This chicken and rice casserole is the queen of easy weeknight meals! It has pantry staples, rotisserie chicken, loads of cheese, and is ridiculously simple to make.
If you're in search of more cozy casseroles, try my Cream of Mushroom Soup Chicken Bake next.
Why you'll love it
I know that after a busy day, all anyone really wants to do is pick up a rotisserie chicken and call it a night. But combine it with Minute Rice, cheddar cheese, frozen veggies, a couple of pantry ingredients, and it's transformed into the best chicken casserole ever. To get these delicious results while saving time and effort is a huge win for parents out there especially.
This creamy chicken and rice casserole will become a family favorite, and it's super convenient because it has protein, veggies, and a starch all in one effortless dump-and-bake meal! It's also a fantastic budget-friendly option that feeds a crowd. The whole thing is basically a combo of all my favorite flavors from chicken pot pie but so much easier and incredibly comforting.
What you'll need
- Cream of chicken soup - condensed soup is a tried and true shortcut to infuse creaminess and rich flavor in casseroles. No shame in that!
- Chicken broth - for moisture and even more savory flavor
- Instant rice - it's convenient and ensures the rice is cooked properly. I used white Minute Rice.
- Chicken - I chose rotisserie for ease, but if you have some leftover cooked chicken, that works too
- Frozen mixed vegetables - an easy way to add veggies. No need to thaw first! Mine had diced carrots, peas, corn, and green beans.
- Garlic powder and onion powder - two essentials in my pantry for aromatic flavor
- Italian seasoning - it's my go-to dried herb blend that comes all in one jar and adds tons of flavor to many recipes of mine
- Scallions - they're a mild green onion that add a pop of freshness
- Cheddar - grate a block of cheddar for best results. It'll melt and taste better than the pre-shredded kind. I like to use this grater.
- I strongly recommend using instant rice. It's parboiled, which means it's about 90% of the way done cooking already. Using it in this casserole means you won't end up with crunchy rice, and it's always soft and fluffy.
- Since ovens and casserole dishes can vary, cooking times are just a guideline. It's unlikely, but if you find the rice isn't fully cooked at the end of cooking time, simply pop it back in the oven for a little longer.
How to make this chicken and rice casserole
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large prep bowl, stir together the cream of chicken soup and chicken broth until combined. Grease a 9x13 baking dish, and then add in the chicken, rice, veggies, seasonings, scallions, and 1 cup of the cheddar.
Pour in the condensed soup mixture, and toss everything until coated. Smooth into a uniform layer. Cover tightly with foil or a lid, and bake for 45 minutes. Take it out of the oven, remove the foil, and top with the remaining cheese. Bake uncovered until hot and melty.
Can I make this casserole ahead?
- Since it involves only 10 minutes of prep, we suggest making this casserole in real time, but you could get away with prepping it up to a day ahead. Assemble it up to step 6, cover tightly with foil, and then refrigerate overnight. Cook as directed, but it may need extra time if it's cold from the fridge. Be mindful that the rice may also soften up in the fridge.
Substitutions and variations
- This recipe has only been tested with instant rice. Subbing uncooked regular rice won't work with the suggested cooking times and liquid quantity. You could try subbing pre-cooked rice (use 6 cups cooked rice) and decrease cooking time if you can't get Minute Rice.
- You could try swapping for another variety of condensed soup or mix and match, like using two cream of chicken and one cream of mushroom or celery.
- Our kitchen has not tested this, but in theory you could halve the amount and make it in an 8x8 baking dish. The cooking time may need to be adjusted, so keep an eye on it.
Leftovers and storage
- This chicken and rice casserole will keep for a few days in the fridge in an airtight container, but keep in mind the rice may dry out a bit the longer it sits, so you may need to add a splash of chicken broth to any leftovers.
- Reheat in the microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through. You can also pop it back in the oven at 350F, or heat it up on the stove over a low heat.
- I am not a fan of freezing cooked rice or cheese as the texture can change, but if this is something you regularly do, you can definitely give it a try.
What to serve with this chicken and rice casserole
- It's a complete meal on its own, but you can't go wrong with pairing it with a big salad. Dress it with my Homemade Olive Garden Dressing or Best Caesar Salad Dressing recipe.
- A comforting slice of Cheesy Garlic Bread, a dinner roll, or breadsticks are another great option to round out dinner.
If the post didn't answer your questions, talk to me in the comments below! I'd love to hear from you if you made this simple chicken and rice casserole. You can also find me on Instagram.
Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 3 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups uncooked Minute Rice see note
- 2 cups cooked chicken (I used rotisserie) shredded/chopped
- 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup scallions chopped
- 3 cups grated cheddar divided
- Preheat your own to 375F and move the rack to the middle position.
- Add the cream of chicken soup and chicken broth to a bowl and stir together until combined.
- Grease a 9x13 casserole dish (I use Pam cooking spray).
- To the casserole dish, add the rice, chicken, veggies, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, pepper, scallions, and one cup of the cheddar.
- Pour the soup/broth mixture into the casserole dish, toss until everything is coated thoroughly, and smooth in an even layer.
- Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil or the lid it came with (important so the rice cooks properly!). Bake for 45 minutes.
- Take the casserole dish out of the oven, carefully remove the foil, and top with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven and bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted and the rice is soft and creamy.
- I strongly recommend using instant rice as this has not been tested with any other variety. Other kinds will likely need longer to cook and more liquid, so tweak the recipe at your own discretion.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Salt and Lavender recipes NEVER disappoint! I’ve loved every single thing I’ve made, including this! Thank you for bring a dependable recipe resource. 🖤🖤🖤
Aww thank you so much!! 🙂 I appreciate your 5-star review!
Hi! I made this recipe for the first time tonight. Thank you so much for creating it! The flavor was delicious, but I must have gone wrong somewhere because it turned out really gloopy/watery/saucy. I wonder if I should have added more rice to soak up the stock and condensed soup? Just wondering if you have any advice! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes with the world! —Christina 🙂
Hi Christina!! Thank you for your kind comment. It's refreshing to not be yelled at when a recipe doesn't quite work out for a reader. 🙂 Let's see... just throwing a few things out here. Did you use Minute Rice or something else? Is there a chance you maybe used less rice than the recipe called for? It is definitely quite creamy/a lot of sauce, but I did not find it watery. You just added the 1 cup of broth and not additional water to the canned soups, correct? Was the rice fully cooked?
BEVERLY CROWN says
Love this dish!
Thank you so much, Beverly!!
J. Gordon says
Tonight marks my second time making this in 2 months. After having it the first time, my husband remarked it was “the best thing he’s had in a long time,” “his favorite type of meal,” and “his new favorite dinner.” Delicious comfort food and a recipe that reliably turns out - no mods needed. Thanks for another great one!
I love that!! 😀 Thank you!
Are the scallions for garnish?
Step 4... you stir them right into the casserole. Hope you enjoy it, Michelle! 🙂
Made this for the fam tonight and it was a SMASH hit. I cooked chicken thighs in the air fryer while the rice cooked and added them at the last 15 minutes with the remaining cheese. This recipe did not disappoint, was super easy to make and will now become a part of the cozy meal roster! Thank you so much for sharing this delish recipe!
That's fantastic!! I'm so glad it was a hit! 🙂 Thanks for your review!