Saturday, July 10, 2010

Creamy Chicken-and-Rice Casserole

Since I started coaching at night I've been trying to prepare a lot of dinners before I leave for practice, so I happen to be making a lot of casseroles. I found this one on and its delicious and super easy. I made it the other night when Denis's parents were coming for dinner and I wanted to be able to spend time with them instead of cooking.
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/3)


1 (6.9-ounce) package one-third-less-salt chicken-flavored rice-and-vermicelli mix with chicken broth and herbs ( I used Rice-A-Roni)
1 tablespoon margarine
2 1/4 cups hot water
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup presliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can reduce-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/4 cup crushed multigrain crackers (I used Wheat Thins, the recipe suggests to use 6 but I found it wasn't enough so I used about 15)
1 tablespoon margarine, melted


Cook rice mix in a large nonstick skillet according to package directions, using 1 tablespoon margarine and 2 1/4 cups hot water. Remove mixture from skillet; set aside. Wipe skillet with paper towel.

Coat the skillet with cooking spray, and place over high heat until hot. Add chicken, mushrooms, and garlic powder; saute 6 minutes or until chicken loses its pink color. Combine rice mixture, chicken mixture, sour cream, pepper, and soup in a bowl, stir well. Spoon mixture into into a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Combine crackers crumbs and margarine; stir well, and sprinkle over chicken mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Make-Ahead Tips: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time, omitting the cracker-crumb mixture; cover and chill in the refrigerator or freeze (thaw frozen casserole overnight in refrigerator). Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes; top with the cracker crumb mixture, and bake as directed.

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