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.

Chicken and rice casserole with melted cheese on top, in an oval serving dish.

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.

Two process photos for preparing chicken and rice casserole.

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).

4. Top with cheese and serve. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh roasted veggies or a green salad.

A plate with a serving of rice and chicken casserole on it.

Recipe Variations:

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:

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST for more great recipes!

Recipe

Chicken and rice casserole with melted cheese on top, in an oval serving dish.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Total 2 hrs 10 mins
Save Recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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 Instructions: Prepare the dish but do not bake.  Cover it well and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before baking.
Freezing Instructions: 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 418kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 21gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 763mgPotassium: 368mgSugar: 4gVitamin A: 485IUVitamin C: 0.5mgCalcium: 265mgIron: 1.5mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @TastesBetterFromScratch on Instagram with #TastesBetterFromScratch!

Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

I originally shared this recipe March 2017. Updated September 2020.

Related Posts

Share Recipe

Categories

About The Author

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.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe today and it came out perfect. I followed it to the T except for adding broccoli and some pepper mix and garlic on the uncooked chicken. I cooked half in a square pan and half in a casserole dish. Chicken was super tender.

  2. 4 stars
    It was delicious I did it all from scratch. Only thing I cut my chicken breast in pieces. The amount of time to bake is a lot my chicken came out dry because of it. Other than that delicious. My husband and 1 year old loved it.

  3. 3 stars
    Unfortunately I didn’t read the comments till after putting it in the oven. Cooked it an hour and a half. Took it out and it was soupy on the top. So I poured out the soupy stuff and started stirring the rice up. Then I added a little bit of the soupy stuff back into the rice and stirred it some more till it was a good consistency. Eating it was alright. Chicken was quite chewy and it was definitely a little bland so we just smothered it in salt and pepper. Honestly food is food. It really isn’t that bad as long as you do what you can to make it better. My husband is going back for seconds so don’t lose hope!

  4. 5 stars
    Really confused at the comments and wondering what everyone else did incorrectly. I used 2 cans of cream of mushroom and added fresh thyme. I used chicken tenders rather than breasts. Probably could have just cooked it an hour rather than 90 minutes. Everything cooked well and the flavor was good. Thanks!

    1. If you take a look at the actual post and read you’ll note the link for Lauren’s homemade cream of anything soup which is what we recommend using.

    2. 🙂 There’s nothing wrong with me. Did you miss my links to the homemade version of those? (There’s a link in the post, and in the recipe ingredients–for people who like to make it all from scratch).

      1. That’s telling him! lol! Believe me Mike, use the recipe using the canned soup. It’s alot easier and very tasty!

    3. EW. What a nasty EFFING attitude. If you don’t like the recipe, then LEAVE. Byeeee 👋

    4. I love using onion soup in recipes like this but my grandchildren hate onions especially if they see them. Will the onions disappear when cooking?

      1. The onion isn’t going to be strong but you can also smash up the packet before you add it to crush up the onion pieces!

  5. 2 stars
    Filling, but not very appetizing in the way it looks or in texture. It could just be our oven (no convection), but the rice was burnt towards the edges and goopy in the middle. As it cooled it seemed to congeal. However, the chicken was nice and moist, not dry as usually happens when I make it haha. It was also too salty for us, which may be due to the cans of creamed soup as well as the onion soup mix. I might try this again in the future (using real onion or onion powder), and add some veggies.

  6. 1 star
    This recipe is a disaster! I have a big soupy mess on my hands. 3c of liquid and two cans of condensed soup seemed like a lot of liquid, but I went ahead and followed the recipe, and it was a failure.

  7. 2 stars
    Added more/other seasonings (garlic, onion powder, thyme), I used chicken broth instead of water as well as added broccoli and the rice was delicious. The chicken on the other hand was extremely bland. Tasted like plain chicken with cheese and a faint taste of seasoning… my oldest loves bland food but the rest of us were pretty unimpressed. I will likely make this again with just rice as a side but will do the chicken separately as it was just so plain and not good.

  8. 1 star
    The Instant Pot version of this recipe did NOT work. Kept getting burn notice so I kept adding a bit more liquid. I don’t think you actually tried this, apparently you just made it up off the top of your head. With food prices where they are right now, I seriously don’t appreciate having to throw this out. Not happy with this recipe or you at this point.

    1. 1 star
      I really wish I would have read the reviews. I also did the Instapot version and my chicken is NOT cooked AT ALL!!!!

  9. I was wondering if you could cut up the chicken instead of leaving it whole. It would be easier to serve kids that don’t eat a whole breast. Would that make it tough and dry or would you have to adjust the time or temp?

  10. 4 stars
    Great base recipe but I question why some of the great suggestions after the recipe weren’t simply added to the recipe itself!

    Without extra seasoning at the very least the recipe as listed is bland. I threw in a good pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little thyme. Then when I pulled it out the oven I added some extra thyme, salt, and pepper. Takes this recipe from a 2 to a 5 star!

  11. 5 stars
    I just made this tonight I tweaked it a little bit but it turned out great I will make it again!!! Negative reviewers need to learn to cook JMO 😎

  12. If you are worried about cooking time, use thighs🤷‍♂️. They are more tender, more flavorful and you can cook them longer than breasts.

  13. 4 stars
    Pre cook the rice most of the way! Shortens the time by a lot. Also slice breast in half lengthwise. Cooks quicker and chicken absorbs more of the flavors.

  14. 3 stars
    I used Campbell’s cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup pkua liptons. Wasn’t very good. I think I will try a more natural recipe using chicken brother ND my own souces and not soup mixes

  15. I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but it seems like a long time to bake boneless chicken breasts that are usually cooked in a half hour or so. Doesn’t the long baking time dry out the chicken? Would bone in breasts or thighs work better?

    1. Agreed I followed the recipe using chicken breasts it cooked too long and got dry. One hour should be enough time not 90.minutes.

  16. 5 stars
    I made this last night and was really worried about all the negative comments regarding cooking times, etc. But it came out perfect and delicious. I used 1 and a half cups of rice, 2 cups milk and 1 cup water as in the recipe, and I also added about a cup of sour cream because I like the creaminess of it. I cut up I used raw chicken breasts cut into cubes and pressed down into the rice mixture. I covered it with foil and cooked it at 350 for 1 hour and 40 minutes, then let sit about 10 minutes. I probably could have taken it out after 1.5 hours but I was so worried about it being soupy. The casserole was tasty and the chicken moist and perfectly cooked. I’ll be using this again!

  17. 1 star
    Followed the recipe , baked for 1 1/2 hours and the rice was over cooked. It was wet looking before the 20 minute cool off which then thickened.

  18. 1 star
    If I could give 0 stars I would. I was so excited and so disappointed. Cook time was way off. Finally when finished it lacked taste and I could fill potholes in road with it. Threw it out

  19. I made this recipe and it was delicious. I went right by the recipe and used one can of cream of chicken, one can of cream of mushroom and the onion soup mix, added some fresh veggies I needed to use about an hour into the cooking (just mixed them in around the chicken breasts). It was perfect, not runny or dry (it was perfectly moist) and the rice fully cooked. My family loved it. Super simple to make. Will put this on the recipe list for something to fix that is simple and tasty.

  20. I made this recipe and followed the recipe exactly but it came out really dry. I used long grain baskets rice but there just wasn’t enough liquid. It tasted good, so next time I will just add more milk or mushrooms soup.

  21. 5 stars
    I’m eating this casserole as I type this review. Delicious!! I added chopped broccoli but otherwise followed as written! Will definitely save the recipe, and make again!

  22. Based on other reviews I increased oven temp to 370 degrees and at 50 minutes the rice wasn’t quite done. Another 10 minutes did the trick. Taste is Fantastic!

  23. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I doubled the recipe and made 2 casseroles so we had it again 2 nights later. Since I doubled it and needed 4 cans of soup I used 2 cream of chicken, one cream of mushroom and one cheddar cheese! Very tasty!

  24. 5 stars
    This was one of the best dishes I have ever made. I used one can of cream of chicken and one can of cream of celery. I also added some garlic. The key for me was letting the chicken marinade overnight before cooking.

  25. I tried to make this in the Instant Pot and it burned. I got a burn warning before it came to pressure and I had to toss it out. I was so disappointed because this recipe looked so good! I’ll probably try it again following the standard recipe, but I’ll have to wait for a weekend because I don’t usually have a ton of time on weeknights after work.

  26. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious. Cheese is a really nice plus that I had not thought of before. Will definitely make this recipe again.

  27. 1 star
    I was so excited to make this simple recipe, just as you probably are. Let me save you the same heartbreak. DONT!! Nothing about this recipe is right. It’s too runny! I repeat, TOO RUNNY!!! The rice was crunchy during the first go with the timer. Don’t be like me and not READ THE COMMENTS! Out of everything I have cooked for my boyfriend, he asked me never to make this again stating “I’ll finish this bowl but I don’t want to have this again…it’ll make a turd I guess”.

    So there’s my rating, hope it helps someone who ACTUALLY READ THE COMMENTS!!!

  28. Fixed this tonight and we loved it. I did add some onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeños and it turned out wonderfully.

  29. It hit a very specific comfort food button for me! I had a rotisserie chicken, so I just shredded it and put a layer on top instead of the raw chicken breasts and sprinkled an extra layer of cheese. I also mixed in a bag of frozen veggies cooked the casserole as directed. The chicken wasn’t dry and it was perfect for a broke 25 year old. I have leftovers in my freezer for future last minute dinners.

    1. Cooked for 1hr 50mins at 350 and the rice was nowhere near done. Put it in at 370 for another half an hour and the rice is still not done. Never making this again.

  30. 5 stars
    This recipe was incredible! It was so easy to make with minimal dishes and the flavor was PERFECT. I’ve already sent the recipe to multiple people! We served it with a frozen veggie. We will absolutely be making this over and over. Thank you so much!

    1. Did you find it runny like all other comments? Wondering I’d I need to tweek before so I don’t waste food or time.

  31. May I just just say delicious! My husband is isn’t picky so he loves all the food I cook, but this he absolutely loved! Cooked it based on instructions. It’s was so delicious. Great recipe 😋thankyou!

  32. 5 stars
    This was very easy to make and very tasty. I used one can of cream of mushroom soup and one can of cream of chicken soup. Thanks for the recipe! I will be making this again.

  33. The chicken and rice recipe was delicious. I used Jasmine rice. I added Rosemary, garlic, and dried onions, along with the salt and pepper. I also added some broccoli florets (frozen, & thawed in microwave) I baked 1 1/4 hrs at 350. The rice was fluffy, and the flavor was incredible!

    1. 4 stars
      Cooked for 1hr 45 minutes chicken was good but rice did not cook completely. Casserole was tasty but crunchy. Put it back in the oven fo another 45 minutes to see if rice cooks all the way. Next time may preboil broth to add in during prep stage.

  34. I loved the flavor of this recipe. The chicken and broccoli cooked perfectly. However, the rice was hard. Does that mean it was undercooked or overcooked? The chicken was perfect so I don’t know if I would overlook the chicken if I cooked it longer. I baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hr 40 min.

  35. 3 stars
    I really just think it could have used less liquid to begin with. Maybe 1/2 cup water and 1 cup milk vs 1 cup water & 2 cups milk. I followed the recipe exactly & had to cook it a lot longer than mentioned. Turned up the heat a bit at the end too. I live in western America, I don’t know if that makes a difference from where the original recipe comes from. But, yeah. Smells good, but taking FOREVER to cook.

  36. 4 stars
    I made this tonight and it was delicious for the most part. I followed the directions exactly, adding in broccoli florets with the rice mixture. Letting it rest definitely prevents it from being soupy as others claimed. Chicken breasts were much too dry, however. I’m going to chop up the remaining breasts and stir it into the rice mixture for tomorrow’s leftovers. Overall, best cheesy broccoli rice! Hands down!

  37. 5 stars
    Tried to make this in the instapot and it kept burning so I added back in thr extra water and milk and popped it in the oven, left out the extra “cream of” chicken soup, cooked for 1.5hrs, and it was delicious. I made no other changes. This will be on my regular rotation! Yum! Thank you!

  38. 5 stars
    Made this tonight, used gluten free cream of chicken soup, and added broccoli, it was delish! My picky husband had 3 servings and loved it. Thank you!

  39. I normally love your recipes, and they usually work great! However, this one DOES NOT work in the instant pot. It keeps burning. Then it never cooks because it keeps saying it’s burning. So, stick with the oven because the instant pot method DOES NOT WORK.

  40. 5 stars
    Added extra spices and garlic. I used one can of cream of chicken and one cream of mushroom. It took 1.5 hours and I definitely had to crank the temperature to 450 at the end, but it turned out amazing! Will make again!

  41. 1 star
    Not a fan. Used boneless skinless chicken thighs and cream of mushroom soup. Followed the recipe exactly plus added a bit of broccoli (which was the best part). Found it to be mushy and lacking in flavour. Would not make again

  42. 5 stars
    So good, extremely easy (kinda like a dump recipe).
    Highly suggested especially for ease, flavor, large family meal or leftovers.

  43. This was better the day after. So like a great make ahead meal. I used leftover rotisserie. Just threw it in. So this is like a to taste thing.

  44. 4 stars
    Do not cover the casserole! Let it bake for 90 minutes, then add the rest of the cheese (I added cheddar and parm) and crank the oven to 450 degrees! Bake for 30 more minutes (I had 6 large breasts cut in half). The top is browned beautifully and it’s delightful!

  45. 5 stars
    Great recipe and perfect amounts of ingredients so didn’t need to fiddle with anything. I did add fresh mushrooms, which boosted the mushroom flavor and added smoked paprika. Gave it more depth of flavor. The chicken was very moist and fall off the bone. Thanks for a great go to!

  46. 5 stars
    I used my leftover broth from homemade chicken noodle soup instead of milk and water, plus I added 1/4 cayanne pepper, 1 red bell pepper and 5 chopped bella mushrooms to your recipe. soooo yummy! I like your recipe

    1. Don’t add the cooked rotisserie chicken until the end when you serve it, (when the rice has baked).

  47. 4 stars
    Delicious…. reading the reviews i upped the rice to 2 cupsand only put in one cup of milk. I had to up the temp in the last 30 minutes to 375. total cook time 2 hours. The rice mixture was very moist but not soupy… letting it sit after cooking is crucial. everyone loved it… will make this again

  48. I got a soup as well! I did not read reviews… sadly. I had 2 extra cans of cream of mushroom. I added those. I also used brown rice. Had too cook for at least 2 hours and 45 minutes. 1 ended up with a partially edial casserole. Tasted cheap to me, not mentioning the crispy bits of rice… still.

  49. 5 stars
    Loved this! Added 2 cups of chopped broccoli prior to placing the chicken and cheese on top and then placed in the fridge for about 14 hours before baking. Baked at 350 for an hour and forty five mins. Turned out perfect and not soupy as mentioned in some other comments. Perhaps the time in the fridge helped with this? Will definitely make again and test out other veggies next time – thanks for the tasty recipe.

  50. 5 stars
    This has become one of our favorite dinners! I have added different veggies each time I make it. I’ve had no issues with it being soupy at all. I used a deep casserole dish and it did take a bit longer for the rice to cook, but otherwise, its wonderful.

  51. 5 stars
    Yummy!!!! I followed the directions exactly as written and it came out perfect! Not sure why it came out soupy for some (maybe varying oven temps?). Thank you for sharing!

  52. 3 stars
    I tried the instant pot version. Got my first burn notice, so I took out chicken, stirred up rice, added a little more liquid (I actually used chicken broth instead of water) and started over. Another burn notice. At this point, rice is 3/4 cooked, but not quite there. I’m just gonna try finishing in stove, but rice is very thick, not soupy like others have had, that’s for sure.

  53. I also had soupy casserole after 1 1/2 hours… I turned up oven as others said to 400, 20-40 minutes more still soup!!?? Less water next time?? I don’t want chicken to be tough so pulling it out hoping it will thicken?

  54. 3 stars
    Should have looked at the reviews before i started. Likewise mine turned out way too soupy. I thought 3 cups liquid (plus condensed soups x 2) to 1 1/2 cups rice was an imbalance. I even added spinach and mushrooms but the liquid was too much to absorb. My solution was to make another pot of plain rice to serve it over.

  55. I am currently cooking this casserole and I took it out of the oven @350 after a hour and a half and it is soupy. I’ve turned the oven up to 400 for another 30 min. I hope it turns out, cause I have a very hungry family.

  56. 5 stars
    Just pulled mine out of the oven and it came out perfect! Sampled a spoonful and OMG it’s so good especially the crispy burnt parts of the rice yummmmmm. Can’t wait for it cool down a little so me and my son can eat! Thank you for the recipe seriously the easiest dish ever

    1. Hi Dylan,

      I’m sorry it didn’t turn out well for you. I wish I could help figure out what went wrong- I would need a few more details. I wonder what type of rice you used, if you used the correct amount of liquid, and if you baked it long enough?

    1. Hi Shelby, I haven’t tested it to say for sure, but I think it would work. Let me know if you try it 🙂

  57. I’m using same amount of chicken, but it’s diced. Do you think I should still cook it for the same amount of time as I would using whole chicken breasts?

    1. Hi Patty, if you diced the chicken than it will not need as much time, however, you want to make sure the rice is fully cooked.

  58. Hello, what spice combo would you recommend if we don’t use the Lipton soup mix? My hubbie is on a low sodium diet. Thank you!

    1. Hi Marilyn, I haven’t tested this with brown rice yet, but it could work–my only worry is that the chicken would get overcooked because brown rice takes longer to cook. This could be solved by using chicken thighs instead of breasts. Then add 1/2 cup more liquid and bake it for about 30 minutes longer. That should work… I’d love to hear if you try it!

  59. Oh man, last night we made something similar but with broccoli in it and it was so good. BUT, we didn’t use onion soup mix or cheddar cheese, we were totally missing out! Thanks for the great tips! Definitely will follow this one the next time we make it.

    ❤️

      1. You could use a different flavor of condensed soup, or click the ingredient link for my homemade recipe 🙂