We eat chicken very frequently in our home, and I always cook enough so that we have leftovers. I love working with leftovers because weeknights are busy around here, and I don’t always have a lot of time to cook. But, this way, I not tempted to order takeout! I do have to get creative the second time around so that my family doesn’t revolt. It was warm last week, so we had cooked chicken over salad one night, but it cooled down enough for us to enjoy this easy chicken and rice bake a few nights later.
- 4 cups cooked chicken, diced
- 6 cups cooked rice (I use Minute Rice)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- Salt, pepper and seasoning mix, to taste (I use McCormick’s Grill Mates)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, bell pepper, celery and spices and cook in the microwave until heated through and the peppers and celery are soft.
Add a little bit of olive oil to the bottom of a 13 X 9 baking dish and begin layering the chicken mixture, butter, rice and cheddar cheese.
Add the chicken broth.
Top with the panko bread crumbs and dot some additional butter on top.
You can add a bit more cheese to the top layer if you like.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until heated through and the bread crumbs are golden.
This easy chicken and rice bake is definitely a comfort dish, but it’s not heavy at all. There’s no cream soup in this recipe, but the flavor comes from the chicken broth, butter and cheese. Also, the celery and peppers give it just the right amount of added crunch. So, you can enjoy this without any guilt!
My family loved this dinner, so it’s a winner in my book, and we’ll be having this again and again! We have cheese lovers and cheese haters in our family, and this has just the right amount of cheese to satisfy both camps. You can always add more cheese — It just depends on how gooey you like your casseroles.
Thanks so much for visiting. Have an awesome day!