Chicken And Rice Casserole

Comfort food dinner in one dish.

Chicken And Rice Casserole
Photo:

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
6 to 8

When it comes to casseroles, there are few more classic and heartwarming recipes than a chicken and rice casserole. Not only is it typically easy to make, but you can also adjust the flavor profile to suit your tastes, from buffalo ranch to mushroom and thyme and beyond.

Even so, there are days when all you want is a chicken and rice casserole that tastes like lazy Sundays at grandma’s house. Enter this take on the Chicken and Rice Casserole, which delivers all the simplicity of a casserole made with canned soup, but this one is bursting with fresh vegetables and herbs instead. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Chicken and Rice Casserole Ingredients

While you won’t find any condensed soups in this Chicken and Rice Casserole, the ingredients are common, and some may be in your pantry or fridge right now. Here’s what you need.

Ingredients for Chicken and Rice Casserole overhead

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

  • Olive oil, onion, carrots, and bell peppers: Sautéed onion gives the casserole a savory warmth, while carrots and bell peppers offer freshness and sweetness to cut through the creamy, cheesy rice.
  • Garlic, dried thyme, dried rosemary, onion powder, salt, and pepper: These spice cabinet staples give the Chicken and Rice Casserole bright, herby flavors that you can’t get from a can. Fresh or jarred minced garlic will both work great. 
  • Basmati or long-grain white rice: The texture and flavor of basmati rice takes this casserole over the top, but if you only have long-grain white rice on hand, it works just as well. 
  • Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts add protein to the recipe, but you could use thighs if you prefer. 
  • Chicken broth, heavy cream, and shredded Cheddar cheese: These ingredients are what give the rice casserole its creamy texture and help it cook to perfection.
  • Frozen peas: Tossing in frozen (either regular or petite) peas at the end of cooking gives the Chicken and Rice Casserole an extra pop of sweetness and freshness.
frozen peas on top of baked chicken and rice casserole

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Notes From the Test Kitchen

Dice and chop the vegetables, and cut up the chicken before you begin cooking—things move fast once the veggies hit the pan.

And don’t skip adding rice to oil in favor of streamlining things—coating the rice in oil keeps it from sticking and clumping together as it cooks to give your finished casserole a light and fluffy texture.

Instead of using a casserole or rectangular baking dish, this Chicken and Rice Casserole is made entirely in a Dutch oven (or other heavy oven-safe pot with a lid). That said, if you don’t have one, you can sauté the veggies and assemble the casserole in a large, high-sided skillet and then pour the mixture into a baking dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake as directed.

How to Freeze Chicken and Rice Casserole

Since you add raw chicken to this casserole to cook in the oven along with the rice, you should cook it completely before cooling and freezing it. Then once you’re ready to serve it, thaw it in the refrigerator, and reheat in the oven.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 1 cup diced sweet onion (about 1 onion)

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 1 large or 2 small bell peppers, cored and chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme

  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary

  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati or long-grain white rice

  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy, oven-safe pot with a lid, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and bell pepper, and cook until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes.

    carrots, onion, and bell peppers in dutch oven

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

    Add garlic, thyme, rosemary, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

    herbs sprinkled on top of carrots, onions, and bell peppers in dutch oven

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

    Add remaining tablespoon of oil and rice; stir until rice is coated with oil.

    rice added to vegetables in dutch oven

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

    Add chicken broth, cream, chicken, and cheese. Stir well to combine.

    cheese, cream and other ingredients added to dutch ove

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

  2. Cover pan, and transfer to preheated oven. Bake at 350°F until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes.

    baked chicken and rice casserole

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

  3. Remove from the oven, and stir in the peas. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Serve.

    Chicken and Rice Casserole

    Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Related Articles