Chicken and Rice Casserole

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One of my most cherished memories from childhood involves weekend dinners at my Aunt Clara’s house. Every Sunday, the aroma of her special chicken and rice casserole would waft through the air, enticing neighbors and kids playing outside to wish they had a dinner invitation. I remember sneaking into the kitchen, trying to steal a bite, only to be lovingly shooed away until dinner was served.

During our family gatherings, this dish became the star of the show. Even the pickiest eaters couldn’t resist digging into the creamy, buttery goodness. It was during these moments that Aunt Clara would share stories about how this recipe had been passed down from our great-grandmother. Today, I’m thrilled to share this treasured family recipe with you.

How to Prepare Hearty Chicken and Rice Casserole

Ingredient for Hearty Chicken and Rice Casserole

  • Diced Chicken: About 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, aiming for uniform 1-inch pieces.
  • Water: Essential for the rice to soak up and cook.
  • Instant White Rice: The main component giving the casserole its structure.
  • Creamy Soup Trio: Cream of chicken, cream of celery, and cream of mushroom. These give the dish its rich, creamy flavor.
  • Seasonings: Simple salt and black pepper for a universal appeal.
  • Butter: A touch of buttery goodness, reminiscent of classic Southern comfort.

Directions for Hearty Chicken and Rice Casserole

  1. Prepare your ingredients, ensuring everything is at hand.
  2. Set your oven to preheat at 400 degrees F and lightly oil a casserole dish.
  3. In your dish, combine chicken, water, rice, and the three creamy soups. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
  4. Strategically place butter pats over the mixture for an even melt.
  5. Allow it to bake in the oven until the rice softens and the chicken is fully cooked. This should take between 60 to 75 minutes.
  6. Once baked, allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy the warmth!

Can I add other ingredients?

Indeed! This recipe is versatile. Consider adding shredded rotisserie chicken for ease, fresh or frozen broccoli for a healthy twist, or even shredded cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese for extra creaminess and flavor.

How long can I store this casserole in the refrigerator?

Once cooked, you can keep the casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Always ensure to reheat thoroughly, especially the rice, before consuming.

Can I freeze this casserole for later?

Yes, this dish freezes wonderfully. If you intend to freeze, prepare it in an aluminum dish. Once cooled, wrap securely and freeze. It can last up to three months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat well before serving.

What’s the best way to reheat the casserole?

Add a few droplets of water to maintain rice moisture. Reheat either in the oven or microwave until it reaches a minimum temperature of 165 degrees F. Always use a food thermometer for accuracy.

Can I make this dish less buttery?

While the butter adds to its rich flavor, you can adjust the amount to your liking. The recipe is forgiving and will still be delicious with less butter.

What’s the best rice to use?

Instant white rice is recommended for this recipe due to its quick cooking properties. However, if you’re experimenting, ensure you adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 3 chicken breasts cut into cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups instant white rice
  • 1 10 3/4 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 10 3/4 ounce can cream of celery soup
  • 1 10 3/4 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup butter sliced into pats


  • Gather all ingredients.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F . Grease sides and bottom of a casserole dish.
  • Stir chicken, water, rice, cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, and cream of mushroom soup together in the prepared casserole dish; season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange butter evenly over the top of the chicken mixture.
  • Bake in preheated oven until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, 1 hour to 75 minutes. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Keyword Chicken, rice

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