Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole

This Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole is a perfect dinner to make on a busy weeknight.

Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole- perfect for busy weeknights | Kristine's Kitchen

Most nights when I come home from work, cooking anything but the simplest dinner is hard to manage. Please don’t let the fact that I write a food blog lead you to believe that I make a gourmet meal every night. Just like everyone else, I’m doing my best to balance my kids and family, work, household chores, and taking care of myself (by exercising or reading, for example). On my days off from teaching I have a little more time to devote to the kitchen, but the days I work it’s go, go, go from the minute I wake up until bedtime.

I’m lucky in that I only teach part time right now, so there are only a couple of days each week where I have to come home and immediately get dinner on the table. Usually those are the days that I plan for us to eat leftovers, or breakfast for dinner, or a quick veggie homemade pizza. But lately I’ve been feeling like I want to cook something a little more substantial on some of my workdays. This week, I tried out this Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole on a Wednesday, and I have to say it came together so quickly and easily.

This casserole isn’t going to win any gourmet meal awards, but I think that’s the best part about it- it’s simple. You start by sauteing some onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Add in some quick-cooking rice and white wine, and then transfer the mixture to a baking dish. On top of the rice go chicken thighs, broth, and a little cream. The casserole bakes, you sprinkle it with Parmesan, and it bakes some more. While it cooks, the rice absorbs all of the flavor from the broth, cream, and Parmesan.

While my chicken and rice were cooking I grilled some zucchini on my grill pan. Any grilled, roasted, or steamed vegetable would work to balance out this meal. Some nights, a simple yet nourishing dinner is just what you need.

Looking for more quick and easy weeknight meal inspiration?  Click here for more great recipes.

Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole

This Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole is a perfect dinner to make on a busy weeknight.

Printable Recipe

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (3 ½-ounce) bags boil-in-bag brown rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 ¾ pounds)
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream or half-n-half
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the rice and saute for 30 seconds, then pour in the wine. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 30 seconds.
  3. Remove rice mixture from the heat and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Place the chicken on top of the rice; season with the thyme, salt, and pepper.
  4. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, stir together the chicken broth and cream. Pour over the chicken and rice.
  5. Bake the casserole for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake for about 5 more minutes, until chicken is cooked through. (It should read 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.) Serve immediately.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light: Cook Smart Eat Well.


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