Home Recipes Chicken and Rice Casserole (Old-Fashioned Recipe)

Chicken and Rice Casserole (Old-Fashioned Recipe)

This old-fashioned chicken and rice casserole is a heartwarming classic fit for a crowd. Simple, hearty, and affordable, it’s everything a casserole should be. 

Tender chicken and creamy rice pack it with comforting flavors. It’s rich, savory, and tastes like grandma’s cooking. 

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Simple and Hearty Chicken and Rice Casserole

Plus, it’s so easy. All you need are pantry staples and a casserole dish. 

Whip it up for family dinners or serve it at a potluck. It’s a universal crowd-pleaser the whole family will love. No matter the occasion, chicken and rice casserole is a big win.

Chicken and Rice Casserole 

Busy schedules and hungry bellies call for a hassle-free meal. Chicken and rice casserole is exactly that!

This one-dish meal is made with simple ingredients. It calls for a handful of pantry staples and chicken breast. 

Three types of canned soup make it delightfully creamy. The instant white rice absorbs all that goodness, making it super comforting.

Chicken is the perfect protein to add. It’s mild, savory, and budget-friendly. With the pats of butter on top, it’s dripping with richness. 

Like most chicken casseroles, there’s plenty of room for improvising. Make it extra comforting with shredded cheese. Or make it healthier by adding veggies. 

This casserole is the effortless meal every family needs! 

Chicken and Rice Casserole Ingredients - Chicken, White Rice, Water, Cream of Chicken, Celery and Mushroom Soup, Salt, Pepper and Butter


  • Chicken. Boneless breasts are the easiest to work with. But you can also use drumsticks, thighs, shredded, or frozen chicken. For convenience, leftover chicken and rotisserie chicken work well, too.
  • Instant white rice. It cooks faster than regular rice. Use brown rice if you prefer. Just be sure to add more water and increase the baking time.
  • Water. Two cups are necessary for the rice to cook properly.
  • Cream of chicken soup. It’s a quick fix for making it creamy and savory. 
  • Cream of celery soup. It adds a boost of creamy goodness and veggies.
  • Salt and pepper. These two are standard for proper seasoning.
  • Butter. The key ingredient for making it oh-so-rich! 

How to Make Chicken and Rice Casserole 

What I love about this casserole is it’s so fuss-free. Just dump it, bake it, and enjoy!

1. Grease the casserole dish. Use butter or cooking spray to coat the bottom and sides.

2. Prep the rice. Add the rice, canned soups, water, salt, and pepper to the casserole dish. Give it a good stir to coat the rice. Ensure everything is well combined.

3. Add the chicken. Mix the chicken in the rice mixture. 

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4. Top it with butter. Evenly spread the slabs of butter on top. 

5. Bake the casserole. About 1 hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown. Adjust the time as needed to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.

Homemade Chicken and Rice Casserole

Tips for the Best Chicken and Rice Casserole

  • For juicy chicken, use bone-in chicken. Thighs or drumsticks won’t dry out like other cuts. Plus, they create a nice presentation.
  • Mix the rice before adding the meat. It’s a simple step to en sure the rice gets coated evenly.
  • Top it with fresh herbs or scallions. They both add a burst of freshness.
  • Turn it into a make-ahead casserole. Do all the prep work a day in advance. Then, bake it when it’s time to eat. 
  • Make it in the Instant Pot. It speeds up the cooking time and it’s just as easy. Just reduce the amount of water and use only one soup.

Recipe Variations 

Looking to mix things up a bit? Try different variations. 

You can make all kinds of substitutions to tailor the casserole to your liking. Here are a handful of ideas:

  • Use a different protein. Turkey is a great lean protein substitute. You can also use ham, sausage, or ground beef
  • Make it vegetarian-friendly. Skip the canned cream of chicken soup. Also, swap out the meat for a plant-based protein. 
  • Add frozen veggies for a nutrition boost. Broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, peas, any kind you like. Fresh veggies work, too.
  • Make it cheesy. Sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese on top to make it extra yummy.
  • Try different spices. Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or cayenne boosts flavor.
  • Turn it into a low-sodium casserole. Use low-sodium soups and low-sodium chicken.
  • Mix and match the soups. Use different combinations of canned cream soups. Just be sure to use three cans.
  • Adjust the amount of butter. If you like your meals less rich, use less butter.
Homemade tender and Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Storing, Reheating, & Freezing

Have leftovers? No problem! Place them in an air-tight container and refrigerate them. Consume them within 3 days. 

The rice will become a little dry. When reheating, add a little bit of water or chicken broth. It helps reconstitute the rice.

Speaking of reheating, you can reheat leftovers in the oven or the microwave. For the microwave, reheat for 30 seconds, then check. Repeat the process as needed. For the oven method, reheat it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until it’s thoroughly heated. 

Freezing the casserole will change the texture. So it’s not the best method for storing. 

However, it doesn’t mean you can’t freeze it for later. Just do all the prep work and skip the baking. Instead, wrap it tightly and place it in the freezer. 

Defrost it in the fridge overnight, then bake it according to the instructions above. The casserole will keep for about 3 months in the freezer.

Chicken and Rice Casserole (Old-Fashioned Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time





This recipe for chicken and rice casserole never goes out of style! Made with just 8 ingredients, it’s a hearty dinner you’ll love.


  • 2 cups 2 instant white rice

  • 2 cups 2 water

  • 1 1 canned cream of chicken soup

  • 1 1 canned cream of mushroom soup

  • 1 1 canned cream of celery soup

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 3 3 Boneless chicken breasts, cubed

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 butter, sliced

  • Cooking spray or butter for greasing


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray or butter.
  • Add the rice, water, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, celery soup, salt, and pepper to the casserole dish. Stir it until well combined.
  • Mix the chicken with the rice mixture until well coated.
  • Place the sliced butter on top of the casserole. Be sure to spread out the slices evenly.
  • Bake it for about 1 hour or until golden brown and the chicken is fully cooked. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve it and enjoy!
Chicken and Rice Casserole

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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