Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3-4 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 3 large carrots peeled & thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup steamed white rice optional
- 3 boxes rice a roni wild rice cooked according to package directions
- salt & pepper to taste
For The Cheese Sauce
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
In a large Dutch oven, or similarly sized soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the vegetables, and saute them until tender- about 8 minutes. Add in the garlic, stirring to incorporate, and let it cook for 1 minute- just until fragrant.
Stir in the chopped chicken & cooked rice until evenly incorporated. Reduce the heat to low, but don't forget to stir the mixture occasionally to prevent sticking while preparing the sauce.
To Make The Cheese Sauce
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-medium high heat. Add the flour, whisking to evenly combine. Let the mixture bubble for roughly 30 seconds while you're whisking to cook off any flour taste. Season with salt & pepper.
Whisk in the broth, a little at a time, until the mixture's thick, bubbly, and smooth.
Once the mixture's thick and bubbling, whisk in 2 cups of the shredded cheddar. Whisk until the cheese is melted and the cheese sauce is smooth.
Pour the cheese sauce into the chicken & veggie mixture, stirring until evenly incorporated.
To Assemble The Casserole
Lightly spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with non stick cooking spray
Transfer the chicken & rice mixture to the dish, and use a spoon or spatula to evenly spread it out into the dish.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar evenly out over top of the casserole.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the casserole's hot & bubbly and the cheese is evenly melted over top.
Remove the casserole from the oven, and let it rest for 5 minutes before scooping and serving.
Calories: 453.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.2g | Protein: 30.4g | Fat: 30.73g | Saturated Fat: 15.82g | Cholesterol: 123.74mg | Sodium: 808.98mg | Potassium: 423.28mg | Fiber: 1.41g | Sugar: 2.44g | Vitamin A: 5272.51IU | Vitamin C: 7.54mg | Calcium: 392.61mg | Iron: 1.14mg