4 months ago

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Skillet

This simple one-pan recipe from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate is perfect for busy weeknights and reheats well for delicious leftovers the next day.

Now that the school year is back in full swing, I’ve been feeling a pull to be more deliberate and organized with my meal planning. During the summer, a lot of times we just do dinner on the fly. It’s easy to grab some meat and veggies, throw it on the grill and call it dinner. It’s also fun to pack a dinner of PB&Js and chips, go to a park and have a picnic, or hit up a patio for happy hour. But now, with cooler weather and earlier sunsets, it’s the season that we choose to get cozy and stay home. Does anyone else love hygge season?

To go along with the cozy theme, I’ve been loving Instant Pot and one-skillet recipes lately. I love the Instant Pot because, well, what’s not to love? Dinner usually takes less than 30 minutes and minimal dishes get dirty. I love one-skillet recipes because you only get one dish dirty. I guess I just really love not doing dishes.

If your family is anything like ours, this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Skillet is one of those recipes you will go back to again and again. We love it for so many reasons.

For one, it’s so easy. You sauté, add the rice and liquid and let it simmer. Add the cheese and dinner is served. Did I mention it’s all in one skillet? One dish to clean!

Second, my kids go crazy for it. Lars, my little vegetarian-except-for-bacon, picks out the chicken but he loves the cheesy rice and always begs me for more broccoli. Hey, I’ll take it. Soren, my little tank, gobbles it all up. He makes a huge mess – but then again, when doesn’t he? I’m seriously considering investing in one of those little robot moppers for my kitchen floor, and this dish might be the reason why.

Lastly, it’s made with all real ingredients. You won’t find any cream of chicken soup cans in this recipe. The rice is creamy from a combination of milk and cheese, and is it ever creamy! You can use any kind of cheddar cheese in this recipe – or really any kind of cheese you’re into. I used mild cheddar so it wasn’t too sharp for the boys, but I think sharp cheddar, white cheddar or even cheddar jack would be delicious.

Do we need any more reasons to make this Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Skillet? What about the fact that leftovers are stellar? We had this for lunch (and dinner) the next day and it was just as good as it was the night before. Pro tip: Add a splash of milk before you microwave it, and it will make it a little creamier, as the rice has likely soaked up a lot of the liquid in the refrigerator.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Skillet

4-6 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup long grain white rice
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups whole milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 broccoli crowns, cut into small florets (about 2 cups)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shallot and cook until it starts to soften, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  4. Add the chicken breast pieces and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. It does not need to be cooked through.
  5. Add the rice, chicken broth and milk; stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
  7. Remove the lid, add the broccoli to the mixture, cover and cook another 5 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and broccoli is softened.
  8. Stir in 1 cup of cheddar cheese, then sprinkle the remaining ½ cup on top. Cover and let the cheese melt for 1-2 more minutes. Serve and enjoy! 
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