In today’s post: This creamy french onion chicken and rice casserole is the ultimate easy comfort food!
Growing up, I was a very picky eater (as were most of my siblings). There weren’t very many meals that all of us would actually eat, so rather than fight to convince us to eat things we didn’t like, my mom compromised by making the same 5 or 10 dinners over and over. (Sorry about that Mom!) So we didn’t eat a ton of different things, but the meals we did eat were GOOD. Like roast, mashed potatoes and homemade rolls, or old fashioned slow simmered fettucine alfredo. One of the easiest meals in our regular dinner rotation was this creamy chicken and rice casserole. It only takes 5 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time to get it into the oven, and just about everyone loves it!
This casserole is one I crave when I’m stressed out. Or tired. Or cold. It’s just plain simple comfort food that’s easy to throw together and nearly impossible to mess up.
It’s not the prettiest food I’ve ever eaten, but you can sprinkle it with a little cheese and parsley to up the attractiveness factor. My husband actually likes to add all sorts of toppings to it: olives and dried cranberries and mandarin oranges and crunchy chow mein noodles.
I’m a purist, though. I LOVE the flavor this chicken and rice casserole gets from french onion soup, and I don’t think it needs anything added, although I’m never going to turn down a sprinkle of cheese.
How to make Chicken and Rice Casserole
Click here to download a printable recipe card. This recipe makes about 6 servings.
Watch this video to see how easy it is to put together:
Chicken and rice casserole tips
Be sure to cover your pan tightly with foil for baking. You want all the moisture to stay inside, steaming the rice and keeping the chicken nice and tender.
The total baking time depends on how you like the casserole. If you cook it a little shorter, the rice will be a bit firmer and you’ll have some “sauce”. If you cook it a bit longer, the rice will absorb all the liquid and be very soft, but the casserole will be thicker with no sauce. Either way is good; it’s just personal preference. Also, be aware that if you cook the casserole in a metal pan (such as a 9×9 brownie pan) it will bake faster than if you use a glass or pyrex dish.
The recipe calls for 3 cups of cooked chicken. When I’m feeling lazy, I just purchase a rotisserie chicken and pull off all the meat, which is usually about 3 cups. It’s not important that it’s exactly 3 cups; a little over or under will be just fine. If you’d like to cook your own chicken, you’ll need about 1 pound of chicken breasts (2-3) to end up with 3 cups of cooked chicken.
This recipe fits best in a 9×9 pan or 11×7 casserole dish (don’t try to squish it in an 8×8 unless it’s fairly deep). You can double the recipe if you’d like, but it ends up a little large for the pyrex 9×13 pans that have rounded corners. Either place a sheet of foil under your 9×13 to catch any drips or buy a larger disposable lasagne pan to bake a double batch in.
One last note: Do not use reduced fat cream of chicken soup! Seriously, it’s not worth the few calories you save for all the flavor that you lose. Just the normal old full fat (and salt) soup makes this THE BEST chicken and rice casserole.
If you like chicken and rice, you might want to try creamy chicken and wild rice soup. And try serving either dish with the VERY BEST homemade dinner rolls or better than Olive Garden breadsticks. Thanks for visiting!