Growing up in the backwoods of Alabama, I have been exposed to what the rest of the world would call “good ol’ southern cooking.” This mostly means that everything is either fried, fattening, or both. However, every once in a while, my mom would try to shake things up a bit with some “lighter” fare and one of her favorite recipes to do this was with her take on chicken and rice casserole. The version I grew up with was good, but felt heavy and made you bloated after you eat it. I made a version that is much healthier (in every aspect that was possible), tastes delicious, and does not make you feel like you ate an elephant.
Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 1 [6.9 oz] package of low sodium chicken flavored rice mix (think Rice-A-Roni)
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1.5 lbs of skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 2-3 cups of presliced fresh mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 cup fat-free sour cream
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 [10.75 oz] can of low sodium cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup of crushed multigrain crackers
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Cook rice mix in a large, nonstick skillet according to the directions on the box. (You can either cook rice, then add water or just cook all at once. Either way will work.)
- In another skillet, coat the pan with cooking spray and then add chicken, mushrooms, and garlic powder. Note: Fresh mushrooms need to be washed before cooked. Cook until chicken is done and then remove the skillet from your heat.
- In a bowl, combine sour cream, pepper, and cream of mushroom soup. Once rice is finished cooking, add rice and chicken mixtures to the bowl and stir all of your ingredients together.
- Take a large casserole dish and coat with cooking spray. Spoon your chicken and rice mixture into the casserole dish, spreading the mixture evenly in the dish.
- Crush your crackers and sprinkle on top of the casserole.
- Bake at 350º for 35 minutes.
I tweaked this recipe from a Southern Comfort cookbook I found at my house. This is one of those recipes where the seasonings and vegetables can vary, depending upon your preferences. The measurements I gave for garlic powder, pepper, and mushrooms are just rough estimates of how much I used when I made it. You can add more or less if you want to. Remember all good cooks taste their food. Do whatever floats your goat! As for side dishes, I roasted some broccoli and cauliflower to go with the casserole and it worked out really well.
Above is a picture of the casserole with the cracker crust on top. This was before I put it in the oven and the after picture looks almost the same, except it’s slightly bubbly! Hope you decide to try this recipe out for yourselves. Let me know what you think!