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!
Not only does this 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 is warm and creamy and the chicken always turns out perfectly moist, never dry.
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. 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!
There are some variations to this Chicken and Rice Casserole if you would like to add vegetables to it. Small cut-up pieces of broccoli can be added. Mushrooms, onions, and/or green peppers can also be added. I personally prefer to serve the casserole with cooked vegetables on the side in the winter months, and in the summer months I serve it with a large garden salad.
If you are not a fan of using “cream of” soups from a can, our Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute works great in this recipe. It is just as creamy and flavorful without the Modified Food Starch and Monosodium Glutamate (and all of the other mystery ingredients). You also don’t necessarily need to stick to a Cream of Chicken Soup. Cream of Mushroom Soup and Cream of Celery Soup also taste great in this casserole, or a combination.
How to Make Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
- Layer rice, 1 cup cheese, salt ,and pepper in 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.
Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, checking water after 1 hour.
If water is absorbed before chicken and rice are completely cooked, you can add an additional 1/2 c. to keep moist.
- Remove from oven, and stir excess sauce into the rice. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
*If using brown rice, add 15 minutes to baking time.
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole Frequently Asked Questions:
As you can see from the number or 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 that have been asked about this recipe:
- Can I use other “Cream of Soups” other than Cream of Chicken? Yes, Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Celery both taste great, or you can use one of each.
- Can I use chicken broth instead of water? Yes, chicken broth will add even more flavor. You can also use a combination of both
- Do I cook the chicken before adding it to the casserole? No, the chicken is uncooked. That’s one of the great things about this recipe! The chicken cooks with the rice. Frozen chicken breasts can also be used if they are the packaged frozen breasts purchased at the store that thaw quickly.