Chicken, Rice, and Vegetable Casserole

8 servings
45 min

Chicken, Rice, and Vegetable Casserole is definitely a keeper. It’s easy, full of flavor, and guy approved. Yes, it’s a little indulgent with all the cheese. But, wow, it has amazing flavor!

This casserole is a great way to pack veggies into dinner. Plus, the range of colors and textures adds a lot of interest to this simple dinner. Cheese and Greek yogurt bind everything together to create a creamy base for the rice, chicken, and veggies.


Other than chopping all the veggies, Vegetable Chicken Casserole is super easy to make, and will get the family eating their veggies.


FAQS:

How much dry rice do I need for 3 cups cooked rice?1 cup of dry rice, once cooked, is approximately 3 cups.

How long can I store leftovers?

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. This vegetable chicken casserole is also very freezer friendly. Simply store for up to three months in the freezer in an airtight container. To serve, thaw overnight, then simply reheat.

MEAL PREP TIPS:

Don’t you just love recipes that pull double duty? This cheesy chicken rice casserole qualifies. I created it to use up leftover rotisserie chicken that I had frozen along with some leftover rice from another dinner. Freeze your leftover shredded chicken into two-cup portions to use in future recipes. I always cook extra rice, quinoa, farro, etc. It is so easy to freeze and thaws quickly to add to weeknight meals.


INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN, RICE, and VEGETABLE CASSEROLE:

  • Rotisserie chicken: It’s a shortcut that makes this recipe a breeze to put together.
  • Brown rice: It has more nutrients than white, but feel free to use any grain you like.
  • Leeks: They have a more subtle flavor than onions and a softer texture.
  • Red bell pepper: Adds texture, sweetness, and a pop of color.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: Adds a nice zing of flavor.
  • Smoked gouda: Adds a smoky depth of flavor.
  • Greek yogurt: It has more protein and less fat than regular sour cream.

HOW TO PREPARE CHEESY CHICKEN RICE CASSEROLE:

  • First, you’ll need to cook your chicken and rice, if you’re not using leftovers. Cook rice according to package directions. (Note: 1 cup cooked rice yields approximately three cups cooked.) Bake or poach your chicken breasts until cooked through, then dice or shred.
  • Meanwhile, cut your cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Steam until al dente, about ten minutes. You don’t want it too soft, as it will cook more in the casserole. Pour the cauliflower into a colander, and run cold water over it to stop the cooking.
  • While the cauliflower is cooking, dice the red pepper, and thinly slice the leeks, white and light green parts only. Cut the ends off the leeks, then sliced into quarters lengthwise before thinly slicing across.
  • Slice the ends off the zucchini, then cut lengthwise into quarters before slicing across into 1/4 inch chunks.
  • Remove the tough stems from the kale, and tear into bite sized pieces.
  • Optional step: If you like your veggies on the softer side, give the zucchini, leeks, bell pepper and kale a quick sauté, about 5 minutes to soften them a bit before cooking. I like a bit more crunch to my veggies, so I simply mix them together raw, with the exception of steaming the cauliflower.
  • Mix together the chicken, veggies, and rice, in the prepared casserole dish.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the cheeses, Greek yogurt, minced garlic, and black pepper. Pour this over the chicken, rice, and veggie mixture. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients.
  • At this point, you can go ahead and bake, uncovered, in a 350°F oven for about 25-30 minutes. Let rest about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Or, you can refrigerate and bake the next day. You’ll just need to increase the cooking time by about ten minutes to accommodate for the ingredients being chilled.
Steam the cauliflower al dente.
Chop the leeks.
Chop the zucchini
Mix together the chicken, rice and veggies in roasting dish.
Add cheeses, Greek yogurt, garlic, and pepper to bowl.
Stir to completely combine.
Mix into chicken, rice and veggies.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

  • You really can use any veggies you have on hand in this recipe. Just use similar proportions. Mushrooms or chopped tomatoes are also great additions. See below for additional substitution suggestions.


Inspired Fresh Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com. Thank you for supporting Inspired Fresh Life.


INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Chicken: Mix in any protein you like. I’ve also made this recipe with cooked bacon, sliced chicken sausages, or shredded pork.
  • Rice: Use any cooked grain you like.
  • Cauliflower: Broccoli is also a great choice.
  • Zucchini: Try yellow squash.
  • Leeks: 1 cup diced shallots or white onion also work well.
  • Kale: Any dark, leafy green such as spinach, Swiss chard, or collard greens.
  • Greek yogurt: Sour cream works just as well.
  • Cheese: Use any combination of cheeses that melt well that you like. Mozzarella, Gruyere, Asiago, Havarti, or Monterey Jack are all good choices.


RECIPE NOTES:

  • This recipe was was originally published November 5, 2016, but was recently updated with new photos, recipe tips, and clearer cooking steps.
  • I love my Cuisinart enamel coated cast iron roasting pan for dishes like this. It holds the heat well, and cooks evenly. It’s also super easy to clean up.


Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card and/or a review in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Are you following along on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook?


PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER:

Special tip: Painter’s tape is wonderful for labeling freezer containers. You can even write simple reheating instructions on it. It simply peels off, leaving no sticky residue on your container.


Chicken, Rice, and Vegetable Casserole

Recipe details

  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 25 Minutes Total time: 45 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

Ingredients


  • 2 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken (3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped or shredded)
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium leeks
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced (or any color)
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions


First, you’ll need to cook your chicken and rice, if you’re not using leftovers. Cook rice according to package directions. (Note: 1 cup cooked rice yields approximately three cups cooked.) Bake or poach your chicken breasts until cooked through, then dice or shred.
Meanwhile, cut your cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Steam until al dente, about ten minutes. You don’t want it too soft, as it will cook more in the casserole. Pour the cauliflower into a colander, and run cold water over it to stop the cooking.
While the cauliflower is cooking, dice the red pepper, and thinly slice the leeks, white and light green parts only. Cut the ends off the leeks, then sliced into quarters lengthwise before thinly slicing across.
Slice the ends off the zucchini, then cut lengthwise into quarters before slicing across into 1/4 inch chunks.
Remove the tough stems from the kale, and tear into bite sized pieces.
Optional step: If you like your veggies on the softer side, give the zucchini, leeks, bell pepper and kale a quick sauté, about 5 minutes to soften them a bit before cooking. I like a bit more crunch to my veggies, so I simply mix them together raw, with the exception of steaming the cauliflower.
Mix together the chicken, veggies, and rice, in the prepared casserole dish.
In a medium bowl, mix together the cheeses, Greek yogurt, minced garlic, and black pepper. Pour this over the chicken, rice, and veggie mixture. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients.
At this point, you can go ahead and bake, uncovered, in a 350°F oven for about 25-30 minutes. Let rest about 5 minutes before serving.
Or, you can refrigerate and bake the next day. You’ll just need to increase the cooking time by about ten minutes to accommodate for the ingredients being chilled.

Tips

  • The prep time is for using leftover chicken and rice that has already been cooked.
  • If you have leftovers, they are great reheated for lunch the next day. This recipe is also very freezer friendly.

Inspired Fresh Life
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
Go

Comments

  • Kirsten Kirsten 4 days ago

    I am following the keto diet and I’m excited to try this. I’m going to replace the brown rice with cauliflower rice and replace the head of cauliflower with broccoli. I think your recipe is perfect for this! Thanks for sharing! 💜

    • Hi Kirsten, I’ve actually made it with broccoli before, and it turns out delicious. Love your idea of swapping out the brown rice with cauliflower rice. You might want to add just a little more cheese to make up for no starch from the rice to help hold it together, unless you don’t care if it doesn’t slice into nice pieces.

  • Armedtodream1 Armedtodream1 2 days ago

    So good! Thank you! I will be trying it with frozen vegetables as well just to see if there's a way to shave off prep time on the busy days.

Next