Cheesy chicken rice casserole

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole


  • 1 big can (22 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 2 bags of chicken-flavored rice sides
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese


  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 405°F (207°C).
  2. Prepare Casserole Base:
    • In a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, combine the cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, and the contents of the two bags of chicken-flavored rice sides. Mix well to ensure even distribution.
  3. Add Chicken:
    • Place the bite-sized boneless chicken pieces on top of the rice mixture in an even layer.
  4. Seasoning:
    • Sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder and dried parsley for added flavor.
  5. Cheese Layer:
    • Generously top the entire casserole with 1 cup of Mexican blend shredded cheese.
  6. Bake:
    • Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, and the rice is tender.
  7. Second Cheese Layer:
    • After 45 minutes, remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese over the top.
  8. Finish Baking:
    • Return the casserole to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the top is golden brown.
  9. Serve:
    • Allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes before serving. Scoop out portions, making sure to get some of the cheesy topping.
  10. Garnish (Optional):
    • Garnish with additional fresh parsley if desired for a burst of color and added freshness.
  11. Enjoy:
    • Serve this delicious Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole as a comforting and satisfying meal for the whole family.

Feel free to customize the recipe by adding vegetables like peas or broccoli to the rice mixture for extra nutrition and color.

Creating a perfect Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole involves a few key tips to ensure a flavorful and satisfying dish. Here are some tips to make the best version of this comforting casserole:

  1. Quality Ingredients:
    • Use high-quality ingredients, including fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and good-quality chicken broth and cream of chicken soup for richer flavor.
  2. Properly Grease the Pan:
    • Ensure you grease the baking dish adequately to prevent the casserole from sticking. This also makes cleaning up easier.
  3. Season Chicken Well:
    • Season the chicken pieces generously with garlic powder and parsley. This step adds flavor to the protein, enhancing the overall taste of the casserole.
  4. Even Rice Distribution:
    • Mix the chicken-flavored rice sides, cream of chicken soup, and chicken broth thoroughly to ensure even distribution of flavors and proper cooking of the rice.
  5. Uniform Chicken Pieces:
    • Cut the boneless chicken into bite-sized pieces of relatively uniform size. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly throughout the casserole.
  6. Layering Technique:
    • Layer the boneless chicken on top of the rice mixture evenly to promote even cooking and flavor distribution.
  7. Generous Cheese Topping:
    • Be generous with the cheese topping, as it adds a deliciously gooey and flavorful layer to the casserole. Consider using a high-quality Mexican blend for added richness.
  8. Check Chicken Doneness:
    • Check the doneness of the chicken by ensuring it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). This prevents undercooking and ensures the chicken is tender and juicy.
  9. Garnish for Freshness:
    • Garnish the finished casserole with fresh parsley for a burst of color and added freshness. This step is optional but adds a nice touch.
  10. Rest Before Serving:
    • Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. This helps the flavors meld and makes serving more manageable.
  11. Customize with Vegetables:
    • Consider adding vegetables like peas, diced bell peppers, or broccoli to the casserole for added nutritional value and texture.
  12. Serve with Sides:
    • Serve the Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole with your favorite sides, such as a crisp green salad or steamed vegetables, for a well-rounded meal.
  13. Double-check Cheese Melt:
    • Ensure the cheese is fully melted and has a golden-brown finish during the final baking phase to achieve that irresistible cheesy goodness.



      Q1: Can I use brown rice instead of the chicken-flavored rice sides?

      • A1: Yes, you can substitute brown rice for the chicken-flavored rice sides. Keep in mind that brown rice may require a longer cooking time, so adjust accordingly.

      Q2: Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

      • A2: Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it. Bake it when ready to serve, but you may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

      Q3: Can I use a different type of cheese?

      • A3: Absolutely! While the recipe suggests a Mexican blend, you can experiment with cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend of your favorite cheeses for a unique flavor.

      Q4: Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

      • A4: Yes, you can use chicken thighs if you prefer. Make sure they are boneless and skinless, and adjust the cooking time if necessary.

      Q5: Can I freeze Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole?

      • A5: Freezing may alter the texture of the rice, but it’s possible. Freeze before baking, and add the cheese topping when reheating.

      Q6: Can I add vegetables to the casserole?

      • A6: Absolutely! Consider adding vegetables like peas, carrots, or broccoli to the rice mixture for added flavor and nutrition.

      Q7: What sides pair well with this casserole?

      • A7: Green salads, steamed vegetables, or a side of crusty bread are excellent choices to complement the Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole.

      Q8: Can I use homemade cream of chicken soup?

      • A8: Yes, you can use homemade cream of chicken soup. It might enhance the flavor, but make sure it’s a creamy and well-seasoned substitute.

      Q9: How can I make the casserole less rich?

      • A9: To reduce richness, use a lighter cheese or less of it. You can also opt for low-fat or reduced-sodium versions of cream of chicken soup and chicken broth.

      Q10: Can I use an Instant Pot for this recipe?

      • A10: While this specific recipe is designed for baking, you can adapt it for an Instant Pot by adjusting liquid quantities and cooking times accordingly.

      Q11: Can I use pre-cooked chicken?

      • A11: Yes, you can use pre-cooked chicken. Adjust the baking time to ensure the casserole is heated through and the flavors meld.

      Q12: How do I reheat leftovers?

      • A12: Reheat leftovers in the oven or microwave. Add a splash of chicken broth to maintain moisture and prevent drying out.

      Q13: Can I omit the garlic powder and parsley?

      • A13: While garlic powder and parsley add flavor, you can omit them if you prefer a simpler taste.

      Remember, these answers are general guidelines, and it’s always a good idea to tailor the recipe to your preferences and dietary needs

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