This chicken and rice casserole is everything you need all put together in one dish. An easy and complete meal to make for your family that everyone will gobble up. This recipe will definitely be going on your weekly menu rotation!
Easy Chicken Casserole with Rice
I have always been a big fan of recipes that can be made in one dish. If you tell me that the recipe can also be made in under ten minutes, I am even more intrigued. When you say that the recipe is also a full, complete meal, I will demand that recipe right now. That is the case with this easy chicken casserole with rice.
Before I dive into the gritty details of this recipe, I want to really make sure you are as excited as I was when I first made this dish. My kids had been running me ragged, playing loud games, ripping apart toy bins and getting into sibling fights all day. Of course as a family with young kids, this type of day tends to happen often. Sure, there are days where they will play together nicely and I can make dinner in peace but more often than not, my house is chaotic.
On this particular day, it was getting close to dinner time and I had no energy. I had no desire to make dinner. But guess what? Everyone still needs to eat. It doesn’t matter how tired we are or how exhausting our kids have been, we still need to feed them and we need to give them a complete meal! That’s part of being a parent, right?
I started pulling things out of my cabinets. Rice, a can of chicken soup, some chicken broth, spices….I was going somewhere with all of these ingredients but I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be yet. Then it came to me- chicken and rice casserole! My kids love it, I love it- it was perfect! The meal was decided, now I just had to actually make it…
How to Make Chicken and Rice Casserole
Now, I have made chicken and rice casserole plenty of times. I typically sear the chicken on the stove top, cook the rice in a separate pot, make a sauce in another pot and them combine everything in a casserole dish and bake it. Thinking about all that work and all those dishes made me want to rethink my menu. It seemed like my “perfect” meal was a little more complicated than I had initially planned. But I still really wanted this meal and honestly, I didn’t feel like coming up with something new.
Instead, I rethought how I make chicken and rice casserole from scratch. Rather than cook the rice in a pot first, why not just pour in the chicken broth and canned chicken soup directly into the casserole dish with the uncooked rice? It will just cook in the oven, absorbing all the liquids there! Genius! One less pan and one less step that I would have to do.
Next, I contemplated making the separate sauce. Why bother? Stir the seasonings into the rice mix and voila- sauce! While I was slashing my cooking time (and the quantity of dishes needed to make this dish), why not skip searing the chicken and just put it in the casserole dish too. Let the oven do all the work! Sure, browning the chicken is nice and adds some flavor but it seriously is an extra step that I am willing to skip. Besides, I don’t think my kids will notice the difference in the casserole when the chicken isn’t seared so why even bother to go through the extra effort? Goodbye seared chicken! This casserole was looking better and better.
Chicken and Rice Casserole From Scratch
I put everything into the casserole dish and crossed my fingers that all my short cuts would pay off. I went back to chasing my kids around, playing a quick game of “save the princess” followed by building the tallest, most unstable Lego tower in the world. Then, ding! The oven timer went off and I went to check on dinner (hoping I wouldn’t have to call in an order for pizza).
The chicken and rice casserole looked amazing. It smelled delicious too and actually made my kids run into the dining room and sit down right away- they were excited too! I served up big heaping scoops right onto their plates and everyone fell silent as their mouths were full of food.
I think one of the most satisfying moments for me as a mom is when I can serve a dinner that everyone loves. It is even better when I love making it and it doesn’t take my entire day to plan and prepare. We can all sit down as a family, everyone eats the same thing and the clean up only takes a few minutes. This recipe made me feel like a super mom for sure.
Make Chicken And Rice Casserole Ahead of Time
So this recipe seriously only took a matter of minute to throw together making it a very feasible dish to cook on a weeknight or basically anytime you need a meal in a hurry. However, it has one more great benefit and that is that it freezes well. You can throw all the ingredients into the casserole dish, bake it and then once it has cooled, wrap it up and put it in the freezer for later. Then, when you’re really really in a rush to get diner on the table, you can simply thaw the frozen casserole in the oven or just pop it in the microwave. Dinner will be ready in no time! You may even have time to do a little breakfast prep and get this blueberry french toast casserole recipe ready for the morning- you know, since you’re already on a casserole kick, you might as well stick with the theme!
My strategy now is to double the recipe every time I make this chicken and rice casserole. I’ll serve one pan to my family that night and then freeze one for later. This is also a perfect method for preparing food for any upcoming parties. Chicken and rice casserole is a great party food and it is super easy to make and bring since you can do all the work weeks in advance. Just more reasons to love this recipe…
Old School Chicken and Rice Casserole
So this recipe is a little different than a typical chicken and rice casserole but it still is completely reminiscent of the ‘old school’ dish. Now, it is just easier to make! The great taste you love is still there but there is less clean up and less prep time which means more time to play with those kids who drive you crazy! I mean, a Lego tower won’t build itself…
Hope you Enjoy! =)
Chicken Rice Casserole Recipe Ingredients
- Chicken breast
- Cream of chicken soup
- Chicken broth
- Seasoning Mix
- Smoked paprika
- Baby Carrots
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
This creamy casserole is just like grandma use to make and will definitely be a family recipe keepsake.
- FOR CASSEROLE:
- 4–6 boneless chicken breasts
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 2 cups rice (we used Basmati rice)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon of seasoning mix (we used Lawry’s seasoning salt)
- smoked paprika (optional)
- FOR CARROTS:
- 2 pounds baby carrots
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- FOR CASSEROLE:
- Preheat oven to 375(F) degrees and prepare a 9×13 bake dish with non-stick spray.
- Combine uncooked rice, condensed soup, milk and chicken broth in a large bowl then pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Pound and season chicken breasts with seasonings then place the chicken over rice mixture.
- Cover dish with foil and bake for about 40-45 minutes.
- Remove foil and carefully use a fork so shred chicken. Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes or until rice and chicken are cooked through.
- Carefully remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
- FOR CARROTS:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Combine the carrots, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme in a large bowl and toss well. Transfer the carrots to the prepared baking sheet and roast, stirring once mid-way through, until nicely caramelized and tender, 20-25 minutes (cooking time will depend on thickness of carrots).
- Swap out the chicken for ground beef, the cream of chicken soup for cream of mushroom soup and the chicken broth for beef broth and you have a whole new casserole to serve!
- Use low sodium chicken broth and cream of chicken soup to make this a lower sodium chicken and rice casserole
- Look for a seasoning mix that has salt and pepper along with basil, oregano, rosemary or chives (any green herb will do!
- Use brown rice in place of basmati for extra fiber but increase the baking time by 10 minutes
Note: Simple Green Moms is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.