Rice and Cheesy Chicken Casserole

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Rice, Chicken and Onions Smothered in Cheese!

My family loves this quick rice and chicken casserole we created one day because we didn’t have enough chicken! It’s delicious and the ingredients we use are healthier, but this comfort food will not be lacking FLAVOR, LOL! You may think cheese isn’t healthy but as long as you eat it in moderation and also try to stay away from soft cheeses (save those fattening cheeses for special dishes you don’t make very often!) We eat mostly Sharp cheddar and Swiss (they are both full of B12 and are a hard cheese).
This recipe will feed a hungry family of boys! But if you don’t need these portions, this recipe can be easily cut in half!

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole || D...
Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole || Dining In With Danielle

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Oven Temperature: 350 Degrees Fahrenheit
Bake Time For Chicken: 35 Minutes
Cooking Time For Rice: 40-45 Minutes
Bake Time For Casserole: 25 Minutes 
Serves 6-8rice chicken and cheesy casserole

Rice and Cheesy Chicken Casserole Ingredients:

4 Chicken Breasts (I have used bone-in chicken thighs and legs, any chicken is delicious, it just may take more prep time)
3 Cups Wild Rice cooked (we only use wild blend rice because it’s healthier, any rice would work in this recipe!)
2 Cups Broccoli (I use what I have, either frozen or fresh)
2 Bell Peppers
1 Onion
2 Tablespoons Garlic
2 Teaspoons Chicken Bullion (we use an Organic bullion paste, using chicken bullion cubes will still be Yummy but try to use better ingredients!)
2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
1 Cup Water

1-2 Cups Cheese (we like Sharp Cheddar, add amount of cheese to your liking)

Rice and Cheesy Chicken Casserole Instructions:

1. These are one of those meals that you cook all the ingredients than the magic happens! First thing is to bake the chicken. We do this in the oven in a skillet at 350 Degrees F with Salt and Pepper sprinkled over the chicken and 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil for about 35 Minutes. The goal is to bake the chicken till done with some crispiness like this! (Believe me, you will want the pan to have all that baked goodness on the bottom, amazing flavor!)
chicken baked for rice casserole

2. While the chicken is baking, lets get the rice cooking! Usually you should go by the measurements on the package of rice but with Wild rice, we have noticed adding more water during the cooking process will get you soft delicious rice (we don’t like crunchy rice, Yuck!) Before you start cooking the rice, add the Chicken Bullion and dissolve in the water. Wild rice will take close to 40 minutes or longer to cook, check midpoint and see if it needs more water (ours always does).

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3. At this point, while the rice is finishing cooking, we can prepare the vegetables (Onions, Green Peppers and Broccoli)! There really isn’t a specific way to cut them because we like our vegetables to be chunky, you may not! The great thing about casseroles, your cutting skills don’t need to be Chef perfect! I focus on flavor, not a picture perfect looking dish LOL!
chopping up bell peppers, onions and broccoli

 4. Now we are ready for sauteing the vegetables! Remember the pan you cooked the chicken in, after you take the chicken out and set that aside, turn your stove top to Medium heat. Put 1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in the pan, when the oil is starting to sizzle, add the Garlic and stir it around for a minute. Now add the Onions and Green Peppers and let that cook for a few minutes, meanwhile stirring the vegetables occasionally. (Make sure you stir the yummy crispy parts off the bottom of the skillet, this is where some flavor will come from!)
rice casserole with saute vegetables

5. After the Green peppers, Onions and Garlic are done, they should be still slightly crunchy (since this dish will be cooked again, don’t over cook the vegetables, you don’t want a mushy mess!) The next step is adding the thawed (meaning NOT frozen) broccoli to the pan and warming them up for a minute (we usually use frozen broccoli, so I do not cook the broccoli but if you use fresh broccoli, make sure you cook them before adding to the pan). Set that pan aside, along with the pan of cooked rice. Lets chop up the chicken!
rice casserole with chopped chicken vegetables and cheese

6. At this point, the casserole is ready to put together! I promise, it’s the easy part LOL! You will need a big pan or casserole type dish, than add Olive oil to coat (not a thick layer) the bottom of the pan. Put the chicken, Vegetables, Rice, Black Pepper and Water in the dish and mix it up gently (you don’t want to break up the chicken or vegetables by over mixing and the water will help the rice from NOT drying out). 
rice casserole is ready for cheese

7. Preheat your oven at 350 Degrees F. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the rice mixture evenly! When the oven is ready, put the casserole in for 25 minutes or until your desired doneness of cheese, we like ours like this, YUMMY!
rice chicken vegetables and cheese casserole ready to eat

We love the versatility of this dish, casseroles are easy and delicious but they can be healthier especially when using what we call “Real Food” ingredients! This would be a great dish to make when you have leftover Juicy Turkey or even adding a kick with leftover Grilled Chicken with Balsamic which are some of our favorites around here! If you are Sauce people like us try out our Delicious Sour Cream Garlic Sauce for Tacos! We love to hear feedback so please comment below!

Dining in with Danielle for more recipes!

Photos and videos By My Love Chris Redding

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