Every Tuesday and Thursday morning (with rare exception), I join a few of my girlfriends for a 45-minute walk that is so much more than a little fresh air and exercise. While Spencer is in preschool two mornings a week, I have the freedom of uninterrupted conversation that inspires me, energizes me, and always makes me laugh. Whether we’re talking about our kids, our careers, our weekend plans, or our most recent chicken rice casserole success…these are intimate times with friends that I always look forward to.
I seriously don’t know what I would do without my girlfriends. These ladies are my #1 fans when I need support, they’re my reality-check when I’m struggling to get it all done, and they’re an amazing source of inspiration in both my home life and my work life.
On one of our recent morning walks, my friend Mollie was laughing as she started to tell us about the dinner that she had served the night before. Mollie was pregnant and not feeling very well, but her mother-in-law was visiting from Texas and she knew that she needed to get a homemade dinner on the table for her family…without an extra trip to the grocery store.
After rummaging through her pantry and freezer, Mollie pulled together this delicious dish. Her chicken rice casserole recipe is so easy that Mollie was almost too embarrassed to tell us her secret! After enough begging and pleading, though, she finally spilled the beans…
Mollie’s Dump-and-Bake Chicken Rice Casserole is an entire dinner that cooks in one dish with only 5 minutes of prep. The brown rice, green beans, and chicken are baked together in a creamy sauce and topped with cheese and breadcrumbs at the end. Mollie’s mother-in-law spent the evening raving about the meal and repeatedly praising the “fancy” crumb topping.?
This easy dinner secret is just one of the many rewards from my morning walks with the girls. I hope that you’ll give it a try and help out one of your closest friends by sharing the simple weeknight meal solution too!
Dump-and-Bake Chicken Rice Casserole
- 6 frozen thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1.5 lbs.)*
- 16 ounce package frozen cut green beans (do NOT thaw first)
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)**
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs***
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Place frozen, raw chicken cutlets in bottom of prepared dish. Add the frozen green beans over the chicken, and cover with uncooked brown rice.
- Whisk together chicken stock and condensed soup until combined. Pour in the dish.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes (or until rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid).
- Remove foil, sprinkle with cheddar and breadcrumbs. Place under the broiler (uncovered) for about 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are crispy.
*If you don’t want to use frozen chicken, just substitute with a thicker piece of meat so that the cooking time is longer. You just don’t want the chicken to dry out while the rice finishes cooking.**I used Campbell’s Healthy Request.***I used whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs, but any type will work fine.