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!
Chicken and Kale Casserole (Chicken Quarantini)
- 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.