Chicken casserole was a staple in my house growing up, but it was nothing like this curry chicken casserole recipe. The casseroles of my childhood were basic and simple, full of the things a picky eater would enjoy. Leftover rotisserie chicken, instant rice, and can of cream of mushroom soup were often combined for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: canned and boxed foods are convenient, but at what cost? There are so many preservatives and unpronounceable ingredients in those types of foods. Not to mention the high levels of sodium used to make those foods shelf stable—I’ll be through my daily value and on my way to high blood pressure in no time!
What I love about this curry chicken casserole recipe is that it’s just as easy to make as my mother’s boxed variety. Better than that, this flavor-forward makeover of my childhood favorite combines two of my favorite things: Greek yogurt and curry powder.
There Are So Many Reasons To Love Greek Yogurt
At first, I thought everyone’s obsession with Greek yogurt was a fad. But, as soon as I tried it, I knew it was the real deal! This thick yogurt is so much creamier than the regular kind, and it still had all of the probiotics. Probiotics in yogurt are so good for you, helping improve digestive functions to keep you regular.
The yogurt becomes so thick because it is strained, an extra step that reduces its water and lactose content. When the whey is removed, the yogurt becomes denser and it takes on a characteristic tart flavor that regular yogurt lacks. And, since all that lactose is removed, the Greek varieties of yogurt have less sugar and carbs, too.
According to the USDA, there are added benefits to eating Greek yogurts. It has twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt, so it will keep you feeling full and satiated longer. Another big plus is the reduced sodium, with approximately half as much sodium content as regular yogurt.
You can enjoy Greek yogurt plain, but it’s especially great for making sauces or dressings. Substitute yogurt for mayonnaise in your favorite dips, and use it to thicken up sauces and soups. It goes especially well in this curry chicken casserole recipe, adding a nice tartness that counterbalances the sweetness of the coconut milk. Then, combine it with curry powder for some spice, and the flavors really come together!
What Exactly Is Curry Powder?
Curry powder is one of my favorite spices, especially when making Indian cuisine. While there’s no standard recipe, most curry powders manufacturers rate their blend as either mild or hot. They can be super spicy or not-so-much depending on whether they use chile peppers, black pepper, or ginger to spice it up. These powders always contain turmeric to give it that signature yellow color. Other spices include cumin, coriander, ginger, mustard, cayenne, cinnamon, black pepper, and cardamom.
The combination of these spices creates something really special – a sweet, earthy, smoky flavor that can have a lot of heat or a little, depending on how many chiles are in it. Using this spice blend adds a great level of depth to your cooking, so you don’t need to restrict yourself to Indian foods to use it. I love it in potato salads and to spice up deviled eggs.
To understand why we love curry powder so much, just try out this recipe! Combining the complex flavors from curry powder with sweet coconut milk and tangy Greek yogurt in this healthy curry chicken casserole recipe is definitely a winner. Let us know what you think of the combination in the comments below. We’d love to hear how it turned out!
Yields: 8 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup | Calories: 304 | Total Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 180mg | Carbohydrates: 13g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Protein: 14g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 12
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked
- 3 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1 (14 ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinced
- 2 cups chicken cooked, and shredded or diced
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup onion, diced small
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 teaspoons curry powder
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and set aside.
- Combine the cooked rice, broccoli, chickpeas, and chicken in the a large bowl. Toss to combine and set aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the onions and cook, stirring, until softened. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste. Cook just until the garlic becomes fragrant, about one minute.
- Whisk in the milk and reduce heat and cook until it thickens. Stir in the yogurt, cheese, and curry powder. Bring to a simmer, once simmering cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring constantly until the mixture is thick.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli mixture. Stir until the chicken is well coated and spread the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until top just begins to brown.