Don't you just love casseroles! The ones I make are usually large and feed my family for more than one meal. They are great for potlucks and get-togethers. They are great to take to new mothers or sick people that can't cook or to funerals. They are just one of the greatest inventions.
I'm not sure if it's a Southern thing, but we serve a lot of broccoli and cheese casserole, also known as broccoli and rice casserole. I came across a recipe for Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole, and I originally intended for my recipe to be a quick weeknight meal, although it didn't really turn out that quick. I also had intended on using Monterrey Jack cheese too. But I opened the pantry to get out the artichokes, and there it was, staring at me, begging me to use it. The Velveeta. Calling my name! I really truly don't use a lot of processed foods when I cook, but Velveeta is something I can't give up. I thought about that broccoli and rice casserole, which also has Velveeta. I just had to do it!
Anywho, this casserole isn't a side dish. It's a meal. It's full of chicken, mushrooms, bell peppers, artichokes, wild rice and, of course, Velveeta. Sure, you can use whatever cheese you like here. It is, after all, your casserole. This one was a big hit at my house, and nobody really noticed the artichokes, which my husband and son usually turn their noses up at. Enjoy!
CHICKEN & WILD RICE CASSEROLE
2 C cooked shredded chicken
One 7-ounce package wild rice mix (I used Zatarain's)
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 green onions, sliced
One 12-ounce jar chicken gravy
1/2 C sour cream
2 teaspoons garlic powder
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 lb Velveeta, cubed
1/4 C water
Cook the rice according to the package directions.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, whisk together the gravy, sour cream, water, and garlic powder. Stir in the rice and the remaining ingredients. Spread the mixture in a 9 x 13 casserole. Bake the casserole uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until it's heated through.