This post is sponsored by the National Turkey Federation.
Use cooked turkey and quick-cook rice to make Individual Turkey and Rice Casseroles in less than 20 minutes for a fast, easy, and nutritious family meal.
Individual Turkey and Rice Casseroles: A Family Favorite
Having two “selective” eaters in my house under the age of 6 has forced me to get a bit more creative with our family meals in an effort to work in healthy sources of protein and more vegetables. I created this recipe knowing that if I combined their favorites–turkey, rice, and cheese that I could add some broccoli and onions and hope for the best. The result: a success! Plus, the girls went bananas over having their own personal little casseroles.
One of my favorite things about these little casserole cups is that they can easily be added into a weeknight rotation using leftovers or ingredients you have on-hand. For example, I made a variation of this One Pan Honey Roasted Turkey and Vegetables from Katie’s Cucina the other night (PS–my version of this recipe coming soon!) and had some leftover turkey so I used it the following evening to make my casserole cups. What’s also great is that if you don’t have leftovers you can buy precooked turkey breast strips or chopped cooked turkey breast in the refrigerated section of the grocery store (they are usually near the deli meats). I used the precooked turkey breast strips (and chopped myself) when making the casseroles you see in these pictures and I’m happy to report that they were gobbled up (ha…gobble gobble) and the girls were eyeing my bowl for more.
How to make: 20 minutes or less!
Start by sautéing you veggies. This is where you can get creative and customize according to what you have on-hand. I think grated carrot, mushrooms, chopped squash or cauliflower could also work.
The first step of making the cheese sauce is to whisk milk and flour until the flour dissolves and the milk has thickened. Be ready with both your flour and milk because this step goes fast and you don’t want to scorch the milk while trying to measure the flour. Also, consider investing in a silicone whisk so you don’t scratch the finish on your skillet. I like: Wired Whisk Silicone Whisk Set of 3 – Stainless Steel & Silicone Kitchen Utensils for Blending, Whisking, Beating & Stirring – (Blue: 12-inch, Red: 10-inch & Green: 8.5-inch) (affiliate link)
Melt cream cheese into the thickened milk to make your cheese sauce. No “cream of…” here! You can use either 1/3-less fat cream cheese or full fat for the recipe. Just stay way from the fat free because it doesn’t melt as well and give a “wangy” taste.
Add cooked turkey to the cheese sauce and stir until coated. Turkey is a favorite for these little casseroles because its versatility allows it to pair well with the flavors in the cheese sauce as well as with the broccoli and rice. Plus, my girls love how tender and juicy it is in this casserole it gives them just the “right-size bite” (as Frances would say). As a mom with low iron to an anemic child, the fact that it is an iron-rich protein option makes it a star for me. This is also why I’m so pumped to be partnering with the National Turkey Federation to create this family-friendly turkey recipe for you!
PS: If you love turkey like we do and want more recipes, make sure to check out the hashtag #tryturkey on Twitter and Instagram to see creative recipes from other NTF Ambassadors.
Step 4: Stir in veggies
Step 5: Stir in rice
Any type of oven safe bowl will do for baking the individual casseroles. I love these little ramekins from Le Creuset. You can buy them here: Le Creuset Stoneware Set of 4 Stackable Ramekins, 7-Ounce, Marseille (affiliate link)
Top each individual ramekin with shredded cheese. I like shredding my own cheese because I think it melts SO MUCH BETTER you can also use pre shredded. Go for the full fat or reduced fat and skip fat free. If you don’t have ramekins, add the entire turkey mixture to a small baking dish and top with cheese.
Step 8: Bake the Individual Turkey and Rice Casseroles until cheese is golden brown
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