Southwestern Chicken and Rice

What’s for dinner today?  It’s cold outside, and a blanket of snow is covering my yard.  I’m feeling like down home, stick to your ribs cooking.  I began by looking at standard chicken and rice casseroles, but most use canned cream of chicken soup.  

I wanted an easy DIY, gluten free version. As I began creating this recipe, I spied a jar of salsa in the fridge.  Mexican sounded good.  But I saved the salsa for on top, for those of us who like it and decided to just add some spices and mild green chilies.  Perfect for flavor, not so much heat.  This works in my house, so those of us who like their food spicier can add salsa or Cholula, the nectar of the gods.

This could be considered a casserole, but my husband doesn’t like casseroles. Thus it isn’t  a Chicken and Rice Casserole.  No, it is a dish. A main dish.  You might note that I do not have casseroles on my blog.  And I never serve them.   But this dish was very delicious, and hearty, and goes perfectly with the snow outside.  Enjoy!

Southwestern Chicken and Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 small can diced green chilies
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar/jack cheese
  • 1 good sized stalk broccoli
  • About 1 lb chicken breasts (I used 2 half breasts)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9x11 pan with cooking spray.
  3. Fill a large saucepan with water (I used about 5-6 cups) and bring it to boil.
  4. Cut broccoli apart into individual stalks.
  5. Cut chicken into 1 to 1½ inch chunks. Blend salt, pepper, and chili powder together and season chicken with mixture.
  6. In a large microwave safe bowl, mix chicken broth, heavy cream, cornstarch, garlic powder, cumin and cayenne. Whisk well. Microwave until beginning to thicken, about 6 minutes, whisking every 2 minutes. When done, add in green chilies and 1 cup shredded cheese and let sit to allow cheese to melt.
  7. Meanwhile, when water comes to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt and rice. Stir well and continue to boil for 9 minutes. At 9 minutes, stir in broccoli and boil for 1 minute longer. Drain thoroughly, return to pan, and stir in sauce. Spread into prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes, top with remaining cup of shredded cheese and bake 5-10 minutes longer, until rice is fully done and cheese is melted.



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