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Bacon/ Cheese/ Chicken/ Hearty Dinners

Chicken and Broccoli Bake

October 31, 2023 (Last Updated: March 21, 2024) by Chris Collins

Cheesy chicken and broccoli underneath a crispy layer of bagel chips!

This recipe truly is pure comfort and is perfect for this time of year (it’s currently Halloween and I’m FREEZING). It’s also incredibly simple to make! Follow me…

close up shot of cheesy chicken broccoli bake with scoop taken out

Chicken, Bacon and Broccoli

These really are a gorgeous trio of ingredients. Add them to a cheesy sauce and top with bagel chips and it’s game over.

Preparing the broccoli

We’re actually going to roast the broccoli before mixing it into the sauce. I do this for a few different reasons:

  • Part-cook – to get the party started before finishing off in the bake.
  • Water – roasting helps pull out some of the moisture from the broccoli. This is an essential step so it doesn’t leak out too much water in the bake and turn it watery. This is also why we don’t steam or boil the broccoli.
  • Flavour – roasting the broccoli helps develop flavour. Those little charred bits are extra flavour!

As for the chicken and bacon, we’re going to start by frying the bacon and rendering down the fat. From there, we can use the fat to fry the chicken. I like using chicken thigh as it’s more fatty and flavoursome than breast and is much more robust during the double cooking (frying then baking).

Process shots: toss broccoli in oil, salt and pepper (photo 1), roast (photo 2), add bacon to pan (photo 3), fry (photo 4), remove and leave fat (photo 5), fry chicken (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make chicken broccoli and bacon

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli

We’re going to make the sauce with our standard butter, flour and milk, alongside some vegetable stock for some added flavour. From there, we’ll go in with the cheese, alongside some chives, Dijon mustard and nutmeg.

What kind of cheese should I use?

I like a mix of cheddar and gouda. I initially tried this recipe with all cheddar and found it slightly overbearing. The gouda mellows out the strong flavour and makes the sauce a little more creamy.

Process shots: melt butter and stir in flour (photo 1), whisk in milk and stock (photo 2), stir in mustard, chives and seasoning (photo 3), stir in cheese (photo 4), add chicken, broccoli and bacon (photo 5), stir (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make cheesy chicken and broccoli

Chicken and Broccoli Bagel Bake

To go on top of the filling we’re going to add some sliced bagel. This makes a gorgeous crispy/crunchy layer to go on top which is a huge step up from regular breadcrumbs!

What kind of bagel should I use?

I’ve used regular bagels and sesame-seeded bagels in the past – both are great! To film the recipe I actually used ‘red onion and chive bagels’ which I’m undecided whether I liked or not! If you’re unsure just go regular and branch out from there.

Process shots: halve bagel (photo 1), slice into chips (photo 2), add filling to baking dish and cool (photo 3), top with bagel chips then spray with oil and bake (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make chicken broccoli bagel bake

close up shot of black serving spoon digging in to chicken broccoli bagel bake

Serving Chicken and Broccoli Bake

I don’t serve this with any Sides – I find it hearty enough as it is! Just let it cool for a couple of minutes before digging in, otherwise you’ll lose the roof of your mouth!

For another delicious bake check out my Tarragon Chicken Bake and Chicken & Chorizo Bake!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this chicken and broccoli bagel bake shall we?!

chicken and broccoli bake served on small white plate with silver fork

How to make Chicken and Broccoli Bake (Full Recipe & Video)

overhead shot of cheesy broccoli chicken bake with portion taken out

Chicken and Broccoli Bake

Cheesy chicken and broccoli underneath a crispy layer of bagel chips!
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Servings (click & slide): 4 - 5
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Western
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Calories per serving: 753kcal

Equipment:

  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Baking Tray (for broccoli)
  • Large Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Jug (for milk/stock)
  • Cheese Grater
  • 25cm x 17cm / 10" x 6.5" Baking Dish (or similar size)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 350g / 12oz Broccoli Florets (see notes)
  • 90g / 3oz Streaky Bacon, diced
  • 600g / 1.3lb boneless skinless Chicken Thigh, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 45g / 1.5oz Unsalted Butter
  • 45g / 1.5oz Plain Flour
  • 480ml / 2 cups Milk, at room temp
  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Vegetable Stock
  • 2 tbsp finely diced Fresh Chives
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • pinch of Nutmeg (optional)
  • 75g / 3/4 cup EACH: Cheddar, Gouda, grated
  • 2 Bagels (see notes)
  • Olive Oil & Oil Spray, as needed
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.
  • On a large baking tray, toss the broccoli with a drizzle of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until it begins to lightly char and soften (it will cook more later).
  • Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium heat add the bacon. Fry until crisp with the fat rendered down, then remove and place to one side, leaving the fat behind. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chicken to the leftover fat (add a dash more oil if you need to). Season the chicken with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, then fry until it builds up a golden crust and is just about cooked through (it will cook more later). Remove and place to one side.
  • Lower the heat back down to medium and melt in the butter. Stir in the flour to create a roux then gradually add in the milk and stock, whisking as you go to prevent lumps from forming. Stir in the mustard and chives, alongside a pinch of nutmeg and pepper (I don't typically add salt due to the bacon and stock). Bring to a gentle bubble, then turn off the heat and stir through the cheese. Once melted, stir through the broccoli, chicken and bacon. Pour into a 25cm x 17cm / 10" x 6.5" baking dish (or similar size) and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Slice the bagels in half, then slice into chips around 1/4" thick. Neatly layer them over the filling, closing as many gaps as possible. Liberally spray with oil then place in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the bagel chips and deep golden and crispy with the filling bubbling around the edges. Rest for a couple of minutes then tuck in and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Broccoli - Just to confirm it's 350g/12oz broccoli florets, not the whole broccoli. I used a giant 500g/1lb head of broccoli which produced 350g/12oz florets.
b) Cheese - I like a mix of cheddar and gouda. I initially tried will all cheddar and found it slightly overbearing. The gouda mellows out the strong flavour and makes the sauce a little more creamy. You'll find gouda as a block in all supermarkets.
c) Salt - Go easy on the salt as the bacon and stock add enough already. If you're at all wary just ensure you're using unsalted butter and consider low-sodium stock.
d) Bagels - Regular bagels are fine. I've used sesame-seeded bagels which work perfectly too. For reference, each bagel is typically around 90-100g/3-3.5oz.
e) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 4.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Chicken and Broccoli Bake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 753 Calories from Fat 354
% Daily Value*
Fat 39.32g60%
Saturated Fat 15.951g80%
Trans Fat 0.724g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.795g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.544g
Cholesterol 215mg72%
Sodium 853mg36%
Potassium 1065mg30%
Carbohydrates 45.28g15%
Fiber 4.7g19%
Sugar 11.4g13%
Protein 54.38g109%
Vitamin A 1454IU29%
Vitamin C 79.2mg96%
Calcium 474mg47%
Iron 3.99mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

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