Tender chicken, broccoli florets, and protein pasta simmer in a savory and creamy cauliflower sauce.
I am such a huge fan of creamy casseroles. Easy, filling, and budget friendly, casseroles are a great family friendly option on busy weekdays. My issue with most creamy casseroles, is that they are either made with creamed canned soup (meh) or are packed full of butter, cream, and cheese. I’m all about splurging but I’d rather splurge on Cheesecake Bars, not chicken casserole, ESPECIALLY when there is an incredibly simple alternative.
Cauliflower. Yep, steamed and puréed cauliflower, along with reduced fat cream cheese and 2% milk will give you the CREAMIEST and HEALTHIEST base for all your casserole needs. I kept this dish very simple and basic. Garlic, parsley, salt and pepper are my only seasonings. I love the flavor of the cauliflower sauce as it smothers the chicken and broccoli along with Barilla’s Protein Pasta*
I topped it all off with cheddar and breadcrumbs because really, Isn’t everything better with a cheesy crunchy layer 😋 My two youngest LOVED it, the five year old even asked and devoured seconds…. my oldest tolerated it but I figure 2 out of 3 isn’t bad. Ha ha ha. If you feel like it needs a bit more pizazz, you could always sauté some red bell pepper along with the onion, throw in some bacon bits, add crushed red pepper or add more cheese. Really, your options are endless. Let me know, what were your favorite add ins?
*I’m not sponsored by Barilla, I just love their products!
Healthy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse garlic salt
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons coarse garlic salt
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 10 ounces steamed broccoli florets, chopped *
- 7-8 ounces favorite spaghetti noodles**, cooked aldente
- 2/3 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
- 2/3 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven 350
Cut cauliflower into approximately 1-2 inch pieces and boil until soft. (Now would be a good time to steam the broccoli and boil the noodles)
Using a medium sized pan, on medium/low heat, sauté chopped onion and garlic in oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Once soft, scrape onion and garlic mix into a small dish and set aside.
Add chicken tenderloins and broth to pan and cook until no longer pink in the middle.
Remove from pan and cut into bite sized pieces.
Drain the cauliflower and place into a food processor using the S shaped blade.
Add milk and purée until smooth.
Pour purée cauliflower into the pan of broth.
Add softened cream cheese, salt, pepper, and parsley and stir until smooth.
Toss cooked pasta, broccoli, chicken, and sauce in a greased casserole dish.
Sprinkle on bread crumbs and cheese.
Bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncover d for another 10 minutes.
Allow casserole to set for 10-15 minutes before serving.
* I used one of those microwavable steam-in-bag broccoli products
** I'm not sponsored by Barilla, I just love their products!
Nutrition Facts Servings 12.0 Amount Per Serving 1/12 Calories 235 % Daily Value * Total Fat 7 g 11 % Saturated Fat 3 g 17 % Monounsaturated Fat 1 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g Trans Fat 0 g Cholesterol 51 mg 17 % Sodium 388 mg 16 % Potassium 184 mg 5 % Total Carbohydrate 22 g 7 % Dietary Fiber 4 g 15 % Sugars 5 g Protein 21 g 43 % Vitamin A 10 % Vitamin C 53 % Calcium 14 % Iron 6 %