Dinner doesn’t get easier or more delicious than this cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole, made in just one pan, with a few simple ingredients.
Here’s what a nerd I am when it comes to cooking: for my 14th birthday a friend gave me a cookbook, and it was one of my favorite gifts! It was a compilation of favorite recipes from close friends, and one of the recipes was this cheesy chicken and rice casserole.
What I love about Chicken and Rice Casserole:
- One pan: throw everything together in a casserole dish and bake. This makes for low prep and easy clean-up! I love recipes where the oven does all of the work. Check out my other one-pan recipes!
- Kid friendly: The end result is another kid-friendly recipe that’s delicious and flavorful. The perfect comfort food for a fast weeknight meal or Sunday dinner that requires hardly any prep.
- Adaptable: Like most casserole dishes, there are plenty of variations you can make to this recipe. See more ideas below in the post.
How to Make Chicken and Rice Casserole:
1. Prep rice mixture: Add rice, cream of soups, milk, water and onion soup seasoning to a bowl and stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheddar cheese.
2. Add chicken: nestle chicken breasts into the rice mixture.
3. Bake: Cover the dish with aluminum foil (the pan will be very full!) and bake for 1 hour 30 min to 2 hours , or until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through. (Mine usually bakes in 1.5 hours, but time may vary depending on oven, altitude and other variables).
Cheese: leave it out, or substitute Colby jack, mozzarella or Swiss.
Rice: Minute rice will not work with this recipe. Brown rice would require additional liquid (at least ½ cup) and longer cooking time, so if using brown rice, I suggest using chicken thighs, instead of breasts, so the chicken doesn’t overcook/dry out.
Herbs: if you’d like to add additional flavor, consider adding fresh thyme, parsley, freshly minced garlic or garnish with fresh basil.
Broccoli Chicken and Rice: add 2 cups chopped broccoli florets to the casserole before baking.
Veggies: Feel free to add chopped mushrooms, onions, green peppers, green beans, broccoli, etc.
Cream of soup: My homemade version is so easy and delicious but you can use any type of cream of soup for this recipes including chicken, mushroom, or celery.
Instant Pot Chicken and Rice: Reduce water to ½ cup and milk to 1 cup. Only use 1 can of cream of soup. Cook on high pressure/manual setting for 8-10 minutes (depending on thickness of the chicken breasts). Allow to naturally release for 10 minutes.
Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:
To make ahead: This is a great make-ahead recipe. Prepare the dish but do not bake. Cover it well and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before baking.
To freeze: Prepare the dish but do not bake. Cover it well with plastic wrap and tinfoil and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking, uncovered.
Consider trying these popular one-pan meals:
- One pan baked salmon and vegetables
- One pan creamy lemon chicken tortellini
- One pan chicken fajita pasta
- One pan skillet lasagna
Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup (or homemade)
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 batch homemade onion soup mix , or one envelope Lipton onion soup mix
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese , divided
- 3 thick boneless skinless chicken breasts , or thighs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13'' pan (or similar size casserole dish) with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add rice, cream of soups, milk, water and onion soup seasoning to a bowl and stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Nestle chicken breasts into the rice mixture. Cover the dish with aluminum foil (the pan will be very full!) and bake for 1 hour 30 min to 2 hours , or until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through. (Mine usually bakes in 1.5 hours, but time may vary depending on oven, altitude and other variables).
- Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Serve with fresh steamed veggies or a green salad.
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I originally shared this recipe March 2017. Updated September 2020.