Chicken and Rice Casserole- a healthy from-scratch version made without canned soup! Whole-grain quick cooking brown rice, lean chicken breast, creamy sauce and fresh veggies bakes up to make a complete meal! 441 cal, 31 g protein! Naturally gluten-free and kid friendly.
3 cups instant brown rice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry thyme
½ teaspoon pepper
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 ounces cream cheese, whipped or regular cut into chunks
1 pound chicken breast, cut into cubes
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 12 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread rice on top.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, thyme and pepper, and cook stirring often until the vegetables are just starting to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape vegetable mixture out onto the rice, covering evenly.
- Add broth to the skillet, increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and whisk in cream cheese until melted.
- Top rice and vegetables with chicken and peas. Pour in broth mixture, gently so as not to disturb the chicken and rice too much.
- Cover with foil and transfer to the oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the rice has absorbed the liquid, about 45 minutes.
- Remove foil, top with cheese and return to the oven until melted, about 10 minutes. Let rest uncovered for 10 minutes and serve hot garnished with parsley if desired.
To Make This Ahead: I would prepare it through step 3. Then, let the broth mixture cool. Then continue building the casserole as directed. Cover with foil and refrigerate for a day. Then continue on as directed, adding 20 minutes of extra time before removing the foil and adding cheese.
To Freeze It: Bake as directed, then freeze. Thaw and then rewarm, covered with foil in the oven at 350 degrees F until steaming hot all the way through, 25 to 35 minutes.
- Serving Size: 1/6 casserole
- Calories: 441
- Fat: 19 g
- Saturated Fat: 10 g
- Carbohydrates: 41 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 31 g