Needing something fresh and new to shake up your weekly meal plan? We have all been there. Whether you are hosting a crowd or just getting dinner on the table for your family, you will love this Chicken and Rice Casserole so much, that you will literally find yourself looking forward to the leftovers!
It's the absolute perfect Southern comfort food full of juicy bites of tender chicken and white rice coated in a creamy, savory sauce. It's full of flavor and kids go crazy for that cheesy topping. And as for the homemade cream of mushroom soup? No can could possibly compare.
This recipe has been passed down through the generations and you will soon get why. Any recipe this good is worth sharing and preserving. And on the subject of delicious recipes to share, be sure you bookmark our crockpot chicken legs recipe to try when you run out of casserole leftovers!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE
The first thing you want to do is get your oven preheating to 375°F, and you'll also want to have ready a greased 9 x 13" baking dish. Now, you'll move it on over to the stovetop!
To cut back on dishes, you'll want to use either a large skillet or a Dutch oven to make the sauce, but if it's large enough, you can also use it as a vessel to mix all of your ingredients before sending the whole shebang to the casserole dish. If you do not have a skillet large enough to house all of the sauce, vegetables, chicken, and rice, be sure to have a large mixing bowl on standby.
As mentioned above, you'll find no cans of cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom here. There just really is no excuse when it comes to canned "cream ofs" versus homemade ones.
The flavors absolutely do not compare. Homemade cream of mushroom is bursting with the flavors of real ingredients you can find at your local grocery store and can actually pronounce the names of.
Not only is the flavor so much better but the texture is actually creamy, rather than jello-y. Plus, when you make it yourself you don't have to worry about all of those added preservatives and yucky ingredients.
And as if you needed another reason to convert, going the homemade route is seriously so easy. You will barely be adding anything to your prep time by making it yourself. If you've ever made our beloved green bean casserole, this recipe is very similar to the cream of mushroom we use for that recipe as well!
To kick off the sauce for your Chicken and Rice Casserole, add butter to a large skillet over medium heat and allow it to melt. As soon as the butter is melted (and we mean as soon as the butter has melted – you don't want it to darken or burn), add the diced onion and mushroom to the pan. Sauté and stir the onion and mushrooms for about 5 to 7 minutes until they are cooked and softened.
Once the onions and the mushrooms are ready, sprinkle over the flour. The flour serves as the thickener for your sauce! Stir the flour to coat the vegetables, and then you'll begin adding in your chicken broth one big splash at a time. Stir after each addition until the broth appears smooth, and as soon as all of the broth has been incorporated, you can stream in all of the half and half.
At this point, you'll also add your seasoning, which is just a simple mix of kosher salt and pepper. Allow this mixture to come to a simmer, and reduce the heat as necessary to maintain said simmer. After about six minutes of bubbling and stirring occasionally, this mixture should have slightly thickened, and that's your sauce!
Note, this creamy sauce is going to flavor eight servings worth of food so it will taste a little salty at first, but once the chicken and rice go in, it will be just right!
To turn this into a cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole, you will need fresh grated mild cheddar cheese (adds great flavor) as well as freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese (the perfect melting cheese). Freshly grated cheese is always best as it will have both better texture and flavor!
Add in half of the shredded cheddar cheese and half of the grated Monterey Jack and stir until melted. Make sure you only add half of the cheese! You'll need the remaining half to top off your casserole.
Now, you'll add 2 to 2 ½ cups of cooked and shredded chicken. As far as the chicken goes, you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts baked as we do in our perfectly baked chicken recipe, use any leftover chicken you may have, or buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces, and it's ready for the casserole!
You will also need about 2 ½ to 3 cups of cooked white rice. The one thing you want to be sure of is that you don't overcook it! The rice will undergo additional time under heat, which means it will come out mushy if it is already overcooked before it goes into the oven. We prefer white rice for this casserole recipe, but if you're looking to make it a bit healthier, feel free to substitute cooked brown rice.
Mix the rice and chicken in with the sauce, and transfer everything to the prepared baking dish. Top off the casserole with the remaining shredded cheese and transfer to the preheated oven to bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. As soon as the cheese is melted, your casserole is ready! Pull it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Then, all that's left is to serve and enjoy your homemade Chicken and Rice Casserole!
6 MORE CASSEROLES YOU’LL LOVE
- Beef Enchilada Casserole
- Chicken Bacon Ranch
- Turkey Casserole
- Chicken Spaghetti
- Cowboy Casserole
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
If you're looking for a hearty meal that is quick to make and full of Southern charm, look no further than this Chicken and Rice Casserole.
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms wiped cleaned, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups unsalted chicken broth
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
- ¾ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 ½ cups fresh grated Mild Cheddar cheese, separated
- 1 cup fresh grated Monterey Jack cheese, separated
- 2-2 ½ cups cooked and shredded chicken
- 2 ½-3 cups cooked white rice
Preheat the oven to 375°F and have ready a greased 9x13 casserole dish.
Add butter to a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat and allow to melt. Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan and sauté 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to coat. Add the chicken broth a splash at a time, whisking after each addition, until the mixture resembles pudding. Stream in the half and half. Stir to combine and allow to simmer and slightly thicken about 6 minutes. The sauce will taste salty.
Remove from the heat and stir in half of the Monterey Jack and half of the Cheddar, along with the salt and pepper. Add the shredded chicken and cooked rice and stir to mix. Transfer the contents to the casserole dish.
Top with remaining cheese, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.