Chicken and Rice Casserole with 3 Homemade Condensed Soups

I really worry sometimes that we have become too reliant on processed food products. I truly think that processed food started out with the best intentions and good quality, but sadly over the years they have become so chemically modified that it hardly resembles the product it once was.

For the past few years I have been on a mission to eliminate as much processed food as I possibly can from my diet. Except for “On the Border” Tortilla chips… I can’t live without them. I’m a Texas Girl so chips and salsa is like a basic food group for me.

Raise your hand if you have ever made a casserole that called for one or all three of the following condensed soups…. Cream Of Chicken Soup, Cream of Mushroom Soup, and Cream of Celery Soup.

I know my hand is raised. In fact, many of my childhood favorites call for at least one of these classic cans of condensed soups. For example, Chicken and Rice Casserole is another one of those classic comfort food dishes that my Mom makes. Chicken and Rice has always been one of my favorites and I make it quite often. In fact I last made it about a week and a half ago. Then two days ago day I asked my husband if anything sounded good to him for dinner. He asked me to make him Chicken and Rice Casserole again, and said, “I just love Chicken and Rice. I love it for dinner, I love it for lunch and I even love it for breakfast.”

I laughed because I knew he was serious but then I got to thinking could I make this classic Chicken and Rice Casserole healthier, without changing the quality? The answer is yes, and I can do this by making my own condensed soups.

Was it as easy as popping open a can of Campbell’s Soup, not exactly. However, it was still easy and only took about 45 minutes to make all 3 soups. Also by making your own condensed soups you can better control the sodium without sacrificing the flavor. For example the Campbell’s Cream Of Chicken Soup had 870mg of sodium PER SERVING. That’s crazy! There are 2½ servings per can and 3 cans of soup in this casserole and that’s a lot of sodium. Finally I like the texture of the homemade condensed soups they were fresh, creamy, rich, and had the same thickness as the canned soups. But the homemade version lacked that gelatinous processed texture which was okay by me.

All of these soups can be made up in advance and frozen, or stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

I hope Y’all enjoy this recipe and please let me know what you think.

 

Homemade Condensed Soups

Adapted from Simply From Scratch

Cream Of Mushroom:

3 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

½ Cup White or Yellow Onion, minced

½ Cup Crimini or Baby Bella Mushrooms, Finely Chopped

½ Teaspoon Garlic, grated

2 ½ Teaspoons Flour

½ Cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock

½ Cup Whole Milk (room temp)

Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

 

Cream Of Celery Soup:

3 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

½ Cup White or Yellow Onion

2 Ribs of Celery, with the leafs, minced

½ Teaspoon Garlic, grated

2 ½ Teaspoons Flour

½ Cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock

½ Cup Whole Milk (room temp)

2 small pinches of Celery Salt

Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

 

Cream of Chicken Soup:

3 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

½ Cup White or Yellow Onion, minced

½ Teaspoon Garlic, grated

2 ½ Teaspoons Flour

½ Cup Chicken Stock

½ Cup Whole Milk (room temp)

Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

 

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium-low heat melt the butter and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes. Once the onion is tender, add in the grated garlic and other vegetables (celery or mushrooms) with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 more minutes until tender.

Reduce the heat to low and stir in the 2½ Teaspoons of Flour. Let the flour cook for 1 minute, until it has absorbed all of the butter and is light golden in color. Whisk in the ½ Cup of Chicken Stock and the ½ Cup of Milk. Turn the heat back up to medium-low and continue to constantly whisk the mixture until thick and bubbly. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

This recipe will make 1¼ cups of each condensed soup and can be frozen or stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

Now for the Chicken and Rice….

IMG_3491

Chicken and Rice Casserole

3 cups of shredded chicken, I like a rotisserie chicken

1 medium White or Yellow Onion, finely diced

1 medium Bell Pepper, finely diced

1¼ Cups of Rice

2 Cups of Chicken Stock

The above 3 Soups

¼ Cup Chicken Stock

Black Pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of olive oil

 

Directions:

Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, bring the 2 cups of Chicken Stock to a boil. Once boiling, stir in the 2 cups of rice and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the rice for 20 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, sauté the finely diced onion and bell pepper in a large sauté pan with one Tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt until tender, about 5 minutes.

When the rice is done fluff it with a fork then add in the sautéed onion, bell pepper, shredded chicken, and the 3 condensed soups along with the ¼ cup of chicken stock. Stir everything to combine and taste for seasoning. Add black pepper and salt to taste.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Evenly spread the Chicken and Rice mixture in the baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

Those are green beans from my grandparents garden! 🙂 IMG_3495

Posted by

My name is Melody and I am the cook and blogger behind Meals With Mel. I have a love for traveling, I share a joy for gardening, and I have a passion for cooking. Although I do some baking, I don't consider myself a baker as I can't stand having to measure. When it comes to cooking my philosophy is add a bit of this, a dash of that, a splash of something doesn't hurt, never forget some type of pepper and always add at least one clove of garlic. Thanks for stopping by my Spicy Texas Kitchen and I hope to see you again!!! Melody

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