If you don’t have a half hour to cook brown rice, here’s a sneaky time-saving hack: Use instant brown rice. Sometimes called 10-minute rice, instant-cook varieties contain grains that are partially cooked, through parboiling or steaming, then dehydrated before packaging, so they require less time to prepare later. Using instant rice can shave your cooking time by a quarter. This type of rice also contains almost the same levels of nutrients as uncooked rice, so you can feel good about serving it.
Using instant rice in this recipe helps this family favorite come together in less than 30 minutes. To cook it, follow package instructions. Of course, if you’ve got extra time on your hands, you can use regular-cook brown rice, too. Just start by cooking the rice by itself, using the recipe here. Then sauté chicken as directed in Step 1. In Step 2, omit the rice, and decrease broth to 2/3 cup while following the other cooking directions. When you add the broccoli, add 3 ½ cups of the cooked brown rice to the skillet as well. Then follow the remaining recipe directions as written.
Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Skillet
Cooking Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- ¾ tsp garlic salt, divided
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 ¼ cups instant brown rice
- 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into smaller pieces
- ¼ cup light sour cream
- 1 cup shredded 2% Cheddar cheese
- Chopped green onions (optional)
1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp garlic salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet with sides over medium-high heat. Brown chicken in hot oil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Chicken will not be fully cooked.)
2. Add broth, rice, and ½ tsp garlic salt to skillet, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 7 minutes. Carefully remove lid and stir in broccoli. Cover and cook an additional 3 minutes or until most broth is absorbed. Turn off heat.
3. Stir in sour cream, and then gently fold in ½ cup Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheese over top. Cover for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is just melted. Top with green onions if desired.
NUTRITION FACTS (per 1/6 of skillet ): Calories 330; Total Fat 9g (Saturated Fat 3.5); Cholesterol 70mg; Sodium 460mg; Total Carbs 33g (Dietary Fiber 3g, Total Sugars 2g, Added Sugars 0g); Protein 28g.
CAROLYN WILLIAMS, PHD, RD