Have leftover rice? Make this easy chicken casserole

Madeline Buiano

If you're looking for a comforting dish to put on your dinner table this Mexican chicken and rice casserole recipe is a staple the entire family can enjoy. The blend of jasmine rice, broccoli and perfectly cooked chicken is so good your kids won't even notice that it's totally filled with veggies.

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The recipe can be made in less than one hour and, as one of the best casserole dishes around, it's a great way to use any leftovers you may have from the previous night's dinner.

To make this delicious casserole you'll want to start by cooking the rice and chicken, preparing your vegetables, and cutting the tortillas in half. To assemble the casserole, combine the ingredients, transer to a baking dish and top with grated cheese. Let the casserole bake for about 10 minutes and then place the toasted and seasoned tortilla strips on top of the casserole with scallions.

This flavor-packed recipe takes little time to prepare and is sure to become a regular weeknight meal. And, if you loved this dish, then you're sure to enjoy more of our recipes that use rice for delicious and hearty dinners.

Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole

Ingredients

1 and 1/8 pounds chopped chicken breast
1 cup jasmine rice
2 corn tortillas
1/4 cup sour cream
1 pound broccoli
2 cloves of garlic
2 scallions
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans
1 tablespoon Mexican spice blend (ancho chile powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, ground cumin, and dried Mexican oregano)
4 ounces white or orange cheddar cheese










Directions

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a medium pot, combine the rice, half the spice blend, a big pinch of salt, and 2 cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork.

While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the bottom 1/2 inch of the broccoli stem; cut the broccoli into small pieces. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Drain and rinse the beans. Grate the cheese on the large side of a box grater. Stack the tortillas. Cut in half; cut crosswise into ¼-inch-wide strips.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In a large, high-sided pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer and cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond and heat on medium-high until hot. Add the broccoli pieces, chopped garlic, and sliced white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add 3/4 cup of water (carefully, as the water may splatter); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is softened and the water has cooked off. Add the beans, tomatoes, and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat.

Add the cooked chicken, cooked rice, vinegar, and half the grated cheese to the pan of cooked vegetables; stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a baking dish and top with the remaining grated cheese. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 2 minutes.

While the casserole bakes, place the tortilla strips on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and immediately season with salt. Top the baked casserole with the toasted tortilla strips and sliced green tops of the scallions. Serve the sour cream on the side. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron

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