Do you ever have one of those days where you get home late and have to cook dinner, blog, do more work, watch a dvr-ed show, give your cat attention so she doesn’t meow all night AND get to bed at a decent hour? Is that too much to ask for?!

Obviously I’ve been having quite a few of those days (as you may have figured out from Black Bean Burger post, my evenings are short on time), and it’s really starting to get to me. I thought of trying to eliminate some items off my list of things to do, but the only really optional item is the tv, and even that isn’t a choice…I mean a girl needs to have some time to just chill and decompress, right?

So I decided if i can’t eliminate any of my tasks, perhaps I could at least make them easier. Time-saving.

I made a dinner that came together in about 5 minutes, and while it does have to bake for 45 minutes, those are 45 minutes that you can be working on your blog, etc. So it’s a win-win situation.

This meal isn’t quite what you’d think of as a nutritious meal, but it has carbs, protein and veggies so it’s really pretty darn good! It uses processed cheese (Velveeta) but you could easily substitute fresh shredded cheddar. It won’t have the same consistency or be nearly as good, but you could do it :)

It uses Minute Rice, aka the smartest invention ever. Minute Rice, also known as instance rice,  is rice that has been pre-cooked and dehydrated so that it cooks more rapidly. While regular rice takes about 20 minutes to cook, instant rice only takes about 5-10 minutes. Because it has already been cooked, all that is necessary to prepare instant rice is to simply re-hydrate it with hot water.

While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend eating this as straight-up rice (although I’ve never tried it), putting it in a casserole is ideal.

Now that I’ve saved you time on dinner, go watch that show you dvr-ed…you deserve it ;)

Broccoli, Ham, Cheese and Rice Casserole
Adapted from Cooking Light (11/99)

Print this recipe!

Serves 4 (as a main dish)

1 cup uncooked instant rice (brown or white)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fat-free milk
4 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)
2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 pack of deli ham, chopped (or as much as desired)
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

Preheat oven to 350°

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and spoon into a 2-quart casserole. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.


  1. haha!! So much time saved in one tasty dish!! There will definitely be a night after a long day of school and studying when I’ll need this…only for me to go back and study some more :)

  2. Yum! This is a great idea. I am always looking for quick meals. As soon as I have a real kitchen, that is… ;)

    • Hehe, thanks :) You have no idea how excited I am to see your new kitchen. I’m totally going to live vicariously thru you for this process!

  3. Oh, I know the feeling of busy nights. Even TV goes out the window some nights for us. Sad, huh? I love recipes like this that come together quickly. If there is a baking or simmering time in a recipe that I can use to wash dishes and get my lunch ready for the next day, I’m all about it. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Hehe, yeah, I honestly barely have time for tv. It really only gets watched on the days that I don’t have to cook dinner because we’re eating leftovers. Thank god for dvr! ;)

  4. Gotta love those quick and easy meals…I am always looking for something like this during the work week! :)

    • I’m gonna try to post more of these since, honestly, who has time for complex wkday meals! The problem is finding ones that taste good and use fresh ingredients :)

  5. Quick recipes are the best, and I have those days every day–get home from work, need to cook something for the blog (hopefully can finish cooking while it’s still light out so I have natural light for my photos), catch up on TV, etc. Guess I’d rather be busy than bored though, right!? This rice sounds delicious.

  6. Let’s get real here..we ALL have those nights! I need to send this to my daughter too, her college life needs some really quick meals!!

  7. This sounds like a great one for me! I’m with you on the busy nights…I try to cook and blog at the same time. I tend to burn lots of stuff when I try that though. =) I’m gonna try this one soon though. Thanks!

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