diet

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Eli Ben-yehuda

Written by Eli Ben-yehuda

On April 7, 2019

Chicken and wild rice casserole might sound boring, but this casserole is anything but. Fruit, veggies, protein, and grains come together in a convenient one-stop-shop dish for your busiest nights.

 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend (3 cups cooked)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups cubes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus additional for garnish
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (I prefer the ones with reduced sugar)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided (about 2 ounces)
Instructions:
  • Cook the rice according to package directions. Drain off any excess cooking liquid and set aside.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink on the inside, about 6 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  • With a paper towel, carefully wipe the skillet clean. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium. Add the diced squash, onions, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the squash is tender but still retains some chew, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the thyme, cranberries, reserved chicken, rice, and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake 5 additional minutes, until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with additional chopped fresh thyme and serve warm.
  • To freeze: Bake the casserole completely, then let cool to room temperature. Cover it tightly, then freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat, covered, in a 350-degree oven until warmed through.
  • You could also try freezing this chicken and wild rice casserole unbaked. Again, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.

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Written by Eli Ben-Yehuda

With a passion for health advocacy Eli researches and writes many articles concerning improving the lives of people diagnosed with high blood pressure and the complication they experience. He believes educating people is the best way to improve their overall health.

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