When Hunter was born friends and family brought us meals during those first couple of weeks. It was so nice not cooking. I was one tired gal and cooking was the last thing on my mind. Now whenever a friend has a baby, dinner is the first thing I offer to bring over. It’s kind of wonderful having a home cooked meal ready and waiting for you at dinner time, but without having to do the work.
Now this post isn’t me telling you how to have dinner delivered to your door (unless you have a baby, then just say yes to meals!). Instead it’s a recipe for one of the meals we ate this week that blew us out of the water. It was so good. Hunter even went crazy for it when he’d see it on a plate, clapping his hands repeatedly saying ‘more, more more!’ with excitement. And he typically vetoes rice like it’s his job (throwing it all over the floor), so it was a big deal.
The reason I talked about meals we had brought to us is that I wanted to make this curry chicken and rice casserole a friend brought. She emailed me the recipe a while back, but then when I went to find it earlier in the week, it was no where to be found. So instead of asking again, I recreated and improved upon. The cheese was the improvement. 🙂
My recipe was also inspired from Jenny’s Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole. She gave me the idea for cheesiness. And a good idea it was.
We’ll definitely be adding this to our monthly rotation of meals. And if you have a baby and want me to bring a meal, anticipate this one. I’ll easily double the recipe and make one for you and one for me. It’s creamy, cheesy, has just the right amount of curry, and is oh-so-comforting. Hope you like it!
Cheesy Curry Chicken and Rice Casserole
Adapted from here
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 3 stalks celery, finely diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced
- 2 cups uncooked rice, cooked according to package directions (I made compromise rice in the rice cooker: 1 cup white + 1 cup brown + 4.5 cups water)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 1.5 tsp curry powder
- topping: 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Cheese sauce ingredients
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat – white works as well)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 – 14 ounce can chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat oil into a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in chicken, cooked rices, salt, pepper, garlic granules and curry. Reduce heat to low.
- To prepare cheese sauce melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously. Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in the sour cream and cheese until melted.
- Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish coated with olive oil spray. Top with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through. Serve.
I’m not going to lie, the three of us devoured half the casserole in one night. Jacob and I had both just finished workouts and were starved, and it was so hard not to keep going back for more. So so good!
Do you have a go to casserole your family loves? What do you make when a friend needs a meal? Stratas are another meal I like to bring.
Happy Friday all!