This is what I call Jenny comfort food…
Jenny being my mom. My mom who loves rice more than anyone I know. My mom who also loves anything with butter and carbs more than anyone I know. In many ways she has the palette of an eight year old. However, unlike a lot of eight year olds, she’ll eat pretty much anything that doesn’t come out of the water, yep, no seafood or fish for MY mom! Those are just her not gonna happen – no matter what, foods, but other than that she’ll try to eat just about anything I make.
What she loves most though, and would gladly eat most every day… well, I mean other than chocolate chip cookies and homemade chocolate cake…obviously (I know, she’s a smart woman) is…
Yes, soupy rice, or as she calls it, “souper rice”. Basically for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, it is made with a can of cream of mushroom soup (or in mom’s case – cream of chicken) + a can and a half of rice + a can of milk. Kind of a mix between a creamy soup and a casserole, and well, she loved it. Yes, loved past tense, Jenny sadly gave up this favorite many years ago. As a kid she and her best friend Sue would eat it every day in the summer, but somewhere along the way, just like ramen noodle soup, she realized that this might not be the healthiest food choice. I have to say, I probably had many a bowls myself as kid, with a side of saltines. Don’t judge, I was one of those kids that actually ate what my parents served me. Gotta say, it was pretty good. Creamy, carby and just comforting, you know?
Did anyone else eat this as a kid, or was it just my weirdo, rice loving mom?
Soo, what does this have to do with today’s recipe? Well, it’s back to school time, and in my mind that means easing our way back into a little cozier meals, but meals that are super fast and easy to prepare. For some reason, I always think back to the recipes my mom used to make around this time of year. Like last year, it was this chicken and zucchini noodle casserole…
Um, have you guys tried this? It’s so good and a way healthier version of the classic. My family LOVES it!
This year, it’s all about the creamy/soupy rice and I am pretty dang excited about it. For as much as I love bold flavors and dishes full of colors, crazy cheeses, fruits and veggies, I can also love a bowl full of literally just creamy carbs and cheese. Yes, I am my mother’s daughter after all. ?
So I took my mom’s idea of “souper rice” and turned it into a much healthier family dinner that’s way too easy to make (well nothing can be “too easy”). This “Souper” Cheesy Chicken Zucchini Rice makes great use of all the summer zucchini…not to mention it’s a great way to feed your kids zucchini without them knowing it.
You are welcome in advance! 🙂
Here’s how this meal goes down. You’ll need some butter, chicken, garlic, rice, milk, chicken broth, thyme, parsley, onion powder and cheddar cheese. Basically, you add this all to a pot and let the rice cook. No for real.
This is a one pot kind of meal and it’s delicious. You can serve the rice straight from the pot or transfer it to an oven safe baking dish, top with a little more cheddar cheese and bake until it’s golden and melted. I kind of love this baked with a little extra cheese, but then what dish isn’t better with a little extra cheese, you know?
Either way, it’s honestly just family dinner perfection. It’s a meal that both adults and kids will love. This would be great served with a simple side salad or maybe even a late summer fruit salad? Whatever you are feeling!
Oh and also? Mom’s souper rice never included cheese, but she’s come to the conclusion that this cheesy, healthier version is a million times better than her original. Knowing how much mom loved souper rice, this is kind of a big deal.
Meaning, you need to give this recipe a try. Cause it is SOOO good!
OKOK, and it’s really great for bland eaters…aka most of my family.
"Souper" Cheesy Chicken Zucchini Rice.
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 525 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders, diced
- kosher salt + pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 1 1/2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 small to medium zucchini grated
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
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- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the butter. Add the chicken and season with salt + pepper. Cook, stirring often until the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Cook until the rice smells toasted, about 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly pour in the milk and chicken broth. Add the zucchini, thyme, parsley and onion powder. Bring the mix to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is fluffy.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir in the the cheese to melt. If desired, you can transfer the rice to a baking dish and top with a little more cheese. Then bake at 400 degrees F. for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve warm.
For real though…SO CREAMY…zucchini rice never tasted so good!
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