Rustic Italian One-Pot Chicken and Rice -Tired of battling picky eaters at the dinner table? Rustic Italian One-Pot Chicken and Rice sneaks good nutrition into yummy, cheesy, familiar flavors!
Hello, Simple As That readers! I’m Rachel, a new contributor from the food blog Simple Seasonal. My blog’s title rings true in my little corner of the internet, which is full of simple and (mostly) healthy ideas for cooking seasonal whole foods. I’m so excited to join the Simple As That team and this awesome group of readers! It’s my hope that over the next year I will inspire you to give your pots and pans the loving they deserve by cooking up some easy, healthy recipes that your whole family can get behind.
In my home, eating healthy at dinnertime can become a battle of wills between my preschooler and myself. It’s amazing how a child who’s normally an ever-moving ball of energetic wiggles can sit and stare at a pile of spinach for an hour with stalwart determination to maintain his disapproving scowl before agreeing to give it a try (only under penalty of losing TV time, of course). I’m guessing many of you have children in your life who are of a similar disposition, so I thought I’d get things started with a recipe that has the whole family’s priorities in mind.
Today’s recipe for Rustic Italian One-Pot Chicken and Rice delivers on all of that. For the grown-ups it has lean protein, whole grains, lots of veggies, and creates as few dishes as possible. For the kids we have familiar and favorite Italian flavors with stretchy cheese, and, well, more stretchy cheese! It’s one of those recipes that sneaks healthy things behind flavors that everyone loves. With a picky 4 year-old, this is a strategy I’ve come to embrace. This recipe also works as a great weeknight meal because the active cooking time is all of 10 minutes. Yeah… It takes 45 minutes to cook, but what better time to relax with a cup of tea while perusing your favorite blog. 😉
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins
- ⅛ tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- ½ C diced sweet onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic or ½ tsp dry
- 1 Tbsp fresh basil or 1 tsp dry
- 1 14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
- 2 C low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 C wild rice blend
- 1 C chopped baby spinach
- ½ C jarred chopped roasted red pepper
- ¼ C sour cream
- ¼ C grated parmesan cheese
- ⅔ C grated mozzarella, evenly divided
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large oven-proof pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the chicken tenderloins to the pan and brown for about 1 minute on each side and season with salt and pepper. I recommend 2-3 tenderloins per person depending on how big of eaters you have in your home.
- Add ½ C diced sweet onions to the pan and cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic and basil and cook for 1 more minute. This will release and sweeten the flavors of your onion, garlic, and basil.
- Stir in 1 14.5 oz can of drained, diced fire roasted tomatoes, 2 C low-sodium chicken broth, and 1 C of wild rice blend. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and cover. Cook undisturbed until all of the liquid is absorbed - about 45 minutes. This is just like cooking plain old rice. Note that you are cooking the chicken with the rice. When it's done it will be tender and full of flavor as a result.
- After your rice is done cooking, turn on your oven broiler. Fold in 1 C of chopped baby spinach, ½ C chopped roasted red peppers, ¼ C sour cream, and ⅓ C of mozzarella. Use pre-washed spinach and pre-grated cheese to save time. Take the time to arrange the chicken in a pretty pattern over the rice mixture if you like, then sprinkle with the grated parmesan and the remaining mozzarella. Place under your oven broiler for 30 sec to a minute until the cheese begins to bubble.* Serve immediately.