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Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole

This creamy chicken and rice casserole is the perfect comfort food. Chicken, rice and vegetables are combined with a creamy sauce, topped with buttery, crunchy breadcrumbs and baked until golden and bubbly.

 

It’s an easy, affordable dish that’s great for Sunday dinner, you may even have some leftovers for lunch…maybe. This is one dinner your family will ask for again.

 

If you want more easy casserole recipes, try this southwestern pasta, baked spaghetti or this delicious baked ziti made with Italian sausage.

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless, poached
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2-3 Sprigs of Thyme
  • ½ teaspoon Salt, plus a pinch
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 8-10 ounces Frozen Mixed Vegetables, cooked to package directions (use lowest suggested time on the package, or 1 minute less)
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • ⅓ cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 ounces Prepared Cheese (like Velveeta)
  • You will also need
  • Casserole Dish, we used 11”x7”x2” (2.3 quart casserole) don’t use anything smaller. We were right to the top with when all the ingredients were added.
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Mesh Strainer
  • Instant Read Thermometer

The ingredients for the creamy chicken and rice displayed on a wood cutting board.

 

Suggested order of preparation

This recipe has multiple components that need to be cooked separately and come together at the end. Start the white rice and set the chicken to poach at the same time. They take roughly the same amount of time to cook. Then prepare the breadcrumb topping, the sauce, and the frozen vegetables while the chicken and rice cook.

 

There’s not a lot of prep work involved with this dish. We’re basically just going to measure out the ingredients and open a couple of cans. However, we are going to use a bunch of pots and pans. So, sadly, the time we save on prep we’ll use on dishes.

 

Poach the chicken breast

Place the chicken in a medium saucepan that’s large enough that the chicken breast pieces fit side by side without overlapping. Cover the chicken with the chicken broth. Add the thyme and a pinch of salt.

 

Start the chicken on high, as soon as the liquid starts to boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the chicken is at least 165°F at its thickest part. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure. If it’s not up to temperature cook another 5 minutes and check again.

 

Remove the chicken breast from poaching liquid and set it on a cutting board to cool. Don’t discard the cooking liquid. We need it for the sauce.

 

Strain the cooking liquid using a mesh strainer. That’s some flavorful, concentrated chicken broth goodness and we’re going to use it in the creamy sauce.

 

When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, cut it into bite-sized cubes. For more information on poaching, check out this post all about poaching chicken breasts. It’s a fantastic cooking method!

 

Cook the white rice

Bring the water to a boil over high heat. When the water is boiling vigorously, add the rice and ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir well and lower the heat to medium.

 

Boil the rice, uncovered, until most of the water has cooked out and you can see the rice on the surface. This will take approximately 5-7 minutes. Stir the rice one last time, lower the heat to low and cover.

 

Cook the rice for about 25 minutes or until it’s done. Don’t stir the rice during the cooking time to prevent it from getting gummy. Uncover the rice and fluff with a fork. Take the pan off the heat and reserve until we’re ready to build the casserole.

 

Cook the mixed vegetables

Cook the mixed vegetables to package directions, but use the lowest suggested cooking time – or less. We did 1 minute less than the lowest suggested time.

 

We don’t want to overcook the vegetables so they hold their shape and texture in the casserole. Use a colander to drain completely.

 

Make the breadcrumb topping

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the breadcrumbs. Stir until the breadcrumbs are completely moistened with the butter. Take the skillet off the heat.

 

Make the creamy sauce

Heat the cream of chicken soup, reserved chicken broth (from poaching the chicken) and the cheese in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir the sauce with a whisk or fork until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.

 

Before you build the casserole, preheat the oven to 375°F

 

Build the casserole

Add the rice, chicken, mixed veggies and the creamy sauce to an oven-safe casserole dish or baking pan.

A collage of four pictures showing how to build the chicken and rice casserole.

 

Stir gently to combine the ingredients well. Keep stirring and tossing until everything is coated with the creamy sauce.

The cooked ingredients in a white casserole dish being stirred with a red spatula.

 

Sprinkle the top of the chicken and rice with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle them lightly, don’t pack them down.

Breadcrumbs being sprinkled on top of the casserole dish.

 

Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet, just in case it bubbles over. Cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

 

Uncover and cook another 10-15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are a nice golden color and the chicken and rice casserole is bubbly on the edges.

The chicken and rice casserole after baking.

 

Let the casserole rest for a few minutes before serving.

 

You may also like:

Chicken Egg Noodle Soup

Lasagna Soup

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Sausage Gravy

Linguine with Chicken and Tomatoes

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

 

The finished dish served on a white plate with a linen napkin.
Print Recipe
4.34 from 3 votes

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole

This creamy chicken and rice casserole is the perfect comfort food. Chicken, rice and vegetables are combined with a creamy sauce, topped with buttery, crunchy breadcrumbs and baked until golden and bubbly.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: casseroles, chicken and rice
Servings: 6
Calories: 396kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Chicken Breast boneless, skinless, poached
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2-3 Sprigs of Thyme
  • ½ teaspoon Salt, plus a pinch
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 8-10 ounces Frozen Mixed Vegetables cooked to package directions (use lowest cooking time)
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 ounces Prepared Cheese like Velveeta

Instructions

Poach the chicken breast

  • Place the chicken in a medium saucepan, large enough so that the chicken breast pieces fit side by side without overlapping. Cover the chicken with the chicken broth. Add the thyme and a pinch of salt.
  • Start the chicken on high, as soon as the liquid starts to boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Make sure the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken breast is at least 165°F, if it’s not, cook another 5 minutes and check again. Remove the chicken breast from poaching liquid and set it on a cutting board to cool.
  • Strain the cooking liquid using a mesh strainer and reserve it for the creamy sauce.
  • When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, cut it into bite-sized cubes.

Cook the white rice

  • Bring the water to a boil over high heat. When the water is boiling vigorously, add the rice and ½ teaspoon of salt, stir.
  • Lower the heat to medium and boil, uncovered, until most of the water has cooked out and you can see the rice on the surface, approximately 5-7 minutes. Stir the rice, lower the heat to low and cover.
  • Cook the rice on low for about 25 minutes or until done.
  •  Uncover the rice, fluff with a fork.

Cook the mixed vegetables

  • Cook the mixed vegetables to package directions and drain thoroughly. Use the lowest cooking time suggested, or less. We did one minute less than the package instructions. Don’t overcook the vegetables so they hold their shape and texture in the casserole.

Make the breadcrumb topping

  • Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the breadcrumbs. Stir, until the breadcrumbs are completely moistened with the butter. Remove from the skillet from the heat.

Make the creamy sauce

  • Heat the cream of chicken soup, reserved chicken broth (from poaching the chicken) and the cheese in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir the sauce with a whisk or fork until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.

Build the creamy chicken and rice casserole

  • Before you build the casserole, preheat the oven to 375°F
  • Add the rice, chicken, mixed vegetables and the creamy sauce to a large, oven-safe casserole dish or baking pan. Gently stir to combine well.
  • Top with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle them lightly over the top, don’t pack them down.
  • Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet, just in case it bubbles over. Cover the casserole dish loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. 
  • Uncover and cook another 10-15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are a nice golden color and the edges are bubbly.
  • Let the casserole rest for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

Suggested order of preparation: This recipe has multiple components that need to be cooked separately and come together at the end. Start with poaching the chicken and cooking the rice first (they take roughly the same amount of time). While the chicken and rice are cooking, prepare the breadcrumb topping, the frozen vegetables and the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1487mg | Potassium: 569mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2819IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.


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