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Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice - Garlic Goddess

Some of the recipes I come up with are really just random combination of ingredients, others are plays on existing recipes, and some are a collection of a few different recipes. This is more of a collection – something of a combination of Chicken and Rice and Cheddar Broccoli (plus some extra veggies in there).  Just ignore the fact that I’ve never made either of those dishes and that I entirely made up this recipe – thus why it doesn’t really resemble either of the more classic chicken and rice casseroles.

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

The hubs and I were both fans – it came out nicely creamy and very stick-to-your-ribs (I think the risotto rice helped create the creaminess) and the leftovers made a great lunch. I like that it incorporates a lot of veggies and lean protein. Hubs and I also discussed adding mushrooms next time – since they make everything better, and I was thinking I’d probably use a full bunch of kale next time. It’s not the healthiest casserole out there (no cheese, or less cheese would make a big difference), but it’s quite tasty and relatively healthy.

6-8 kale leaves (½ a bunch) rinsed and de-stemmed
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
Dash olive oil
¼ c water
4 oz cream cheese (I used the greek yogurt blend from Kroger)
½ c plain greek yogurt
2 chicken breast (I cubed mine before putting them in there, it’s really up to you)
1 colored bell pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 ¼ c arborio rice
Dash black pepper, Italian spices, and paprika
4 ½ c chicken stock
4 c shredded cheese (I used a blend of reduced fat/2% cheddar and monterey jack)

Pre-heat oven to 350⁰.

Heat olive oil in a medium pot, add the kale and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, add the water and cook for an additional 5-ish minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Puree in food processor and place in a large mixing bowl.

Add the cream cheese and yogurt to the kale mixture and whisk together until smooth. Add the chicken, pepper, onion, broccoli, rice and spices, and mix until evenly combine. Gently mix in the chicken stock and cheese; reserving one cup of cheese for later use.

Pour mixture in to a large Dutch oven (or other covered bakeware). Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. Top with the reserved cheese and a bit of paprika. Bake, uncovered for another 15 to 30 minutes (yes, this is a large window of time – I suggest just keeping an eye on it and baking until it looks like most of the liquid has cooked off. Honestly, that’s what I did).

Serve and enjoy!

Serves 6: 1 Serving (approximate) 551 Calories, 14.4 g Fat, 59.4 g Carbs, 5.6 g Fiber, 48.6 g Protein