Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
This delicious and healthy variation of the traditional broccoli cheese casserole uses chicken, cherries, and almonds. A remarkably unusual but delicious combination includes shredded chicken, tender broccoli, Greek yogurt, Feta cheese, tart cherries, and toasted almonds.
I love how quick and easy this recipe is, as well as how delicious it is! It’s ideal for weeknights when you want something warm and comforting but doesn’t want to spend the entire evening in the kitchen.
Best of all, it’s loaded with potent gout-fighting ingredients, giving you peace of mind that you’ll get a good night’s sleep.
So, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get started!
I enjoy eating chicken, and as far as gout-friendly meats go, this one is relatively safe to consume. Just don’t overdo it! Chicken is primarily a low-purine food. However, the amount of purines in different cuts ranges from very low to very high.
That being said, you should avoid purine-rich organ meats like chicken liver and limit your intake to moderate-purine cuts. We’ll be using chicken breast for this recipe, so we’ll be good to go!
Unseasoned chicken is high in protein, low in sodium, and free of sugar and starch. It also contains nutrients that are necessary for a healthy metabolism.
In contrast to red meats, poultry—particularly boneless, skinless chicken breast—has become a go-to animal protein for people looking to eat healthier, lose or maintain weight, and lower their risk of disease.
Broccoli Is Good for Gout
Broccoli is one of those delicious and healthy foods that is low in purines. Let’s look at why broccoli is a good option for people who have gout.
- Low in purines: Purines are a precursor to uric acid, which is responsible for gout. Broccoli contained approximately 70 milligrams (mg) of purines per 100 grams, according to a 2014 study on the number of purines in foods.Foods with a high purine content have more than 300 mg per 100 g. This means that broccoli is an excellent choice for those suffering from gout (and for most people trying to eat a healthy diet).
- Rich in Vitamin C: According to the Arthritis Foundation, eating foods high in vitamin C can help reduce gout attacks. Vitamin C aids in the reduction of uric acid levels in the body.
- Antioxidant activity is high: Broccoli contains a lot of antioxidants (inflammation fighters). According to 2015 research, a healthy diet rich in broccoli could help fight many chronic diseases, including gout.
Cherries were found to reduce the risk of attacks in gout patients by 35% over the course of two days, according to US researchers. According to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, cherries contain anthocyanins, antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.
According to UK experts, the study provided “good evidence” of the advantages of cherry consumption for gout sufferers.
It has been proposed that antioxidant compounds found in cherries are natural inhibitors of enzymes that are targeted by anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.
I’ve previously written about my love for almonds and can tell you right away that they’re a great (and delicious) part of my diet. In fact, I buy large bags of it and combine it with dried cherries for added flavor and gout-fighting benefits.
So, it’s no surprise that this Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Cherries and Almonds is truly a special dish to behold.
Almonds, which are low in purines and high in vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese, can help lower uric acid levels. Almond skin is also high in antioxidants, which aid in the fight against free radicals.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 large broccoli head, separated into bite-sized florets (a large bag of broccoli florets works as well)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup chicken broth (use more as needed)
- 2 cooked and shredded chicken breasts (I prefer using rotisserie chicken)
- Feta cheese, 6 oz
- 1 cup of plain yogurt
- 4 chopped green onions
- ⅓ cup of toasty almond slices
- ½ cup of tart dried cherries
Step-By-Step Guide for This Recipe
- Get the broccoli ready: Two heads of broccoli should be cut into small, bite-sized florets and steamed until the stems are just tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.In addition, I like to salt and pepper my broccoli before drizzling it with olive oil. After that, they spend 10 minutes at 425 degrees in the oven.
- Chicken should be shredded and set aside while that’s cooking. Shredded chicken can be prepared in a variety of ways (bake, sear, grill, roast…), but my favorite is to poach it. For me, poaching chicken keeps the chicken moist and keeps it from drying out while also being the fastest method.Here’s how I do it: Over medium-high heat, bring a large pot half full of water to a boil. After adding the chicken breasts, cook for 15-18 minutes. Remove a breast from the pot and cut it in half to see if the chicken is done. You don’t want to see any pink in the center. If this is the case, remove the remaining chicken breasts from the water. Allow for 5 minutes to cool and start shredding with two forks. Done!
- Heat the olive oil and minced garlic in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Cook for another minute before adding the chicken stock and bringing it to a boil. Add the chicken and mix everything together thoroughly. Fold in 3 ounces of feta cheese, green onions, half of the cherries, and half of the almonds.
- Fold in the chicken mixture when the broccoli is done roasting. Then sprinkle with the remaining feta, almonds, and cherries. Before serving, bake for 15-20 minutes, covered.
Serve and Enjoy!
Because this casserole is made with chicken and broccoli, it will not become watery when frozen, as some cauliflower rice casseroles do. I would put everything in a casserole dish and freeze it before baking. This keeps the broccoli from becoming mushy during the second baking.
Let us know in the comments what you thought of this delicious recipe!