Disclosure: Sponsored by Prego®. All opinions are my own.
I've shared before that I'm just not very good at meal planning. Maybe one of these days I'll figure out how to make it work for my busy family, but in the meantime, I've been utilizing another strategy for beating those mid-week "What's for dinner tonight?" moments...
You might guess that I'm going to say that I pull a pre-prepped meal out of my freezer, but no, freezer cooking doesn't work particularly well for me, either. I have an awful time remembering to take a frozen dinner out ahead of time, so I'm left staring at a brick-hard meal that will take hours to thaw and cook at dinnertime. Surely I'm not the only one that struggles with this?
Instead, I keep a running list of simple, easy to prepare meals that can be on the table in about 45 minutes or less (my weeknight dinner requirement). Then I make sure to keep the ingredients for these recipes on hand, making a note to replace them on my next grocery trip each time I prepare them.
This yummy cheesy salsa chicken and rice bake is one of those recipes. I keep the Prego Homestyle Alfredo and a jar of salsa on hand (we like medium for extra spiciness), and chicken breasts and shredded cheddar cheese are staple items in my refrigerator.
And a well-stocked pantry always has rice in it, right? Well, actually, I don't have a pantry... but we do always have uncooked rice on hand!
While this recipe does take slightly longer than 45 minutes to actually get onto the table (it cooks for 45 minutes), the cooking time is hands off, so we can work on homework in the meantime without distractions.
Other features I love about this chicken and rice bake recipe:
- You only need to dirty one dish. I used a separate mixing bowl for interesting photos, but just mix up the Prego Homestyle Alfredo, salsa, and rice in the dish you'll be baking your meal in. Easy cleanup!
- It's easy to "hide" extra veggies in the rice for more nutrition, and it's a great way to use up small amounts that might be lurking in your refrigerator. I was able to use up some leftover diced red bell peppers and onions from earlier in the week.
- Your protein and a side are cooked together at the same time, so all you need to add is a simple house salad or fruit salad for a complete meal.
I know cilantro is a bit of a polarizing topic -- either you love it or hate it. I love it and usually have some on hand, so I topped our chicken and rice bake off with a generous sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro. But if you're in the other camp? Just feel free to skip it.
Prego Italian sauces offer rich flavor with real ingredients you can see, taste and smell. This rich flavor brings you a superior taste experience that will make your weeknight dinner, not only quick, but most importantly, delicious and enjoyable for the whole family.