This chicken and rice casserole is packed with rice, cheese, chicken and lots of vegetables. It is comfort food at it’s best and the kids LOVE it. We make this dinner on repeat with some roasted vegetables and our favorite cookies for dessert!
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Chicken and Rice Casserole
This chicken and rice casserole has been a family favorite recipe for years! I am having a blast sharing some of my favorite Picky Palate recipes this summer. This one is from September 2010 and is a reader favorite. It is one of my most pinned Picky Palate recipes and works great as a freezer meal! Note, you can used steamed white rice in place of the wild rice. Works just fine!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This is comfort food in a casserole!
- Hearty meal for the whole family.
- Makes great leftovers and freezes great for another meal later.
What’s Needed For Chicken and Rice Casserole
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the casserole. See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full instructions.
- extra virgin olive oil– The olive oil is used to saute the vegetables.
- onion– White onion works great. Make sure it’s finely chopped.
- celery– Wash, dry and finely chop the celery.
- carrots– Peel and dice carrots the same size as celery and onion so they cook the same time.
- garlic– Mince the garlic before adding to pan.
- pre-cooked chicken– Rotisserie chicken works great.
- cooked white rice– Use any of your favorite rice for the recipe. I usually use Basmati or Jasmine.
- cooked wild rice blend– If you can’t fine wild rice, substitute for more white rice or you could use a brown rice.
- kosher salt- Kosher salt is a coarse salt.
- freshly cracked black pepper– For best tasting results use freshly cracked black pepper.
- garlic salt– Lawry’s is my favorite brand of garlic salt.
- salted butter– I use salted butter for most of my recipes, unsalted is just fine as well.
- all-purpose flour– Flour is used to make the homemade cheese sauce.
- chicken broth– Look for reduced sodium chicken broth.
- shredded cheese– Mild cheddar cheese works great.
How To Make Chicken Rice Casserole
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Saute Vegetables. Heat oil into a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add Broth and Seasonings. Stir in chicken, both rices, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Reduce heat to low.
Prepare Cheese Sauce. Melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously.
Add Cheese and Transfer To Rice. Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in 2 cups cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce into cooked rice mixture then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Add Cheese. Top evenly with additional 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese.
Bake. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through.
One of our favorite casserole recipes to make. Cheesy delicious comfort food!
Recipe Tips For Success
- Use shredded rotisserie chicken for quick recipe prep.
- Pre-chop the vegetables needed for the recipe in advance.
- Double the recipe and freeze one to use for another dinner.
- Double the recipe and give a dinner to a neighbor in need.
How To Serve Chicken and Rice
We love serving this recipe any day of the week. It’s great for Sunday dinner, weekend entertaining and makes the best leftovers. Serve this chicken and rice with some roasted vegetables and a side salad.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Yes, prepare the recipe up until the step where you add the cheese. Don’t bake it yet. Cool completely and cover the dish tightly with tin foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw completely before baking. You’ll add the shredded cheese before baking as well.
How To Store Leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Re-heat in microwave as needed. Place rice in a heat proof bowl or plate, lightly covered in the microwave for 60-75 seconds or until hot.
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Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
- 9 x 13 inch baking dish
- cutting board
- chef knife
- large mixing bowl
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- mixing spoon
- Large Skillet/Fry Pan
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 3 stalks celery finely chopped
- 3 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
- 2 cups steamed white rice
- 16 ounces cooked wild rice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese to top over rice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Heat oil into a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken, both rices, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Reduce heat to low.
- To prepare cheese sauce melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously. Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in 2 cups cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce into cooked rice mixture then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with additional 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through.