time is valuable and sometimes you want to spend it outside the kitchen, but you also don’t want to sacrifice your eating habits — I totally get it.
That is why we are making this easy, breezy, delicious couscous casserole. Gone are the days when rice was just a side dish! Here we’ve got the most amazing couscous from RiceSelect that takes a little water and a few minutes and always comes out perfect. No sticking to the pan, no mess and definitely no waste!
My favorite thing about this casserole is that it always makes a ton. Whether you’ve got friends coming over, need a dish to bring to a potluck or just want some good left-overs, this guy is totally for you. So settle in, scroll down and let’s get started!
First, let's talk ingredients! There are three different components to this recipe — the broccoli pesto, the chicken and the casserole itself. First up, the broccoli pesto!
Couscous and broccoli chicken casserole
For the broccoli pesto:
- 1 large head of broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
- 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- 1/3 cup Mexican shredded cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon usually works)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Tip: The couscous is the base of the dish, so don't forget to add the RiceSelect® Couscous to your shopping list!
For the chicken
- 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the casserole toppings:
- 1/2 cup favorite salsa
- 1/2 cup of Mexican shredded cheese
So, you've got your ingredients and now it's time to get started. Like I mentioned earlier, there are three parts to the dish, the first up is the most delicious broccoli pesto!
For the broccoli pesto:
- Firstly, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish (we used a Le Creuset stoneware).
- Blanche the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup of water into a large pot and bring it to a lite simmer. Stir in your broccoli when the water is ready and add a pinch of salt. Cover and let it sit for about 1 minute.
- When your broccoli timer goes off, immediately pour the broccoli into a strainer and run cold water over the broccoli. This stops the florets from cooking. Let drain and set aside.
- It's pesto time! Use a food processor or Vitamix and add in two cups of your cooked broccoli, the 3 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of slivered almonds, shredded cheese, salt and lemon juice. Switch it on 'pulse' and drizzle in olive oil and ricotta. Pulse until the pesto is smooth.
- Take the remaining broccoli and add in the pesto in a large bowl and set aside
Fantastic! You've conquered the pesto and isn't it delicious?! Next up, the couscous and chicken. I always recommend RiceSelect for this dish because the instructions are so easy to follow and the grains always come out perfectly. As for the chicken, if you have a favorite way of par cooking chicken, feel free to use it. The chicken gets baked in the casserole, but this just helps give it a head start.
For the couscous and chicken
- Cook up your RiceSelect® Couscous according to the instructions on the back and add it to the broccoli and pesto bowl.
- Use the same pot you used to cook your broccoli and couscous and add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and your cubed chicken.
- Cook until side is browned (3 to 4 minutes) and flip.
- Once the chicken is browned, remove from stove and add it to the broccoli, pesto, couscous bowl.
Hooray! You've made the parts and now it's time to combine and bake...
For the casserole:
- Pour content into the baking dish spreading evenly and top with salsa and 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 20 minutes (or until middle of the casserole is hot).
- Remove, let cool for a minute or two and serve with an extra side of salsa!
Easy, breezy and super yummy! Now you've got a delicious meal and time to spare. Make it and love it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below. Happy eating!
*Recipe adapted from A Healthy Life for Me
This post is part of a sponsored collaboration between RiceSelect® and SheKnows