Chicken and Rice Casserole is a quick and easy dinner recipe for a crowd. Creamy rice and fork-tender chicken baked in a garlic cream of chicken soup sauce.
CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE
This easy Baked Chicken and Rice Casserole is made with pantry ingredients, fresh chicken breasts, and uncooked rice. Everything is mixed together in a pan, poured into a large baking dish and cooked covered in the oven for about an hour. You can prepare this quick family favorite dinner on busy nights or make it ahead of time for a hearty freezer meal ready to go.
You don’t need to be a master chef to make the savory and thick creamy sauce in this Chicken and Rice Casserole. The cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup make it easy and full of flavor. This Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe cooks the sauce ingredients together briefly before baking, but if you want to save time and dishes you can just stir the ingredients all together in the pan and skip that step.
Creamy rice and tender chicken are cooked in the sauce for a comforting dish that is extra rich and flavorful. Serve Chicken and Rice Casserole with a light side of Roasted Broccoli or Sautéed Green Beans. You can add frozen broccoli to make this dinner a one-pan casserole dish. Top with sour cream or add shredded cheese in the last few minutes of baking.
This kid-friendly dinner recipe can be made ahead of time for busy weeknights but also can be ready fresh from start to finish in just over an hour. Chicken and Rice Casserole is the kind of dinner dish that can be easily adjusted if you’ve got picky eaters. If you’re in a dinner rut, swap one or two ingredients or add spices and veggies to this delicious classic recipe for a whole new dinner.
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- Rice: You can use brown rice instead of white rice, but you will want to increase the chicken broth by at least ¼ cup and add 10 minutes to the cooking time.
- Soup: For an extra rich dinner made from scratch, replace the cans of soup with our homemade version of Cream of Mushroom Soup and Cream of Chicken Soup. Each can of soup is about 1 ⅓ cup cream soup.
- Chicken: Cut the chicken breast into thin strips the same size so they cook evenly in the baking time without drying out. You could also swap in boneless skinless chicken thighs for chicken breast.
- Topping: For a crunchy old-school casserole topping, add a cup of crushed Ritz crackers or unsweetened corn flakes tossed in a ¼ cup melted butter before baking.
REHEATING INSTRUCTIONS FOR MEAL PREP OR LEFTOVERS
- Prepare this dish ahead of time a few ways. Prepare the sauce, cool completely before adding the uncooked chicken and rice, and refrigerate covered in the baking pan for up to 2 days. You can also freeze the uncooked dish for up to 2 months in the baking pan, covered with plastic wrap and then foil or the lid. A baked casserole can be frozen for up to 4 months and refrigerated up to 3 days before reheating.
- Reheat prepared Chicken and Rice Casserole covered with foil from the refrigerator or thawed overnight in the fridge in the oven at 350 degrees until hot, about 15-30 minutes. Unbaked casserole can be cooked from frozen, adding 10-15 minutes to the cooking time.
- Add a little water (about 1-2 tablespoons) over the top of the chicken and rice mixture before covering with foil and baking. This will help steam the rice and add moisture back to the dish as it is reheating.
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- Broccoli Cheddar Chicken & Rice Casserole: Replace the mushroom soup with 1 can (or 1 ⅓ cup) Cheddar Cheese Soup and 2 cups chopped broccoli florets (fresh or frozen).
- Pork Chops: Make this a pork chop bake with boneless pork chops or pork tenderloin cut in thin slices. Be sure to cut them thin enough so they cook all the way through without needing to add time.
- Vegetables: For a one pan dinner, add up to 2 cups diced mixed vegetables, either fresh, canned, or frozen. Try frozen broccoli, green beans, fresh mushrooms, peas, corn kernels, or bell peppers.
- Chicken: You can use boneless chicken thighs or bone-in chicken pieces, with or without the skin. For bone-in chicken, increase time to 1 ½ hours and nestle the chicken pieces in the between the rice mixture.
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HOW TO STORE
- Serve: Chicken and Rice Casserole needs to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer after 2 hours at room temperature.
- Store: Cool casserole dish completely before transferring to an airtight container or covering dish tightly with plastic wrap to store. Refrigerate for up to 3 days and reheat in the oven on low heat, covered with foil.
- Freeze: Once cooled, store Chicken and Rice Casserole covered tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, or in a freezer safe container. Freeze casserole for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen if in baking dish, covered with foil, or thaw overnight and reheat in oven safe dish.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
- Heat a large pot on medium high heat.
- Add chicken broth, unsalted butter, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, black pepper, garlic and onion together and stir together well.
- Bring to a boil then turn off the heat.
- Add in the rice and chicken and stir well until coated.
- Pour mixture into baking dish and cover with foil.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes.
- Let sit for ten minutes before removing foil.