Your family will love this easy Chicken Casserole recipe. It’s the epitome of comfort food, and perfect for a cold night or easy weeknight meal. Made with minute rice, chicken, celery, a creamy sauce to hold it together, and buttered cornflakes crushed on top.

Chicken Casserole baked in a 9x13 inch pan made with rice, chicken, celery, and a creamy sauce.

Most of the men in my life are what I call  “meat-and-potato” guys. Out of all the food out there, their everyday favorite meals are comfort foods like meat and potatoes, lasagna or a some sort of casserole.

My husband’s favorite meal from his childhood was this chicken casserole recipe. It’s one from my mother-in-law’s collection of favorite recipes and she kindly granted me permission to share it with you all.  His other favorites include Pizza Casserole and Italian Meatball Subs .

How to  make chicken casserole:

The recipe starts with cooked, chopped chicken. I like to season mine with salt, pepper and garlic powder and cook it on the stove. You could use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken.

Chop some celery and a little bit of onion and add everything to a mixing bowl.

The ingredients for chicken casserole, in a glass bowl, next to a glass bowl with the ingredients mixed together.

Next add minute rice (no need to precook it, just add it in as is).

Add some slivered almonds and chopped hard boiled eggs to the mix. I really like the addition of the hard-boiled eggs. I think they add great flavor and texture to the dish. But if it’s not your thing, leave them out.

Top image of chicken casserole in a 9x12 casserole dish without cornflake topping and bottom image with cornflake topping added.

Next, add cream of chicken soup. I like to make it homemade, but the canned stuff works too. Add mayo, lemon juice and salt. Mix everything together and spoon it into a casserole dish.

Sprinkle some buttered, crushed corn flakes over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, and enjoy!

Chicken casserole in a glass casserole dish with a spoonful taken out of it.

To Make Ahead:

Make the chicken/rice mixture, spread it in the pan, cover and refrigerate. When you’re ready to bake it, sprinkle the buttered cornflakes on top and bake as directed.


Consider serving this with:

Recipe

Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 40 mins
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Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cooked chicken , diced
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup celery , diced
  • 1 cup minute rice , uncooked*
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs , hard boiled, sliced
  • 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup (or homemade)
  • 1 Tablespoon onion , grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Corn Flakes cereal , crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon butter , melted

Instructions
 

  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl except for the cornflakes and butter. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish.
  • Mix crushed cornflakes and melted butter together. Sprinkle over casserole mixture.
  • Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.

Notes

*I often substitute 2 cups of cooked rice, instead of the minute rice.
I love to serve this with a salad or roasted vegetables!
Make ahead tips are listed above in the post.

Nutrition

Calories: 261kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 5gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 613mgPotassium: 105mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 300IUVitamin C: 1.7mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 2.4mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!
RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

 

I originally shared this recipe November 2014. Updated February 2018.

This Chicken Casserole is my husband's all time favorite meal! Recipe from

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I gave this a try. I like all the ingredients so I added them all. My husband and I both gave this thumbs up. I used minute brown rice and was worried it might not cook all the way but it did since it normally it needs to cook 10 minutes instead of the normal 5 minutes of white rice I baked it a little longer and used crushed potato chips on top.

  2. 1 star
    Looked good, sounded good but it was not good. I followed the ingredients and the directions and it tasted like boring hot chicken salad. I then added more spice and extra veggies to up the taste and consistency and it was still not good. It was a fail for my family.

  3. 5 stars
    I have been cooking this recipe for at least 15 years my ex mother in law found it and I’ve loved it ever since! It’s so easy and leftovers are the best! Hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do!

  4. 5 stars
    Delish! I omitted the eggs, but added all other ingredients as is. It was tasty! Will definitely make it again 👍 Thank you

  5. I really really loved this recipe. The unique combination of nuts and eggs along with the veggies really made it amazing. Earlier in the day I threw a chicken breast, rice, and 3 eggs in my instant pot. At dinner time, it was just mix and put it in the oven. I would definitely make this again! Thanks!

    1. That is so genius to use your instant pot to cook those three at once! Thanks so much for sharing–I’m so glad you liked it!

  6. Made this tonight with cooked rice and homemade cream of chicken soup. It was so tasty! Hubby and I loved it! Will definitely be making again. Thanks for the great recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    This was great! I added more seasoning: celery salt, garlic powder and mushroom seasoning. I didn’t have corn flakes so I crushed Club crackers for the top. It was nice to have a casserole without cheese. I also did 1/2 mayo, 1/2 sour cream. Love, love , love!

  8. 4 stars
    Tried this for first time and was really good, even added shredded cheddar cheese to it!! Would add shredded green pepper next time!

      1. I love this recipe and have been making for week nights and gatherings alike. I will double the recipe but omit the mayonnaise and soup for half of it and freeze. Then its quick to pull out add two ingredients plus the cornflake topping. This works great.

    1. Hi Laura, are you sure you used minute rice and not regular rice? If everything was mixed together (using MINUTE rice) properly it all definitely would have cooked in that amount of time 🙂

    2. You had to have used regular uncooked rice instead of cooked rice or Minute Rice. Also celery cooks to soft fairly easily. Are you sure you didnt cut your celery into too large pieces? I cut mine as small as I can.

  9. 4 stars
    If you do not have corn flakes available, you can use panko bread crumbs. I would not recommend using saltines as it would make the dish too salty. Otherwise, good, simple recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I LOVE this recipe! We call it Bridge casserole, it has no eggs and I crush Pepperidge Farm stuffing and melted butter on top of this casserole! It’s a great “comfort casserole” to take for new moms, and funeral gatherings!

  11. I assume it would be okay to make it the night before and keep it in a bowl in the refrigerator and then the next day pour it into your glass pan? I don’t want to leave it in my glass pan as I’m afraid it would break when I put it in the oven.

  12. 5 stars
    My husband and I really enjoyed this casserole. We followed the recipe exactly, except that we didn’t have cereal, so we substituted panko. We also incorporated pre-cooked wild rice. This perfectly satisfies our craving for a creamy, comforting casserole, so much so that my husband put this on our short list of favorites.

  13. I just made this and followed the recipe to a “T”. It looked so good and appetizing in the picture but it was flat tasting and we had 3 for dinner and none liked it. It just need something to spice up the taste.

  14. To cut carbs, I’m using cauliflower rice in place of minute rice and crushed pork rinds in place of corn flakes. It’s in the oven now, and I’m excited to see how it turns out!

  15. 5 stars
    From at least the 1950’s this was always our family’s go to recipe for wedding showers, baby showers and welcome-home-from-the-hospital meals. Brings back a lot of good memories and still a favorite!

  16. I’m not sure how you can use either minute rice, uncooked with already cooked rice which has had water added and been rehydrated. Am I understanding this correctly. Even minute rice requires reconstitution. Thanks!

    1. Hi Mary, I just pick one—I either use minute rice, or I use rice that has been cooked just until barely tender. Both will work fine, the cooked rice will not be mushy. Minute rice is just a quicker option, and it cooks perfectly in this recipe.

  17. I don’t know about the three hard boiled eggs in the recipe…that just seems so random. Is that common to use? How does that add to the taste? Seems like it would be very out of place. I do like boiled eggs I just can’t seem to imagine what that would taste like. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Lena, my family loves it this way! Feel free to leave them out, but I think it adds a fun flavor and texture that is not overpowering! I would love to know what you think!

  18. I can’t believe I found this recipe. It is the exact as my mom’s recipe she always made. I make it for my family. They love it. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I have been making a similar casserole since I got married almost 38 years ago. Mine is called Chinese Chicken and comes from a Junior League cookbook called Virginia Hospitality, here in Newport News, Va. The only difference in the recipes is mine calls for cooked rice and chopped water chestnuts, and no eggs. This used to be the “go to” recipe for pot lucks, church suppers, or take to your neighbors if they were sick, had a baby, death in the family, etc. You couldn’t go wrong, it was a hit every time. But then that cookbook got so popular, it was scary to take something you made from it because there just might be 2 or 3 of the same dish. I forgot about this recipe for a while until about a month ago. This cookbook is still one of my go to books so I made it again & remembered why it was so popular. It is sooo delicious. I have eaten the leftovers cold right out of the frig. I would definitely stick with the cornflakes on top, they are much crispier than cracker crumbs. I would stick with the recipe just the way it is. It is too delicious to mess with!

  20. Hi Lauren,
    I made this Monday and it was not at all creamy like your picture after I mixed it up.
    I substituted 2 C cooked rice and there was so much of it, it wouldn’t all fit in my 9×13. It tastes great, just a little on the dry side. Wondering if I should just stick with the 1 C of minute right next time.
    Let me know your thoughts if you have time.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Cindy. What type of cooked rice did you add? Next time I would suggest adding 1 1/2 cups cooked rice and it will be creamier!

      1. Thanks for the reply Lauren. I don’t cook with rice at all and figured out that my 2 C of rice turned out to be 6 C of cooked rice. So therein lies the problem LOL. I will definitely make this again with the proper amount of cooked rice and I am sure it will be GREAT 🙂

  21. I use 2 cups of “rice” cauliflower and my family has NO idea it’s not rice. Seems the texture is “just right” when it’s baked in casseroles. We LOVE this and is one of our favorites in my rotation of recipes.

  22. How many servings would you estimate this to make? I am making for a church dinner and will need to scale to 60 servings. Looks delish and I know everyone will love it!

  23. I used crushed up flavored croutons instead of corn flakes. Was very good. Will make this one again.

    1. Hi Megan, if you’re wanting to bake it and serve it the next day I would suggest separating the cornflakes (put them in a ziplock bag on your counter if you want). Then sprinkle them over the cornflakes and bake the next day.

  24. Your recipe sounds yummy but I live solo. I roughly halved everything, with a few substitutions. I didn’t want to go to the store so I used cream of chicken and mushroom soup, plus a little sour cream and one bag of boiling bag rice. I hate celery so substituted sweet green peas instead. Dinner was delicious. I will make the full recipe next time so I can share.

  25. Hm…when I think, “scratch,” I think without pre-made ingredients like canned soup. I live in a rural Asian area where I can’t get things like that, hence my search for “scratch” recipes. 😉

  26. I can’t see the recipe. I scrolled throughout this page & even searched the site. Is it bc I’m looking at it from an iPad? I’m at a loss.

    1. Hi Sandy, I’m so sorry, my site is having technical problems with the recipe card when viewed on a desktop or tablet device. You will be able to see the recipe if you pull it up on your mobile phone. I’m trying to resolve the problem ASAP. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  27. I will make this but w/o the almonds as I am deathly allergic. Personally I think they should be completely omitted from the recipe b/c god forbid this ever got served to someone with a nut allergy as deadly as mine. One would never think of almonds being in a chicken casserole. Like if I saw them on the top of the casserole then I’m informed and can pass, but if they are inside it….well….

  28. I wish I could print the recipes on your website. I also don’t like the annoying ads that pop up and follow me every time I scroll down.

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for your comment. The “Print” Button is located on the recipe card, next to the “save” button. It will allow you to customize how the recipe looks and easily print it. And thanks for you input about the ads–I’ve been debating canceling with that company and I think I will.

  29. My mom has made this for as long as I can remember and my kids love it. It is called Hot Chicken Salad and I do a couple of things differently. I use brown rice, cream of celery soup, mayo, chicken and plain, whole corn flakes on top. Yum!

  30. Fantastic! I’m terrible at planning meals and this was so easy to put together even though I was missing the corn flakes, almonds and celery!!! Substituted what I could find in my pantry…mixed in fried wonton salad topping instead of slivered almonds and used Ritz for topping. Thanks for saving dinnertime! This recipe will give me a reason to buy corn flakes 😉

  31. I am just wondering can you make this the day before and then refrigerate and then pop in the oven at dinner time the next day? I am just worried about the rice. thanks

  32. Made this tonight with a few modifications per other reviewer’s comments. Glad there are leftovers. This is definitely a keeper!

  33. This is so similar to a recipe my mother has used for years! Her recipe did not call for nuts but used diced water chestnuts for the crunch. Also, she used buttered bread crumbs for the topping because the cereal added to much sugar. It is a wonderful recipe and can be easily multiplied for a large crowd. Yum!

    1. I love the idea of adding the water chestnuts – I’d probably leave the almonds in though, as well. Yum!

  34. Help! I didn’t measure out my chicken, I just chopped 3 LARGE breasts and as I’m stirring everything together it seems very dry. I’m thinking I should probably add another can of cream of chicken soup. Or sour cream? Something. Don’t want it to be too dry.

    1. Hi Kelley, You probably added 3 or 4 cups of chopped chicken (instead of 2 cups like the recipe says). The easiest thing to do would be to double the rest of the ingredients (just make a double batch). Bake half of the mixture as normal in a 9×13” –the rest of the mixture you could put in a ziplock bag or freezable baking dish and freeze for later use. Or you could bake two 9×13 pans and have leftovers or share with friends 🙂

  35. Hi Lauren! I had a question about the onion ingredient. The recipe called for shredded onion but in the second picture it looks like the onions are chopped. Any clarification you could provide would be great! Thanks so much – can’t wait to make this. 🙂

    1. Hi Laura, It doesn’t really matter either way….in my Mother-in-law’s recipe it calls for shredded, but sometimes I just chop a little bit quickly. I haven’t noticed a difference in taste. Hope that helps 🙂

  36. This looks delicious! Talk about bringing back memories of when I was a kid. I love the cornflakes on the top. People used corn flake crumbs quite a bit ‘way back when’ and it’s great you’re ‘turning people on to’ the wonders of not only good, homemade casseroles but also how simple ingredients often make the best meals !! (I’m going to start following you so I don’t miss anymore recipes!!)

  37. What do you think I could use instead of the canned soup? I have trouble with any canned soups. Sure sounds like a great dish!

    1. Hi Shirley, you could make the canned soup from scratch, and then add it! (I don’t have a recipe on my site yet, but if you google homemade cream of chicken soup you will find an easy recipe!)

  38. This is so good and so easy! I made a few changes to it. Only because I was making it for dinner. I left out the hard boiled eggs and substituted two 4.4 oz. jars of sliced mushrooms instead. I also added an extra can of cream of chicken soup with herbs, and used a 1/2 cup of slivered almonds instead of a 1/4 cup. I still plan to make the original recipe. I think it would be awesome for breakfast.

  39. Do you think this would freeze well? I haven’t made a casserole with rice to freeze before? Any thoughts, suggestions?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Sarah, I haven’t tried it but I think it could work beautifully if you use already cooked rice! (I should note that mayo typically doesn’t freeze well, but I think it could work with the way it’s combined with all of the ingredients here.) You could try this: make it according to the directions but stop before you add the cornflakes. Cover it and freeze up to 1 month. Remove from freezer, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Bake casserole, covered with aluminum foil, at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 55 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add the cornflakes about halfway through the baking it uncovered. Good luck–let me know how it turns out!

      1. Definitely cook the rice or choose an alternative. My rice was maybe half done at the most. Next day I used my sprayer to spray water in the bottom of the dish to avoid wetting the top, covered with foil & probably took 30-40 minutes & rice was done. To me, there’s not a taste to it that just really makes you want more, so maybe someone has a suggestion to make it a bit more tasteful.

          1. I usually always cook the rice first (I never really have minute-rice on hand–but this is my mother-in-law’s recipe and thats the rice she always uses.)

    1. Hi Shelia, You could but I would suggest substituting it with other ingredients–otherwise the casserole will be too liquid-y. You could add a bunch of chopped vegetables…

  40. Is there something you could substitute for the mayonnaise? I made a meal with mayo a few years ago and have been scarred ever since.

    1. Hi Holly, you could try using plain yogurt mixed with a little of lemon juice and prepared mustard, as a substitute for the mayo! It wont taste exactly the same, but it will still be yummy (and way healthier 🙂 )

    2. I used 1/4c mayo, 1/4 Sour cream and 1/4c plain greek yogurt. It was delish. I bet using all sour cream or greek yogurt would be great!

  41. I just made this casserole this afternoon and it turned out great! My picky eater younger sisters loved it 🙂 I tweaked the,recipe just a tad by adding in some minced garlic, ham, and Kraft’s Italian blend shredded cheese(-added the cheese to the casserole and to the cornflakes crust). Thanks so much for this recipe! It’s a keeper!

  42. Making this dish as my contribution to Christmas dinner. Substituted Creamy Thai Chicken and Rice soup instead of the regular cream of chicken. Will let you know how it went. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  43. I’ve been making this for 15 years (and I often eat it for breakfast!) it’s my absolute favorite comfort food!

  44. Hi Lauren, great dish! How about adding it to the Food on Friday: Chicken collection over at Carole’s Chatter? Cheers

    1. Going to try the recipe right now! I am going to use cooked rice. Do I use the same proportion or do I double it as rice inflates when it is cooked?

  45. Wow this looks so good! And definitely a man-pleasing meal! Family recipes really are the best. Pinning!

  46. I love myself a yummy, easy casserole and even better, I love a casserole with cornflakes on top! Looks great, thanks for sharing!

    1. I fix a recipe simular and it is delious. For something different I mix up a box of Stove top stuffing and spread on top. Very Good!!!

      1. Can anyone tell me what size casserole dish….that seems kind of important and don’t see where it says that. Thank you!

        1. Hi Deborah, you can use a 9×13 or similar size pan…give or take a few inches and it wont make a difference. 🙂

        2. It appears from the volume of ingredients in this recipe, using a a round 2-quart casserole would be the best to use. If a 13×9-inch casserole dish/cake pan is used, the casserole will only be about 1 1/2-inches in height and may bake up drier and less creamy due to the greater surface area.

  47. Hi Laura Allen,

    Your preferred method for pre cooking the chicken? Or do you use pre cooked Rotiserrie chicken instead?