photo credit: incidental cooking
A popular family dinner recipe, this Cheesy Baked Rice gets a healthy makeover! Still boasting all of the cheesy rice goodness that we all adore, this low calorie casserole recipe is bulked up with veggies and a high fiber rice, making each 1 cup serving just 6 Points. Also, by using a yogurt based cheese sauce, I was able to pack in some extra protein too, which helps to keep the Points value down, while adding a delicious flavor and moisture to the dish. If you aren’t into spice, feel free to leave the jalapenos off, but I LOVE the extra tangy zing they offer. This healthy casserole recipe makes a great dish to bring to a potluck, or to make a few days in advance, freeze, and then reheat for a quick family dinner. So yummy, and a great way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!
Cheesy Baked Rice Casserole Recipe
A low calorie casserole recipe that is not only good for you, but is smothered in cheese sauce, filled with sausage, and is just 6 Points per serving!??! Um, YES, please!! This healthy casserole recipe put a new spin on traditional cheesy baked rice casseroles that will knock your socks off. It makes for a delicious and healthy dinner that the whole family can enjoy, but will still keep you on track with your Weight Watchers Points Allowance.
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
- 3 cups fat free vegetable broth
- 6 oz extra lean turkey sausage (I used the kind from Jennie-O)
- 4 cups zucchini, diced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed, if you are using frozen)
- 2 red or bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1/2 cup fat free milk
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely diced
- 1 cup fat free Greek yogurt, plain
- 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend
- 1/4 cup low fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Pour rice into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir hot broth into the rice along with zucchini, bell peppers, onion, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 35 to 45 minutes more.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together milk, yogurt and garlic. Cook over medium heat until bubbling and thickened, 2 -3 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
- Add 1 cup shredded cheese, corn and cilantro and cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted. Set aside.
- Spray a large skillet over medium heat and add sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking the sausage into small pieces with a spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
- When the rice is done, stir in the sausage and cheese sauce, ad dollop the cream cheese by the teaspoon, over the casserole. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top and top with jalapeños.
- Return the casserole to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
Preparation time: 25 minute(s)
Cooking time: 2 hour(s)
Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
Entire recipe makes 12 servings
Serving size is 1 cup
Each serving = 6 Points
PER SERVING: 218 calories; 6g fat 27 g carbohydrates; 20g protein; 3 g fiber