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We got back late last night from our whirlwind trip to Boy #4’s future college campus for freshmen orientation. We spent two days hearing all about what he’ll encounter in his first year, walked a whole heck of a lot, ate most of our meals in the dining commons, and sat in on all kinds of informative sessions. We talked with other parents who are “first timers” who seemed overwhelmed and unprepared for the impending separation from their first born. There were audible gasps in the auditorium from these same folks when we were still holding our hands up after the speaker asked “How many of you have sent one off to college?” – hands up. “How many of you have sent two?” – hands still up. “How many have sent three or more?” – yep, that’s us.
Then we channeled our young, rebellious side and decided to blow off one of the parent sessions and go to the beach. The beach is SOOOO close to campus! Had to do it. Boy #4, I know you’ll never do this.
Can you imagine having a view like this from your dorm room? Those buildings out there in the distance are some of the older campus dorms. Past the dorms is the ocean.
At times, the information was so familiar I felt I could have written some of the presentations myself. But I can tell you this. Preparing for your child to leave home for the first time never becomes old hat. I don’t care if it is your first or tenth time; your heart will feel the same each and every time.
So it’s back to the safety and security of home for a couple more months and then he’s off!
Time to talk about this versatile little side dish.
There are times I want something a little different than the typical Mexican rice on the side. This Green Chile Rice Casserole is just the thing for those times. It’s great along side any Mexican entree or even simple grilled chicken or steak.
But I also love it wrapped in a tortilla with all the usual suspects. So, I think we should make it together, okey dokey?
The star of this show is good old Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice.
Start off by preparing the rice mix according to the package directions.
Get it simmering.
Once the rice has cooked, remove it from the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced green chiles, and chopped green onions.
Transfer the mixture to medium baking dish you’ve coated with non-stick cooking spray and top it with a little pepper jack cheese. Pop it in a 325 degree oven for about 25 minutes.
You can easily turn this recipe into a hearty main dish casserole by adding cooked, chopped chicken and assorted veggies. I’m thinking mushrooms but you could add anything your little heart desires.
Take a look at the printable recipe below for notes on how to double the recipe for a large group or pot luck.
And now, I’m off to unpack and then I must clean my poor, neglected house. Have a fantastic weekend!
Green Chile Rice Casserole
- 1 (6 ounce) package Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice Mix (with seasoning packet)
- 2-1/4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream (light or regular)
- 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 9″ or 10″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large pan, combine the Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice, seasoning packet, 2-1/4 cups water, and olive oil. Place pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes or until rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Remove pan from heat and add the sour cream, green chiles, about 3/4 of the chopped green onions (save some for topping), and cheddar cheese. Stir until well combined.
Pour the rice mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with pepper jack cheese and remaining green onions and bake for 25 minutes or until heated through.
Recipe Note: Recipe can easily be doubled. Double all ingredients with the exception of the water for preparing the rice – use 4-1/4 cups water to prepare two boxes. Proceed as directed otherwise and bake in a 13″ x 9″ baking dish or equivalent.
Adapted from Taste of Home