Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole (Paleo + Whole30)

Meal planning and prep is what got us through life when we were both working full-time corporate jobs. We cooked up a bunch of Paleo friendly food over the weekend, and Justin prepped all his lunches for the upcoming week too. I typically just ate leftovers for lunch, and we were able to mostly breeze through the work week, at least when it came to food. Nowadays, we still meal plan, but our lifestyle is a little more forgiving during the week thankfully. We do still love to make a big dinner Sunday most weeks though, like this Paleo + Whole30 healthy chicken and broccoli casserole and have the leftovers in the fridge the following week. 

Close up of this healthy chicken and broccoli casserole with bacon and cauliflower rice in a creamy sauce in a casserole dish with a serving spoon.

Comfort Food

There is just something about a creamy casserole that gives me all the feels. It’s cozy, soul-satisfying and just all around makes me feel good. This healthy chicken and broccoli casserole lacks nothing when it comes to creamy goodness! It is dairy-free and instead uses coconut milk to add in some healthy fats. And of course, bacon doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to up your comfort food game!

Holding this healthy chicken and broccoli casserole with bacon and cauliflower rice in a creamy sauce in a casserole dish.

Don’t Worry – You Won’t Taste The Coconut

Lots of folks get a little scared when they see that there’s coconut milk in a creamy comfort food recipe. They don’t want the coconut flavor. Guess what? You won’t taste it! This recipe, and many of our creamy, comfort food recipes have coconut milk in them in place of dairy. BUT….Fear not, we’ve become masters at masking the coconut taste. You’ll just be enjoying the creamy, rich texture and flavors of the rest of this healthy chicken and broccoli casserole!

Close up of this healthy chicken and broccoli casserole with bacon and cauliflower rice in a creamy sauce in a casserole dish with a serving spoon.

Cauliflower Rice Tips

You can of course rice your own cauliflower in a food processor, either using the grating attachment or the regular steel blade. Just be careful if you use the steel blade. It’s easy to over process the cauliflower. We recommend processing in batches if you go with the steel blade. An even better tip though is to get it pre-riced at your local grocery store. We are able to find it locally at Trader Joe’s – either in the fresh produce section or in the freezer section. You should also be able to find riced cauliflower at other health food stores like Whole Foods.

Healthy chicken and broccoli casserole with bacon and cauliflower rice in a creamy sauce in a casserole dish.

Some Other Comfort Food Recipes To Try

Your Turn To Try Our Healthy Chicken And Broccoli Casserole

Whether you just want a large meal to make over the weekend for dinner and then enjoy the leftovers the following week or you’re straight up craving comfort food, make this healthy chicken and broccoli casserole! Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Take a picture and share it on Instagram – tag us @realsimplegood. Also, if you don’t already follow us on Instagram, make sure to give us a follow so we can stay connected!

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Healthy chicken and broccoli casserole with bacon and cauliflower rice in a creamy sauce.


Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole (Paleo + Whole30)

4.31 from 62 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6
As part of our weekly meal prep, we love to make a big dinner Sunday, like this Paleo + Whole30 healthy chicken and broccoli casserole and have the leftovers in the fridge the following week. This casserole is a great, Paleo + Whole30 family-friendly and large dinner recipe!  
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Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to broil.
  • Grease a sheet pan with avocado oil and place chicken on the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in the oven to cook for 6 minutes. Remove, flip and place back in the oven to cook for 6 more minutes or until cooked through.
  • When the chicken has finished, set it aside while you make the rest of the ingredients and turn the oven down to 400° Fahrenheit.
  • Prep bacon, cauli rice, broccoli, mushrooms and garlic as noted.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add in diced bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it just starts to get crispy, about 6-7 minutes. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Now, prepare the creamy sauce. Using the same pan you cooked the bacon in over medium heat, add mushrooms and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add in the arrowroot flour and minced garlic and stir around to mix well with the mushrooms, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Next, slowly add in the coconut milk, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Be sure to mix well to dissolve all of the flour into the milk (you don't want any flour clumps). Use a whisk to mix if needed. The sauce will bubble and thicken, keep stirring to prevent burning. After 2 minutes turn heat down to low and simmer. Stir in salt and pepper.
  • Now, put everything together. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter, ghee or coconut oil. Chop the cooked chicken into bite sized pieces.
  • Add the cauliflower rice, broccoli, chicken, bacon and creamy sauce to the baking dish.
  • Carefully mix everything together well with a spoon.
  • Place back in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.
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57 thoughts on “Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole (Paleo + Whole30)

  • This looks amazing! Reminds me of a healthy paleo version of a casserole my mom use to make us as kids. I’d love to know a substitute for the coconut milk. I have a sensitivity to coconut proteins. Could a nut milk w/ added gelatin help? I’m assuming coconut milk was used because it’s much thicker. TIA!!!

    • Hey! Yes, we use full fat coconut milk for the extra rich and creamy texture. You could try a thick cashew milk. We haven’t tried it with anything other than coconut milk, so you’ll have to let us know how it goes. I’m not sure adding gelatin in would help because it only thickens as it cools and I don’t think you’d want to the jello texture once it did cool. Let us know if you end up trying cashew milk. 🙂

  • Do I put the casserole in the oven at broil again for 20-25 minutes once it’s all mixed? The directions didn’t say what temperature to put it in for.

    • Hey there! So you cook the chicken with the oven on broil (steps 1 + 2 of the instructions). Then, once the chicken is done you remove it from the oven and turn the oven to 400° Fahrenheit (step 3). Then, when the rest of the casserole is ready to go in the oven it will be all set at 400°. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • Made this tonight. Was just okay. Took a while to prepare – almost two hours, so will probably not make this again.

  • Didn’t realize this recipe calls for coconut milk out of the can, rather than coconut milk you’d find in a carton in the dairy aisle. Guess I should have clicked the link to Amazon before buying ingredients. Used chicken breast and turkey bacon to make this healthier. Smells good but is more like a hash than a casserole because nothing set. Bummed out.

    • Sorry this didn’t turn out as anticipated, but hopefully it tasted good! Any full-fat coconut milk should work, the link is just a recommended brand that we know doesn’t have any additional unwanted ingredients. Either way, it won’t “set” completely but will have more of a creamy hash texture.

  • Could you make this in a crockpot? Cooking the bacon first then adding all the other ingredients?! I’m a mom of 6 and like things as simple as possible ? thanks!

  • Hi! If I use frozen cauliflower rice, should I microwave it before I add it or leave it frozen and let it cook within the casserole? Thanks!!

  • This recipe was an epic fail… I used Tapioca Flour (as noted on the Whole30 Instagram post) and followed instructions accordingly. When I added the flour to the mushrooms and combined, it created little clumps. I was unable to break up them up after adding the coconut milk & whisking a ton! The “sauce” ended up binding together too much and created more of a gravy and since it was so thick, there wasn’t enough to spread and cover the veggies & meat. Please consider adjusting the ratios going forward if you are going to suggest Tapioca Flour… I think that was the issue for me. In the end, I just mixed everything up again and served in a bowl as it looked more like a stir-fry. Honestly, the flavors don’t really marry well either… the coconut milk overpowers everything & the Tapioca just gives it an odd texture.

  • Thanks so much for sharing this. I tried this with a few of my own modifications and it turned out wonderful! I roasted the fresh broccoli florets in a little olive oil, salt and pepper for about 20 min at 400. After cooking bacon, I omitted the mushrooms, sauted the garlic in the bacon grease, and added the arrowroot after a few minutes, stirring to ensure no clumps. At this point, I added salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and italian seasoning. I used riced cauliflower, but I used the pilaf version with peas and carrots. I also added 2/3 package of shredded Daiya brand vegan Mozzerella. Everyone in my house had 2 servings – they didn’t know I used cauliflower or Daiya shreds instead of real cheese!

  • My family is picky and I have a hard time finding a dish that we can all eat-and like. I followed this recipe without any changes. It turned out to be great for my entire family. I appreciate the time you took to post your recipes. Thank you!

  • I made this today! The only change I made was to use home-made coconut milk (due to my dietary requirements). It was a really wonderful dish that I really enjoyed; the flavor combination and texture was very satisfying. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • It’s possible, but we haven’t tried it so I’m not sure. If you do try it, I’d suggest putting the cauliflower rice and broccoli in at the end or they will get mushy.

    • We haven’t tried this, but I don’t think there would be enough liquid in the recipe to use uncooked rice. I’d try it with cooked rice. You’ll have to let us know how it goes 🙂

    • I tried this just last night actually- I added one cup of water and later a little more coconut milk. I would have added bone broth if I’d had it. It was very good!!

  • It was excellent. We subbed long grain rice for the cauliflower rice and I was concerned it would be too dry so I added some chicken broth once it was all mixed in the 9×11 pan. All of my kiddos loved it. Many of my kids have severe food allergies so we are delighted to have a “safe” casserole.

  • I ended up not having coconut milk, so I used whole milk and it was still delicious. My kids asked for this to be part of the normal rotation this fall and winter. Great recipe!

  • I stumbled on this recipe while I was looking for healthy casseroles. I made it for my husband and a few friends and we all really enjoyed it. It left us full but we were so happy because we knew how healthy and nutrient-packed it was! Not to mention it was super easy to make! I’ve added it to my favorites to make again in the future.

  • I added onions in with the mushrooms, and I used frozen cauliflower rice… it all came out beautifully!! I used a pointed wooden spoon to stir the arrow root into the mushroom mixture before adding the coconut milk and it came out thick and smooth. I also love how your recipes print out on one page.

  • So I’ve been following the Whole30 for two weeks and am so excited to try this! If I made it on Sunday for lunches would it last all week in the fridge or would you suggest freezing it?

    • Emma, so glad you’re going to try this one. If you are using fresh ingredients, it should be fine for 4-5 days in the fridge. We’ve definitely made it Sunday to eat on all week :).

  • Made this today….and added Rosemary, which gave the casserole a nice subtle herb flavor. I have to honestly say, I’m not a huge fan of riced cauliflower. However, I want to like it so tried this casserole. Will probably use rice next time. I am allergic to coconut so used a creamy oatmeal milk instead, which worked well. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  • A dairy free casserole that tastes great! Love the veg-heavy approach with this one too. We make this relatively regularly and sometimes to speed up prep, we sometimes buy pre-riced cauliflower and pre-chopped broccoli and just use cooked leftover chicken. Thanks!!

  • This was really good, thank you. Question, I didn’t mind the slight coconut taste from the milk, but my husband could tell. Do you think that evaporated goat milk could be used in place of the coconut milk?

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