Monday, July 16, 2012

Pinvestigation - Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake

Pinterest. Sometimes the finds are pure genius. Other times they're just a pretty a beautiful person with no personality. Sometimes something looks amazing and you go to the site and there are horrible directions/instructions or you make it and the flavors are lackluster. That's why I think it's important to share a result once you make something off of Pinterest. We're going to call it a pinvestigation.

My first pinvestigation came from a cheesy chicken and rice bake. You can see why this picture made me drool.

I followed the pin to its original site and read it was also "healthy"! Woot! I scrolled down and thought it would be super easy to make. I then headed to the comments (when looking at a recipe online, I find it's extremely important to look at the comments. People who've already made it will come back and add their input which is really helpful). There were a few good reviews but I saw a lot of things like 'tasteless' and 'bland' or 'It was great! I added this, this, and this.' Not good. I knew I wouldn't be able to make it according to the instructions and have a winning dish that would be asked for again and again. Here is the original recipe versus what I did differently (in italics).
  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used a 'normal' package of chicken breasts so I think there were probably four small-medium ones. Cook and cut it up into smaller pieces - while cooking, add spices like cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper)
  • 4 cups Cooked Brown Rice (I found this extremely frustrating. How much uncooked rice do you need to have 4 cups cooked rice?? I used two cups uncooked rice and probably had 5-6 cooked)
  • ¾ cups Frozen Corn (I added a little more)
  • 15 ounces, fluid Can Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (or Sour Cream) (I used fat-free sour cream)
  • 4 ounces, fluid Can Green Chilis (I omitted this)
  • ½ cups Salsa (I omitted this because of my no-onion rule. Instead, I put in some red peppers and canned diced tomatoes [seasoned])
  • 1 cup Low-fat Cheddar Cheese, Plus More For Topping
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro For Garnish (I omitted this)

Preheat oven to 350F. Cook the chicken and the rice.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for cilantro and mix thoroughly to combine. Make sure the yogurt/sour cream and cheese are stirred in throughout the entire bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and top with extra cheese if you would like.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

The original recipe poster added - To make this process easier, I always have cooked chicken on hand, and use Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice. If you have those two things, this can be throw together in a matter of minutes! It can also easily be made ahead of time and reheated.

All in all, this dish was decent. I forgot to take an after baking picture but it looked just like the picture pretty much (except, I just realized yellow cheese vs. white). The spices I added to the chicken really helped and I couldn't imagine it without them. It was still kind of bland and I don't think just adding green chiles and salsa would have made any difference - it just might have added some spice. This dish is a good base and with some tweaking, it could be a great dish. I might have to keep working on it. Pinvestigation complete!

I'm linking this post up to these parties!


  1. This is such a good idea! My husband is skeptical any time I tell him I got a recipe off of Pinterest because we have had so many bad ones. I hate getting so excited to taste it and then it tastes like poop. I'm officially your newest follower and I can't wait to see what else you try! :)

    1. Welcome! Glad to have you! I have found myself many times being disappointed by Pinterest recipes - they're all look, no taste so I love hearing what people think of them. I'll be following you back!


  2. This looks droolably delicious (yes I think I just made-up that word). Thanks for linking at Snips and Spice Sunday Slice. I hope to see you again this week!

  3. I've made so many 'eh' recipes from pinterest, can't pick a book by it's cover must work for recipes too! Thanks for linking up at What’s Cluckin! Hope to see you back tomorrow!

  4. I do the exact same things with recipes! Always have to read those comments!! Your version sounds delicious!

    I would love for you to share this recipe at Mom's Test Meal Mondays. It's a themed link party & this week we are testing chicken recipes!

    Hope you've had a wonderful day!


Thanks for visiting! I really appreciate your feedback.