One day I was searching Pinterest for some new recipes and this chicken marsala casserole caught my eye. I knew I loved chicken marsala and I love how quick and easy casseroles are, so I knew I had to try it! This dish is a Rachael Ray original and as much as I love her and her cooking, I wanted to lighten this baby up and still make it taste just as good. Her original recipe calls for heavy cream and butter, so I decided to ditch the butter and replace it with olive oil (who will ever know?!), use fat free half and half instead of heavy cream and swapped the white rice for brown rice. These few little changes make this yummy dish only 230 calories a serving, with 5 grams of fat and 16 grams of protein. And these are not little itty bitty servings either. There are eight servings in a 9x13 pan, not a 9x9 (don't you just hate when there are 16 servings in a 9x9?! I do!). Now that is a hearty serving size I can live with!
This marsala goodness could not be easier to whip up. If you are in a pinch, you can use a rotisserie chicken, but I like to cook up my own chicken breasts. In fact, if you were really savvy, you could cook up a bunch and then keep them in the freezer for a quick grab and go when you want to make something with chopped or shredded chicken. Let's just say, I'm not that savvy. I just thew the chicken breasts in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and let them cook while I prepared the rest of the dish. By the time you get the mushrooms cooked down in the marsala and all the other deliciousness, the chicken breasts are ready to come out, be chopped up and thrown into the mix. Once everything is ready, pour the sauce over the chicken and rice and bake. That's it! Super easy, super delicious and totally low calorie. Nothing pairs better with this dish than a big salad and a glass of white wine. Now that's a dinner!
|pre-sliced mushrooms are the way to go|
|onions + garlic = love|
|hello brown rice|
|close up of the "gravy"|
|add in the chicken broth|
|pour the sauce over the rice and chicken|
|cooked and ready to enjoy. yum!|
Lightened Up Chicken Marsala Casserole (slightly adapted from Rachael Ray)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used crimini, but use button if you like them!)
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup marsala wine (or white wine)
1/2 cup fat free half & half (low fat milk will work here too)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
2 packed cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat until just melted. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir in for 1 minute. Stir in the marsala and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of broth/stock.
Spray a 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole with non-stick spray and spread the rice in an even layer. Top with the chicken, pour the mushroom gravy on top and sprinkle the parsley over everything.Cover tightly with foil and bake until bubbly, about 45 minutes. If your rice still is not cooked at this point, turn the oven up to 400 and bake until rice is fully cooked. Remember, brown rice takes longer to cook (if you use white rice, cook the whole dish at 350 degrees for 35 minutes). Discard the foil, sprinkle the parmesan on top and bake for 5 minutes more.
Casseroles are no longer a thing of the past!