With just 10 minutes of prep and a few simple ingredients, this Chicken and Rice Bake is practically hands-off! All you need is rice, cream of mushroom soup, chicken breasts, and seasoning, and you can have a delicious one pan meal on the table in less than an hour.
We are all about the one pan, sheet pan, and one pot meals around here, like One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice and Cheesy Chicken Taco One Pot Pasta. Anything that gives me less time in the kitchen and more time hanging out with my family is a win in my book. This Chicken and Rice Bake has all of my favorite flavor combinations and is one of my favorite dinner casseroles. The fact that it’s all baked together in one dish earns it tons of bonus points!
Because there are only 3 main ingredients in this Chicken and Rice Bake, this recipe couldn’t be easier. Just dump, stir, and bake. The rice cooks by the steam from in the mushroom soup/water mixture and absorbs all of that flavor while the chicken bakes. The rice is super creamy, almost like a risotto while the chicken stays incredibly tender and juicy.
This recipe has only 3 main ingredients. The rest are seasonings.
Chicken – I used approximately 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast. If they are particularly thick pieces, you may need to pound them down a bit. Thighs are trickier but can be used; see the tips section below.
Seasoning – paprika, salt and pepper. I prefer to keep the seasoning simple, but you can add things like dried thyme, garlic powder and onion powder.
Rice – Select a long grain white rice, jasmine, or basmati.
Mushroom – You will need one can of Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup.
Water – This is combined with the soup and creates steam to cook the rice.
Seasoning – Same as for the chicken. I used paprika, salt, and pepper
Garnish – Fresh minced parsley
Preheat your oven. Always the first step unless you’re marinating. This brings the oven up to the right temperature so the food starts cooking immediately instead of slowing. Also prep a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray – don’t skip this step or you’ll be spending your evening cleaning it!
Combine ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry white rice (long grain or Jasmine are the best options) with cream of mushroom soup, water, paprika, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture into the prepared casserole dish. If you’re averse to the mushroom soup you could sub chicken. You could even mix this up in the casserole dish if you wanted to keep it truly one pan with no extra dishes.
Add the chicken breast. Anytime you’re cooking whole chicken breasts, you want them to be evenly thick. This requires a little bit of light pounding with a meat mallet or even the bottom of a skillet. I don’t recommend tenders or even cutlets, as they can be too thin and overcook before the rice is done. Season the chicken on both sides with paprika, salt and pepper, then nestle them into the rice mixture.
Cover the dish tightly with foil. Do not skip this step! The chicken will cook either way, but the rice needs steam to cook. Having the foil cover allows steam to build up so the rice will cook nice and fluffy, and keep the chicken tender and juicy. Resist the urge to check until the time is up so you don’t inadvertently release the steam.
Rest. Uncover and let the pan sit out so the rice can rest. Sprinkling with some fresh minced parsley for color if totally optional, but very pretty.
Should the rice be cooked first?
No, the rice cooks in the pan with the raw chicken. This is why it’s very important to cover the pan with foil as it bakes.
Can you cook raw chicken with rice?
As long as you heat the chicken to a safe temperature (it should be 165 degrees), it’s totally fine to cook them together.
Can you make this casserole in advance?
You can prep this recipe in advance by preparing and covering with foil, then refrigerating for up to 24 hours. Keep covered, and when you’re ready, bake as directed. This would also be great for dropping off at a friend’s house with baking instructions so the work is done for them!
You may need to add about 10 minutes of cooking time to account for the chill from the fridge. However, I recommend just letting it sit out on the counter while the oven preheats.
You guys, this Chicken and Rice Casserole is my new favorite go-to meal! It’s super simple and so warm and comforting. You can even add veggies for a truly one pan meal, like broccoli or sliced mushrooms.
Storage: Store leftover casserole in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave.
Freezing: You can freeze the completely cooked casserole, tightly wrapped in foil, for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake, covered, at 350℉ until warmed through. While this is an option, I don’t really recommend it because there is a higher chance of the chicken and rice overcooking.
Make sure you cover the chicken with foil. My cousin made this dish but didn’t have foil and then was frustrated that the recipe didn’t work. Covering the pan with foil is a necessary step to promote steaming the rice – if you don’t have any foil, try our Skillet Chicken and Rice Casserole instead.
Go easy with the salt. If you are sensitive to salt, you might want to leave it out of the soup mixture. We have tried it both with and without the salt and felt it was needed, however individuals can always add to their own plates.
If you prefer boneless chicken thighs, they work beautifully. Prepare them just as you would the breasts, but pounding will not be needed. Bone-in will work, but remove the skin and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Try to choose pieces that are similar in size.
For a drier rice (less creamy), decrease water to 1 cup.
For a truly one pan meal, add 1-2 cups of frozen veggies to the rice mixture.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9”x13” (2 quart) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Lightly pound especially thick chicken breasts so they are all even in thickness.
In a medium size bowl, combine soup, water, rice, paprika and black pepper. Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
Nestle the chicken into the rice mixture. Sprinkle with additional salt, paprika and black pepper to taste.
Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked to 165 degrees internal temperature and rice is tender.
Remove from the oven and let sit, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with fresh minced parsley.
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings, but depending on how hungry your family is, you could 4-6 people. You could stretch into 5 or 6 servings by adding bread and a veggie or salad on the side. Do not skip the foil step. It’s important to cover so the steam builds up to cook the rice. Storage: Store leftover casserole in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave.Freezing: You can freeze the completely cooked casserole, tightly wrapped in foil, for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake, covered, at 350℉ until warmed through. While this is an option, I don’t really recommend it because there is a higher chance of the chicken and rice overcooking.
Keyword baked chicken and rice, chicken and rice bake, chicken and rice casserole
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.