This easy to make Chicken Broccoli Braid is packed with vegetables, cheese, and is perfect for using up leftover chicken. It’s great for lunch, brunch, or to serve a crowd at a party!
This recipe was originally published on October 22, 2014, and was republished in October 2020 to add better quality photos, re-test the recipe, and add more helpful tips.
We all know I love my easy chicken recipes. Especially things that you can assemble and then put in the oven. And of course those chicken dishes with lots of flavor! This recipe ticks all of those boxes, with lots of veggies, chicken and cheese all wrapped up in flaky puff pastry. And it looks fancy enough for company while being simple to put together.
There are definitely those times when you need some easy dishes that serve a crowd. On the occasions that we have people over, I want to put something special on the table, but I don’t always have the time to spend hours putting dishes together. Which is why I love things like this chicken and broccoli braid.
While great for supper, it is also a fun addition to a heartier brunch. Rather than go with the classics, why not get a bit creative when you have people over? Things like salmon wellington or a large frittata are great recipes that serve a crowd to base your brunch around. Add in some smaller bites and you have a whole meal. Plus they are easier than they look!
Keep your puff pastry cold
It may be tempting to thaw your puff pastry on the counter so you can use it faster, but that’s not a good idea. Defrost it in the fridge. Pastry should always be kept as cold as possible before baking. Keeping your pastry cold whether it is homemade or store-bought is an important part of getting a tender, flaky crust.
Since you are not making the puff pastry yourself (who would?), the only time you need to worry about keeping all the butter in it cold is when you are shaping it. Of course, it can’t be frozen when you are shaping and folding it, but you do want it as cold as possible.
One way to achieve this is to keep your filling cold too. Since the meat is already cooked, you don’t need to worry about it being too cold when it goes in the oven. In fact, if you keep the filling cold, it will prevent the vegetables from getting overcooked! Sounds like a good plan to me.
One of the great things about this dish is that you can make it with leftover chicken. That’s one of the things that makes it so easy. If your chicken is cooked, it will take just a few minutes to assemble this fancy looking feast. Then you are ready to pop it in the oven!
If you don’t have chicken already cooked, I recommend baking some chicken breasts with just a little bit of salt and pepper. Or pan cooked cubes of chicken would be fastest but will have a bit more texture (and take more active work). Still a good choice if you want to make the dish all in one go. Just make sure the chicken is cooled back down before you add it to the pastry.
But if your family does big roast chicken dinners, this is a great way to use up those leftovers. You don’t want anything with too much flavor since you are adding so many other flavors to the puff pastry braid, but a simple roast would be perfect. Though I haven’t tried it, I bet this would even work with leftover turkey.
So, if you are looking for a fancy but surprisingly easy meal for dinner, lunch, or brunch, this chicken broccoli braid delivers!
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Braid
- 1 package puff pastry (2 sheets)
- 2 cups cooked chicken , cubed or shredded
- 1 cup broccoli florets , chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup bell pepper , diced
- 1/2 cup sweet canned corn , drained and rinsed
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 1 egg , lightly beaten
- sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Let the puff pastry thaw according to the package directions.
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken, broccoli, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, bell pepper, corn, onion, garlic, mayo, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- On a lightly floured parchment paper lined baking sheet, slightly overlap the puff pastry sheets to form a large rectangle. Spread the chicken mixture over the center of the dough evenly to create a log. Make sure to leave about 1/2 inch border around the width of the loaf so that your filling does not spill out when baking.
- Using a sharp knife, cut about 1 inch wide strips in towards the center, making sure that the strips are exactly opposite each other. Fold the top end first, then fold the strips over the filling, alternating left and right to create a braid. When it comes to the other end, fold the end and finish the final strips to secure. Brush the braid with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the braid is a golden brown and flaky. Let it cool a bit before slicing and serving.