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Spending time as a family is really important to me. Not just going on fun family adventures, but also just hanging out and doing things together at home. As I shared last week, I love having Noah help me in the kitchen. He loves to help and he's gotten really good at it too! While I try to get him to help as much as I possibly can, there are some things that he's still just a little too young to help with, like using a sharp knife to chop vegetables or handling raw chicken. So when it comes to meals that he can't help with, I prefer them to be quick and easy so I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time playing with him. That's why this chicken teriyaki "casserole" is perfect for our family. It's delicious, healthy, and with some short cuts, it's also super simple to make!
Chicken Teriyaki "Casserole"
adapted from this original recipe
While I consider it a casserole because you end up baking it in a casserole dish, my husband is always confused when I call it that. By the time he sees it, it's plated and resembles more of a rice bowl. Call it whatever you want, it's delicious!
1 lb of chicken breasts (I just use a package from the store that's closest to a pound)
2 packages of Uncle Ben's Whole Grain Brown Ready Rice
2 packages of frozen Asian vegetables (which ends up being about 22 oz)
Using the original recipe, I had to make my own teriyaki sauce. And while I've made it before and loved it, I was looking for ways to make this recipe even easier. I was pleasantly surprised to find a bottle of teriyaki sauce in the aisle with all the asian spices and condiments and figured it was worth a try. It honestly tastes just as good and is so much easier!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place your chicken breasts in a casserole dish and add enough teriyaki sauce to keep the chicken moist while baking. Cook the chicken in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, you can heat up your Uncle Ben's Ready Rice and your vegetables in the microwave... simply follow the instructions on the back of the bags. I am such a huge fan of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice because it's so fast to make and the rice comes out the perfect consistency, not mushy at all (which is my biggest pet peeve with rice)!
Once your chicken is cooked, shred it right there in the casserole dish. Then simply add the cooked rice and cooked vegetables to the casserole dish and mix together with the chicken. Add some more teriyaki sauce (the amount is your preference, depending how much of a teriyaki flavor you like), and mix some more.
Return the dish to the oven and cook for 15 more minutes.
Since I don't like Noah touching raw chicken or using the microwave just yet, there isn't really any hands on part he can help with for this dish. When that's the case, I have him help in other ways. While I am prepping the chicken and cooking the rice and vegetables, I have him cut his wooden vegetables. This way, we can chat while I cook and he can see all the different ingredients going into our meal. Then while everything is in the oven, I have him help me set the table. He loves to help put the placemats and plates out and it was the perfect time to give him a quick lesson on which side of the plate the fork goes on.
I love that Noah is so eager to help and I hope that as he continues to grow up that he loves helping in the kitchen just as much. That's why I'm such a fan of Ben's Beginners, which began with a simple ambition... to get kids to cook! The look of pride Noah gets when he helps make something in the kitchen is the same as when he creates an art project or tackles a new skill on the playground. Kids are constantly learning and I love finding fun ways to help him do just that! October 15th is International Cook with Your Kids Day and Uncle Ben's Beginners is hosting a contest where you can enter to win $15,000 for your family and $30,000 towards a cafeteria makeover for your child's school! How great is it that you could win by cooking with your family!
But my favorite part is when we have family dinners together. We don't get to have them all the time since my husband often works late, so when we do, I really enjoy sitting together around the dining table. It's the perfect time to tell Daddy about our day and fill him in on the things he missed. And Noah is more apt to try new foods when he's been a part of the process!
We use Uncle Ben's Ready Rice a lot in our house, whether it's part of a casserole (like above) or as a simple side dish. So whenever I'm in Walmart, I make sure to pick up a few packages. Not only does Uncle Ben's Ready Rice help you make quick and easy meals with the family, but there's currently an Ibotta coupon for $0.75 off Ready Rice products, exclusively at Walmart! Happy Shopping!
Do you enjoy cooking with your kids? How do you get them involved in the kitchen?