Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chicken, Mushroom, and Green Bean Casserole

It is quite possible that green bean casserole my favorite dish during the holidays. I decided to cut out the Cream of Mushroom soup and the onion rings and add a few extra ingredients to make this side dish a main dish for dinner. Turns out it tastes wonderful (maybe even better) with chicken and orzo in it!  Casseroles don't always have to be high in fat to taste good. This version is only 350 calories per serving and hits the spot like a comfort food (without being overly full or feeling like you need to head for the gym)!

You can prepare this in advance and bake prior to serving to cut down on prep-time. It could also be done in a slow cooker if you want to cook it all day.* There is nothing better than having dinner done by the time you get home for work!  Serve with a side salad to balance out the meal and cut down the size of your casserole portion.

(If you are short on time or ingredients, you can substitute cream of mushroom soup for the first 5 ingredients.)

Chicken, Mushroom, and Green Bean Casserole 
Serves 10

2 Tbsp Smart Balance margarine
2 Tbsp four
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
3/4 cup skim milk
1 pound orzo, cooked
4 cups fresh green beans (in 1 inch spears)
1 red onion, thinly diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup Craisins
1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into 10 tenders or bite-size pieces
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Heat Smart balance in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and mix, heat one minute. Add salt, sour cream, and milk and stir. Remove from heat.
3. Place cooked orzo, mushrooms, onion, and green beans in a 9x13 baking pan. Pour the sour cream mixture over the top. Add Craisins and stir
4. Place chicken on top, sprinkle with cheese, breadcrumbs, and pepper. Bake for 1 hour or until chicken is no longer pink inside.

*Prepared in slow cooker: Follow step 2 above or use cream of mushroom soup plus 1 cup milk. Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours. 

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup of casserole with 1 chicken tender
350 calories, 46 g carbohydrates, 23 g protein, 7 g fat, 4 g fiber, 290 mg sodium

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