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Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Creamy, meaty, flavorful and SO EASY, YOU CAN’T MESS IT UP! Have you been looking for something that is forgiving with ingredients, you can make substitutions without much fear and whips up in minutes? This is the Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole for YOU! 

wooden spoon dipping casserole with checkered napkin in background

 

Why This Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole Works…

  • EASY
  • FAST
  • You have everything you need already, probably.

Here’s How You Make Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Watch Wendi Make this Casserole on YouTube Right Here

STEP 1. Heat chicken until it is cooked through. 

frying pan of chicken pieces cooking on the stove top

STEP 2. Mix everything together in a large bowl. 

mixed up casserole before putting into baking dish

STEP 3. Pour into a prepared 9×13 baking dish, bake and serve! 

corner of the baking dish with bubbly juices and checkered back ground

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Do You Need to Cook The Rice Before Putting it in the Casserole? 

There are recipes out there that call for uncooked rice, I’ve tried many and never had any luck. Instead, I ended up with a crunchy casserole.

This recipe uses 4 Cups of cooked rice. You can make things easy on yourself by using Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice (we like the long grain and wild rice best). 

So, Yes, you need cooked rice for this casserole. 

Can I Use Raw Chicken? 

I know, I’ve seen casseroles that call for raw chicken too. This one isn’t one of those. You’ll need fully cooked chicken for this casserole. 

That said, cook the chicken until the pink JUST disappears, you don’t want dry stringy chicken in this casserole. 

Can I Make This Using Uncooked Rice? 

This casserole is best if you use fully cooked rice. When you bake it in the oven, all you are really doing is making sure that everything is heated evenly and the flavors are married.

Can I Make This in the Crockpot? 

Actually, yes, you CAN make it in the crockpot.

  1. You’ll still need to precook the rice and the chicken, but 
  2. then just dump everything in together, 
  3. give it a stir, 
  4. set the crockpot on low and 
  5. come back in 3-4 hours for a delicious meal!

Can I Make This Using Whole Chicken Legs?

I know you want to make Chicken Legs and Rice Casserole With Cream of Mushroom Soup! Doesn’t that sound delicious? Sure you can! 

Just cook the legs whole first, I recommend using my Oven Baked Chicken Legs Recipe first and then following the other directions found here. 

How Do I Heat Up the Leftovers? 

To heat leftovers: 

OVEN:

  • Put the entire casserole dish back in the oven with a sheet of aluminum foil covering the top and heat for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and heat for another 10. 

MICROWAVE:

  • Place the amount you want to heat into a microwave safe container, heat for 1 minute, stir and then heat in 30 second intervals until heated through. 

Can I Freeze This Casserole? 

This casserole does wonderfully when frozen. Freeze it right after you put everything into the casserole dish OR freeze it once it has been cooked. Either way, its good. 

How Do I Heat Up the Frozen Casserole? 

  • To heat the frozen casserole,
  • allow to thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator and then
  • bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly around the edges. 

OR

  • Place frozen casserole into a 350 oven with aluminum foil covering the top.
  • Heat for 45 minutes,
  • remove the foil,
  • heat for another 15 minutes or until the entire casserole is heated through and it is bubbly on the edges. 

What you need to know about heating a fully frozen casserole:  The edges are likely to get over done. 

Can I Use Substitutions?

Sure you can! I’ve listed those that I can think of in the recipe notes below! 

Can I Use Something Besides the Canned Soups?

Sure! Here’s a great recipe from Midnight Baker to help you out. 

View of the crusty top of this casserole with napkin

Tips and Tricks 

  • Make sure not to overcook the chicken in the first step. Only cook it until the pink has JUST left the chicken. 
  • Be sure to season the chicken so that seasoning flavors go fully through your casserole. 
  • Make sure that your rice is fully cooked and seasoned. If you are trying to use rice that doesn’t have any salt or pepper on it, the entire casserole will taste bland. 
  • Be careful with the salt. The canned soups are salty, the Uncle Bens rice has some salt in it and may already be perfectly seasoned. If you are cooking your own rice from scratch, it wont’ have any. You will need to taste as you go to make sure of the salt levels. 
  • If you are adding vegetables to the casserole, you’ll need to precook those to make sure that all of the water is out of them or you’ll end up with soupy casserole. A more firm vegetable usually does best like broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts or carrots. Peas work good too.
  • See the recipe notes section for substitutions, there are many. 

PRO TIP: For a BANG of flavor, add 1 Cup of parmesan Cheese to the chicken mixture! Be careful with salt as parmesan is salty. 

wooden spoon dipping out some easy chicken and rice casserole from glass pan

If You Enjoyed This Recipe, You Might Also Like……

Easy Chicken Pie

Best Chicken Soup

How to Season Chicken

Lemon Chicken Piccata

OR ANY of my other Main Course Dishes

Would You Give Me a Hand? 

Please leave a 5 STAR comment in the comment section below. That helps others to find the recipes here at Loaves and Dishes! Thanks! 

wooden spoon dipping out some easy chicken and rice casserole from glass pan

Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Creamy, meaty, flavorful and SO EASY, YOU CAN’T MESS IT UP! Have you been looking for something that is forgiving with ingredients, you can make substitutions without much fear and whips up in minutes? This is the Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole for YOU!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken and rice, easy chicken and rice casserole
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 117kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray substitute butter or other grease for the pan
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 4 Cups Chopped Chicken breast or thigh is fine
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 4 Cups Precooked Rice I like to use Uncle Ben’s Ready Serve Brown and Wild Rice
  • 2 Cans 10.75 ounces of Cream of Celery Soup
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • 1 Cup Crushed Potato Chips You can substitute anything crunchy like crackers, pretzels, potato stix, etc..
  • 2 tbs Butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tbs vegetable oil until the pan is very hot. Add the chicken pieces a little bit at the time and make sure you hear a good sizzle. Do this until all of the chicken is added. Cook until the chicken is just past pink. Sprinkle with the dried thyme.
  • Once chicken is done, remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, Mix the cooked chicken, rice, cream of celery soup, sour cream, milk, garlic, onion and paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once everything is well mixed, spread it out into a 9x13 prepared baking dish and set aside.
  • Pour the butter over the potato chip crumbs and mix well. Sprinkle this on top of the casserole to make a topping.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbly.

Notes

  • Make sure not to overcook the chicken in the first step. Only cook it until the pink has JUST left the chicken.
  • Be sure to season the chicken so that seasoning flavors go fully through your casserole.
  • Make sure that your rice is fully cooked and seasoned. If you are trying to use rice that doesn’t have any salt or pepper on it, the entire casserole will taste bland.
  • Be careful with the salt. The canned soups are salty, the Uncle Bens rice has some salt in it and may already be perfectly seasoned. If you are cooking your own rice from scratch, it wont’ have any. You will need to taste as you go to make sure of the salt levels.
  • If you are adding vegetables to the casserole, you’ll need to precook those to make sure that all of the water is out of them or you’ll end up with soupy casserole. A more firm vegetable usually does best like broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts or carrots. Peas work good too.
Substitutions:
  • For Sour Cream, you can use plain yogurt or cream cheese that has been thinned down with milk.
  • Substitutions for Milk; You can substitute evaporated milk 1/2 cup mixed with 1/2 cup water, reconstituted dried milk, milk replacement of your choice (I think even coconut milk would work).
  • Onion Powder: 1 whole chopped onion
  • Garlic Powder: 1 tbs minced garlic
  • Paprika: if you don’t have it, just leave it off.
  • Potato Chips: crackers, pretzels, potato stix, fried onions, crushed croutons - think dry and crunchy.
  • Butter: butter substitute. If you have none of these, bacon grease will work as will vegetable oil, lard, olive oil, etc - you will want some kind of fat.
PRO TIP: For extra flavor, add 1 Cup Parmesan cheese to the chicken mixture. Just be careful with the salt because parmesan is extra salty. Believe me, you won’t be sorry.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 117 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 44mg2%
Potassium 115mg3%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 158IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

A VERSE TO SHARE

It is on my heart to share, God doesn’t give us a heart of fear. He says to trust in him.

While we are being quiet and trusting, we need to support each other, lift each other up and be helpful to one another. 

What does that look like? Call your neighbors, check on the elderly with a phone call, see if you can pick up mail or groceries for someone while you are out. 

Don’t spread more fear and anxiety, this is a time to come together, not a time to sew seeds of distrust. 

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

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Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 24th of March 2020

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