Comfort food season….the best time in my opinion. We love all things casserole, warm, cozy and cheesy dishes. Enter Pulled Chicken and Veggie Loaded Rice Casserole. It’s a mouthful I know, but a delicious one.
This recipe is a spin off of the classic Campbells Chicken Rice bake recipe. I had received a bunch of Campbells recipe cards when we were married. We really loved the recipe, but it has evolved over the years into my own little version. Which personally I really love because I can use my favorite kitchen tool ever for it, instead of my oven.
When I used to make this recipe in a baking dish, I was always worried if the chicken was cooked all the way or not.
Pre-cooking the chicken in my Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker first, then finishing the recipe (and cooking the entire dish in the same single pot mind you; yay for less dishes), made me feel a lot better.
If you don’t know what a Ninja Foodi is, I recommend reading up on them. It is literally my favorite appliance EVER; apart from my Keurig, and is used almost every night of the week around here. Similar to an Instant Pot; in that it is also a pressure cooker.
I have a “Beginners Guide to the Ninja Foodi,” totally worth checking out to learn a bit about it. It has been a bit of a dinnertime lifesaver with two little children running around.
If I forget to take meat out of the freezer in the morning, it does not matter one bit. As you can cook your meat in no time at all, and not sacrifice texture to do so.
How to make Pulled Chicken and Veggie loaded Rice Casserole
1.) The frozen chicken breasts…yes FROZEN solid. In the Ninja Foodi Cooking Pot. Seasoned with onions and garlic. A bit of mushrooms and lastly HOT chicken broth.
2.) This is the cooked chicken breasts after 10 minutes on high pressure and 10 minutes natural release. I used to cook my chicken in the crock pot ALL DAY in order to get it to mush and pull apart like this.
I use the Mix N Chop (I think that is the name) from Pampered Chef to chop it up into bits. That little tool is amazing for cooking hamburger as well. The chicken is so tender, it just splits apart like nothing.
3.) I then add in my vegetables. These pictures are of my Thrive Freeze Dried Veggies, before and after rehydrating. You don’t have to rehydrate the vegetables before hand. I only did because I wanted to know exactly how much water one would need to cook this properly if using fresh or frozen vegetables. It was just my own experimentation.
4.) Next add your water, seasonings, and cream of chicken soup. Stir together. Sprinkle the rice on top. Seal the pressure cooking lid and set to low pressure for 10 minutes. Natural release the pressure for 5. Then quick release the remaining. Open the lid, stir it all together adding the cheese after.
5.) ENJOY! The hearty, tasty and vegetable loaded casserole.
Chicken and Veggie Casserole Notes
- Optional Mushrooms: I actually really don’t like mushrooms! BUT I pulse them into little pieces, so I don’t have the texture but I do get a bit of the taste in there. My husband and daughter like them, so I try to include them sometimes. I use freeze dried mushrooms which makes it really easy to powderize (and not have any waste) but this works for frozen and fresh as well.
- I use freeze dried vegetables in this recipe. It is not necessary. I have included the different water amounts to compensate for if you are using fresh or frozen vegetables compared to freeze dried. The freeze dried vegetables do not have to be rehydrated prior to adding them into this recipe. Just adding a bit of extra water is all it takes.
- 3 chicken breasts
- 2 tsp onion
- 2 tsp garlic
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/8 cup of Mushroom pieces (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup frozen peas green peas
- 1/2 cup frozen green beans
- 1/2 cup frozen broccoli
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach (1/2 cup Thrive Spinach)
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots (1 cup Thrive carrots)
- 1 tsp Parlsey
- 1 tsp Basil
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 cups rice
- 1.5 cups mixed cheese (cheddar and mozzarella)
- 1/8 cup parmesan cheese
- Place frozen chicken breasts into Ninja Foodi Cooking Pot
- Add onions, garlic, mushrooms, and chicken broth
- Seal pot and set to HIGH Pressure for 10 minutes
- Let pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Then VENT the remaining pressure and remove lid
- Chop chicken into pieces using a potato masher, spoon or pull apart with tongs
- Add vegetables, seasonings, cream of chicken soup and water
- Mix ingredients together
- Sprinkle rice on top of the dish and DO NOT stir
- Replace pressure cooking lid.
- Seal and cook on LOW pressure for 10 minutes. Let presure naturally release for 5 minutes following completed cooking time.Release remaining pressure
- Stir ingredients together. Sprinkling in cheeses as you stir.
1.) I use HOT broth, because it allows the pressure cooker to come up to pressure faster, therefore reducing overall cook time.
2.) If you would like the casserole to be "thinner" and less dense, I would recomend adding an extra 1/2 Cup of water or broth in addition to the 2 cups of water you add before the final cooking of the rice and vegetables.
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I hope you enjoy this super quick easy casserole recipe that can be prepared completely in an instant pot or other pressure cooker!
Let me know how it goes when you give it a try!