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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Chicken casserole and rice

Searching chicken casserole and rice?  We are sharing with you today our  hearty chicken casserole and rice recipe. 

The best thing about casseroles is that they can be prepared quickly and then popped into the oven.  In most homes, chicken and rice are staple foods so these simple ingredients may already be in your kitchen.  This chicken and rice casserole from scratch is pretty tasty too.  

Wow, another chicken recipe to share today?  Why yes, yes, we do have another one to share... I have been working with pork so much lately, chicken was feeling a bit left out and we can't have that, now can we?  

No, we need to keep chicken happy around here.  It is the main protein my husband loves, although... I will share with you that pork is coming in second these days and may even pass chicken by soon!  Who knows for sure, but he is really loving the pork recipes here of late.  I have to say, I agree.  

When I was a child, I hated pork chop night and longed for chicken night.  In 1980 something, my mother received the Joy of Cooking Cookbook one year for Christmas.  While she was excited to peruse the pages and begin a new endeavor of making all the latest dishes, I longed for the simple dinners she had always made for me.  

Being a kid with a mom who loved to try new recipes was not something I cared for at all.  I mean what kid likes quiche?  I remember the first time she made a quiche and I thought what in the world is this?  Egg in my rice?  Yuck!  No thanks, I will pass.  Of course, I ate it all since I did not want to hurt her feelings.  To this day, she thinks quiche was A-OK in my book growing up.   

Can I tell you how much I disliked that darn cookbook?  Open your arms like you are hugging the world, and that is about how much I wanted to throw that new cookbook in the trashcan!

Where was my Mac & Cheese, hotdogs, hamburgers, fish sticks, peanut butter & jelly, chicken noodle soup, and grilled cheese?  I mean those were my staples as a child, they were amongst my most favorite meals.  Then that darn cookbook entered our lives and dinner was never the same!

Mom was experimenting in the kitchen, and I guess I see a bit of her in me recently with my experimenting and creating.  Be careful what you wish for comes to mind recently. **wink**  My mother has always been an excellent cook, but in the mind of a five year old, dinner needed to be simple.  Steak?  Yuck!  Next!  What else you got?  

I laugh since this recipe has rice, eggs, and chicken all together in one dish... a few ingredients my five year old self would have run from if I knew they were all mixed together.  Let's just say my 40 something self is thinking... hmm... what else can I come up with because this was a pretty good dinner.    

Sometimes I just like an easy casserole.  This recipe does have several steps, but it can be broken up so you do not need to do everything in one evening.  If you can believe it, sometimes I do my prep the night before and then throw everything together and bake dinner the same night.  On this particular evening, I had time to throw it all together and bake the same evening, lucky gal, huh?

I have a question... do you even like casseroles?  Me?  I love how I can throw them into the oven and let the oven work it's magic while I work on other things until that timer beeps at me to remove it from the oven.  I also like that casseroles are one of those dinner options where I cook once and we can eat at least twice off the same dinner!  Who doesn't love skipping a night of slaving over the stove?  This gal loves it! 

Of course, if you have a large family, you may only get one dinner from this recipe, but at least you can throw it together and say okay oven do your worst, or best...  yes, we want it to do it's best so dinner goes off without a hitch.  

Mr. VS had been asking me to marinate chicken with zesty Italian dressing for about a week, and I finally decided to appease him.  Only that same evening, I decided just baked chicken was not going to work for me, I wanted something else, so I went to the pantry and decided I would get some older items out of there and see what I could come up with.

Equipment Needed:

Ingredients needed:
  1. 1 chicken bouillon cube
  2. 1 small package of chicken breasts (marinated in Zesty Italian dressing, cooked and cubed)
  3. 1 c instant rice
  4. 2 pats of butter
  5. 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  6. 2 c shredded Cheddar/Monterey jack cheese blend (or cheese of your choice)
  7. 2 eggs, whisked together 
  8. 2 c water, follow directions below on water instructions
  9. 1 can Rotel
  10. 1 can evaporated milk 

What you will need to do:

Marinating chicken in mixing bowl

  • Marinate thawed chicken for 3 hours in zesty Italian dressing or overnight in refrigerator if you prefer to break up the recipe a bit

Chicken cooking in skillet over stovetop

Thinly sliced red onion

  • Cut half of a red onion into thin slices

Chicken and red onion cooking together in skillet

  • Once marinated, pour chicken and remaining dressing into skillet and cook on medium heat, add red onion, cook until the chicken is no longer pink & onions are cooked through
  • Cube chicken and set aside with onion

Mug with bouillon cube

  • Measure out 1/2 cup of water in microwavable cup and place bouillon cube into water, place cup into microwave and heat for 2 minutes, bouillon cube will dissolve in water

Rice in glass canister with pioneer woman measuring cup

  • Measure out 1 cup of rice 

Rice in 3 quart baking dish

  • Add rice (uncooked) to 3 quart baking dish 

Rice with water and 2 pats of butter in baking dish

  • Add remaining 1 1/2 cups of water to rice
  • Add in water with dissolved bouillon to baking dish
  • Add in 2 pats of butter to baking dish

Rotel beside cup of shredded cheese

Rotel mixed into rice mixture

  • Add Rotel to rice and water mixture in baking dish
  • Add 1 cup of shredded cheese 

evaporated milk and cup of shredded cheese

  • Stir well 

cooked chicken added to baking dish

  • Add cubed chicken to baking dish
  • Stir
milk and egg added to baking dish

  • Add evaporated milk
  • Sprinkle remainder of cheese to the top

2 eggs on cutting board

  • Break 2 eggs into a separate bowl and stir together until whipped (similar to making an omelet)
  • Add eggs to baking dish
  • Stir all ingredients well

casserole ready to go into oven

  • Place baking dish into preheated oven at 350 degrees, bake for 45 minutes

baked chicken and rice casserole

  • Looking pretty yummy 
  • I set the dish out on the stovetop for about 10 minutes before I served

chicken and rice casserole plated on white stoneware plate

This was an easy dinner to throw together despite the many steps, and you could throw in the cheese all together and not reserve the last cup for the top as I did.  Since you already have the recipe, you can add all of your ingredients together at once and put in the baking dish, I was making notes and creating as I went.  

My husband loved this one, I will say this recipe was bursting with flavor and I felt the Rotel gave it the kick I love.  For those of you who are a bit sensitive to spicy foods, I can say this is not a spicy dish, just very flavorful.  My husband did not pick up on the Rotel in this dish (like he normally would), he just said wow, this is really good.  So, another one added to our recipe box of dinner choices he loves, but are also gluten free for me.  Win, win...  

I can tell you that since I have been organizing, I knew there are many canned goods I need to get out of our pantry and evaporated milk was one of those items!  Did you know when evaporated milk sits for too long it will be an almost brown color when you finally decide to open it up?  Yep, learned that one the hard way!  I had to dispose of two cans of evaporated milk since they were past their expiration date... and BROWN.  Can't say I want to do that again.  

I am a bit disappointed in myself for letting some of these items in our pantry expire.  You see before we began this organizing journey, we had canned goods in our two lazy susans, a small hallway pantry, the pantry I organized, and a closet.  Talk about not being able to keep track of what we had!  Makes you think we have all sorts of room to store... not the case, this is very little storage in our kitchen which is why we added additional storage.  I will be sharing more items I have found in the pantry in the next few weeks.  It goes to show you how badly I need that new kitchen so we can have everything in one spot for a better organized life, ha!  

Questions you may have about this chicken and rice casserole:

Can you freeze chicken and rice casserole?  
  • Yes, casseroles can be prepared, frozen, and baked when you are ready 
  • Casseroles can also be prepared, baked, and then placed into the freezer, thawed, warmed up, and eaten once you decide you are ready 

Do you cover chicken and rice casserole?
  • I did not cover this chicken and rice casserole while baking in the oven

Do you need to cook the chicken before baking this dish?
  • Yes, chicken will need to be cooked before assembling this dish
  • Chicken can be baked in the air fryer or
  • Chicken can be cooked in a skillet, I preferred a skillet for this dish

How to reheat chicken and rice casserole?
  • Chicken and rice casserole can be reheated in the microwave, depending on the serving and your microwave, it may take 2-3 minutes to completely reheat
  • Chicken and rice casserole can be reheated in the oven for about 25 minutes or until completely heated through

What temp to cook chicken and rice casserole?
  • This chicken and rice casserole baked in the oven for 45 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven

Interested in printing this recipe?  Click the link below, and choose which pages you would like to print out.  You can also save this recipe to your Pinterest account by clicking on our pictures and adding to your board in Pinterest.  Have a wonderful week!    

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