Healthy Baked Chicken & Rice Casserole

6 people
1 hr 10 min

Chicken & Rice Casserole is a classic dinner. It is just straight-out comfort food. It is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner. You can also spread kindness and take it to a sick friend or just give it as a way to make someone smile.

Chicken & Rice Casserole

This casserole recipe is so simple to make and great for feeding a ton of people. Unlike most casseroles, this one is not made with soup. I have used ingredients like cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, and even cheddar cheese. However, when I make this recipe, I prefer it without soup because it tastes better and is healthier. This recipe is very filling and can keep you full until breakfast. A casserole like this will be a hit where ever you take it!

Tips & Tricks

For maximum flavor, sauté the red onion and toast the brown rice in the skillet first. When finished browning the chicken, deglaze the pan with some of the chicken broth to scrape up any brown bits left on the bottom of the skillet. When finished, transfer the liquid from the skillet to the casserole dish with the rest of the chicken broth.

To make this a truly healthy chicken and rice casserole, you want to use a low sodium chicken broth and brown rice. This makes a healthy dinner recipe that still tastes amazing.

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Variations & Substitutions For Chicken & Rice Casserole

Even though this recipe is so good and simple to make, you may need some substitutions if you missing an ingredient or just want to try something.

  • Rotisserie Chicken: If you don’t have the time or just don’t feel like it, you can shred up some of your favorite pre-cooked chicken.
  • Rice: You may be feeling a little lazy with the chicken, but minute rice won’t work as well with this recipe. If you decide you want to use brown rice, you will need an additional 1/2 cup of liquid and a longer cooking time.
  • Veggies: I love adding a bit more to my recipe by adding broccoli florets or other veggies not only because it tastes good, but because it adds a pop of color. You can use fresh or frozen!
  • Herbs: Adding fresh herbs will make the casserole even tastier.
  • Cheese: If you want a creamy recipe, I recommend adding some cheese like cheddar, Colby jack, or mozzarella or bumping up the heat with some pepper jack!

Can You Put Raw Chicken In A Casserole?

Yes! One of the best things about this recipe is that it is super simple to make. If you decide to use uncooked chicken, you may worry about bacteria. Any bacteria will fully cook out and be killed at 160 degrees. Make sure to use a meat thermometer to check!

Do I Need To Cook The Rice Before Adding It To The Casserole?

Another perk of this recipe! You don’t need to cook your rice. The broth in the recipe allows the rice to cook while baking.

Should I Cover My Chicken & Rice Casserole With Foil?

For this recipe, you will want to cover it for the first 40 minutes. Then, to get the golden brown casserole look, it will need to be uncovered for the last 15-20 minutes.

How To Store Chicken & Rice Casserole?

Place the casserole dish in an airtight container for the best storage method. You can also use a casserole dish that already has a lid. This will reduce the number of dishes you need to do.

Can I Freeze Chicken and Rice Casserole?

You can make this recipe as a freezer meal. When the casserole is made, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before baking or store it in the freezer for three months.

Key Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Chicken breasts
  • Red onion
  • Brown rice
  • Chicken broth
  • Salt and Pepper

How To Make Baked Chicken & Rice Casserole

Step 1. Preheat the oven and grease the baking dish with olive oil. Add oil to a large frying pan and cook and season your chicken for about 3-4 minutes until golden.

Step 2. Add the onion and rice into the baking dish and season if desired. Combine and add the broth. Arrange the seared chicken into the casserole dish and cover with foil for 40 minutes. Leave uncovered for 15-20 minutes until fully cooked.

Step 3. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool before using a fork to fluff the rice. Serve right away and enjoy!

More Delicious Recipes:

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Leftover Turkey Frittata
  • Instant Pot Thai Chicken Rice Bowl
Healthy Baked Chicken & Rice Casserole
Recipe details
  • 6  people
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 55 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 10 min
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  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 4 4- oz. chicken breasts boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 medium red onion diced
  • 1 cup brown rice long-grain, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cup chicken broth preferably organic
  • Sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and season with salt and black pepper, if desired. Cook until golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes per side.
Add onion and rice to the prepared baking dish. Season with salt and black pepper, if desired, and stir to combine. Pour the chicken broth over the rice and arrange the seared breasts on top of the rice mixture.
Tightly cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
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  • Barb Brown Barb Brown on Sep 05, 2022

    I've been doing this for years. But I use long grain and wild rice boxes, as there's a seasoning packet so it's an all-in-one deal. Sometimes I use other flavored rice mixes for a different taste. Spanish rice with a sprinkle of cumin and chili powder for the rice mixture and pepper jack on top of the chicken is good too.