Friday, April 12, 2013

Toddler Meals: (Semi-Homemade) Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice Casserole

This little gem is a Mama's kitchen original, created out of the need for more make-ahead toddler meals.  As we've gotten away from making so many purees, we've really started to miss the ease of heating up a few ice cubes and seconds later having dinner ready.  I find myself seeking more and more creative ways to have delicious and nutritious make-ahead meals that can be easily reheated and served.  This one's different than some of my usual ones in that it uses a lot of shortcuts to make it quick, easy, and doable for this working mama's busy schedule.  It uses several pre-cooked and/or microwavable ingredients and the only kitchen appliance needed is the microwave - talk about simple!  Here's how Mama makes it (and fast!):

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice Casserole

- 1 (8.8 oz) package brown Ready Rice (or microwaveable frozen rice)
- 1 c. frozen broccoli, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 c. pre-cooked chicken, finely chopped
- 1 (10 3/4 oz) can broccoli cheese soup
- 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 - 3/4 c. milk, as needed to thin


1.  First, cook the broccoli according to package directions (with a couple tablespoons of water, microwave on high for 2-3 minutes until softened).  Remove from microwave and put the rice in, cooking on high for 90 seconds.

2.  Meanwhile, chop the chicken and broccoli (be sure to let it cool slightly before handling). 

3.  In a medium bowl, mix the broccoli, chicken, and rice.  Add the can of soup and stir to combine (it will be thick)

4.  Pour in milk, a little at a time and stir until desired thickness is reached (I used about 3/4 c.).  Stir in the shredded cheese.

5.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir one more time, and you're done!  Spoon into toddler-sized containers (mine are about 4 oz. each), pop a couple in the fridge, freeze the rest, and enjoy the fact that in about 10 minutes, you just made 8 meals!  Whew, now there's some working mama magic!

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