Chicken Casserole Without Cheese (Easy Recipe)

Looking for a comforting, chicken casserole without cheese?

This chicken casserole recipe is exactly what you need.

It’s packed with tender shredded chicken, nutritious broccoli, and a creamy cashew sauce.

It’s a satisfying and flavorful dish that will please the whole family.

Chicken Casserole without Cheese

Chicken Casserole without Cheese

If you’re seeking a delicious casserole recipe without cheese, this chicken casserole is a winner.

It’s a perfect meal for those who are lactose intolerant or following a dairy-free diet.

The combination of shredded chicken, broccoli, and a creamy cashew sauce will have you coming back for seconds.

With its hearty ingredients, this casserole is a complete meal in one dish.

It’s simple to make and perfect for a cozy dinner or potluck gathering.

Ingredients

For this cheese-free chicken casserole, you will need:

  • 3 cups shredded chicken (3 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets (2 heads of broccoli)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 2/3 cup chopped bacon

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

How to Make Chicken Casserole without Cheese

Follow these steps to create a delicious chicken casserole recipe:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the chopped bacon to the skillet with the onions. Cook until the bacon is crispy.
  4. In a blender or food processor, combine the soaked cashews, almond milk, Dijon mustard, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, broccoli florets, cooked onions, and bacon. Mix well.
  6. Pour the cashew sauce over the chicken and broccoli mixture. Stir until everything is evenly coated.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  8. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.
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Note: For the complete list of ingredients and directions, see the recipe card below.

Tips for the Best Chicken Casserole

To ensure the best results for your chicken casserole, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Use cooked and shredded chicken: It’s essential to start with tender, cooked, and shredded chicken. You can cook the chicken breasts beforehand, either by boiling, baking, or using a rotisserie chicken for convenience.
  2. Don’t overcook the broccoli: To keep the broccoli vibrant and slightly crisp, blanch the florets in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes before adding them to the casserole. This will help retain their texture during the baking process.
  3. Soak the cashews for a creamy sauce: To achieve a smooth and creamy texture for the sauce, be sure to soak the cashews in hot water for at least 10 minutes. This will help soften them and make them easier to blend.
  4. Adjust the seasoning: Feel free to adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences. If you prefer a spicier casserole, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the sauce. Play around with different herbs and spices to create your desired flavor profile.
  5. Customize with extra veggies: While this recipe includes broccoli, you can experiment with adding other vegetables to make it even more nutritious and flavorful. Consider adding diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or carrots for added variety.
  6. Garnish before serving: Once the casserole is baked and ready to serve, sprinkle some fresh herbs, such as chopped parsley or green onions, over the top for an extra pop of color and flavor.

Variations

While this recipe is delicious as is, you can get creative and make some variations to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Dairy-free cheese alternative: If you prefer a melty cheese-like topping, you can use dairy-free cheese alternatives such as shredded vegan cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on top before baking.
  2. Gluten-free option: To make this recipe gluten-free, simply substitute the regular flour in the cashew sauce with gluten-free flour or cornstarch.
  3. Vegetarian option: If you want to make a vegetarian version, you can replace the shredded chicken with meatless chicken strips or tofu.
  4. Mexican-style casserole: For a Mexican twist, add some taco seasoning to the cashew sauce and top the casserole with crushed tortilla chips or cornbread crumbs before baking.
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What to Serve With Chicken Casserole

While this chicken casserole is a complete meal on its own, you can complement it with some additional side dishes to create a well-rounded meal. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Salad: Serve a fresh green salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing on the side. It will provide a refreshing contrast to the creamy casserole.
  2. Rice or quinoa: Serving the casserole on a bed of fluffy rice or quinoa can help absorb the sauce and make it a more substantial meal.
  3. Steamed vegetables: Add some steamed or roasted vegetables, such as carrots, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts, for extra color and nutrients.
  4. Crusty bread: A loaf of crusty bread or dinner rolls can be a perfect accompaniment to soak up the creamy sauce.

Storage Tips

If you have any leftover chicken casserole, here’s how you can store it:

  1. Refrigerator: Allow the casserole to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezer: If you want to freeze the casserole, place it in a freezer-safe container or wrap it tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  3. Reheating: To reheat the casserole, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave until heated to your liking.

Note: It’s important to note that the texture of the broccoli may change slightly after freezing and reheating, but the flavors will still be delicious.

Chicken Casserole without Cheese

Chicken Casserole without Cheese

This chicken casserole without cheese is a comforting and flavorful dish that will satisfy your taste buds. Packed with tender shredded chicken, nutritious broccoli, and a creamy cashew sauce, it's a perfect meal for those who prefer a dairy-free option or are lactose intolerant. Whether you're looking for a cozy family dinner or a dish for a potluck gathering, this chicken casserole is sure to impress.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 477 kcal

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until translucent.
  • Add the chopped bacon to the skillet with the onions. Cook until the bacon is crispy.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the soaked cashews, almond milk, Dijon mustard, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, broccoli florets, cooked onions, and bacon. Mix well.
  • Pour the cashew sauce over the chicken and broccoli mixture. Stir until everything is evenly coated.
  • Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.

Notes

  • To achieve the best results, use cooked and shredded chicken breasts. You can boil, bake, or use rotisserie chicken for convenience.
  • Blanching the broccoli florets for a few minutes before adding them to the casserole helps retain their texture during baking.
  • Soak cashews in hot water for at least 10 minutes to soften them and ensure a smooth and creamy sauce.
  • Feel free to adjust the seasonings and add extra vegetables according to your preference.
  • This casserole can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.