Chicken & Rice Tetrazzini

A take on the traditional pasta tetrazzini, this is a great way to use leftovers, and make a slightly different type of casserole. One of the best things about tetrazzini recipes, is that you can easily add or sub vegetables for what you have on hand. I have made similar dishes subbing in broccoli, other bell peppers, etc. and have also omitted the black beans for a more traditional Italian type of casserole. Also, for a less spicy version stick with plain canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes.

2 large chicken breasts, cut into bit sized pieces
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes + 1 can diced green chilies OR 1 can Ro*Tel
1 zucchini, bite sized pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 medium green pepper, chopped
Sliced mushrooms
1 to 1 1/4 cup left over Ninfa's Queso or 1 cup Velveeta cubed, plus 3T milk
2 T garlic powder or 6 cloves fresh chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Panko, Japanese style breadcrumbs
Pam cooking spray
2 T olive oil, to cook chicken

Makes 1 large casserole, or 1 small and 1 medium casserole. Can be frozen.

Preheat oven to 375. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Heat olive oil in skillet and add chicken, saute until cooked through. Prep all vegetables. Spray casserole dish(es) with Pam. In a large bowl, begin combining ingredients, and mix well. Add chicken once cooking is complete. Mix again. Spoon into dish(es). Top with a layer of Panko, and spray lightly with Pam. Place in oven, uncovered for 30 minutes. Browning of Panko varies by oven, you may need to turn it up to 400 for the last 5-10 min. Casserole should be lightly bubbling inside when it is done. If Panko browns quickly, cover with foil.  I have really seen this vary oven to oven, so just use your best judgement ; )


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