This Award-winning Mediterranean Rice Cup can be popped into your kids' lunch box (or your own), shaking things up a little and making your life, as a lunch maker, simpler. This recipe is a simple rice cup recipe that's easy, healthy, unique, and freezes well.
This Mediterranean chicken and rice recipe is popular any time of the year and makes a great appetizer lunch or snack! These are also Weight Watchers friendly.
This Easy Rice Cups recipe was the grand prize winner in the 2013 Wild Rice Council's "Chicken and Wild Rice Recipe Competition". It was a fun contest for me because I was only allowed to use 5 ingredients in addition to the set ingredients. My inspiration for the recipe was my love of Mediterranean flavors. But not to worry, it is also kid-tested and approved-my kids love this recipe!
Let's face it, eating a cold sandwich out of a bag every day gets really boring. My mission is to make lunch easier and just a bit more exciting! (See even more lunch ideas under the recipe card!)
Even if your kids are lucky enough to have a microwave that actually works at school, they have to stand in line to use it, seriously cutting into precious lunch break time. I remember this from my university days. It gets to the point where it's not even worth it to bring food that requires heating.
A thermos is handy but stewy/ soupy /casserole stuff just doesn't cut it all the time. These rice cups will avoid all of that!
This was a chicken and wild rice competition, so in addition to a few set ingredients, I was only allowed to use 5 additional ingredients for this recipe, so it is easy to make!
- wild rice (affiliate link)
- brown rice *I use Minute Rice
- sun-dried tomatoes
- black olives
- feta cheese * I use light feta
- olive oil
- Garnish (optional): Tzatziki Sauce- use this easy homemade recipe or buy it!
📖Variations and Substitutions
- Rice - You could also just use white rice or brown rice. Short-grain rice works best, but you could use long-grain.
- Garnish - you could garnish with green onions, chives, or parsley
- Spicy - add ¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to rice mixture before baking or sprinkle on afterward
💭 Top time-saving tips
- Rice: use canned wild rice (no cooking required) as well as brown Minute Rice. If you can’t find canned wild rice, then use fast-cooking wild rice. Uncle Ben’s has a selection of wild/brown rice combos that cook quickly (10 minutes -that is very short for wild rice)!
- Garlic: use minced or pureed garlic from a jar.
- Chicken: use a grocery store rotisserie chicken.
👪 Serving Size
This rice cup recipe makes 12 servings. However, if you want to cut the recipe in half or double it, just click on the serving size (it's highlighted in blue) and select the number of servings you’d like and the ingredient quantities will adjust accordingly. You will need an additional 6 or 12-cup muffin pan if you are increasing the recipe.
This Mediterranean rice and chicken recipe is 4 WW points.
I love having frozen lunch foods I can heat and pop into a lunch bag! It's like a little surprise gift I find in my freezer 🙂
- Make-ahead: This is an easy recipe with chicken and rice and you can make them ahead and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: They freeze well in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Reheat (for school lunches): Then heat these rice cups up in the morning and wrap them in aluminum foil, just before putting them in an insulated lunch bag. Then your kids don't have to stand in line at the microwave. ***But if they do, remind them they cannot put the aluminum foil in the microwave! However, they still taste great lukewarm or even cold. *Send a plastic spoon and some Tzatziki sauce (this makes it even yummier) in a small Tupperware container and you have a tasty, interesting, and healthy kids' lunch or snack!
I take these in my own lunch all the time. Not only are they great for lunch, but these rice cups are also an excellent appetizer for potlucks, especially work potlucks!
You're going to need a muffin pan (affiliate link) for this recipe. You could also use a rice cooker to cook your rice, if you prefer.
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat or eggs
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
So if you're looking for a great alternative to cold sandwiches, give these Mediterranean Chicken and Wild Rice Cups a try!
📋Muffin Tin Recipes
And if you love stuff made in muffin cups, try one of my most popular recipes:
or these Greek Lasagna Cups
And if you're looking for rice dishes made in muffin tins, try this Gluten-free Holiday Ham & Rice Benedict with Blender Cranberry Hollandaise!
🍚Mediterranean Rice Cup Recipe
- 1 cup wild rice
- 2 cups brown rice * I use minute rice
- 1 ½ cups shredded Chicken * about 2 small chicken breasts or use rotisserie chicken
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 large eggs slightly beaten
- ⅔ cup sliced black olives
- 1 cup Feta cheese I use light, crumbled
- 1 cup tzatziki sauce optional
- Preheat oven to 400 F/205 degrees C. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cook brown rice and wild rice as per package directions (or use canned wild rice, which requires no cooking)
- Meanwhile, while cooking rice, cook chicken breast in olive oil on stovetop, in a large skillet. over medium heat until no longer pink ** or use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken
- Finely chop sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and chicken in the food processor. If you do not have a food processor, they can be finely chopped with a knife.
- When rice is cooked, in a large bowl, add remaining ingredients (eggs, chicken mixture, black olives, feta cheese ) and mix well.
- Press mixture into muffin tins, and fill to about ¾ full. * Make sure you pack it in well with a spatula to ensure the rice cups stay intact!
- Cooking time: Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes (until golden brown).
- Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. Use a knife to loosen edges.
- Let cool at room temperature for another 5 minutes before removing.
- Gently remove with narrow spatula.
- Serve with tzatziki sauce, if desired. (This is really delicious!)