5 Cheese Chicken Broccoli Casserole

For Cheese Lovers Only Sometimes a good recipe is just fine. Sometimes a recipe needs a little help...

For Cheese Lovers Only

Sometimes a good recipe is just fine. Sometimes a recipe needs a little help, that is, when you need to make it specifically to your liking. And sometimes when you take a good recipe, make the adjustments to suit you, you might as well go for the kill as in gilding the lily so to speak. That is just what I did with this recipe that was perfectly good before I made it better, for me.

It started out just fine, but I doubled the sauce to make it creamier.  In the original recipe, Parmesan and mozzarella makes up the sauce and more is added to the topping. That's fine, except not cheesy enough for me as it did not not have that big of a burst of cheese flavor I desired.  To add to the sauce, I used provolone to give an added depth of Italian flavor. An American muenster would go in a different direction and I think would be especially flavorful as would any semi-soft cheese with melting qualities. Now to add the gild, I added another two types of cheese after assembly of the casserole: Taleggio and a mild blue cheese, Saga Blue. Taleggio cheese is a creamy Italian cheese that many folks add to a cheese tray at parties as it pairs well with fruit and crackers alike. But it is also very flavorful in casseroles. Italian Gorgonzola dolce cheese I find to be milder than many others and creamier too than say blue cheese or a Roquefort. I think I would like to try the milder one next time around as the Saga blue overpowered, but I also used 2 ounces. If you really love the taste of blue, leave it alone. The two additions were cut into small pieces and randomly place on top of the casserole. I later decided to nestle these deep into the saucy chicken and broccoli laced pasta thus hidden away. What I like about this method is that in varying bites, I experienced various cheese flavors. Bet you could come up with your own favorite cheese medley.

Here's the results of my madness. Enjoy!

5 Cheese Chicken Broccoli Pasta
serves 4
3 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
2 cups homemade chicken broth (or canned low-sodium)
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Provolone cheese, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and fresh ground black peppercorns to taste
8 oz penne rigate (I prefer the mini penne, Piccolini)
2 cups fresh broccoli florets, slightly steamed (or frozen, slightly cooked)
2 cups roasted chicken, skinned & boned, torn into large bite size pieces
1/2 cup Taleggio cheese' cut into chards (Fontina, Gouda or a good white cheddar)
1 to 2 oz Saga blue cheese, crumbled (a young Gorgonzola or a Brie would be great too)
    In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add garlic sautéing for a minute, stir in flour blending well. Slowly stir in the milk, cream and broth. Stir constantly over medium low heat until mixture thickens and is creamy. As it begins to bubble, remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella, 1/2 cup Provolone and the Parmesan cheese until smooth.
    Cook the pasta just under al dente, drain thoroughly and pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
    Add the broccoli, chicken and cheese sauce to the pasta. Mix well and spread evenly. Randomly place the other two cheese, Taleggio and Blue if using, on top and press these into the pasta mixture. Top the casserole with the remaining Mozzarella and Provolone evenly.
    Bake for about 25 minutes or until sauce begins to bubble and topping is nice and brown. Run under a boiler if needed.

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    Post a Comment

    1. I just love the medley of cheese here, I have always made it the same with sharp cheddar this is a diffinite must try I cant believe I never thought to do this! awesme recipe yummmmmmm

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    2. Great recipe!!! Proper comfort food and excellent choice of cheeses!

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    3. I would have to leave out the chicken...but I am pretty sure I could polish off quite a bit of this :) Fantastic and so love the doubling of the cream sauce...

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    4. Considering that I have cheese on the top of my birthday wishlist, this dish is completely up my alley. It sounds like a bowl full of heaven.

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    5. Oh my my...Drick, I have been trying to digest the 5 Mexican sauces that you gave me and now you come out with 5 cheeses. My brain is not very good with cheese :( Looks very delicious but think I'll feast on the picture first :D

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    6. Drick this looks great, with Fall already breathing down our neck here in Wine Country it's the prefect time for this dish.

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    7. five cheeses, oh how sinful but very welcomed, great recipe

      sweetlife

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    8. The only thing better than cheese? More cheese...I like the way you think ;)! Looks yummy!!

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    9. WOW! I have been in such the mood for broccoli lately! This looks so great and yummy!

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    10. This dish really reminds me of home. The potlucks and church dinners with all those amazing casseroles. Yours looks so incredibly good I will have a piece right now if you don't mind. The fact that it is 9:45 in the morning doesn't matter. Something with that much cheesy goodness and succulent chicken deserves to be eaten at any time of day. It is good for you too because it has broccoli, right?

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    11. I am absolutely drooooooooling.

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    12. This is the third time that I've tried to comment on this post! Service unavailable, it keeps saying! lol Anyway, this recipe looks scrumptious and since I love broccoli and cheese, I am putting it on my "must try" list! Drooling!

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    13. So true about adjusting recipes to suit your tastes. I'm sure people do that to my recipes all the time! :)

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    14. This is an important recipe for everyone who is 'feed up' with minding colesterol levels. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    15. Looks amazing, so cheesy and delicious!

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    16. Never mind the cholesterol, Carol, it has broccoli so it must be healthy! :)

      This looks sooo good. Nothing like something creamy hot out of the oven as the weather gets cool. Now I happen to have some boiled chicken from making broth today... not roasted, but who will know?

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