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CHEESY CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES AU GRATIN CASSEROLE

Ingredients

2 cups carrots, chopped into ½” rounds

2 cups broccoli florets, broken into large bite-size pieces

2 cups cauliflower florets, broken into large bite-size pieces

2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1” cubes

2 cups zucchini, cut into 1” half moons

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon flour

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups half and half

4-ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 ½ cups cooked chicken breast, shredded into bite size pieces

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add each of the chopped veggies, separately, and cook until just tender.  Scoop them out of the water with a large slotted spoon or spider, and then add the next veggie and do the same.  Cook separately because veggies like carrots take longer to cook than broccoli or squash.  Drain everything together in a colander.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in large saucepan and add the flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper to make a rue.  Cook for one minute, stirring constantly until bubbly.

Add the half and half and whisk until the sauce has thickened. Add the cream cheese, cheddar, and parmesan.  Stir until all of the cheeses are melted and the sauce is smooth.

Place the drained veggies with the chicken in a large bowl and gently toss with sauce until coated.  Pour everything into a buttered 9” x 13” baking dish and spread it out in an even layer.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan (I use the one that I made the cheese sauce in) and add the breadcrumbs.  Cook, stirring, over medium high heat, until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Spread them over the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes or until hot, bubbly, and golden brown!

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