Friday, October 25, 2013

(Skinny) Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli-Rice Casserole



Rice is sorta my jam.

When I menu plan, I try to stick with no more than 2 meals that involve rice. Not for my sake (I'd be thrilled to eat it daily) but for Jason. He doesn't love it like I do. Er, he doesn't love it at all. He tolerates it.

However, cheesy broccoli rice casserole is one thing that he has no issue tolerating. In fact, it's a rice based dish he LOVES.

When I spotted this recipe, I knew it'd be a winner. Low calorie, one dish, and similar to the standard broccoli rice casserole we all know and love.

This dish is pure comfort food that the whole family will love - and it's guilt free!


{Skinny} Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice Casserole
2 cup long grain brown rice
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
2 green onions, finely diced
1 teaspoon extra virgin oilive oil
1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper
garlic powder
5 teaspoons flour
2 cups milk, divided 
1/3 cup light sour cream 
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil and then add the rice. Cover, turn heat down to medium-low, and cook according to package directions. When the rice has 5 minutes left, add the broccoli and green onions to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, seasoning it on all sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Saute until no longer pink. Remove to a plate and carefully wipe out the skillet with a dry paper towel.

Turn the heat down to medium. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup milk. Pour into the skillet and add the remaining 1-1/2 cups milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add 3/4 of the shredded cheese, sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Stir until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Preheat the broiler and lightly spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Combine the cooked rice/broccoli/green onions, cooked chicken, and cheese sauce in the pot you used for the rice. Pour into the prepared pan and top with remaining cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

10 comments :

  1. I'm in the same boat as you. I love rice. I'm not sure my husband had ever had it before we got married 22 years ago. Now he eats it about once a week. Silly man. He sees a world with only potatoes and red meat. I just can't do it. I will try this one out of him.

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    1. Mine was raised in a meat & potatoes household and while I'm okay with that occasionally, I just can't limit myself to so few food items! I love it ALL.

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  2. This looks yummy. Hopefully my kids will try it.........they aren't broccoli fans, but i think if they try it they'll like it. Unfortunately my husband is a harder nut to crack and wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole. Plain rice and plain chicken breast for him.

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    1. Haha. My husband just asked that the broccoli be in tiny pieces so I obliged :) You can still tell that there is something green in it, though, so it'd be hard to get past those visual eaters with an automatic aversion to all things green.

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  3. This looks like a great comfort meal! Thanks for making it skinny!! Recipe is pinned and thanks for linking up to Wake Up Wednesdays!

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  4. Just got around to trying this recipe--another keeper for me! It was sooooooooo good! I love that it has all natural ingredients, too! The only place I ran into trouble was the "stir constantly for 7 minutes" part due to "issues" with the little fellows' disruptions yesterday. I think I'm going to try it as a "make ahead" recipe, then heat it through in the oven--maybe with a little more liquid to help with the reheat? (Would welcome your thoughts.) Regardless, a winner for sure! :) THANKS!

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    1. I'm so glad y'all liked it! We LOVED it here, too. I can't imagine that the boys would disrupt you any in a 7 minute time frame... LOL:) In just a few years they can help (maybe?)!

      I really think making it ahead of time would be okay even without additional liquid. I'm no expert but since the stuff is all cooked anyways, you'll really just heating it through and making sure the top is all gooey. If you try it, let me know how it worked! It may become my new 'new mom' meal if I can deliver it unbaked and have them just heat it through!

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  5. Just made this and it came out so good!! Chopped the recipe in half but kept the same amount of broccoli and it still was delicious (: Thanks so much!

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad! Love that you increased the broccoli amount :)

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