Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Hands down one of my all-time comfort foods growing up was my mom's chicken broccoli casserole. From the hidden stash of creamy, comforting rice, to the cheesy broccoli chicken topping, this casserole warms you up from the inside out. I think I could legitimately say broccoli chicken casserole is the king of comfort foods (and I'm not forgetting about mac and cheese here--a perfect broccoli chicken casserole rules all!).

But here's the sad part. Most casseroles recipes include condensed soups as a main ingredient.  I wouldn't have any idea what to tell you were in those soups.  Whatever they are made of, it's not real. And even homemade condensed soup recipes are thickened with flours--an ingredient that people on the GAPS diet or the SCD diet have to avoid.

However just because I want to clean up my body and heal my gut, doesn't mean I have to leave out foods that I enjoy. I NEED some of those timeless dishes I loved from growing up.  But, I also want to make sure that my digestive system remains healthy and my body toxin-free (I am sooooo done with crazy eczema and allergies!). So I put together a wonderfully creamy, cheesy chicken broccoli topping served over a cauli-rice base that will remind you every bit of your favorite broccoli chicken casserole! It's the quintessential GAPS diet main dish, if you ask me.

The chicken broccoli topping has only a few ingredients--none of which have any flours or starch. It's also got a hint of tanginess from the lemon juice and sour cream that makes your mouth tingle for just one more bite.. over and over.

I would usually put some suggestions or recommendations in preparing the recipe but this casserole is so easy I don't think there's any need! Just enjoy!

GAPS diet main dishes

GAPS main dishes

Chicken Broccoli Casserole (no grains or starches)
Author: Amy MoffatPrep time: 20 minCook time: 30 minServings: 6


1 head cauliflower, stem trimmed and cut into florets
2 heads of broccoli, stems trimmed and cut into florets, cooked (skip cooking if you don't mind slightly firmer broccoli and want to save time)
1 lb uncooked chicken breast, diced into cubes
1 1/2 cup homemade chicken broth
12 oz chopped celery root (about 2 cups)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup homemade sour cream
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese


· Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan with butter or coconut oil.
· Place about 1/2 of the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse a few times until the cauliflower is chopped into rice-size pieces.
· Pour chopped cauliflower into the pan and chop the rest of the cauliflower, add it to the pan, and spread evenly on the bottom. (this is to ensure that chunks of cauliflower don't get missed while the rest get chopped very fine. But if you have a very large food processor that might work with all in one batch). Set aside.
· Bring chicken broth to a boil and add chopped celery root. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the celery root can be pierced easily with a fork.
· Puree with an immersion blender or in a high speed blender until very smooth.
· Cook chicken breast thoroughly in a skillet over medium heat. The pieces should start to turn golden and there should be brown bits on the pan.
· Remove from heat.
· Add the chicken broth mixture to the skillet, scraping up the browned bits (this gives extra flavor to the "cream of chicken soup") Set aside to cool.
· In a large mixing bowl, add the cheddar cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the broccoli and mix well. Add the chicken mixture and stir well.
· Spoon entire mixture over cauli-rice.
· Cook at 350° for 30 minutes (you can also add some shredded cheddar cheese on top during the last 8 minutes of cooking).
· It will be very hot! Let cool a bit before serving.

5 Responses to “Chicken Broccoli Casserole

  • Brenda M
    2 years ago

    Your recipe looks delicious, and so much “cleaner” and healthier than my traditional chicken broccoli casserole recipe. I can’t to try it!

  • This looks so creamy and comforting, you’d never guess it’s secretly healthy!

    • amoffat
      2 years ago

      haha seriously! even while eating it, I can’t believe it tastes so much like the condensed-cream-of-chicken-soup version we are all used to!

  • can I sub celery root for regular celery?

    • Actually the celery root is much more of a root vegetable and acts more like a potato than celery. Potatoes can be subbed in for celery root, if you can tolerate them. Using celery would not give you the consistency that you’d need!

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