Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole being served from a light colored casserole dish
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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.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword casseroles, chicken and rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 392kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Chicken Breast boneless, skinless, poached
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2-3 Sprigs of Thyme
  • ½ tsp. plus a pinch of Salt or to taste
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 8 oz. Frozen Mixed Vegetables cooked to package directions (use lowest time given)
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 2 cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup 10 oz. each
  • 2 oz. Prepared Cheese like Velveeta, cubed

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 on a cutting board to cool.
  • Strain the cooking liquid using a fine sieve and set aside. We’re going to use it in the creamy sauce.
  • When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred it, or cut 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 salt (about a ½ tsp. or to taste), 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 until done.
  •  Uncover the rice, fluff with a fork and set aside.

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 less minute than the package instructions. Don’t overcook the vegetables so they hold their shape and texture in the casserole.

Make the breadcrumb topping

  • Melt 2 tbsp. 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. Remove 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 frequently. When the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly, remove from the heat.

Build the creamy chicken and rice casserole

  • In a large, oven-safe casserole dish or baking pan add the rice, chicken, mixed veggies and the creamy sauce. 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 chicken and rice casserole is bubbly.
  • Let the casserole rest for 20 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 and the frozen vegetables and set those aside. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred or cut it into bite-sized pieces. Finally, make the creamy sauce and build the casserole.

Nutrition

Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1449mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2345IU | Vitamin C: 10.9mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 2.4mg