With just 10 minutes of prep and a few simple ingredients, this Chicken and Rice Bake is practically hand’s 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.
Because there are only 3 main ingredients, this recipe couldn’t be easier. Just dump, stir and bake. The rice steams 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.
You guys, this Chicken and Rice Bake is my new favorite go-to meal! It ‘s a super simple casserole that’s also so warm and comforting. You can even add veggies for a truly one pan meal, or pair it with a side of Garlic Green Beans or a fresh Garden Salad. Throw in some crispy Garlic Bread to stretch this budget friendly casserole even further.
Ingredients and Recipe Overview
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. Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray – don’t skip this step or you’ll be spending your evening cleaning it!
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.
Start with boneless, skinless 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. This is an important 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.
Uncover and let the pan sit out so the rice can set and cook slightly. Sprinkling with some fresh minced parsley for color if totally optional, but very pretty.
Chicken and Rice Bake Top Tips
Should the rice be cooked first? No, the rice cooks in the pan with the raw chicken.
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 in this chicken and rice bake. 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.
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.
Make Ahead, Storage and Reheating
You can prep this recipe in advance by preparing and covering with foil, then refrigerating for up to 24 hours. Keep covered, and cook 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!
Store leftover baked chicken and rice in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave.
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.
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.
Makes 4-6 servings. Nutritional information is based on 4 serving, but 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.
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.