Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

4.75 from 20 votes
141 Comments

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This Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole is made with rice, chicken breasts, cheddar cheese, cream of chicken soup, water, and seasonings. You will love this easy and delicious comfort food meal.

Chicken and rice casserole on a plate with salad

Chicken and Rice Casserole


Casseroles are a great solution for dinner. Most casseroles are simple to make and use ingredients you have on hand. Once the casserole is in the oven, you have time to make a side dish and set the table before it’s time to eat.

This Chicken and Rice Casserole has been in our family for years. Whenever I serve it to my family, I am reminded of my Grandma Edwards. She made this dish all the time. It was always a favorite of ours when we went to her home for meals. However, she often served it with cut up chicken pieces as opposed to boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Isn’t it interesting that food can take you back to a time and place? One bite of this casserole and I am a 7-year old girl sitting with my parents and siblings around my Grandma’s kitchen table eating delicious food, enjoying the conversation, and wondering what delightful dessert was awaiting us. I love food memories!

Not only does this chicken and rice casserole taste good, the aroma that fills the house while it is cooking will have everyone asking when dinner will be ready. This is definitely a dish I would label as comfort food. The rice mixture is warm and creamy and the chicken always turns out perfectly moist, never dry.

chicken and rice casserole on a plate with a fork next to it and a small bowl of cheese

Recipe Variations

  • Small cut-up pieces of broccoli can be added.
  • Mushrooms, onions, and/or green peppers can also be added.
  • If you are not a fan of using “cream of” soups from a can, our recipe for Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute. It is creamy and flavorful without the modified food starch and monosodium glutamate.
  • You don’t necessarily need to stick to cream of chicken soup. Cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup also taste great in this casserole.
  • You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts for your chicken and rice casserole.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole Frequently Asked Questions

As you can see from the number of comments below, this has been a very popular and loved recipe by our readers. To save you some time going through the comments, here are some quick answers to some of the commonly asked questions about our Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole.

Can I use other “Cream of Soups” other than Cream of Chicken?

Yes, Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Celery both taste great in this recipe.

Can I use chicken broth instead of water?

Yes, chicken broth will add even more flavor. You can also use a combination of water and chicken broth.

Do I cook the chicken before adding it to the casserole?

No. That is one of the great things about this recipe! The chicken cooks along with the rice.

Cheesy chicken and rice casserole in a glass baking dish

What to Serve with this Casserole

I prefer to serve this Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole with cooked vegetables on the side in the winter months, and in the summer months I serve it with a large garden salad. Try some of these delicious recipes that go perfectly with this casserole:

chicken and rice casserole on a plate with a fork next to it and a small bowl of cheese

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

4.75 from 20 votes
This Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole is an easy chicken casserole recipe for a busy day. Only a few minutes of prep work and the oven does the rest!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Layer rice, 1 cup cheese, salt ,and pepper in pan.
    Rice and cheese in a pan.
  • Place chicken breasts on top. Dob rounded teaspoons of cream of chicken soup over the chicken breasts and rice. Pour water on top and sprinkle with onion soup mix.
    Layering ingredients in a pan for chicken casserole.
  • Bake uncovered for 1 hour. 
    Chicken and Rice casserole ready to bake
  • Remove from oven, and stir excess sauce into the rice. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese.
    Baked cheesy chicken and rice in a pan

Video

Notes

*If using brown rice, add 15 minutes to baking time.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 27gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 723mgPotassium: 375mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 375IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 283mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My family loved this recipe! I added organic broccoli, used reduced sodium chicken broth instead of water, I also used 2 packets of onion soup mix.

    1. That sounds amazing! I love how you made it your own. We will have to try it that way too.

  2. Just made this casserole it was simple and easy to follow your directions I did add chicken broth instead of water and added a can of mushrooms to give it a little more texture and I used onion and mushroom Lipton soup mix. The family absolutely loves this and I will be making it again

  3. 5 stars
    This was delicious 😋 I used the vegetable Lipton soup package instead…it was absolutely wonderful!!!!

  4. 5 stars
    This turned out fantastic! Was cold here today so I thought I’d do this for husband even tho I’m not a casserole person.
    I halved it, but it still needed the full hour for the rice. Brought it out at 45 min and added shaved parm. And didn’t have shredded cheddar so used slices of cheddar on bottom after rice. Used chic tenderloins and they were very tender. Definitely a keeper! The soup and onion soup mix make it when you want something easy.

    1. The cooking time would still be close to an hour for the rice to fully cook. I would check it after 45-50 minutes and see if the rice is done.

  5. 5 stars
    This is in the oven right now and it smells amazing! I used frozen diced chicken breasts (that I mostly thawed), and I only had one can of cream of mushroom and a can french onion, so we’re going to use those. I mixed it all together in the pan (not on purpose initially, then I had to even it out) and we’ll see how it goes, but I’m very optimistic. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  6. Right, so I have to be honest here and state that this is not the sort of meal I’d normally be making for myself since I don’t do rice so much nowadays. However, as I needed a special diet in preparation for a procedure I found this one via Google. Made using cream of mushroom soup, its actually pretty good. Now I’m wondering if there’s a way to adjust it to use vegetable rice

    1. Made this, and absolutely love love love it, made again tonight, I like to use a mixture of brown and white rices, parboiling the brown for about ten minutes before assembling the rest of the casserole 🤤

  7. 5 stars
    I just made a comment while this was in the oven, and when it was done after cooking another thirty minutes it was just about perfect….just a very few somewhat crunchy grains of rice. We all thought it was quite good, and I was pleased that the chicken wasn’t dried out….it was moist and husband said it was just how he liked it. I’ll make it again, and I’ll bake it for one and a half hours and either add a little more water in the beginning, or add a small amount halfway through cooking like I did tonight. A great recipe…glad I tried it!!

  8. 5 stars
    This was delicious and easy to make! I used chicken broth instead of water and added a little more cheese then recommended. I will definitely be making this again! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. How many lbs. of chicken breasts would you use? The chicken breasts I buy are huge, often weighing 12 oz. or more, and six of them would be a LOT of chicken.

      1. I’m not sure exactly how many pounds we use, but maybe try three of your chicken breasts cut in half?

  9. I want to cook this today but don’t have any Lipton onion soup mix! Do you have suggestions for a substitute? Or can I just leave it out?

    1. The onion soup mix flavors a lot of the dish so I would substitute some spices like onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and celery seed if you have it!

    2. I know this comment was made a long time ago, but dried minced onion and beef Bullion cubes with a touch of paprika is a great substitute for the onion soup.

      1. Heather, it may have been from a long time ago, but I am just now seeing it and scanning comments for a soup substitute. Thank you!!! Your answer was in great timing for me. Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, Holiday Season!

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