Monday, October 15, 2012

Stouffers Grandma's Chicken & Rice Bake {CopyKat Recipe}

A classic copycat family favorite casserole of chicken, rice, and veggies cooked in a creamy sauce with a crispy Panko topping!
Today I want to share a copycat recipe I found a couple weeks back. I'm a big fan of a few of the Stouffers 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 Kat Stouffer's Chicken & Vegetable 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.  Let's get started on this delicious recipe.      

Using a Rotisserie chicken will be a huge time saver for this recipe. If not your will need to brown the chicken before baking the casserole. If using a Rotisserie chicken, skip this step. 
To brown the chicken, drizzle the olive oil into a large skillet or grill pan over med-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and pan fry until golden brown on each side (browning adds a rich flavor to the meat) instead of boiling or poaching the chicken.

Using the same skillet over medium heat, melt the 5 tablespoon of butter, onions, garlic and frozen peas & carrots. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Set vegetables aside. In a very large bowl add the soups and milk. Mix to combine. Add the shredded cheese, chicken, cooked vegetables and rice Gently mix everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into two 9 x 11 or 13 x 9  inch pans (I use disposable roaster pans w/lids). In a small bowl melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and mix with the Panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top of both casseroles. Place the casseroles in a 350 degree oven and cook for 40 - 45  minutes. Cook until mixture is bubble and the topping is golden brown.

I used the second casserole for a freezer meal for another day. Cover the casserole unbaked with Glad press and seal wrap or plastic wrap and then cover with two layers of aluminum foil. Using a sharpie label the pan with the name of the dish, date and cooking time and temp. 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 actually think it taste better than the Stouffers version. I know that is a bold statement but it was so good and creamy. 

CopyCat Stouffers Grandma's Chicken & Vegetable Rice Bake 

1 - store bought Rotisserie chicken or 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 
cut into 1 inch pieces and browned
8 - tablespoons butter (1 stick), separated
1/2 - cup chopped onion
1 - clove garlic, minced 
1 - cup frozen frozen peas and carrots
4 - cups cooked brown rice or converted (Like Uncle Ben's)
1 - 18 ounce can cream of mushroom soup (I used Progresso)
1- 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup 
1 - 10.75 ounce can cheddar cheese soup
2 - cups milk
1 - 8 ounce package shredded Kraft Triple Cheddar Blend or Mild cheddar cheese 
salt and pepper, to taste
1  1/2 - cups Panko bread crumbs
3 - tablespoon olive oil 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the rice according to package directions for 4 cups cooked rice and set aside. 

Using a Rotisserie chicken will be a huge time saver for this recipe. If not your will need to brown the chicken before baking the casserole. If using a Rotisserie chicken, skip this step. 

To brown the chicken, drizzle the olive oil into a large skillet or grill pan over med-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and pan fry until golden brown on each side (browning adds a rich flavor to the meat) instead of boiling or poaching the chicken. Remove the chicken and set aside;

In the same skillet over medium heat, melt 5 tablespoon of butter. Add the onions, garlic and frozen peas & carrots. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Set the vegetable mixture aside. 

In a very large bowl add the soups and milk and mix to combine. Add the shredded cheese, chicken, vegetables and cooked rice Gently mix everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into two 9 x 11 or 13 x 9 inch pans (I used disposable roaster pans). In a small bowl melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and combine with the Panko bread crumbs. 

Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top of both casseroles. Place casseroles in a 350 degree oven and bake for 40 -45 minutes. 

If using aluminum pans place the pans on a baking sheet before baking. Cook until the 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. Label, date and add cooking time and freeze. 

To Cook Frozen Casserole. Remove casserole from freezer, thaw at room temperature and bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and heated through. If you used an aluminum pan place the pan on a baking sheet before cooking. 

Cook's Note: If you do not like or are allergic to cream of mushroom soup just substitute using a total of 2 cans of cream of chicken soup.   

Recipe Yields: Two 9 x 11 inch casseroles.
Recipe Adapted from: Ask The Ebay Queen

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.


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 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... #

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... #

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.

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.

Haley Brown said... #

Can I use minute rice and how much would I use??

Tina Butler said... #

Minute rice will be get too mushy. I would go with brown, par boil or long grain rice.

Erin said... #

Just made this today to serve to the staff at my church. (I doubled the recipe and made one giant monster casserole!) I hope they love it; I tasted a bit and it was absolutely creamy and divine. Can't wait to make it for my own family, and maybe I'll even double it again so I'll have one for dinner and three in the freezer! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! :)

Anonymous said... #

How many rotisserie chickens should I use to replace 6 chicken breasts?

Jodi said... #

This recipe is fantastic! For our family of four, we decided we could actually divide the recipe into 3 casseroles!

Roger said... #

Great recipe. made it twice already. Do you think this recipe would work for baked pork chops, or would the flavor be wrong? Thanks again.

Anonymous said... #

Just made this recipe this morning and was impressed at how much volume it created for two 9x11 pans! I'll be eating this gem for a couple weeks!!!

It turned out quite well. I made a few changes: Since I'm not a fan at all of mushrooms, I eliminated the cream of mushroom soups and just added more of the cream of chicken soups. I used jasmine rice instead of brown or parboiled rice (converted rice was just too "welfare" for use such a wondrous meal; and I loathe the cheap and hideous taste of converted rice).

I used 9 large boneless/skineless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed up so that there was a LOT of chicken to balance out the portions.

This will be a regular thing for my freezer. I love these sumptuous stick-to-your-ribs meals, and was saddened when Walmart gave up carrying the original Stouffer's line.

Thanks for the recipe!

Barbara Miller said... #

loved reading about the chicken recipe for chicken and rice,will give it a try very soon. in the meantime would you or one of your readers happen to have recipe for a chicken pot pie. I am looking for one in particular that I ran across many years ago when my children were small. Probably like in the early 70's. It had a crust made from flour, sour cream, cheese that formed a crust on the outside and was then filled with chicken, vegetables, and cheese for inside. as you may have guessed by now recipe has been misplaced, can anyone help me out?

Anonymous said... #

This recipe sounds great. Someone mentioned being allergic to mushrooms. You suggested putting in more soup. I can't eat cheese. Would putting in more soup work in place of the cheese? Being single, I could freeze several containers of this that would last for many meals or could be for later to take to Sunday School class functions. Thanks so much for any suggestions.

Tina Butler said... #

I suggested using all cream of chicken to substitute for the cream of mushroom since she was allergic to mushrooms. If you are allergic to cheese this recipe probably isn't for you as it uses shredded cheese and cheddar cheese soup.

Christin Kuck said... #

Since I'm an empty nester, and it is just my husband and I, I majorly modified this recipe to make a smaller amount. I had leftover chicken from a store bought rotisserie chicken and wanted to use it up. I used Minute Rice Multi-grain Medley for the fiber and vitamin content. I just used one can of the Progresso Mushroom Soup, and left out the other soups, but I did add a tablespoon of sour cream. Because I'm gluten intolerant, I used corn flake crumbs instead of panko. I'm sure it didn't come out like Stouffer's, but I enjoyed it.

Hap Rom said... #

Two 2 Words,,, Freaking Amazing,,, Thank You so Much, My Wife and Little Girls Just Love This Recipe. It Blows Stouffers Grandma's Chicken And Rice Bake Out Of The Water! If Anyone Has Doubts about this recipe, Don't...Regards, Bob...

Unknown said... #

Wow ! I've made this several times all ready. It's my go covered dish. I also make several at a time and freeze. This is wonderful with turkey left overs.

Anonymous said... #

YUMMY ! This dish has Fire Fighter approval. Thank-you for sharing this. Both pans were empty when returned .

Lynn Dameron said... #

I'm was wondering if you can use frozen broccoli for the veggies?

Tina Butler said... #

Frozen Broccoli or even a frozen California Blend would both be good in place of peas and carrots.

Anonymous said... #

It does say further down the page to defrost before cooking

Anonymous said... #

This dish was so amazing. My family enjoyed it tremendously. I will make this recipe from now on as we have a big family and it makes enough for everyone.

Tonya K said... #

Made this for dinner as the flu struck the house but didn't want soup. I accidentally opened mixed veggies and didn't notice until I dumped. Also, we like extra crunch so used extra toasted Parmesan Herb panko. So yummy!

PinkChampagne said... #

I love Stouffer's Grandma's chicken & rice bake, and I've been eating it for about 20 years or so. But as I've gotten older I've been looking for healthier versions of my favorites, so I was really happy to find this recipe online. I'm printing it out & plan to make it in the next week or so. Thank you!

TapestryArtist said... #

Joan - Maybe someone already suggested it, but my son hates mushrooms so I use Cream of Celery soup as a substitute for Cream of Mushrooms. I'm going to try it in this recipe. We LOVE Stoffers Grandmas Chicken Bake. Looking forward to making my own!