This simple and easy Chicken Rice Casserole makes an elegant and tasty dinner. Made with onions, carrots, basmati rice, and chicken, you won't believe how delicious this meal is!
If you are looking for a simple, yet delicious and filling chicken dinner, this Chicken Rice Casserole is just what you need. It is made with simple ingredients and no fuss. While the casserole is in the oven, you can make a quick salad and set the table.
While most recipes for Chicken Rice Casserole use cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup, I decided to avoid these canned soups and creamy sauce and make a lighter and easier version of chicken casserole. This great recipe instantly became a family favorite and I cannot wait to share it with your whole family!
Let’s just take a moment and discuss the main ingredients.
Chicken Rice Casserole video tutorial
About the chicken
I recommend using boneless chicken thighs in this Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe. Dark chicken meat is much more tender and succulent, and that is why it works the best here. That said, you can use skinless chicken breasts if that’s what you have on hand.
About the rice
Basmati rice is the best rice to use for Chicken Rice Casserole. It cooks fast and is not starchy, so you’ll end up with perfectly flaky rice. I don’t suggest using any other kind of rice in this recipe. The good news is that Basmati rice is sold in almost every grocery store, so it’s not hard to find. Of course, you can buy Basmati Rice from Amazon, and have it delivered right to your door.
What you'll need
- Chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the most juicy and tender chicken pieces in your casserole.
- Basmati rice. While Basmati is best for this recipe, Jasmine rice would work too (you might need to adjust liquid to rice ratio).
- Olive oil. Or avocado oil.
- Onion. Yellow or white.
- Carrots. Add sweetness and beautiful color.
- Chicken broth. Or veggie broth.
- Favorite chicken seasoning. Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning, Taco Seasoning, Old Bay Seasoning, Italian seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder, are all great options.
- Salt & black pepper.
- Fresh herbs. Use fresh parsley, dill, or cilantro to garnish this dish.
How to make Chicken Rice Casserole
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. In the meantime, in a large skillet, sauté the chopped onion with olive oil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another 3 minutes.
2. Add the chicken and season it with salt, pepper, and your favorite chicken seasoning (Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning, Taco Seasoning, Old Bay Seasoning, etc.). Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes.
3. Transfer the chicken to a medium casserole dish and add the rice and chicken broth. Stir well.
4. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. When the dish is ready, fluff it with a fork and serve.
- Add more veggies. Frozen green peas make a wonderful addition to this casserole dish. Other great veggies to add are diced bell pepper, chopped broccoli florets, chopped green beans, frozen mixed vegetables, or diced celery.
- Top it with cheese. You can add some cheddar cheese (or Parmesan cheese) when the dish is ready, and return it to the oven for another few minutes, allowing the cheese to melt.
- Sub for brown rice. You can use brown Basmati rice instead of white. Please, refer to the package instructions to check if rice:liquid ratio or cooking time needs to be adjusted.
- Use leftover chicken. Yes, you can use your leftover chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken in this recipe. Just reduce the cooking time in Step 3 to 1-2 minutes.
- Add turmeric. If you want to make sure you have that beautiful yellow color, add about ¼ tsp. of turmeric in Step 4. I didn't add any because my chicken broth was quite yellow, but adding turmeric is a great idea.
What to serve this casserole with
- Toppings. Add a spoonful of sour cream or Salsa Roja and enjoy!
- Salad. Level up a salad with these shrimp, like this Wedge Salad, Refreshing Cucumber Salad, Iceberg Lettuce Salad, Jennifer Aniston Salad, or Avocado Tomato Salad.
- Vegetables. For a low-carb dinner, serve them alongside some Fajita Veggies, Steamed Asparagus, Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Steamed Broccoli Rabe, or Easy Baked Okra.
Chicken Rice Casserole FAQs:
- How long will it stay in the fridge? Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Can I freeze it? Yes. Just place the tightly covered casserole dish (lid or foil) in the freezer once it cools down. When ready to reheat, warm it in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350°F.
- Can I use different rice? I strongly suggest using Basmati Rice in this recipe. However, you may try substituting for different long grain rice.
So there you have it, your delicious chicken and rice casserole is ready. This pure comfort food will please even the picky eaters. While my recipe is not old-fashioned recipe that uses cream of soup, I think you will enjoy this variation even more.
Please, refer to the recipe card below for the nutrition information and you can find printable recipe there. Leave me a comment or a star rating, I can't wait for your feedback!
More easy recipes to try:
Chicken Rice Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 450 °F. In the meantime, in a large skillet, sauté the chopped onion with olive oil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another 3 minutes.3 tbsp. Olive oil, 1 medium Onion, diced, 2 medium Carrots, shredded
- Add the chicken and season it with salt, pepper, and your favorite chicken seasoning (Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning, Taco Seasoning, Old Bay Seasoning, etc.). Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes.1 lb. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 1 tsp. Favorite Chicken Seasoning*, 1 tsp. Salt and pepper, to taste**, ¼ tsp. turmeric, optional (for color)***
- Transfer the chicken to a medium casserole dish and add the rice and chicken broth. Stir well.1 cup Basmati rice, 2 cups Chicken broth
- Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 40 minutes.