Chicken and Broccoli Rice Bake

I love meals that require minimal effort and clean up. I also love casseroles, but I prefer to call them bakes or dishes. Sharon, a contributor at $5 Dinner Mom's site, posted a recipe for Brown Rice Casserole. It reminded me of a chicken and rice dish my mom used to make.

Please don't run away when you read that I won't cook with cream of ____ soup anything. I just don't know what's in that stuff. So, I modified and doubled Sharon's recipe so it would match my cooking criteria. It also enough that there was plenty to freeze.  

Here's my updated and healthier version!

Chicken and Broccoli Rice Bake

(adapted from Brown Rice Casserole)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Chicken
  • 3 cups Brown Rice
  • 8 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 24 oz. Broth (3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Thyme, dried
  • 1 lb. Broccoli, chopped (I used frozen)
  • 4 cups shredded cheese 

Directions

Bring the first 5 ingredients to a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer. After 8-10 minutes, the chicken will be done cooking. Remove it and set aside. Cover the rice/celery/broth mixture and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. 

While the mixture is simmering, chop broccoli (if needed) and microwave for 2 minutes, just until warm. Roughly cut up the chicken, into bite sized pieces.  

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray at least 2 9 x 13 pans (or combo of pans) with cooking spray. Gently add the chicken, broccoli, and seasonings to the rice mixture. Place in the pans and top with cheese. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Broil for 3-5 minutes, if you'd like the cheese to brown. 

Enjoy!