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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.
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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.
Ingredients in Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- Uncooked rice – not Minute Rice
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Cream of chicken soup – undiluted
- Lipton onion soup mix
- 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, try 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 soup 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.
Yes, Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Celery both taste great in this recipe.
Yes, chicken broth will add even more flavor. You can also use a combination of water and chicken broth.
No. That is one of the great things about this recipe! The chicken cooks along with the rice.
Read next:35+ Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas
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:
- Nuts About Berries Salad
- Creamy Green Pea Salad with Bacon
- Chopped Broccoli Salad
- Oven Roasted Vegetables
- Oven Roasted Green Beans
- How to Cook Frozen Peas (the RIGHT way)
How to Make Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 2 cups uncooked rice not Minute Rice
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 (10.5 oz) cans cream of chicken soup undiluted
- 3 cups water
- 1 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Layer rice, 1 cup shredded cheese, salt, and pepper in pan.
- Place chicken breasts on top. Daub 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 hour.
- Remove from oven, and stir excess sauce into the rice. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese.
- The USDA recommends keeping leftover cooked chicken for a maximum of four days.
- After cooking and consuming your tender chicken, take your leftovers from your baking dish or your casserole dish and place in an airtight container where it can remain safely for up to four days in the fridge. Enjoy!
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also, i always dice up my chicken into pieces so it’s easier to mix and serve
i had to come back later and comment because we make this one a week. it’s a staple in our menu rotation because EVERYBODY loves it, including a 2yo and 6yo. i did make some alterations: 3 cups of chicken bone broth instead of water; 2 cups of cheese (1 in casserole, 1 under and on top of topping keep reading); 2 10.5oz cans of Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup instead of cream of chicken (also used cream of broccoli once and that was good too, kids weren’t fans though lol); always rinse the rice before use; use salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder as seasoning; and i use a crunchy topping: 2 sleeves of ritz crackers + 1 stick of unsalted butter. i put the casserole in for 45 minutes. when the timer goes off i leave it in the oven while prepping the topping. crush the crackers in a gallon ziploc bag. cut the butter into pieces and melt in the microwave. pour melted butter over the crackers and mix them up. take casserole out and mix very well. half a cup of cheese on the casserole, spread the topping over the top evenly, then sprinkle the remaining half cup of cheese on the topping. put back in for 20 minutes. it’s perfect every time
I doubled the recipe (using 2 casserole dishes) after an hour cooking it’s very watery. I double checked recipe and I followed it exactly. Any one else have this problem?
When you cook two pans in the oven instead of one, sometimes they don’t heat as well. That could be the issue. Try cooking them one at a time if you can!
I used cheddar soup mix in this, since that’s all I had on hand.. was perfect! My husband loved it!
I made this recipe last week and it was great. I want to make it again but with linguine noodles. Can I cook it the same way with pasta? Thanks!
We haven’t tried cooking it with pasta before, so I’m not sure whether or not it will work.
What do you mean “stir excess sauce into rice”? What “excess” sauce? How do you stir halved chicken breasts? Wouldn’t it be better to cut the chicken into bite sized chunks?
You could cut the chicken up into pieces if you’d like. As far as the excess sauce, it just the sauce that is on the top of the rice, you stir it into the rice.
Did anyone ever try to make this in the crockpot? How long and high or low?
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.
That sounds amazing! I love how you made it your own. We will have to try it that way too.
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
This was delicious 😋 I used the vegetable Lipton soup package instead…it was absolutely wonderful!!!!
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.
I love this
If I were to cut this recipe in half, would the cooking time still be 1 hour? Thank you
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.
Most likely close to the same time.
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!
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
easy and delicious meal that everyone loves
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 🤤
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!!
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!
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.
I’m not sure exactly how many pounds we use, but maybe try three of your chicken breasts cut in half?
Can I use chicken thighs instead of breast?
If I added 2 more cups of rice how much longer should I leave in oven
I’m not sure since I haven’t tried it that way before. Make sure you add extra liquid as well!
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?
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!
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.
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!
Hello, you can also use ranch seasoning or even Italian seasoning. I didn’t have have the onion seasoning on hand, and used hidden valley ranch for the seasoning.
I use Italian seasoning instead of soup mix!
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