Monday, October 15, 2012

Copy Cat Stouffers Grandma's Chicken & Rice Bake

Today I want to share a copy cat recipe I found a couple weeks back. I'm a big fan of a few of the Stouffer's Entrees, mainly the Lasagna and the Grandmas Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bake. They're perfect when I'm pressed for time and I still want to get a hot meal on the table. 

Now what I don't like is the size of the packages. The Lasagna is a pretty good size and feeds our whole family, but the chicken bake is quite small. Which is a shame because it's so good. If I purchase two than it's just way too expensive. I was so excited to find this Copy Cat Stouffers Chicken & Rice Bake. I did tweak the recipe just a bit and the results were fabulous!!!

I know just about everybody has a can of condensed soup in their pantry. Canned soups are great for sprucing up so many dishes and entrees. Some people like using condensed soups, but others frown upon using them at all. I can say canned soups have changed a lot over the years.

You can now buy low sodium and fat free versions which is nice, because it give consumers a few alternatives. Not to mention the taste has improved dramatically. My favorite thing about condensed soups is how it can transforms just about any casserole into a creamy dreamy dish.. So, I guess you could say I'm a big fan of condensed soups.

For the chicken and rice bake I didn't use my usual brand of soup. Instead I tried Progresso's Cream of Mushroom Soup. I have to say first off I love the large size cans. They're gluten free, low calorie and some of the soups even have no MSG. I took a chance on using this soup and I really liked it. Instead of a big glob when I opened the can this soup was nice and creamy.

Hopefully they will come out with more versions of the cream soups, because I depend on them quite often. I also forgot to mention that this recipe make (two) casseroles!!! I know you're gonna love that. We had one casserole for dinner and I froze the second (unbaked) for a freezer meal when I'm pressed for time.  I have included some step by step photos for everyone.    

Since the rice is pre cooked I didn't add that step. If you're not using a rotisserie chicken then you will need to cook the chicken first. Start by cutting the chicken breasts into smaller size pieces for even cooking. Drizzle some olive oil into a large skillet or grill pan. Make sure the pan is nice and hot. 

Add the chicken pieces and pan fry until golden brown on each side and the chicken is cooked through. You can add some salt and pepper while the chicken is cooking. (I like to brown my chicken instead of boiling, because I think it adds a rich flavor.When the chicken is done, set aside. 

Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced carrot, onions and peas. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent in color. Set veggies aside. In a very large bowl add the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken, cheddar cheese soup and milk. Stir together; Add shredded cheese, chicken, cooked veggies and rice. Gently mix everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour mixture into two 9 x 11 inch pans (I used disposable roaster pans w/lids from Walmart). In a small bowl melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and mix with the bread crumbs.

Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly between both casseroles. Place in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cook until mixture is bubble and the topping is golden brown.

For the second casserole I used it as a freezer meal. I covered the casserole unbaked with Glad Press & Seal (can also use plastic wrap) and two layers of aluminum foil. Using a sharpie label the pan with the name of the dish and the date. Add the plastic cover that comes with the pan and place in the freezer. 

I have to say this was the best chicken and rice casserole I've had in a long time. I think it actually taste better than the Stouffers version. I know it was way more creamier.




(Copy Cat) Stouffers Grandma's Chicken & Rice Bake 

Ingredients:
6 - chicken breasts, cooked & cut in pieces or use rotisserie chicken
1/2 - cup butter or margarine, separated
1/2 - cup chopped onion
2 - carrots, peeled & diced
1 - cup frozen peas or peas & carrot mix
4 - cups cooked converted or brown rice (converted rice is par boiled rice)
1 - 18 oz can Progresso cream of mushroom soup
1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup or
2 - cans cream of chicken & omit mushroom soup
1- 10 3/4 oz can cheddar cheese soup
2 - cups milk
1 - 8 oz package Kraft Shredded Three Chesse Blend or regular cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 - cups Panko bread crumbs
3 - tablespoon olive oil 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Cook the rice first according to package directions. You will need 4 cups cooked rice. Cut the chicken breasts into smaller size pieces for even cooking. 

Drizzle some olive oil into a large skillet. Heat up a skillet or grill pan. The skillet needs to be nice and hot.

Add the chicken pieces and pan fry until golden brown on each side and the chicken is cooked through. Cook the chicken in batches so you don't crowd the skillet. Set the chicken aside.

In a separate saucepan melt 5 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the diced carrot, onions and peas. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent in color. Set veggies aside when done. 

In a very large bowl add the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken, cheddar cheese soup and milk. Stir together; 

Add shredded cheese, chicken, cooked veggies and rice. Gently mix everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour mixture into two 9x11 inch pans (I used disposable roaster pans from Walmart). In a small bowl melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and mix with the bread crumbs. 

Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly between both casseroles. Place in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cook until mixture is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. 

To Freeze Casserole: Wrap unbaked casserole with glad press and seal or plastic wrap, and then wrap with on layer of aluminum foil. Date the casserole and freeze. 
 
To cook Frozen Casserole. Remove casserole from freezer, thaw and bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and heated through.

Recipe Yields: Two 9 x 11 inch casseroles.
Recipe Adapted From: Asktheebayqueen

This is a sponsored post on behalf of the Walmart Moms Program. Participation in this program is voluntary. Walmart has provided me with a gift card and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All opinions stated above are 100% entirely my own.

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34 comments:

Michelle said... #

I pined this. My husband loves chicken and rice dishes. Thank you so much.

Joan said... #

Is there a substitute for the cream of mushroom soup? I am allergic to mushrooms, but the chicken and rice sounds good.

Tina Butler said... #

You can go with all cream of chicken soup and omit the mushroom soup. Just use two cans cream of chicken and one cheddar cheese soup.

Anonymous said... #

I've never used converted rice...can you use whatever rice you want?

MommySusan1 said... #

I really want to try this and like the idea of making two at once. Did you put the breadcrumbs on the one to freeze?

Tina Butler said... #

Converted rice is firmer, and less clingy than plain white rice. I'm sure you can substitute regular rice, but I just don't know if it will be mushy or not.

@mommysusan1, yes I did add the panko bread crumbs to the second casserole before freezing. I don't know the results since this was the first time I made it. I won't know until I bake the freezer casserole.

TXsunlover said... #

This is our favorite Stouffer's meal and, like you, I need to buy 2 to feed my family so I have to wait until it goes on sale for 1/2 price or less. So THANK YOU for posting this copy cat recipe. I pinned it and can't wait to try it!

Tina Butler said... #

@TxSunlover, LMK how your family likes it when you make it. I had leftovers the next day and it still was so good and creamy. This one is a keeper for sure.

Barbara Van Etten said... #

I made the chicken and rice casseroles for dinner today...one for us, and one to share with our daughter. they were delicious...very easy to make, little clean up..what more can you ask for??? I will certainly make this again and again..thank you for sharing!!..

debi53 said... #

Oh, thank you, I have been looking for a recipe for this for quite a while. It is our favorite, too, but there are never any leftovers. I always wait til it's on sale and I have a coupon because it is a little pricey. So glad I can now make my own. Thanks for sharing and I love your site, I have used a lot of your recipes!!!

Anonymous said... #

Did you cook the frozen casserole from frozen or did you thaw it first?

Tina Butler said... #

I have not used the frozen casserole yet. When I do I plan on thawing it out a bit first then baking it in the oven.

zoomingirl said... #

I'm a little confused by this ingredient: 8 oz - package Kraft triple cheddar cheese cheese mix. Is this the cheese packet from the Mac & Cheese box? And when would you add it? Maybe when you mix all the soups together?

I love your recipes. I've made quite a few and they've all been winners with my family of very picky eaters! Thank you!

Tina Butler said... #

@Zoomingirl,
It is just a blend of krafts shredded cheddar cheese. It's a triple cheese blend. You can also just use regular cheddar cheese. I fixed the ingredient so it's not confused.

Anonymous said... #

Do you cook the 2nd casserole before freezing?

Tina Butler said... #

Anonymous,
It states to cover the casserole (unbaked) with Glad Press & Seal or plastic wrap. Then add two layers of aluminum foil. Using a sharpie label the pan with the name of the dish and the date. Add the plastic cover that comes with the pan and place in the freezer.

Tina Butler said... #

I used the second freezer meal a couple weeks ago and forgot to report back. I can say it was as great as the first one that was not frozen. I love this recipe, especially that it makes two casseroles. I removed from the freezer and let it thaw out about half way and then baked until it was bubbly and cooked through.

Kristen said... #

This is amazing we love this casserole! Can't wait to give this a try. I would love it if you would link up to Tried & True Thursdays.
http://www.chickyscafe.com/2013/04/19/tried-true-thursdays-1/

Rustown Mom said... #

Looks delish and that's exactly what we are having tonight - pinning so I can make it my very own!

Christy Bergeron said... #

I made this today for Father's Day & my hubby loved it! Thank you for sharing. Christy

K. Marie Jesch said... #

What are your instructions for baking the frozen one. I'm new to the whole freezer meal thing!! Never know if I should thaw it out or bake it at a higher temp... or for longer... so what did you do!?

Tina Butler said... #

I have it at the end of the recipe in the cooks notes. I will add it here as well.

To cook freezer casserole: Remove casserole from freezer, thaw and bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and heated through.

K. Marie Jesch said... #

Wow! Don't know how I missed that. Thanks! Look forward to pulling this out of the freezer when I start teaching this fall!

Sha Misty said... #

that looks great but so much work to do beforehand. lots of pre cooked stuff before it's really cooked. that would devout a lot of time. would have to do this on a weekend!

Anonymous said... #

I made this yesterday, the recipe is super easy to follow and really simple. I froze one and put the second in the fridge for an easy after work dinner tonight and it was fantastic! Better than the stouffers one, and way cheaper!

Debra said... #

Does it have to be converted rice?

Tina Butler said... #

Debra, converted rice holds up the best versus plain white rice. You can also use brown rice.

Anonymous said... #

I really want to try this casserole and I am a bit confused about the rice.If I use converted rice do I pre-cook it or use as is straight from the box. Thank you.

Tina Butler said... #

Converted rice is not instant rice. It goes by the brands of uncle bens or par boil rice. The recipe calls for 4 cups Cooked Rice.

AmyLu said... #

OMG! I made this tonight and it is soo good! Thanks so much for sharing. Was a little time consuming, but so worth it. I made a few minor adjustments. I had a bag of frozen mixed veggies (peas, carrots, green beans, & corn) that I used instead and I also used Keebler crackers instead of bread crumbs. I was able to get the whole recipe in one baking pan. Only trouble I had was the crumbs didn't brown, and it was in the oven for almost an hour. I'm sure it's just my old junky oven.

Anonymous said... #

Wow! I made this last yesterday night. It was delicious. My hubby and kids loved it. Thankyou for sharing! I cooked a lot of your recipes. I loved them very detailed. Thankyou.

Theresa Garza said... #

I have been buying Stouffers Grandma's Chicken & Rice Bake for years and It was my quick meal for the days I work late. My adult son has decided that he is not going to eat white rice or breads any more. This was a problem because that meant that I could not buy the Stouffers any more. I found you receipt and I use brown rice and wheat bread crumbs and it is great. I just want to say thank you very much.

Sarah said... #

Made this last night and it turned out really good! Very comparable to the stoffer's version. The only thing that sucks is that it takes a lot of time with cooking the chicken (I poached it instead of grilling it) and cooking the rice before baking. My dinner was pretty late since I didn't anticipate the time so well. lol But it's worth it since I got like 4 meals out of it.

So I did manage to get 4 small casseroles out of it, one for eating last night and then 3 frozen in 8x8 pans since it's just me and my husband and that's about the right size for us (also about the same size as the Stoffer's version anyways).

Thanks for the recipe! I'm going to try to modify it to make the Broccoli & Cheddar bake from Stoffer's as well. That one's my personal favorite. Seems like it'd be easy enough with this recipe as a base.

Tina Butler said... #

You can use a rotisserie chicken which would cut out the cooking time all together. This is usually a weekend meal for us, so I can freeze the second casserole to use during the week.