One of the most challenging things about having a toddler is meal time. For a while, Eli ate predictably and tried almost everything we put in front of him without needing any encouragement. And then he started to have an opinion. A really unpredictable one. He would absolutely love something one week and refuse to come near it the next. And trying to cook a meal that will please the grown ups and a toddler who often subsists primarily on air is anything but simple. But because I refuse to become a short order cook, it’s a mission I’ve chosen to undertake daily.
And so when I came across this recipe on Ooph.com, I knew that with a few little tweaks, it was going to be a sacred recipe. It would be delicious enough for all 3 of us to eat it happily; it would cover several food groups; and it would even let me hide an otherwise undesirable veggie (or two, I’ll bet) in a delicious meal. And I was right.
One of the keys to this recipe is the cream of chicken soup, which on its own doesn’t seem terribly appealing, but that’s because it’s not an eating soup- it’s a cooking soup. And in this recipe it adds a great amount of creaminess without having to add a bunch of ingredients or seasonings, which, as a busy parent, I absolutely love. I am usually an off-brand person, but having made this now with the store brand cream of chicken and again with Campbell’s, I won’t be going back to the store brand. The difference was that significant and even my husband commented on it.
There’s a lot about this recipe that can be tweaked to your own tastes, but don’t skip on the soup base. It’s critical to the texture and to the amazing taste here.
Chicken Rice Casserole
Original recipe from: Ooph
1/2 yellow or brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 10.75oz can Campbell’s cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 cups cheddar cheese, separated
3 cups cooked wild rice (I used one with a herby seasoning and it was awesome)
1/3 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.
2. Cook onion and garlic in olive oil in a large skillet until onion is translucent and soft. It took me about 5 minutes to get them cooked through. Add in spinach, cook for 1 minute then remove from heat.
3. While the onions and garlic are cooking, combine the cream of chicken soup and chicken broth in a small pot and bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
4. Combine soup, onion/spinach mixture, chicken, rice and 1 cup of cheese (I do it in the saute pan, you can also mix it right in your casserole dish). Mix to combine.
5. Pour rice/chicken/spinach mixture into prepared casserole dish, then pour 1/3 cup of milk over the top. Top with remaining cup of cheese.
For other great recipes with soup bases that will appeal to your whole family, check out Campbell’s Kitchen (with help from The Wisest Kid in the Whole World™). I can’t wait to try some of their recipes!
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post and for the cream of chicken soup I used in the recipe. I was totally going to post this recipe anyway, exactly as it appears above and I really did like the Campbell’s better. So did my husband. Pinkie swear!