Southwest-style Brown Rice & Chicken Bake

06 Jul
Southwest rice & chicken casserole

Brown rice and chicken with southwest seasonings

This recipe, and another very similar one, come from what I have affectionately call “the most expensive cookbook in the world.” Years ago when I was in my militant Weight Watcher exchange phase I subscribed to one of those recipe of month clubs. Actually it wasn’t just one recipe, it was probably about a dozen, that were mailed to me for one low fee of $8.95 per month. Ahhh, I waited in anticipation for each month’s offering. Nearly 20 years later there are still 15 or 20 recipes that I still make on an ongoing basis.

The thing about the recipes is that they were tweaked to make the ingredients fit into “exchanges.” Sometimes awkwardly. Over the years as I’ve relaxed my food standards and become more familiar with basic cooking techniques, I’ve revised the recipes to make them more friendly for every day cooking.

The awkwardness of the original recipe for this casserole was there was really no glue holding it altogether. When I think casserole I think cream o’ whatever soup. In my streamlined version, I’ve added a simple white sauce (the real basis for cream o’ soups everywhere) which cooks up over the sauteed veggies. Add the remaining ingredients, transfer to a baking dish and heat in the oven for a low fat, delicious dish that is easy to make and good for you.


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 four oz can mild diced green chiles
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 10-12 oz cooked chicken, cubed
  • 3 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with non-stick spray
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil until hot but not smoking
  3. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute over medium heat until the veggies are soft
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the top and the stir until the flour disappears
  5. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (about 2-3 minutes)
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine
  7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with cheese
  8. Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes until the rice is heated through and the cheese has melted

Serves four

Nutritional information – values per serving are approximate:

Calories 390.8 Total Fat 13.4 g Cholesterol 65.7 mg Sodium 271.6 mg Potassium 586.2 mg Total Carbohydrate 40.6 g Protein 27.6 g

Inspiration: Weight Watchers Smart Choice Recipe Collection – 1995

1 Comment

Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Brown rice, Chicken, Low fat, Weight Watchers


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One response to “Southwest-style Brown Rice & Chicken Bake

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