baking · Casserole · Chicken

Barley & Chicken Casserole

Have you tried the new extra toasty Cheez-Its? They’re life changing. Incredible. A gift from the Gods.

I’ve always been that weirdo that like slightly-less-than-ideal crisps. I like the brown (or green) potato chips. I eat the burnt cheese crusted onto pans when making oven nachos. I’m a sucker for broken cookies.

These browned cheesy crackers are insatiable. I can’t stop eating them. I may have a problem.

I picked up another box the other day at the store and decided I shouldn’t just plop down on the couch and the whole thing in one sitting. Instead, I figured I could make a casserole with them. It’s not the strangest idea, although it sounds like it. People have been making casseroles with chips and Ritz crackers since the 1950’s. One of the best chicken casseroles I’ve ever had was with plain ol’ salty potato chips crushed on top.

Is it healthy? Absolutely not. If you’re on a diet, crushing a handful of potato chips on top of your dinner isn’t really the best idea. But there are ways you can lighten it up in other areas. Instead of using a heavy complex carb like pasta or rice, use heart-healthy barley. Barley is a grain I’ve been using for years, but I really think it’s entering its own Renaissance. It’s good for you and it tastes really good when it’s all puffed up. Delish!

Every good casserole has a veggie inconspicously hidden inside. This one is fresh haricot vert green beans. I didn’t even cook them before putting them inside the casserole to bake; I like my green beans slightly crispy and really green. There’s nothing worse than the muted, Army green colored green beans you see that come out of a can. Don’t get me wrong, they serve a purpose. That purpose? Green bean casserole. That’s it. Get yourself some fresh green beans and go to town. You’ll never go back.

This casserole has all the yum, and the Cheez-Its add that salty, toasty flavor to enhance everything. This isn’t the best Saver Casserole (one you can keep in the pan with a lid in the fridge for days) because the crackers get really soggy. But if you’re anything like me, you probably won’t have much leftover after you first cook it.

Barley & Chicken Casserole

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A hearty casserole filled with barley, chicken, and green beans and topped with crushed cheese crackers.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 TBS. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 TBS. butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 TBS. all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 oz. haricot vert green beans, snapped in half
  • 3 cups cooked barley (from 1 cup uncooked barley)
  • 1 cup crushed cheese crackers

Directions

  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Season chicken with paprika, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side until browned and fully cooked. Let cool and then shred.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a large 13×9 inch baking dish. In skillet that you cooked chicken in, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in wine and broth and continue whisking until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and well-combined.
  3. Stir in cooked barley, chicken, and green beans. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in a bowl and stir in crushed cheese crackers. Top casserole with cheese crackers and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Step-By-Step Instructions

In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Season chicken with paprika, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side until browned and fully cooked. Let cool and then shred.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a large 13×9 inch baking dish. In skillet that you cooked chicken in, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in wine and broth and continue whisking until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and well-combined.

Stir in cooked barley, chicken, and green beans. Pour mixture into prepared dish.

Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in a bowl and stir in crushed cheese crackers. Top casserole with cheese crackers and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Eat up!

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5 thoughts on “Barley & Chicken Casserole

  1. My son and I made our own “cheez-its” once. He used to eat boxes and boxes of them as a teen. Worcestershire sauce and paprika are the flavor ingredients along with the cheese.

  2. Hi Colleen, its Lindsay from Letters To Dutch! I recently started a baking blog called Daley Bakes. I’d love for you to follow me there. I’ll be following your yummy posts. xoxo

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