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Smothered Chicken Queso Casserole

I recently made this recipe for the first time and it instantly went onto our favorites list. Yum! It comes straight from the Betty Crocker website. I just modified the instructions a little because I need the dummy reminder to make the rice. Apparently having “cooked rice” in the ingredients list isn’t enough for me.

Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
• 1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix
• 1 jar (15 oz) Tostito’s™ salsa con queso
• 3/4 cups half-and-half
• 1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso™ chopped green chiles
• 1 medium red or orange bell pepper, seeded, chopped
• 2 1/2 cups cooked white rice
• 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
• Chopped tomatoes (optional)

• Cilantro (optional)

 

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking dish or 2 1/2-quart casserole with cooking spray.
2. Make rice
3. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning mix. Cook chicken in oil 6 to 8 minutes, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Depending on thickness of chicken, it may not be cooked all the way through at this point but will finish baking in the oven.
4. In large bowl, stir together salsa con queso, half-and-half and chopped green chiles; stir in bell pepper. Reserve one-fourth of the sauce mixture.
5. Stir rice into remaining sauce mixture.
6. Place rice mixture in casserole; top with chicken. Top with reserved sauce mixture, then shredded cheese. Cover with foil.
7. Bake 20 minutes; uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until sauce bubbles and juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (at least 165°F).
Cool 10 minutes. Garnish with tomatoes and cilantro.