Chicken and Rice Casserole

Have you ever had the soup can classic chicken rice casserole? I admit, I have not, though the idea of it intrigued me recently. It sort of reminds me of my mother’s arroz con pollo, but with mushrooms and without tomatoes. With this recipe I set out to make a scratch cooking version of chicken rice casserole, sans the cans, with the goal of extracting as much flavor as I could out of the ingredients. First you will note that we use chicken thighs, instead of the more popular (and more expensive by the way) breasts. The thighs have more flavor, and are a little fattier, meaning they won’t dry out with long cooking. The chicken pieces are browned in olive oil, removed, and then the onions are cooked in the same pan with the chicken browned bits. Then the mushrooms are browned, and the whole pan is deglazed with dry sherry. All goes into a casserole dish with stock, cream, sour cream, herbs, rice, topped with the chicken, and baked in the oven. The rice cooks in the stock, the chicken finishes cooking, and the resulting dish is, as my 10-yr-old nephew says “really good”.

Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 6 (with leftovers)

If you are avoiding cooking with alcohol, skip the sherry and deglaze the pan with a 1/4 cup extra of chicken stock.
Depending on how salted your stock is, you may need to more generously salt this dish. Can always salt to taste at the table.
You can make this entire dish on the stovetop instead of the oven if you want. Just use a large sauté pan with a tight cover, cook on low when all is assembled, low enough to keep a simmer, but not so high that you burn the rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces, patted dry
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
  • 1 1/3 cups* chicken stock**
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 cup raw, medium or long grain, white rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon each of Italian seasoning and poultry seasoning (or 2 teaspoons of one of these herb mixes, or 2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, and basil)**
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

*This recipe assumes the rice requires approx 1 1/2 cups liquid per cup of rice to cook. Some rice varieties, such as brown rice, require more liquid (and a longer cooking time). Adjust recipe accordingly.

**If you are cooking gluten-free, use homemade stock or gluten-free packaged stock, use gluten-free packaged herbs and spices.

Method

1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high or high heat (hot enough to brown but not burn). Sprinkle a dash of salt on the bottom of the pan. Season the chicken pieces all over with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on two sides, about 1-2 minutes per batch. Add a little more salt to the pan (and more olive oil if needed) after every batch. This will help prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan. Remove chicken pieces and set aside in a bowl. Note that the chicken does not have to be cooked through, only browned.

chicken-rice-cass-1.jpg chicken-rice-cass-2.jpg

2 In the same sauté pan add 1 Tbsp olive oil, lower the heat to medium, add the onions, and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cook 30 seconds more. Remove onions and garlic to a shallow (9 x 13 x 2) casserole dish.

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3 Raise heat to medium high, add the sliced mushrooms. Dry sauté them (no need to add butter or oil), allowing the mushrooms to brown lightly, and release some of their moisture. Add the mushrooms to the casserole dish.

4 Add 1/4 cup dry sherry or dry white wine to the pan to deglaze the pan, scraping off the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. (At this point, if you are making ahead, reduce the sherry to 1 Tbsp and pour off into the casserole dish. Refrigerate cooked onions, garlic, mushrooms, and browned chicken pieces until you are ready to make the casserole.) Let the sherry reduce to about 1 Tbsp, then add the chicken stock, and remove from heat. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, the cream, and the sour cream. Add the raw rice to the casserole dish. Then pour the stock, sherry, cream, sour cream mixture over the rice. Add the Italian and poultry seasonings (or fresh herbs) and paprika to the dish. Stir the rice, onion, mushroom, herb mixture so that they are evenly distributed in the casserole dish.

chicken-rice-cass-5.jpg
5 Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice mixture (in a single layer if you can, they will be crowded). Cover the casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil. If the casserole is still too liquidy, let it cook a few minutes more, uncovered, until the excess liquid has evaporated away.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

137 Comments

  1. Jill

    This looks great and I can’t wait to try it! Growing up in Minnesota, my mom made all kinds of “hot dish” and I’ve been looking for a recipe that doesn’t include that nasty canned soup. Thanks!

  2. Legal Brunette

    This look’s great, but I’m wondering whether you are able to taste the sour cream in the finished dish? Hubbs can’t stand sour cream, but doesn’t mind if its in the dish, as long as you can’t tell.

    Nope, no taste of sour cream per se. The sour cream is there to add creaminess and acidity. ~Elise

  3. Phoo-D

    This is almost identical to a dish my Mom would make frequently with dove and quail. She would use wild rice to compliment the meat. It was always a huge hit and is one of my favorite childhood recipes.

  4. Mitchell

    Great step by step directions and pictures. This looks delish, it may be in the plans for this week’s dinner rotation!

  5. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    My mother used to make a chicken-and-rice casserole with no cream (no dairy products at all, actually) as her “company” dish. Chicken, mushrooms, onions, rice, chicken stock; after the main ingredients were browned somewhat, they were put into a casserole with raw rice and stock, and then baked. It was simple, but honestly was the best thing in my mother’s repertoire.

  6. Kerri

    I can’t wait to make this! This looks like a wonderfully fresh and healthier update to the classic but mediocre casserole of my childhood.

  7. Rebekah

    Could this recipe be frozen? I’m pregnant with twins and am planning, when I get closer to my due date, to make a bunch of casseroles to freeze for later. Is there any way you could do a post on what recipes can be frozen and how to reheat a frozen casserole – do I need to defrost first, how do I adjust temps and lenght of cooking if I don’t need to defrost first? Maybe you could do a category for recipes that are good for freezing? Just an idea. :-)

    I really love your site – the recipes are down to earth and all the ones I’ve tried have been yummy! Thanks!

    Hi Rebekah, Congratulations! With expecting twins I can see why you want to freeze some dishes in advance. This particular recipe I don’t think would freeze well uncooked, but should likely freeze well cooked. Regarding categorizing for this factor, Simply Recipes is a reflection of how our family cooks and eats. We typically do not freeze our meals, so I wouldn’t know the first thing about offering regular freezing advice on our recipes. ~Elise

  8. L.C. Kayte

    How funny! I was just looking for a good chicken casserole earlier this week! I am a line cook at a restaurant and I like to make casseroles or enchiladas for the “family” on busy weekends when we don’t have time to whip up some eats before our shift. I think crew would like this. :)

  9. Karen

    It’s time to go buy some more thighs. I love to use them in cooking, also. I have made the soup can version of this and find it too greasy. I will be making this soon. Sure to be tasty. Thanks!

  10. bev

    I just stumbled upon your blog the other day and am in love! Am going to try this with the whole chicken I have thawing and will go on our table tonight! Thanks for the recipe. Oh, and the Bok Choy recipe was awesome to BTW.

  11. JOP

    Elise, Do you think there’s a way to replace the cream/sour cream with something less fattening? I’m trying to watch my calories these days and thought maybe lowfat plain yogurt and half and half would work – what do you think? It’s not too much and it does make a whole casserole so maybe the cream/sour cream are “worth it” in this instance. Thanks!

    You could just skip the cream and sour cream all together. The rice will end up more pilaf-like (sub cream with stock). Or try the half-half and yogurt approach, should work. ~Elise

  12. Tyler

    Thanks for the recipe! Do you have any suggestions for a vegetable that would work well here in place of the mushrooms? It looks delicious!

    You could try broccoli. ~Elise

  13. Jennifer

    Oh my goodness. Not even noon and my mouth is watering for this. Sounds like a great Saturday night dinner, cannot wait to try it.

  14. Scott

    This looks delicious, but I am trying to avoid non-whole grain foods. A simple substitution to brown rice would make this dish perfect for that type of diet. Do you have any suggestions on what may need to be changed (cooking time, amount of broth, etc) in order to substitute brown rice?

    You will need more liquid and a longer cooking time, try an extra half cup of stock and an additional 20 minutes of cooking time to start. ~Elise

  15. Amy C

    Yum! Will be trying this this week. Hubby doesn’t like mushrooms, so I will sub broccoli, which should be yummy. Oh, and quinoa for the rice. We’ll see how it turns out!

    Love quinoa, but I forget the absorption ratio. Whatever it is, make sure to compensate with the amount of stock in the recipe or you may have a soupy mess. :-) ~Elise

  16. sbuent

    I was intrigued by your instruction to sprinkle salt in the bottom of the saute pan. I’ve never seen that before–can you tell me the reasoning behind this?

    It helps keep the chicken pieces from sticking to the pan, while flavoring the chicken. Very useful especially if you are using stainless steel pans which have a tendency to stick. ~Elise

  17. Tracy

    Ahh…soup can recipes from our childhood! This looks great…can’t wait to try it! I recently updated a soup can recipe of my own for Mushroom gravy, which I put over my mom’s fantastic meatloaf! YUM!

  18. Tom

    Elise – you are, seriously, my go-to site for help when I suddenly realize I haven’t thought of anything for dinner. Being a freelancer at home means dinner is on my plate, so-to-speak, so I truly appreciate your great work here! Gonna add some wild rice and a bit more liquid and time to this for dinner tonight.

  19. alishajoy

    I have chicken thighs in the fridge that either have to be used or frozen by today. This recipe came just in the nick of time and I have everything on hand. YAY! I’ll let you know how it goes.

  20. Shelly

    Sorry if this is a silly question, but what does it mean to “deglaze the pan?” I am semi-new to cooking and have not heard of this process before.

    Hi Shelly, good question. Just add the dry sherry to the hot pan, it will boil up and dislodge any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Use a spatula to help scrape up those bits. ~Elise

  21. Bob

    Well, I have definitely had the canned soup kind of casserole and this looks much better! I’m going to have to bust some out next time I want some comfort food.

  22. Sara

    This looks great! I want to give it to my twin boys, but they don’t like mushrooms. They do, however, love broccoli. Any suggestions from you or anyone else on how to alter the recipe with this substitution?

    Given that the casserole bakes for at least 45 minutes, I think you could just chop up the raw broccoli and toss it in with the rest of the mix. It should cook in the oven. ~Elise

  23. EdFromToronto

    My family just finished eating this wonderful dish. Everyone loved it and requested seconds.
    Creamy (but not too creamy) and very flavourful.
    This was the first caserole that I’ve attempted and your clear instructions made it very easy for me.

    Thanks!

  24. alishajoy

    Made it for dinner tonight. It was just me the kids eating (4 year old and 7 year old) so I halved the recipe. I think next time I will half the meat but keep the other proportions the same. The rice with sauce and mushrooms was our favorite part. SOOOO good! Actually I may just do this as a creamy rice dish and serve it as a side (take the chicken out all together).

  25. Scott

    Made it tonight with the brown rice and on the stove — took forever, but turned out great. The wife loved it as is, I was thinking it needed a little something extra to break up the same brown-ness of the dish. Like broccoli or something green to spice up the flavor and color.

    I bet the brown rice gave it a great flavor. Regarding green, this is why we mixed in fresh parsley. Broccoli would be good too. ~Elise

  26. Caroline

    Hi, I’m wondering if any of the commenters have tried this without the milk products. My son is allergic to milk so we don’t use any dairy products. Wondering if it’s worth making with an extra .5 c wine or stock instead of the two dairy products. Do you think it would still be tasty, Elise? Maybe I would add some carrots and celery, and maybe a leek, with the onion to boost the flavor. I know I could try those soy sour cream type products but I think they always taste off and don’t cook well.

    You could easily make this without the cream and sour cream. Just add an extra 1/4 cup stock. You could also easily add carrots and celery (cook with the onions). ~Elise

  27. Joe

    When you say cream do you mean heavy cream? I am a cooking novice here so go easy on me.

    On a side note, this dish looks absolutely fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

    Whatever you have on hand, heavy cream, light cream. ~Elise

  28. Jeff

    I halved the recipe (cooking for 1) and added asparagus and even with my playing it turned out great…as usual…

  29. SueToo

    re: low-fat options for cream ingredients

    Try evaoporated (non-sweetened) canned milk in place of cream. It’s skim milk, but because it’s evaporated it’s thicker and creamier.

    …. so much for the no-can casserole. ;-)

  30. Steve

    Made this last night and it was great! A definite keeper! Don’t be afraid of the salt – it needs it! Two of us almost ate half! Yummy! Can’t wait to finish it off tonight!!

  31. leyah

    Yes yes yes.
    I have always wanted to make those soup casseroles and never wanted to use pre-made products. Thanks so much. Will definately try this.

  32. Shelly

    Thanks for answering my question about deglazing. Boyfriend and I made this tonight and it is so much better than “really good!” It’s amazing! In fact, boyfriend says its “like crack” …I’m pretty sure he means that as a compliment ;)

  33. nia

    This look yummy! I am really anti canned soup creations. I can’t wait to make it. I do have a question. Mom is allergic to mushroom and broccoli is not a favorite veggie for the family, and other suggestions of veggie alternatives?

  34. Ashley

    This will be the first time actually trying a recipe from the site and I am wondering how much will it alter the recipe to take out the sherry/wine? I don’t think I’ve ever used it in cooking and wondering what the result will be before trying it.

    Hi Ashley, I can’t tell you what it will taste like without the sherry/wine, but I’m sure it will be fine. ~Elise

  35. Sudu Roy

    This recipe is perfect. The mushrooms, cream and herbs with the white wine was such a delightful taste, muaah! I also used a bit of curry powder with chile and it had a nice edge to it. Thanks a lot for posting this.

  36. Linda

    Oh, thank you again, Elise for another wonderful recipe. This was delicious. I had all the ingredients on hand except for the heavy cream and boneless thighs. I used bone in thighs so I let the dish cook for an exra 15 minutes, and I used half-n-half. It was delicious. Very easy to put together. I may make the rice alone with the sauce some time as it was really good all by itself. I also thought that adding more chicken broth and cream/half-n-half to the rice/sauce would make an interesting soup. Thanks again for sharing your great recipe.

  37. Leila

    This looks delicious. Do you think I can substitute either boneless or bone-in chicken breasts as I’m not a fan of the darker thighs?

    Personally I don’t recommend it; it’s way too easy for the breast meat to dry out with the long cooking in this recipe. But recipes are just guidelines, I’m all for experimenting, and different people have different taste preferences. ~Elise

  38. Renni Dwyer

    This looks really good. Through the years I’ve developed a dislike for casseroles simply because most of them were made of creamy condensed soups which I am not fond of. Because of this I’ve kept clear away from making casseroles for my family…until now. Your recipe is quite appealing to me and I will certainly give it a try this weekend. I like the fact that it uses natural ingredients and I can make use of my homemade chicken stock and homegrown herbs. The only thing I may change is the use of sour cream; whenever a recipe calls for sour cream I usually substitute it with yogurt cheese.

  39. Gretchen Noelle

    Love the idea of the soup can casserole sans the cans. These were always delicious but I cannot bring myself to buy the red & white cans from my youth. Thanks for the recipe! True – an American arroz con pollo of sorts!

  40. Sherrie

    This recipe sounds delicious, but my husband will not eat dairy. I was wondering if I can substitute coconut milk for the dairy portion of the recipe? It says on the coconut milk that it can be substituted for dairy. What do you think?

    Could be an interesting substitution. I would try the recipe first with just subbing stock for the cream and skipping the sour cream. If you use coconut milk, you might want to try using curry and ground ginger as your spices instead of the poultry seasoning. ~Elise

  41. David Nettles

    Beware! I’m sure that this started out as a pretty good recipe but something has gone terribly wrong.

    I thought that a teaspoon and a half looked like too much salt so I cut it back to a teaspoon. A quarter of a teaspoon would have been a better choice. I’m not sodium phobic but even with a third less salt than the recipe calls for the dish was pretty much inedible.

    I’m tossing the leftovers and pouring yet another tall glass of water.

    Perhaps you were using chicken broth (already seasoned) and not stock? Or perhaps stock that was already well salted? We found that using broth and the teaspoon and a half of salt, the dish was perfectly seasoned. Using homemade unsalted chicken stock and the 1 1/2 teaspoons we still needed to amply salt our portions at the table. ~Elise

  42. Stephanie

    I just made this and it was delicious! I added some red pepper, spinach, and used brown rice but other than that followed the recipe. I did it all in a Dutch oven that went right in the oven and it worked perfectly! Thanks for a delicious dinner : )

  43. Melody

    Just made this tonight; perfect winter one-pan supper and made the house smell awesome to boot. Man Unit, when asked how he was doing after the carnage said “I’ve got your cooking in my belly, I’m golden.” To which I replied to his befuddlement “no, you’ve actually got Elise’s cooking in your belly but I won’t quibble with the compliment.” ;-> Thanks for another great one!

  44. Carol

    I just discovered this site, and it is quickly becoming my “go to” place whenever I am looking for something yummy. Case in point: I realize I have chicken thighs in my fridge, but am tired of my usual recipe. I think, “I wonder if Elise has anything for thighs.” I don’t even have to search; I open the site and this is staring at me. Perfect! I made it with fresh thyme and rosemary. Everyone happily ate it, even my son who takes “picky eater” to its ultimate extreme. Thanks, Elise! It was delicious! The only thing I didn’t do was deglaze the pan with sherry or wine. I don’t like the taste alcohol leaves so I used the chicken stock to capture the browned chicken bits. I don’t know how it changed the taste, but leaving out the sherry certainly wasn’t a problem for us.

  45. ari

    Again, a wonderful, simple “from scratch” recipe. I am definitely not a fan of the sodium filled soup can casseroles, so this was delicious. I didn’t have any sour cream, so I used plain yogurt, and instead of cream I used a combo of milk and butter. Turned out delicious. My husband who is a sort of picky eater raved about it, and grazed on it all night. Thankfully, we have enough leftovers for tonight.

  46. Libba Adams

    Hi Elise,
    I love your recipes, and decided to do an amendment to the recent chicken and rice recipe since I’ve recently gone back on a low-carb diet (to lose holiday pounds!). I substituted “faux rice” (cauliflower shredded with the ricer blade of my cuisinart) for the real rice, and it was great! I think it needed a little less liquid since the cauliflower doesn’t absorb it like the rice does, but my husband loves the sauce anyway.
    I thought you might be interested in this, and that possibly other low-carbers might as well.
    Thanks for your great food ideas!
    Libba Adams
    Pittsboro, NC

  47. Melissa

    I made this dish tonight and it was a hit! It did take a little longer to cook before the rice was ready. I added a little more garlic and some chopped up carrots when I cooked the onions. Also, the package of chicken was just under 2 lbs. I couldn’t find 21/2 lbs. but it worked out just fine. Instead of cream, I used half and half to reduce the fat of the dish. I rounded out the meal with broccoli. Thought you would appreciate a review.

    Thank you for such a great recipe.

  48. liz

    Cooked this the other night, excellent. I used milk instead of cream, I don’t think it affected the end result much. Leftovers were terrific! In reading others comments, I will try it again with small chunks of carrots & celery for a little more color. Thanks so much for your site & recipes.

  49. Judy

    I made this yesterday for dinner to great reviews from the husband. The only change was to deglaze the pan with fresh lemon juice (no sherry/wine available). We loved it and will put it in the Make Often column. With just the two of us, I thought of cutting the recipe down, but we’ll have the rest for lunch tomorrow. Thanks so much for your great site.

  50. KathyKooks

    This sounds delish! I have had tons of chicken stashed in the freezer from when I catch in on sale. I’m a grad student and Food Lion up the street always has great deals. I think I’m going to ‘atempt’ to make this for my roommates this week. Would you suggest to use 2% milk and scallions in place of cream and union?

    Scallions do not cook up the way yellow onions do, they are best used fresh. I wouldn’t sub the cream for milk, but others have and and liked the result. ~Elise

  51. Kim

    I made this for dinner today. It turned out very flavorful and the chicken was juicy. I also like the taste and smell of the white wine reduction. I didn’t have cream or sour cream on hand, so I used some plain yogurt and milk. I served it with a simple spinach cranberry walnut salad on the side. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will definitely use it again, especially on a cold winter night. :)

  52. Kelly

    I made this last night for dinner and it was such a hit! I used brown rice and added about a 1/2 cup more stock. The cooking time was a little longer but it was honestly amazing. Thank you so much for this recipe. It is going into my monthly rotation!

  53. Omid

    I made this last night, and this was delicious!

    I subbed the wine with chicken stock, as suggested, and it was incredibly tasty.

    As someone else mentioned, I’d love to add more colour, maybe in the way of peppers and peas. Not sure if a few red and green peppers, and a half cup of peas will get in the way of the rice cooking, and not sure if I should reduce the amount of mushrooms if I do this. Any suggestions??

    My first recipie from this site, and definitely a keeper!

    yum.

    I think peas would be a great addition. They shouldn’t get in the way of the rice cooking. Just add them in. ~Elise

  54. Emerald City Girl

    I used wild rice for this recipe (adjusted stock to wild rice and lengthened the baking time by 15 minutes). This is a very delicious recipe! I can’t wait to make it again!

  55. Omid

    One more thing.

    A friend also suggested adding some shrimp alongside the chicken, cooked in the same way as the chicken (seared, then cooked in the oven.)

    Any comments on that…?

    Thank you!!

    The shrimp would be seriously overcooked (rubbery) by the time the rice was done. Also, not a fan of chicken shrimp combo. ~Elise

  56. Kandi

    I made this last night, was slightly concerned with the sour cream because the hubs detests it. He went out in the afternoon so I was able to put this dish together without him watching and guess what, he loved it. Thanks Elise, love your recipes.

  57. Karen

    This was very, very, very good. I used homemade turkey stock (no salt added while making the stock), and found I only needed to add 3/4 tsp of salt to the sauce. I did use salt while cooking the chicken. My advice to those making the sauce and wondering about the salt is, add the salt in 1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp increments, tasting as you go. You’ll find the right balance.

    My husband thought this was amazing. And I am forever converted to the school of thought that uses chicken thighs rather than breasts for long cooking dishes. So delicious.

  58. Joan

    This was wonderful! We all (2 adults, 2 picky tweens) LOVED it. I have to say the hardest part was getting the meat off the thigh bone – the store didn’t have any boneless. It was wonderful – definitely into my bookmarks with LOTS of your other recipes. Thank you!

  59. Linda

    This looks delicious and I plan on making it tonight. One question: I have some dry Sherry on hand that is a couple of years old (already opened). Does it keep that long or is it similar to wine and I should throw it out and get a new bottle?

    Taste the wine, if it’s still good, use it. ~Elise

  60. Mitch

    For the above poster who asked about how long Sherry keeps…
    I spoke to an employee at the liquor store about this and he told me that opened Sherry should be replaced after 2-3 months (whereas anything with 40%+ alcohol will keep forever). For cooking purposes, you can use it for a few months longer but the flavor will deteriorate. It will NOT, however, make you sick.

    Elise, I have a question for you.
    Are yellow onions and white onions interchangeable in recipes or is there a difference?

    I’ve been told there is a slight difference between yellow onions and white onions, but frankly I’ve not noticed much of one. I use them interchangeably. Large white onions are more traditionally used than yellow in Mexican cooking. Regarding the sherry, I’m quite sure the sherry I have in the pantry is older than 3 months, but doesn’t seem to affect the taste. ~Elise

  61. Pamela

    Delicious! I agree to go slowly with the salt – you may require less based on personal taste. Also, I substituted plain yogurt for the sour cream and milk for the cream to reduce calories. Will definitely become a winter favorite in my house – so easy to prep the day before.

  62. Peggy Hogan

    Wow! What a great recipe!! My family loved it….gobbled up every bite!!! The only thing I changed was I used chicken tenders and cut them up into bite sized pieces (we don’t like dark meat). Very flavorful and the chicken was so tender and juicy. Definitely will make again. Thank you!

  63. Jee

    Hi Elise,
    I’m planning on making this tomorrow for a couple of my friends – it looks so good!!
    But frankly, I’ve never had a rice casserole dish before and wasn’t sure what it would taste like. Is it similar to risotto in a way? Or closer to paella? I want to have a couple more dishes and wanted to know what it tastes like so I can plan the other dishes accordingly – thanks!

    I would say the texture is somewhere between risotto and paella. But to describe the taste? I think you are just going to have to try it and see for yourself. ;-) ~Elise

  64. Peggy

    Made this dish tonight and it was very good. I used fresh herbs – basil, rosemary, sage, parsley – and dried thyme and pepper which worked well with the cremini mushrooms. Because my teen doesn’t like mushrooms, I doubled the rice and liquid which worked out very well. My family requested I make it with chicken breasts next time. Thanks.

  65. Patti

    Hi Elise-I made the chicken and rice last night and it was a hit! Except , my rice was still crunchy. I feel like I followed the recipe as written except I put it in a smaller casserole dish than called for-could this cause my rice not to completely cook? What should I do differently next time? Thanks-Patti

    Your brand of rice may require more liquid. I would just add another 1/4 cup of stock. Elise

  66. Ellen

    This was so delicious! I didn’t have any sherry on hand, so I used some dry marsala wine instead, and it gave a beautiful flavor. I also like the suggestions in the comments for adding broccoli–I need to try that! That’s sort of the beauty of this recipe–it leaves so much room for adaptation and experimentation. Thank you so much for posting it!

  67. Jee

    WOW.
    That’s all I have to say for this dish!
    I made it last night for a couple of my friends and it was absolutely scrumptious!!
    I substituted paprika (didn’t have any) for some korean crushed chili flakes for a bit of heat and did everything else the same. It took me quite some time to cook since this was my first time ever to cook a casserole dish, but I’m planning to get more used to it since I’ll be making this over and over again! Thanks again Elise! :)

  68. Mayu

    I made this last night and it turned out great. Instead of using pyrex. I prepared and cooked in one oven proof pan.

  69. Espahan

    Yum, yum. I made this dish laast night. It was delicious. I used dried mushrooms and the liquid I re-constituted them with. This gave the chicken and rice dish a very rich mushroom flavor. I will be making this again. I am a rice and chicken person. I could live on rice and chicken in all its forms. My favorite up until now, or I would say they are pretty even for taste is Arroz con Pollo prepared the Cuban way.

  70. Carol

    My folks came over to visit and watch the championship games so I made this for dinner, and it turned out delicious. I used herbs de Provence in place of the Italian/poultry seasonings; yummy. My husband has already staked his claim on the leftovers. Thanks so much.

  71. Caleb

    Very Good! We made this last night and thought is was one of the better recipes we’ve made for a long time. My wife isn’t a fan of dark chicken meat, she loved it! Only thing I could note: even after cooking an additional 10 minutes uncovered, it still seemed like too much liquid. We ate and the extra liquid was fine. It looked worse than it was.
    I highly recommend this recipe! Very Good! Easy to make!

  72. jancd

    I made this casserole for my family last night and it was delicious. I hate to admit, I got up this morning and had the leftovers for breakfast. Mine looked exactly like your picture and everyone enjoyed it. Thanks for your wonderful recipes.

  73. Susannah Albright

    I tried this recipe in the slow cooker! I cooked it up until adding the sherry, and then threw everything in the slow cooker. I had to use about 1-2 cups more broth to sustain the longer cooking time. But it worked out very well! I liked it and half of my 4 kids did, which is not a bad ratio, especially given that one is a vegetarian. I do think the slow cooker method makes the consistency a bit more mushy and there is no crunchy top. But I felt it was worth the convenience. Next time I make it I might try whole thighs rather than pieces (I’m not sure the extra time to cut into chunks was worth it) as well as brown rice. Overall, definitely a slow cooker recipe I will recommend to friends.

  74. Christine

    Hi Elise,

    Sometimes I think you read my mind! I had been looking for a chicken rice casserole without the ‘soup can’ adds and here it is. I didn’t change a thing and made sure as you suggested that I matched liquid to the rice. My husband loved it and the crimini mushrooms give it an awesome flavour. I wonder if a mushroom blend including shiitake and portobello would add even more flavour – I will try but great recipe!

  75. Ava

    This is my first of your recipes to comment on, we loved it. I added frozen broccoli at the mushroom stage, it worked great. This is a great staple recipe as well as a great base recipe for other “cream of can” recipes. Oh I used also low-fat sour cream and whole milk. Still rich and creamy! Thanks Elise!

  76. Luke

    I’m not entirely sure what I did wrong w/ this one. Ultimately it turned out great but it took about an hour longer to bake than the recipe calls for. I did use brown instead of white rice, used FF half and half instead of cream and FF sour cream in place of the full fat. I also live at roughly 6000 ft…would that have something to do w/ it?

    Brown rice typically takes 3 times as long to cook as white rice, so the hour longer cooking time doesn’t surprise me. ~Elise

  77. wendy

    LOVED IT, my boyfriend was telling me how tasty it was, so delicious. Thank you! Thank you, this surely is an other regular for us! I love this site and love your recipes! It is the first place I look for when I dont know what to make! Since I am new at this cooking thing, your website is part of my daily site checks!

  78. Todd

    This was a fantastic recipe! My partner and I both really enjoyed it. It was a little labor intensive as I couldn’t find boneless thighs and had to debone them myself, but it was totally worth it. Keep up the great work!

  79. Christina

    I cooked this on Sunday night. This was yum!
    I boiled my chicken and then sauteed them a bit in the pan. Then I used the chicken broth from boiling the chicken in with the casserole. It was hearty and yet has a nice clean taste. Loved it!
    Thanks for the recipe.

  80. Laura

    I cooked this and it appears the cream (actually I used half and half) broke when it was cooking in the oven. The dish was still edible and very tasty, but really unattractive looking. I want to try again – do you have any suggestions to prevent this from happening again? Thanks for all your recipes!

  81. Anne

    I’ve made this twice and it is incredible! I used brown rice and extended the cooking time by 1/2 hour with great results. I didn’t need to change any of the liquid measures. My whole family loved it. Next time, I think I’ll add veggies. I love everything I’ve tried on Simply Recipes. It is definitely my favorite recipe site.

  82. Ryan

    I have made this a couple of times and it is great. I usually add some peppers with the onions for a little kick. I did however, cook it at 325 when I was trying to watch a basketball game while cooking. I would not recommend cooking it at that temp.

  83. Carrie

    This looks delicious. I’d love to try it, but would need to do a low sodium version, i.e. ultra low sodium chicken broth and not putting any salt in. Would this be a complete disaster? Is the salt integral to the dish? I ask because of the notes you made in the recipe.

    You might try upping the other seasonings to compensate for the lack of salt, and then salting to taste at the table. This dish does need salt. ~Elise

  84. monika

    I tried out this recipe last night. I didn’t have parsley, and I forgot to put in the paprika, but it still tasted great! My boyfriend said it was delicious. I will definitely be making it again.

  85. Chuck Ham

    Very Good Casserole!
    Was looking for a non-canned recipe and found this. Made it and it was delicious! I think that some care has to be taken with the salt, though. I used salt in the browning process as directed but used only a teaspoon when I assembled the broth. My wife and I both agree that it could use less salt so that it can be salted to taste when served.
    The instructions were right on, including the times and the descriptions of the cooking process. The only complaint I have is the prep time, which for me was almost 45 minutes including the “choppage”, browning and assembly. Skinning, boning and cutting up the chicken thighs was a pain, but the result was ABSOLUTELY worth it!

  86. amyc

    Made this last night, except used boneless skinless chicken breast. My husband absolutely loved it! Between the two of us we ate practically the whole pan.

  87. pirateperch

    I tried this according to the directions, and after 45 minutes the rice hadn’t cooked at all. Any suggestions?

    Check the instructions on your package of rice. Standard white rice takes 15 minutes to cook, and is what we are using for this recipe. So if your rice takes normally longer than that, you’ll need to compensate in this recipe too. For example, brown rice typically takes 40 minutes to cook, so you’ll need to at least double the cooking time (or triple) it for it to work in this recipe. Also make sure you have enough liquid in the pan. Rice needs to absorb moisture when it cooks. ~Elise

  88. Linda

    Hi, Elise. I made this recipe again using the cream instead of half-n-half as I had done originally. The cream makes the difference. With the half-n-half, it was too watery. I loved the creaminess better. It’s worth the extra calories for this dish. I’ll skimp on calories somewhere else. Thanks, again.

  89. Melissa

    This dish is great!!! My whole family loved it and it will be added to our “Favorite Recipes” collection. Thanks.

  90. Colleen

    I just found this recipe and I want to try it. Do you think I could use Fat Free Greek Yogurt instead of the Sour Cream?

    I did a lot of trial and error to get to the recipe as is. I haven’t tried it with yogurt instead, so have no idea if it would work. But if you try it, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  91. Nichole

    I have a serious aversion any and all canned “cream” soups! Just the thought of looking at that stuff makes me shudder. Don’t tell me you didn’t have to suffer through that horrible broccoli / rice / cream-of-something-unrecognizable casserole at holiday times?? =P So not fair.

    But this, ahhh, this I can definitely say that I’ll be trying out soon. Well, I say soon. But I think I have five of your recipes tagged alread and I’m only at the Chicken recipe grouping. hehe

    Beautiful blog! Gorgeous pictures! I love how you are still responding to questions and ideas or suggestions even though this was originally posted here nearly seven months ago. I can tell this site is truly a work of love. It shows. I’m very happy to have found this place.

    Delighted you like the site! ~Elise

  92. Jenny

    This was great! Made it last night for my future mother in law. Used everything as called for and it was perfect, except for that I think chicken thighs are gross. I don’t like dark meat. everybody else loved the chicken. I was thinking about trying it with breasts, but brining them first, so they stay moister. We shall see!

  93. xta

    Delicious. I made this with quinoa instead of rice for some GF friends. It was really good. I added some chopped carrots when I cooked the mushrooms for some more color.

  94. Andrea

    I would like to make the chicken rice recipe prior to the day I plan to serve it. I wonder if either of the following would work: Can I put all the ingredients together as listed, refrigerate and cook at a later time(next day)? Or…. is it best to cook it to completion and reheat before serving?
    Thanks.

    I would cook and reheat. ~Elise

  95. Leslie

    My husband grew up eating Campbell’s mushroom soup and chicken casserole, and he loved it! I found this recipe and thought it might be an upgrade. We have made it 3 times now and it is DELICIOUS! I love your blog!!! It is now my go-to site for new recipe ideas. Thanks! :)

  96. Amy M

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I tried it last night and it made me look like a kitchen super star! I especially loved the flavor dry roasting the mushrooms gave the dish but most of all I loved that this recipe contains no canned soup. I’m a time starved working mom just beginning to find my way in the kitchen. I need to learn and utilize every trick in the book in order to present a healthy meal on the dinner table each night so I very much appreciated you sharing how to prep this dish in advance as well as how to incorporate brown rice or make it dairy free. I just found your site last week and am eager to try many more of the foods your family enjoys. Thanks again.

  97. Chelsea

    For lower fat, I substituded 1% milk for cream and used a “light” sour cream. I gave it a rich flavor with red wine. It was excellent.

  98. Rhian

    I just had this recipe for dinner tonight and my husband and I loved it! So thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. The house smelled so nice while it was cooking. I followed the recipe exactly and used Jasmine rice and it came out perfect, no liquid left.
    I love your blog, I have made 6 recipes of yours and they never failed to impress me!

  99. Elysabeth

    To Leslie: I’m lactose intolerant and made this recipe tonight with some substitutions and it was fantastic. I used lactose free milk with about 1 tsp of melted cultured butter for the cream and lactose free sour cream. Most people with lactose intolerance can also tolerate live Greek yogurt, so that is another option.

    My sister is allergic to dairy and I passed the recipe on to her too. You should be able to use soy/almond/rice or even coconut milk and soy yogurt to make it 100% dairy free. I think the sherry/wine and chicken stock would cover most of any “planty” taste from the dairy substitutes.

    Thanks SO MUCH for a great casserole recipe without canned cream of sludge soup, it is great for those of us who cook with dietary restrictions. :)

  100. Natalie

    I substituted plain yogurt for the sour cream and skim milk for the cream. It turned out quite creamy and very delicious. It’s a good please anyone meal as my 2-year-old, 5-year-old, husband, and grandparents all loved it.

  101. Tia

    Hey, I do not like cream or sour cream, is there an alternative for these? Thanks! (: – Tia

    Not for this recipe. ~Elise

  102. Anne-Huston Parker

    Made this casserole tonight for dinner. I was looking for a chicken and rice casserole without having to use any cream of what ever soup. Followed the recipe exactly except was too lazy and didn’t use any of the fresh herbs. It still was delicious! The hubbs comment “Wow have you made this before this is really good”. It’s a winner!
    Thanks Elise.

  103. Biz

    We add browned almond slivers to our family’s chicken and rice…and no sour cream or soup cans of any kind. it’s one of my FAVORITE
    remind me of home recipes. :) glad you shared your version.

  104. carissajade

    LOVED this! I changed it a bit. I used chicken breast, and probably sauteed them a bit more than I should have. I didn’t have any cream so I used half cream of chicken soup and half chicken stock. I also added broccoli and topped it off with cheese. I let it cook for an extra 30 minutes and it was perfect. Probably not the healthiest, but delicious!

  105. Beth

    I made this for the second time last night. The first time I followed the recipe exactly and thought that it was a little dry. This time I added another splash of wine and about another 1/4 C of stock. It was much creamier this time.

  106. KDKennedy

    My husband made a rare request for dinner tonight – chicken and rice casserole. After searching through multiple food websites, I was disappointed at the “cream of you-name-it soup” sludge listed everywhere. The recipe here looked amazing, fresh, and delicious. And it didn’t disappoint! Thanks again for providing a wonderful meal for my family!

  107. Anna

    Hi, I have a question – could I use chicken drumsticks instead of chicken thighs? Also, I plan to use brown rice and am wondering if extending the cooking time to accomodate for the rice would dry out the chicken too much? Would love to know your thoughts. Thanks so much! Anna.

    Great questions. Yes you can use chicken drumsticks. I haven’t made this with brown rice, but other commenters have, so you should review the comments to see what their experiences have been. ~Elise

  108. Michelle

    This casserole is my go-to for dinner parties. The ingredients are simple and blend so nicely that even picky eaters can enjoy. Each time I have made it I think I have done it differently, usually because I was out an ingredient. Yet each time has been a big hit.
    I wanted to share with you my strangest substitution. This one goes into the Macgyver category. Halfway through the prep I realized I forgot to buy cream and had just enough sour cream to make the recipe. Panicking, I looked everywhere for a possible substitute, including the freezer. Yep, thawed vanilla ice cream went in the dish with the chicken stock. No one the wiser till now!
    Thanks for sharing all your recipes and thanks for always trying to find a new way to make old favorites.

  109. Lauren

    Wow! This was delicious! My husband and I loved it. I added in frozen peas to the casserole dish and used half and half. When I googled “chicken and rice casserole” and found your site, I feel like I’ve made something else so yummy from here, but I can’t remember! I doubled the recipe as I was making as I brought one dish over to a homeless shelter nearby. When I saw they needed a chicken and rice casserole, I wanted to make something from scratch without condensed soup. So glad I found your recipe and that I made a second batch for my family. I’m adding you to my google reader right away. Thanks so much!

  110. Ted

    I have made this so many times now. Utterly amazing stuff. I use pet milk instead of the heavy cream and reduced fat sour cream and change the spice around a little bit but mostly stick right with the recipe. It actually goes amazingly well with a good southern rhone, like a gigondas or even a chateauneuf du pape if you are feeling spendy.

  111. Suzanne

    This dish is delicious. This was one of the first recipes I tried on your web site years ago when you only had a few dozen recipes posted. Chicken and rice is one of my favorite dishes, but it has to have a certain aroma and rich flavor. My wonderful Hungarian grandmother, Nana, was an amazing cook but she never wrote anything down. Her chicken and rice had a certain depth of flavor I could never capture in all the chicken and rice recipes I tried over the decades, until I found your recipe. Every time I eat this yummy casserole my heart is filled by beautiful memories of sitting in my Nana’s kitchen on my granparent’s farm. Thank you Elise!

  112. audra

    I just wanted to let you know how much I love this recipe. My FIL recently moved in with us and he is really laid back about food. He rarely requests a particular dish except this one. I could make this for him every week and he would be happy. I’ve served it to company several times and almost always have to print the recipe out for them to take home. I’ve tried other recipes of yours and they are all wonderful.

  113. Jenn

    My kiddos love casseroles and I’m always trying to find recipes that do not use soup as the base. My only question is- what other veggie would you recommend rather than mushrooms? I love them but my spouse does not. Thanks for all the great recipes! I love this website!

    I think some folks had recommended peas, which I’m guessing would be a good addition. ~Elise

  114. Sean

    Wow, this was fantastic. I made this for my fiance last night, who is in late-stage pregnancy and as a result can be quite picky about what she’s eating right now, and we both absolutely loved it. I was kind of dubious when I first saw this recipe, thinking it might be a bit bland, but not at all. It was perfect, so thank you!

    Really glad I found this site by the way. I’ve spent the past hour just reading and bookmarking recipes here, and I’ve only gotten through the beef and part of the chicken portion of your blog. I can tell already I’m going to be spending a LOT of time here. Great looking recipes all over the place.

    Awesomeness. Thanks again!

  115. Karen

    This has been one of my “go to” recipes, especially for company. My mother in law even asked for the recipe! I have adapted it to be dairy, free, though, as I have family members who cannot tolerate dairy. I just use a total of 2 cups of chicken stock or broth, using 1/4 cup of it to deglaze the pan, and the remaining stock or broth in the casserole. I also was able to cut the salt down to 1/2 tsp (not counting the salt used while cooking the chicken) and I reduced the poultry seasoning to 1 tsp.

  116. sons

    it was delicious and was easy to make , but my rice was not cooked enough though i follwed the exact intructions , it was a little raw …. any one knows why ?? . . yet the taste was good . thanks for the recipe

    Could be your particular rice just needed to cook longer, and perhaps with a little more liquid. ~Elise

  117. elsab

    This has become a go-to recipe since I found it last year when looking for a gluten free recipe for a pregnant friend. I love it and have adapted it in a few ways – one time I cut up potatoes and threw them in, tonight I added green beans. I’ve made it both with dairy and without — I find it more of a meal with dairy. So easy and so yummy!

  118. Janet Parks

    I have made this recipe at least a half dozen times now, initially because I was looking for a recipe without canned “cream of” soups. This is absolutely amazing — the best chicken and rice recipe ever. One of my husband’s favorite casseroles is chicken and rice and he says this is the best — even better than his grandmother’s recipe. The mushrooms really add something as does the sherry. Make it just as the recipe says and you won’t be disappointed. Whole house smells wonderful when this is cooking! I would serve this to company — it’s both down home and special at the same time.

  119. Lee Schwall

    I agree with all the comments above. However the creamy ingredients separated from the liquids while cooking. I expected the sauce to thicken. We had small white clumps and clear broth. My family still enjoyed the flavor. Yet I was hoping for a creamy consistency. What was my error?
    Laura posted on Jan.28′ 2009′ the same result. Please advise.

    I would love to offer advice on this problem, but I have none. Your guess is as good as mine. ~Elise

  120. Hope

    Wow this dish is so yummy! Thank you all for your elaborations on a wholesome delish easy dinner.

    Much love :0)

  121. David

    Awesome recipe. I was also looking for a chicken casserole that avoided canned soup. This one was perfect. The sauce is dynamite — flavors of chicken, garlic, onion and herbs. You could easily add a chopped-up green vegetable to this (brocolli, for example.) I made mine with brown rice — longer cooking time.

  122. Lauren

    This was delish! Love the adaptability.

    I did do an Arroz Con Pollo version; with Pollo Asado (breast meat, so after browning I added the chicken to the dish half way through bake time); and added Sazon seasoning to the creme mixture.

    It was a hit and fed a hungry husband, myself, and 3 tweens :)

  123. Glitterati

    Great recipe! Had that classic warm, savory, “sticky” rice casserole flavour without needing to use canned soup. Made this using brown rice and it turned out great — used extra stock as per rice package instructions, and baked for about 1h 30 mins. Added some chopped broccoli, but next time I would probably mix in the broccoli maybe 30 mins into the baking time, as it turned out a little mushy for me. Still very tasty though.

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.