I’m sure many of you love a good casserole that has a nice balance of texture and flavors. Like this one. I’m telling you, this is exactly what you need, if you are looking for a filling and tasty meal.
This chicken and brown rice casserole is deeply satisfying comfort food that feeds your soul as well as your tummy. Sauteed chicken, slightly chewy, nutty brown rice and steamed broccoli are mixed with a delicious homemade creamy cheese & veggie sauce and topped with crispy panko breadcrumbs. This casserole combines all of my favorite food groups in one dish!
What I love about this is that the casserole is made entirely from scratch without any canned soup to avoid extra fat, sodium and preservatives. I wanted to make a slightly healthier version that still tastes sinfully good. And I made it! This casserole is bursting with flavor and goodness. So hearty and comforting – especially on a cold day like today!
I haven’t found anyone yet who can resist this tremendously delicious rice casserole, especially when it is filled with veggies and tender chicken, and all topped with a crispy panko crust. Trust me, it’s a total crowd pleaser!
Hope you love it!
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups uncooked long grain brown rice
- 3 cups broccoli florets , cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 lb (450g) boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon salt , divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper , divided
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter , divided
- 1/2 lb (225g) white button mushrooms , finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper , diced
- 1 onion , chopped
- 1 clove garlic , finely chopped
- 2 cups milk , divided
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese , divided
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- chopped parsley , for garnish
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the rice, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. When the rice has about 5 minutes left to cook, add broccoli on top. Cover and let cook for the remaining 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add chicken. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Saute until chicken is no longer pink outside, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until tender. Add the onion and bell pepper, and saute for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to saute for another minute. Reduce heat to medium. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 1/2 cup of milk, making sure it dissolves completely.
Pour this mixture into the skillet, then stir in the remaining milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Parmesan cheese and 1 cup grated cheddar cheese.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a large baking dish with cooking spray. Place the chicken and rice/broccoli mixture in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the prepared sauce and toss until thoroughly coated. Scoop mixture into a baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the panko breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons melted butter and remaining 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese. Spread the mixture on top of casserole.
Cover with the foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and casserole is bubbling around edges. Let sit a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.