Chicken Rice Bake is made in one pan and packed with delicious flavor. This easy dinner is packed with a variety of textures and it is the perfect family dinner to make any night of the week. Guaranteed to become a favorite!
Every time I pull this Chicken Rice Bake out of the oven, a feeling of complete comfort gushes through my bones. It looks amazing, smells incredible and everything gets cooked to absolute perfection. This dish originates from my mom's recipe vault, as most of the really good ones do. I took her original recipe and transformed it into the easiest, most savory-delicious chicken and rice dinner you or I will ever make.
This entire meal is made in a single pan, which is one of its main selling points. No pre-cooking is required and the prep is minimal. Throw in uncooked rice and chicken and it all cooks together perfectly, every single dang time. This is one of my favorite meals EVER. Like, ever ever. I absolutely adore this meal! It is in my Top 5 Favorite Dinner category, which is saying a lot because I have a lllloootttttt of dinners that I love. I love this recipe. I promise you will, too.
WATCH THIS QUICK VIDEO TO SEE HOW EASY CHICKEN RICE BAKE IS TO MAKE!
HOW TO BAKE CHICKEN AND RICE TO CREATE THE PERFECT ONE-PAN MEAL
Combine 2 cups chicken broth broth and 1 can of cream of chicken soup in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and layer as follows: 1 cup uncooked long grain and wild rice, 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms and 1 cup sliced celery. Top with the chicken pieces. For best results, use 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs. Pour the broth-soup mixture over the top and season the chicken by sprinkling a packet of dry onion soup mix over the top.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven.
Uncover and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through and rice is tender.
RECIPE NOTES: HOW TO MAKE THIS THE BEST BAKED CHICKEN AND RICE RECIPE YOU'LL EVER EAT!
One of my favorite things about this dish is its saltiness. I love a good salty chicken and rice meal. If you wish to remove some salt from the dish, use low-sodium chicken broth or even replace it was an equal amount of water.
A can of cream of mushroom soup will easily and deliciously replace the cream of chicken soup.
Replace the mushrooms and celery with fresh green beans and sliced carrots for a different flavor!
The chicken thighs can be replaced with boneless chicken breasts.
Because of the high salt content in this recipe, I don't include salt and pepper. If you want to add them, you can! Sprinkle them both over the rice and veggies before place the chicken on top.
These recipe tips are all great ones, but I cannot go without saying this: This casserole is PERFECTION when you follow the recipe as written. I follow the recipe exactly every time I prepare it and I couldn't love it more just as it is.
WHY DOES IT TAKE THIS CASSEROLE SO LONG TO BAKE?
If there is a down side to this recipe, it would be the length of time it has to hang out in the oven. A longer baking time is required because all of the ingredients being added are uncooked (making it easy peasy!). Cooking both uncooked rice and chicken in an oven takes time!
The long cook time ensures that everything cooks thoroughly and it also results in very juicy, tender chicken and perfectly cooked rice. Covering the dish with foil for the first hour of baking traps in the heat/steam, cooking everything more quickly. Once the foil is removed, the contents of the dish finish cooking and also get a nice crispy finish.
CAN I REPLACE LONG GRAIN AND WILD RICE WITH WHITE OR BROWN RICE?
Here are a few guidelines for substituting other types of rice with a long grain and wild rice mixture. If you can find wild rice, I recommend using it. It adds a delicious flavor and texture to this dish that is hard to beat:
If you use 1 cup of brown rice instead (regular long grain, NOT pre-cooked), add 1/2 cup water to the broth-soup mixture.
I do not recommend using white rice for this recipe since cooking times vary so much. You’ll either end up with mushy rice or under-cooked chicken.
Stay away from using any type of minute rice for this recipe.
IS RINSING RICE IMPORTANT?
I don't always take the time to rinse rice before cooking it, but it should definitely be a part of the process of making a meal that calls for uncooked rice. Simply add the rice to a fine mesh strainer and run cold water over it, tossing it around a bit using your fingers to get a thorough rinse. This process will ensure that there is no extra debris stuck to the rice. It also removes the starch, which will prevent your final product from being clumpy.
OTHER DELICIOUS USES FOR RICE
Rice is so versatile, making it one of the things I love most about it. It tastes great with so many different foods and prepared in a number of ways. Here are a few of my other favorite ways to enjoy rice!
Sprinkle in some chopped fresh cilantro and mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and juice from 1 lime. No need for Chipotle!
Serve alongside Instant Pot Chicken for the perfect complete meal.
Add it to a skillet or wok, along with eggs, peas, carrots and soy sauce to create a delicious fried rice.
Go simple and serve with a few pats of butter or olive oil. Stir until the butter has melted.
Mix together with salsa, black beans, lime juice and chopped avocado. Add shredded chicken for a meaty dish!
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO FREEZE CASSEROLES
If you want to freeze a casserole for later use, you have a couple options:
Freeze unbaked - Assemble the layers as directed in an aluminum baking pan and wrap tightly in foil. Place into resealable freezer bags and freeze for 3-4 months. When you are ready to enjoy the casserole, let it thaw completely (preferably in the fridge overnight) and bake as directed on the recipe.
Freeze baked - Assemble the layers and bake as directed in an aluminum baking pan. Let the casserole cool completely and wrap tightly in foil. Place into resealable freezer bags and freeze for 3-4 months. When you are ready to enjoy the casserole, let it thaw completely (preferably in the fridge overnight). Reheat in a 250 degree F oven uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
DO I NEED TO COVER A CASSEROLE IN THE OVEN?
There is no hard and fast rule for whether or not a casserole should be covered with foil during baking. All recipes differ, but here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to cover your baking dish.
Covering a dish during the baking process traps in moisture and keeps ingredients from getting crispy or burnt. If the dish contains exposed noodles or bread or something that may burn or dry out easily, then it should be covered for a majority of the cook time. Also, if the recipe contains uncooked rice, pasta or grains, it is important to cover the pan in order to trap steam inside which help it to cook more quickly and evenly.
Leaving a dish uncovered during baking will ensure that the top layer gets browned and it also aids in reducing liquids inside the dish. If all of the ingredients in the dish are pre-cooked, baking uncovered is recommended.
MEALS TO MAKE FOR NEW PARENTS
The last thing new parents want to think about after bringing their brand new baby home from the hospital is DINNER. Dropping off a homemade dinner for a new parent is something they will be forever grateful for. This chicken rice casserole is the perfect dish to bring to a family in need, but here are a few other ideas if you are bringing someone a meal:
OTHER EASY DINNER IDEAS
If you love this Chicken Rice Bake, then you are probably a fan of EASY and DELICIOUS which is why we're friends! This entire website is based on the concept of easy and delicious, so please browse through my main dish category for other great ideas that will please the tummies you're about to feed. Here are a few other favorite delicious dinners that are sure to be your favorites, too!
Enjoy this easy one-pan dinner, my friends! I love hearing from you, so please stop back and let me know how much you enjoyed this easy peasy meal.