Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins
My toddler and I love this quick, easy and nutritious meal. I hope you do too! All measurements are approximate and feel free to switch out the veggies for your favorites.
- 1 -2 chicken breast, cubed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
- 4 -5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 cup petite baby carrots
- 5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1⁄3 cup rice
- 2⁄3 cup water
- 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Sauté the chicken in butter until it is white but not yet browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add onions and garlic and continue to sauté until chicken has browned a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add drained spinach (I use my fist to squeeze all the moisture out before adding) and petite baby carrots. If you don't have these on hand, just quarter regular baby carrots lengthwise. Cook for a few minutes just to get the carrots heated through and the cooking process started. They will soften in the oven.
- In 8x8-inch baking dish, combine rice, water, soup, milk, seasonings, 1/4 cup grated parmesan and 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated mozzarella.
- Add spinach and veggies.
- Top with remaining cheese and bake for 25-60 minutes (25 for cooked rice or minute rice, 45ish for uncooked long grain or arborio white, 60 for uncooked brown or "health blend" - a white and brown mix) until cheese has browned and soup mixture is bubbly.
- I let mine cool first so that it is just the right temperature for my little boy. By that time, it has set up and is no longer runny.
- Note: This recipe is very versatile. I started to make it the other night and realized I didn't have parmesan or mozzarella cheeses or cream of chicken soup, so I used colby jack and cream of celery soup. It was wonderful and my little boy ate twice as much as usual for dinner that night and lunch the following day. He had it again for dinner last night wrapped in a tortilla like a burrito! It was gone before we were tired of eating it! Also, you can "eyeball" the ingredients and it will still turn out perfectly ;).
My family loved this and I'd like to give it 5 stars, but my computer won't let me! Aargh! I did have one important questiont, though: should the rice be cooked already? I put it in the casserole uncooked and the whole thing took almost an hour to cook. The rice was still hard and crunchy after 20 minutes. Did I do something wrong? Thank you!
The recipe as made would have been a little bland for my tastes, but I made several adjustments. Overall, the recipe was very easy. Again, as discussed below I made some adjustments to suit my taste & style. I was looking for a one-dish dinner & discovered that by tripling the recipe, but only doubling the meat I came out with the right proportions of veggies, whole grains, and protein. You even get dairy to boot! I substituted olive oil for the butter when browning the meat. I then removed the meat from the pan to rest and sauted the onion and carrots that I had coarsely chopped in some additional oil before adding the garlic and waiting until it became aromatic. Returning the chicken to the pan, I braised for about 10 minutes in about 3oz white wine. I substituted brown rice which I had precooked using chicken broth. I kicked up the flavor a bit with extra cayenne & added some of Emeril's essence. I divided between two pans and popped them in the oven, topping with the reserved half of the cheese as directed. One of the two dishes didn't brown too well, so I stuck it under the broiler for a bit to make the cheese all brown and bubbly. Overall a very yummy dish. Highly recommended!
Brianna, I could eat this 7 days a week! this was great! I am uncertain if I compromised the flavor but I did omit the onions and used only one garlic clove. I would have gladly followed your cooking directions, as I think it is a perfect way to make this but I was so short on time that this is what I had to do. I cut up the chicken in strips, added the soup, milk, rice, carrots and frozen spinach, right out of the freezer. I threw it all in together and simmered it for 20 minutes. When the rice was soft and I added the cheeses. It did firm up within a few minutes. I enjoyed it several days at lunch. The spinach was just fabulous in this! Your toddler is a lucky boy to have such a good mommy! KCShel