BBQ Pepper Jack and Brown Rice Casserole - Post Image

BBQ Pepper Jack and Brown Rice Casserole

October 25, 2016

Blog by: An Edible Mosaic

BBQ Pepper Jack Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole is a great way to use leftover chicken and brown rice!

BBQ Pepper Jack Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole uses of leftover chicken and brown rice for a fast weeknight meal!

I know some people aren’t crazy about the idea of leftovers, but I love a fridge full of scraps from various meals! I like to think of them as my personal assistants in the kitchen, helping me to dramatically reduce my cooking time when I need to put together dinner fast.

For me, the thing about leftovers is that even though I love having them around, I’ll admit I don’t always enjoy eating the same exact meal for a few nights in a row. Reinventing them into a completely new meal is an easy solution! One afternoon when dinnertime was coming up quick, I spotted leftover chicken and brown rice in my fridge along with half a bottle of my favorite BBQ sauce, and an idea began to take shape.

I always love a good smothered BBQ chicken dish (you know, the ones they have on menus at steakhouses), and that was my inspiration for this casserole. I wanted to make it a full meal, so I added bell peppers as the vegetable. You could also add some wilted greens and bump up the nutrition even more!

Here I made a quick and easy three-ingredient creamy sauce using GO VEGGIE Vegan Classic Plain Cream Cheese to give this sauce its creamy factor, GO VEGGIE Lactose and Soy Free Pepper Jack Deli Slices for little bit of heat (you can bump up the heat factor by adding hot sauce or cayenne to taste if you like!), and BBQ sauce. Both of these GO VEGGIE products are gluten and lactose-free, and have less fat than ordinary cheese.

Better yet, this casserole can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to three days so all you have to do is pull it out and heat it up on a busy night…so there’s no reason not to love leftovers!

BBQ Pepper Jack Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole {Gluten-Free; Lactose-Free}

Yields 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes


Casserole:

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to oil the dish

1 medium onion, chopped

2 bell peppers (any colors you like), seeds removed and chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey both work great here)

Sauce:

1 (8 oz/227 g) tub GO VEGGIE Vegan Classic Plain Cream Cheese

3/4 cup (180 ml) BBQ sauce

8 slices GO VEGGIE Lactose and Soy Free Pepper Jack Deli Slices, chopped

Garnish:

Fresh chopped cilantro, parsley, or scallion

Preheat the oven to 375F; lightly oil an 8 by 8-inch casserole dish with olive oil.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat; add the onion and bell peppers and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

While the onions and peppers cook, make the sauce. Add the cream cheese and BBQ sauce to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it’s hot, add the chopped pepper jack deli slices and whisk until melted.

Stir together the onion/pepper mixture, brown rice, chicken, and 3/4 cup of the sauce in a large bowl; pour it into the prepared casserole dish, spread it out evenly, and pour the remaining sauce on top.

Cover the dish with foil and bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes (remove the cover during the last 10 minutes).

Serve with the fresh herbs sprinkled on top.

NOTES

Make-Ahead: Make the casserole and instead of baking it, store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking for 30 minutes in a 375F oven.