I spend the first few weeks of every March waiting for spring like it’s a tardy prom date. I sit impatiently on our porch, nails painted an optimistic pink, wondering exactly how long I can stand the chilly breeze before I need throw a coat over my dress. Surely spring hasn’t stood me up and will be here any moment—maybe it’s just waiting for me to whip up this Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole.

Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole

Spring and I play this little game every year—or rather, spring plays, and I sit stubbornly outside in my flip flops, wrapped in a blanket and ignoring the wind that still carries a nip of winter.

As soon as we have our first day above 65 degrees (last Friday), I decide that every subsequent day must also be warm, thus I must post margaritas on Instagram, wear sundresses, and behave in an otherwise springtime manner, even when we slip back into the 40s or (heaven forbid) it snows in April. This is spring in Wisconsin: a total tease.

Although I’m still waiting for the arrival of a spring I can bring home to mom—the spring that shows up on time, doesn’t use brief bouts of sunshine to toy with my emotions, and drives a convertible—at this point, I’ll happily to climb into the cab with any old spring, even one who’s unreliable and drives a dirty pick up truck, provided it’s brought me a bouquet of asparagus.

Healthy Asparagus Casserole with Chicken

Why I Love this Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole

Asparagus is my favorite vegetable (shhhhhh, don’t tell Brussels sprouts), and its season is cruelly short, thus I’ve been serving it almost every night since the first batch of non-sickly-looking stalks showed up in our grocery store last week.

While I love it simply roasted with salt and pepper as a side dish, most nights I prefer to cook all-in-one meals, like this cheesy chicken asparagus casserole.

Healthy Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole

Lean protein? Check. Dairy? Yep. Whole grains? Got it. Veggies? This casserole is a spring garden!

  • Extra Veggies. In addition to the asparagus, I included a bushel of spring carrots, which are particularly tender (if you can’t find carrots with their green tops still on, regular carrots are just fine), and any other favorite veggies like broccoli, peas, and spinach can be added or swapped.
  • Hearty Ingredients. Chunks of meaty chicken make this casserole hearty and filling, as does the addition of freekeh (an ancient grain that is similar to brown rice, but higher in protein and fiber). If you can’t find freekeh or want the casserole to be gluten free, quinoa is a perfect substitute.

Although I love every ingredient in this chicken asparagus casserole, I recognize that not everyone shares my passion for vegetables.

Enter: The Sauce.

What makes this cheesy chicken asparagus casserole a hit even with veggie skeptics is an ultra-gooey cheese sauce that oozes into every single bite. It’s lightened up but still tastes so gloriously cozy and creamy (thank you Gouda), you’ll never suspect.

Like my healthy Asparagus Casserole, this cheesy chicken asparagus casserole is light enough for the warm spring days that treat us, but comforting enough for the chilly spring days that tease us.

Cheesy Chicken Carrot Asparagus Casserole

More Cheesy Casserole Recipes

How to Store and Reheat Chicken Asparagus Casserole

  • To Store. Leftover casserole can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm the casserole in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot.
Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole. A healthy all-in-one meal!

If you need me, I’ll be on my back porch, digging my fork into a second helping of chicken asparagus casserole. Who needs a prom date?

Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole

Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole

4.5 from 2 votes
A healthy chicken and asparagus casserole with a creamy cheese sauce. Your entire family will love this dish!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 1 hr 5 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups milk (I used skim)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup uncooked freekeh or uncooked quinoa
  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch spring carrots (8 to 10 ounces) peeled, cut into ¼-inch coins
  • ½ cup shredded cheese (any kind that melts well, such as Gouda, Fontina Gruyere, or cheddar; I used Gouda)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions
 

  • Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9×13-inch deep baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high in a Dutch oven or large, deep skillet. Add the chicken and cook until the edges are brown, but the center is still slightly pink. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the onion. Cook until beginning to brown and soften, about 3 minutes, then whisk in the flour. Cook until the flour is lightly brown, about 1 minute, then add the chicken broth. Increase heat to high, then continue whisking until the flour is smooth. Add the milk, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and thyme. Cook and stir until the mixture bubbles and thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat, then stir in the reserved chicken, frekkeh or quinoa, asparagus, carrots and ½ cup melty cheese (Gouda, Fontina, etc.). Transfer to the prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake, covered, for 35 minutes, then uncover and stir the filling. Continue baking, uncovered, until the the freekeh is soft (or the quinoa is sprouted) and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 additional minutes. Some liquid may be bubbling at the top. Stir once more, then top with ¼ cup Parmesan. Return to the oven until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes. Serve warm.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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44 Comments

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  1. I was so excited as soon as I saw asparagus in the store too! Love all the veggies in this casserole, it looks fantastic!

  2. Seeing this post reminded me that I have a whole bunch of asparagus in my refrigerator waiting to be devoured!! I’ve been loving the whole “hit all the food groups” kind of meals lately, especially in the good ‘ol casserole form! Spring’s so close, I can almost feel it!

  3. Ahhh, yes.  The cruely of spring in the midwest!  It’s hard to get too excited when last year it snowed here in May.  JUST. WRONG.  But a bunch of bright and springy asparagus will brighten my moods with the sunshine any day!  Love this casserole, Erin!  

  4. This casserole looks delicious! You might kill me but I actually don’t want spring to come. Now you see I live in California and we didn’t have a winter at all. The temp yesterday was 95. 95, can you believe it?? Summer is going to be brutal here, but I will take this casserole winter, spring, fall or summer. It just looks amazing!! ;) 

  5. Definitely a great dish for Spring time! Looks like such a yummy and savory casserole! :)

  6. Erin – Tony and I were sitting around last night trying to figure out what to do with the 4 pounds of chicken breasts we bought on sale this week, and then I saw your post…it was delicious! We subbed broccoli for asparagus because it’s what we had, but soooo good can’t wait to try it again!

  7. Your opener had me laughing as I swear that’s me! I can’t wait for warmer temperatures and a change in produce. Thanks for a great recipe!

  8. This was on my menu for dinner last night. I have to thank you because it tasted amazing. Even my husband, who usually just puts hot sauce on everything, said it didn’t need any additions because it was so flavorful. Loved it!!

  9. Another delicious recipe, thank you! It was perfect for this chilly spring day today (in the 40s in mid April :/).5 stars

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