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How to Make Chicken and Rice Casserole


Ahh, casseroles. The all-around dish that is ever-present at group gatherings, dinner parties, luncheons, you name it! A casserole is a reliable meal that’s a slew of different flavors, and while it’s virtually simple to make, you get something new every time. But what exactly is a casserole and how can you call a dish a casserole? Can you make a casserole with rice?

Many would define the casserole as a one-pot meal. A typical casserole includes a type of meat or fish, some chopped frozen vegetables, and a starchy binder (potatoes, noodles, or rice). 

There’s a rice casserole, tuna casserole, chicken casserole, and a ton more out-of-this-world combinations that have been thought of. As long as it has those 3 elements and is baked in an oven, then you can call it a casserole! If you aren’t familiar with it, it might sound a bit like a bunch of disparate ingredients being thrown together, and in a way that’s true. It’s the way it is cooked or prepared that brings it together. While this is usually considered a one-dish meal that you can cook in one pot, you can create a dessert casserole, a casserole for side dishes, or an appetizer casserole. 

There are tons of creative recipes out there for casseroles, and you don’t even need an oven for some. Other recipes call for an instant pot casserole, while other recipes utilize a slow cooker. 

Whichever recipe you decide to go with, the casserole is definitely a comfort food that you can learn to be an expert at. And with the variety of recipes that range from easy to complicated, there is something there for everyone.

For this recipe, we’ll be starting with a simple yet creamy chicken and rice casserole that’s sure to be a hit at your next family gathering. Rice is one of the best food to pair with anything, and you have a variety of rice options to choose from: sticky rice, fluffy rice, brown rice, black rice, plain rice, the list goes on! 

Chicken is of course one of the most well-loved casserole ingredients. Chicken thighs have a large amount of fat stored that can expand the flavor of the creamy chicken and rice casserole. This recipe calls for chicken thighs (they taste better and cost less than chicken breasts), but if you’re inclined to use chicken breasts instead, we’ve got you covered. 

This recipe only has 10 minutes of prep time and around an hour of cook time. Read the entirety of this recipe to find out how to make the best chicken and rice casserole.

What is Chicken and Rice Casserole?

Rice is one of the key ingredients that make this tasty dish the favorite that it is, but each component needs to be equally perfect in order to create something wonderful. This homestyle chicken and rice casserole recipe was introduced by Campbell’s Soup Company as one way to use their condensed cream of chicken soup. It’s that cheesy chicken and rice casserole that first relied on Campbell’s can of soup that was such a hit in the years since the recipe was first introduced.

The great thing is, with just a few pantry staples, you’d be able to recreate that classic creamy chicken flavor. Get some flour, broth, and a splash of milk, and you’ll have the perfect homemade condensed soup in no time. Trust us, this is going to make your chicken and rice casserole a lot better.

How to Make Delicious and Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

It’s not hard to recreate this delicious casserole dish, no matter what level of home cooking you’ve reached this quarantine. If you’re a complete beginner who’s decided this lockdown period is the perfect time to level up their chops, then we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks that will make everyone at your next potluck think you’re the next big cooking superstar.

Use foil to cover the baking dish. It’s paramount that the baking dish is wrapped in foil in order to preserve the integrity of the chicken, especially the boneless, skinless chicken thighs or the chicken breasts from the direct heat of the oven. This will make your chicken thighs or chicken breasts extra juicy and tender. And we can’t forget the rice, because it also needs to absorb the juices from the chicken and the flavor of the creamy sauce in order to get that creamy texture and yummy flavor.

Use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. You want your chicken to be extra tender and juicy even after baking, and chicken thighs have a lot more fat than chicken breasts do. While this recipe has instructions for both, we highly recommend going for the chicken thighs. They’re a lot cheaper, too, and will make a world of difference to your chicken and rice casserole. But if you’re convinced you need to swap thighs out for chicken breasts, you’ll need 3 (6 to 8-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

Melt the cheese with your oven turned off. It’s not a chicken and rice casserole without some creamy melted cheese. Turn off the oven first before putting the casserole back in just as the cheese melts. This is so that when you spoon into the casserole, you get that extra gooey cheese that lingers.

  • Prep time – 10 minutes-15 minutes
  • Cook Time – 1 hour
  • Total Time – 70-75 minutes

This chicken & rice casserole recipe yields 4-6 servings.

Ingredients & Equipment

Here’s what you’ll need if you want to make chicken and rice casserole:


  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons butter (preferably unsalted)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice (can substitute for brown rice)
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, green beans, corns, peas)


  • Knife and cutting board
  • Aluminum foil
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 11×7-inch or 1 1/2-quart baking dish
  • Tongs
  • Large skillet
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon or spatula


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare your baking dish with cooking spray. We recommend an 11×7-inch or 1 1/2-quart baking dish. 
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup diced yellow onion and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and sauté until onion is soft but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in in 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and cook for a minute. Make sure you’re stirring constantly. This helps coat the flour in the butter and cooking off the raw taste that may be lingering in the flour.
  4. Add 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth and whisk. To make sure it’s fully incorporated, break up any flour lumps and scrape browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes or until sauce thickens, mixing thoroughly.
  6. Mix in the sauce to rice and mixed vegetables in your baking dish and stir to combine.
  7. Add the rice mixture and season the chicken. Season the chicken thighs all over with the salt and pepper. Settle the chicken on top of the rice mixture then cover the dish with foil.
  8. Bake for about an hour until the rice is tender. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken and wait until it registers 160°F.
  9. Turning the oven off, remove the foil and sprinkle the casserole with a half cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Return the dish while the oven’s still warm and watch as the cheese melts! Give it about 2-4 minutes.

The chicken rice casserole contains 452 calories, 21.6 g of fat, 2.0 g fiber, 4.0 g sugar, 792 mg sodium, 31.5 g carbs, 9.2 g saturated fat, and 32.2 g protein.

Hui Yin

Hui Yin moved from Hong Kong 🇭🇰 to the USA 🇺🇸 when she was just 8 years old. Now in her late 20's she enjoys writing and taking long walks in the park to burn off the copious amounts of rice she eats for dinner.

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