Chicken and Kale Casserole...I'm having a difficult time describing how good this is. It's good...like, real good! You should definitely cook it soon...like, tonight maybe!
I mean...look at that Chicken and Kale Casserole! Now, wipe the drool off your face, compose yourself, and get ready to experience this tender, delicious, and comforting casserole. Dubbed 'Chicken Quarantini' by my good friend Joe and his family, me likey every time!
Ingredients for Chicken and Kale Casserole
10 Steps to Cook Chicken and Kale Casserole
Step 1 - Preheat oven and precook the rice. Cook the rice, set aside and cover for later. Also preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2 - Cook the onions and garlic. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven and add the onions. Cook for until they start to get soft and add the garlic. Cook for an additional minute.
Step 3 - Wilt the kale and add some spice. Add the kale to the pan. Toss until all the kale is covered with olive oil, then add your spices. Cook until the kale is wilted and covered with the spice mix.
Step 4 - Whisk in the milk and broth. Slowly whisk in the milk first and let it start to thicken up a bit, then whisk in your chicken broth.
Step 5 - Add the cooked, shredded chicken. Add the chicken and cook until heated through and mixed thoroughly.
Step 6 - Add the cooked rice. Add the rice and mix thoroughly.
Step 7 - Prepare the baking dish. Now dump it all into a deep baking dish and spread it out evenly.
Step 8 - Prepare the breadcrumb topping. In a medium sized bowl, mix the breadcrumb and parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and mix until all the breadcrumbs become moist.
Step 9 - Top with breadcrumb mixture and bake. One spoon at a time, go ahead and give that chicken casserole a whole lotta love, spreading it evenly on top. Then pop that sucker in the oven for 10 minutes and let them cheesy crumbs get nice and toasty woasty (toasty woasty...huh?!?).
Step 10 - DEVOUR! Be sure to come up for air, but go ahead and scarf this down. Or take your time and enjoy it...whatever works for you 🙂
Tips, Tricks, FAQs
Can I use raw chicken?
Meh...you better skip the raw chicken on this one. Remember, you're only baking it for about 10-15 minutes just to toast the breadcrumb and make sure everything is heated all the way through. So definitely cook the chicken first - I love throwing mine in the air fryer, but you can also fry it, bake it, or boil it. Shred it up and save yourself the bacterial infection (too much?)!.
Should I cover it while it's in the oven?
You could but then you won't get that crispy, (and toasty woasty like I mentioned earlier 🙂 breadcrumb topping and that's like kinda the best part. Besides everything is cooked and pretty warm to begin with, so leave it uncovered and bake.
Can I prepare ahead of time and freeze?
Some casseroles you absolutely can cook ahead of time and freeze. This one though has kale (which is a bit hardier than some other greens, but still has a pretty high water content) so it's definitely best prepared and eaten fresh.
How long will leftovers stay in my fridge?
Made this Chicken and Kale Casserole (aka Chicken Quarantini)? Would definitely appreciate if you leave a comment below and let me know what you thought! Always love hearing from you guys...and don't worry I'm an Italian from New Jersey...I got thick skin!
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Chicken and Kale Casserole (Chicken Quarantini)
- 2 lb cooked chicken breast shredded
- 1½ cup brown rice
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil separated into 2 tbsps each
- 2 cup onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 bunch kale stems removed, finely chopped
- 2 cup milk low fat
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese grated
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried mustard
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- Cook the rice according to the packages instructions. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover and set aside. Also, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat one of the 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat in a large fry pan or Dutch oven. When heated, add the onions and cook for about 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute.
- Add the kale to the pan of onions and garlic. Cook, mixing thoroughly until all the kale is fully covered with the oil. Add the casserole spice and cook, mixing frequently until the kale begins to wilt - about 3-4 minutes of cooking.
- Turn the heat up to high, and slowly whisk in the milk. Cook for about a minute until the milk begins to thicken a bit, then slowly whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Drop the heat and simmer for another minute.
- Add the shredded chicken and the cooked rice and toss everything together until fully combined. Cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
- While the chicken and rice heat up in the pan. In a medium sized bowl, add your breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and mix together. Slowly whisk in the last 2 tbsps of olive oil (you may need more depending on your preferred texture), stirring as you pour. Add enough of olive oil until all the breadcrumbs are covered with oil and the mixture is moist.
- Add the chicken, rice, and kale mixture to a large baking dish, and spread evenly. One spoonful at a time, top the chicken and rice with the breadcrumb mixture until the entire casserole is covered.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are toasted.
- This recipe is more than enough for my family of 4 with leftovers for lunch the next day (depending on how much your family eats, maybe even two days). If you're just looking for dinner for 2 or a light family meal, you can cut this recipe in half and have plenty to go around.
- Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking method and ingredients used. It's advised you calculate your own nutritional values if needed.
Hi! I make baked chicken with chicken broth steamed kale often. But, on a busy school night, that can even be a bit too much. So, I was looking for a make-ahead casserole that I could just pop in the oven and roll on with my busy after school shenanigans.
This recipe was the bridge I needed. I have to be honest, I did alter the recipe to appease my family's taste.
First, I marinated the chicken breast for 2 to 3 days in Mediterranean dressing(it's what I had on hand). Then I baked the chicken and shredded it. Second, I substituted the brown rice with Uncle Ben's long grain wild rice. I used the whole box. Because I used garlic and herb long grain wild rice and marinated the chicken I wasn't super concerned about the "casserole spice." But, I had fresh thyme, rosemary, and oregano on hand so I tossed some in, as well as, sea salt and pepper to taste. Also, I did not add dried mustard because I didn't have any. Last, I buttered the casserole dish because I didn't want it to stick. I tossed everything in, topped with the breadcrumb mixture, covered with cling wrap and put it in the fridge until we needed it.
Honestly, I used this recipe as more of a reference. I skipped a few steps(like most of step 4 and step 5). I added everything together and made sure it was mixed well, but that was about it for those steps.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I know I didn't make it exactly as written, but you gave me the additions I needed to make an easy weeknight staple into a make-ahead meal. Cheers to less stress!
Hey, this is great! Thanks for your take on the recipe. Yeah it's a great one to make ahead and just pop in the oven like you said. Love the marinating idea...going to try that next time I make it. Glad you enjoyed!
Made this because I had a rotisserie chicken I needed to use asap and a bunch of kale. Only differences was I added some carrots (to get rid of them) added cream cheese and FAGE because I didn’t have enough milk so to supplement and shredded cheese because I didn’t have Parmesan. It was a huge hit!! All supplements were out of necessity and shows this is a great recipe because of that. 18 yr old boy had THIRDS! & ate copious amounts of Kale!! Man had THIRDS (not surprised from that one)
I really wasn’t expecting much just needed a dump recipe and I’m sold on it! Thank you so much!!
Anytime you can get your teen to eat kale is definitely a win in my book too lol. Glad the fam enjoyed it!
I made this and got rave reviews from my husband. Named it a “5 star meal”. I halved the recipe and it made 2 meals for the 2 of us. He wanted the leftovers for lunch the next day. I made it exactly as the recipe except for the rice. I used white Minute rice as I did not have brown rice. Very delicious. Thanks for sharing.
Nice! Love hearing that Peggy. Glad he enjoyed it...sounds like it won't be the last time you're making this. Thanks for the review!
This meal is delicious! I had a ton of kale my neighbor graciously gave me from his garden and was looking for a tasty dinner time with it and this did not disappoint! I added mushrooms that I needed to use up and it was a great addition. I also used Almond milk and it was still creamy. My 16 year-old daughter asked me to make this again soon. Thank you for the great recipe!
Thanks Brigid...glad you guys enjoyed! The mushrooms sound like a tasty addition, will have to try that. Let me know how the next one turns out!
Made this last week and it was so good, I'm back at it again this week. I made it more of a one pot meal by baking it in my ovenproof skillet. Turned out amazing! I didn't have panko, so I toasted some whole wheat bread to make bread crumbs. It turn out more like croutons, but even with the cheap can of parmesan cheese, the topping was so good! (toasty-woasty!!)
Yeah I really love this one...especially on a cold night! Great call with the "one pot"...have to try that out! Thanks for the review and glad you enjoyed!
Yummy! Thank you for the recipe. I used less soy milk and more chicken broth.
Smoked chicken shredded, used deli mustard since I was out of dry mustard
The Skinny Guinea
Thank you Patricia...and glad you enjoyed it! Love the addition of the smoked chicken...well done!