So, it was 5:00 on a Thursday night and I had NOTHING planned to cook - (let the gasps begin!). Anyway, I literally knew I had chicken breasts and that was it. So what to do? I did what any good cook/mom would do and hopped on Pinterest! I searched for quick chicken dinners and you know my feed lit up. But, I was skimming for recipes that looked like they had any of the ingredients that I had on hand...and BINGO! Found a hit.
It looked like a winner. I had chicken and rice, and as I hunted my pantry, I realized I had everything else I would need to make it, and got to work. The original recipe calls for dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (which I did not have) and a rotisserie chicken (which I did not have). I did have a packet of dry Italian dressing and some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. My one concern is that my family doesn't really LOVE a casserole. I mean, sometimes they will eat it and suffer through it, but a casserole more than once every two weeks is pushing it. This is my fault, I spoiled them this way. The dietitian in me started cooking for them with my studies in my mind. A protein, 2 starches, a vegetable, a fruit...like I thought had to have all of these components for every meal! And I won't even get into making sure the plate wasn't monochromatic and everything look the same (if you think I am certifiably crazy-I may agree with you)! ADHD alert (geez I can get off topic easily) this is why they are spoiled! Fast forward 23 years and I wish I had made a casserole 4 x a week! They wouldn't know any different. As it is, eating at home is like eating at Picadilly cafeteria-serve you?
But to end this long-winded, no point story, they loved it! Like loved it enough to pack it for their lunches the next day. That is always a sign of a real win for me. If they will eat it for supper AND bring it for lunch the next day - it's a keeper. So, without further adieu, "cracked out" chicken and rice bake. Here is the link for the original recipe and the recipe for the way I made it (with the substituted ingredients) is below.
Oh, and anything named "cracked out" has got to make you want to try it! Here is the link to the original post.
Shortcut Chicken and Rice Bake
Makes: 12 Servings
- 2 cups white rice
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
- 1 can (10-3/4 ounce) Cream of Chicken Soup
- 8-oz sour cream
- 1/2 (1-oz) package dry Italian Dressing Mix
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup real bacon bits
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside
- Cook rice in microwave rice cooker (18 minutes) or in traditional rice cooker
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, chicken soup, sour cream, Italian dressing mix, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, bacon, chicken broth and cooked rice. Spread into prepared pan.
- Bake, uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly
- Spread remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top of casserole and bake for 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted.
I promise you that you will love how quick and easy this recipe is and your family will love how it tastes!