Eating healthy does not mean having to give up family favorite dishes. With a bit of tweaking and substitutions, you can make most casserole recipes healthy and tasty. The key is to use low-fat ingredients and choosing alternatives that provide more nutrition than the original recipe ingredients. Creamy Chicken and Rice is just one casserole that can become healthier by using a few substitutions.
Gather Your Ingredients
To make Creamy Chicken and rice casserole, you will need 2 tbsp. flour; 1 can sliced mushrooms; 1 tbsp. non-fat dry, powdered milk; 1 cup low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth; 1 1/4 cup 2 percent milk; 1/4 tsp. salt; 3 cups cooked brown rice; 2 1/2 cups cubed, cooked skinless chicken breast; 1/2 cup thinly slice celery; 1 tsp. each of pepper, marjoram and thyme.
Making the Casserole
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine flour and powdered milk. Slowly add skim milk, using a whisk or fork to blend. Cook until sauce becomes thick, all the while stirring constantly. Add the spices and stir to mix thoroughly. Remove the pan from the heat. In a large skillet, non-stick or sprayed with cooking spray, sauté celery and mushrooms in 1 tbsp. of the chicken broth until both are tender. Stir in the remainder of the ingredients and pour the mixture into a 9-by-13 inch baking pan. Cook, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 35 minutes. Remove the lid and cook another 10 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling.
Substitute 3 cups of egg-less noodles for the rice. Use /2 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms, of any variety, instead of canned. Add 1 cup frozen broccoli or peas to the mix before baking. For added richness, you can sprinkle low-fat Swiss or cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole during the last 10 minutes of baking. If desired, you can use whole, cooked chicken breasts for the casserole. Simply place the breasts in a single layer on the bottom of the pan and cover with the remaining ingredients. Cook as directed.
To fancy up the casserole, try sprinkling slivered almonds over the top during the last 10 minutes of baking.