A simple pasta dish perfect for weeknights, this tasty chicken broccoli casserole is easily made in an hour and is dairy-free to boot! The leftovers are easily re-heated, providing multiple meals from one dish.
The secret to making this chicken broccoli dairy-free yet keeping it creamy is using coconut milk!
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Can You Taste The Coconut Milk?
Some people worry that if you substitute coconut milk for milk or cream in recipes that they end up tasting too coconutty. I’ve found that coconut is the perfect dairy substitute for any cream or dairy-based recipe.
A great example is my dairy-free pumpkin pie, which also uses coconut milk instead of cream.
The coconut milk is rich, thickens just like cream, and has a subtle flavour that actually enhances the recipe in my opinion. In this case the garlic, bacon, and broccoli work together to mask any coconutty flavour.
Great For Meal Prep
Any casserole is best eaten right after baking but in a pinch, this dairy-free chicken broccoli casserole can just as easily be baked and then refrigerated for 2-3 days. It’s an easy way to provide a delicious and filling lunch or supper for the week to come with very minimal effort.
Can you use leftover or pre-cooked chicken?
While this recipe calls for sauteeing raw chicken breasts in a pan with bacon and garlic prior to assembly, you can just as easily use precooked oven baked chicken breasts, or chicken meat leftover from roasting a whole chicken.
- To save on time, cook the pasta while you prepare and cook the ‘filling’. Once the pasta and chicken/broccoli mixture is cooked, you just need to mix them together and bake!
- Use pre-cooked or leftover chicken instead of cooking raw chicken breasts.
- Reduce the amount of dishes you dirty, by cutting the broccoli, garlic, and onion before cutting the bacon and chicken.
Dairy Free Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- 450 grams Rotini uncooked
- 3 each chicken breasts diced
- 150 grams bacon small diced
- 2 cups broccoli cut into florets
- 1/2 each Spanish onion small diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 227 grams Dairy-Free Mozzarella Shreds I used Earth Island brand, but any brand will do
- 2 14 oz cans Coconut Milk
- Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove and cook the rotini until al dante, about 7 minutes. Strain and set the pasta aside once done.
- While the pasta cooks, cut the broccoli florets then mince the onion and garlic. Set the vegetables aside and first small dice the bacon before cutting the raw chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375F, then saute the bacon in a pan, and cook it until it has barely started to brown and is about half cooked. Add the chopped chicken to the pan and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked and starts to brown. Add the onion, and garlic to the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and 2 cans of coconut milk to the pan. Stir to loosen any bits of bacon or chicken that may be stuck to the pan.
- Bring the pan with the chicken, broccoli, and coconut milk to a boil. Once it boils, combine the cooked noodles, and the casserole filling in a casserole dish. Mix it well to evenly distribute the chicken and broccoli. Top with dairy-free mozzarella shreds and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.