Indulge in the delightful flavors of our baked chicken and zucchini casserole – a creamy and hearty dish that's also wonderfully low-carb! With its irresistible taste and simplicity, this recipe is a guaranteed hit that the entire family will adore. Enjoy the ease of preparing this crowd-pleaser that's as wholesome as it is delicious.
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup no-salt-added chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1 ¼ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a medium bowl. Add zucchini and bell pepper to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 4 minutes. Transfer the zucchini mixture to the bowl with the chicken.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. Stir in flour; cook, stirring constantly, until the flour starts to brown, about 1 minute. Add broth and milk; bring to a boil, whisking often. Remove from heat and add cream cheese and 3/4 cup mozzarella; stir until melted. Stir in pepper and salt. Drain liquid from the chicken and vegetable mixture; stir the chicken and vegetables into the cheese sauce. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. Place the dish on a foil-lined baking sheet; sprinkle the casserole with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
- Bake until the top is browned and the edges are bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Spread casserole evenly on trays lined with silicone mats. Or use a small cookie scoop to make dollops. Make note of the weight of the trays with food.
- Process according to freeze-dryer instructions.
- When finished freeze-drying, note the weight of the trays. The difference in weight of the trays before and after freeze-drying is the recommended amount of water needed to reconstitute.
Add recommended amount of hot water to casserole. Stir and let sit a few minutes until fully reconstituted. More, or less, than the recommended amount of water can be added to get the desired consistency.