All parents know the craziness of back to school schedules. I have two very sleepy bears in the morning, so dragging them out of bed is never fun. Who am I kidding? Dragging my own rear out of bed in the morning is no picnic either. As much as I try to get everyone to bed early, it never seems to work. Between after school activities and homework, dinner and family time is a premium during the week. I rely on fast, throw together, dinner entrees that I can set and forget like this simple Chicken and Brown Rice Fiesta Casserole.
I love the convenience of a one dish casserole. I can add all the ingredients, put the complete dish of ingredients in the oven to cook, and walk away. By not having to stay in the kitchen cooking individual items, I can focus on what matters most to me during the week, spending time with my family.
This is one of my favorite recipes since before my husband and I were married. When I first made it, I used the prepackaged rice side dishes. Now I prefer to use medium grain brown rice for a healthier starch option, and a heartier texture for the casserole.
I decided to make the switch to the healthier grain after learning how to bake my brown rice in the oven. DH inherited high cholesterol from his side of the family, and even though it’s sufficiently managed, we try and focus on eating better and this casserole fits the bill. I’ve swapped out the butter in this dish for Country Crock Spread to assist DH in maintaining a low cholesterol diet. Country Crock Spread has no cholesterol, 0 grams of trans fat per serving, and no partially hydrogenated oils. I can substitute it with ease into any of our usual dinner recipes.
This time when I made my casserole, I doubled the amount of rice and liquid. I thought why not have some for leftovers, and not have to cook for a night later in the week. I would not suggest doubling the recipe if your family gets cranky from hunger. I had to extend the cooking time for the extra rice and liquid combo for about 30 minutes. By the time I served dinner, the family was starving with a capital S!
The well blended flavors of the tomatoes, green chiles and black beans were right on point for this fiesta casserole, but next time I will stick to my original single batch of rice version. It just took too darn long to cook!
What’s your favorite go-to casserole to throw together and bake in the oven you spend time out of the kitchen?
- 1 lb boneless skinnless chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1½ C Medium Brown Grain Rice
- 2 C Boiling water
- 3 Tbs Country Crock Spread
- 1 Packet taco seasoning
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
- 1 Cup Black Beans drained and rinsed
- 1 Cup Canned Sweet Corn
- 8 oz shredded cheddar jack cheese
- Optional for topping
- Sour Cream
- Sliced Black Olives
- jalapeno slices
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, bring water to rolling boil
- Place brown rice, taco seasoning, and Country Crock Spread in 9X13 baking dish
- Pour boiling water over rice and Country Crock spread, stir gently with whisk until spread is completely melted
- Carefully add tomatoes, black beans, corn and chicken to baking dish. Stir gently to incorporate all ingredients.
- Cover baking dish tightly with heavy duty foil.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from oven, remove foil and top with shredded cheese.
- Return to oven for an additional 5-10 min to melt cheese
- Remove from oven, set 5 min, and serve
- Top with optional sour cream, black olives, and jalapenos if desired.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.