Chicken and Rice Casserole

CasseroleComfort FoodGluten-FreeChicken

Chicken and Rice Casserole - chicken pieces browned then baked in casserole with mushrooms, onions, garlic, rice, stock, cream, and sour cream. This chicken and rice bake is flavorful and delicious!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Chicken and Rice Casserole Minus the Soup Can

Have you ever had the classic soup can cream of mushroom chicken and 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 and rice casserole, sans the cans, with the goal of extracting as much flavor as I could out of the ingredients.

Chicken and Rice Casserole (Chicken and Rice Bake)

How to Get Flavor from the Ingredients

First, you will note that we use chicken thighs, instead of the more popular (and more expensive by the way) breasts for this chicken and rice casserole. The thighs have more flavor, and are a little fattier, meaning they won’t dry out with long cooking for this chicken and rice bake.

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 chicken and rice bake 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. You 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.


  • 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.


1 Preheat oven to 375°F.

2 Brown the chicken pieces: Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high or high heat (hot enough to brown but not burn). 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 olive oil if needed with every batch.

Remove chicken pieces and set aside in a bowl. Note that the chicken does not have to be cooked through, only browned.

Browning Chicken Pieces for Cream of Mushroom Chicken and Rice Casserole Browning Onions for Chicken and Rice Casserole

3 Sauté the onions and garlic: 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.

Sautéing Mushrooms in skillet for Chicken and Rice Casserole Dry Sherry in pan to make Chicken and Rice Casserole

4 Sauté the mushrooms: 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.

5 Make the sauce: 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.

6 Assemble the casserole: 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.

Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice mixture (in a single layer if you can, they will be crowded).

Chicken and Rice Bake (Chicken and Rice Casserole)

7 Bake:  Cover the casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil.

If the casserole still has too much liquid, let it cook a few minutes more, uncovered, until the excess liquid has evaporated away.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Chicken and Rice Casserole on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the Founder and President of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

142 Comments / Reviews

No ImageChicken and Rice Casserole

Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Melissa

    Exactly what I was craving!


  • Liz

    I am probably asking a really dumb question, but I am a beginner in the kitchen. When you say cream, do you mean heavy whipping cream?

  • Patricia Montana

    Hi, Elise! Your recipes always look so good! As a vegan, I read many recipes to see if they can be adapted to our way of eating. I’ve always loved chicken and rice dishes and yours looked the best of any I saw. So I used my favorite chicken analog, soy curls and my favorite faux chicken broth to rehydrate them and to use as the broth base. I had to sub for the dairy do I used my homemade soy yogurt and some dairy free cream cheese I just happened to have. Kept all the spices the same except I don’t cook with oil so my pan didn’t have much to deglaze. I still added the sherry (cooking sherry, don’t groan!) and reduced it. I used white rice as i like it better than brown. I just mixed it all up and put it in the casserole. Wow, soo delicious! It was so like the casserole I used to make in my chicken-eating days! Thank you for this delicious recipe!

  • Di knip

    This is delicious just as a it is written. I did sub out sherry for Marsala. And sprinkled paprika over the top. I served this to guests and they were very pleased.

  • Anne-Marie

    My guy and I loved this I read all of the reviews beforehand and decided not to make any additions. I served green peas on the side instead and confess to a huge extra dollop on top of my own 2 servings – yes, I’m greedy when a dish is this good, lol!. I also noted another reviewer had suggested more paprika and pleased I took that on board. I used basmati, was all I had and turned out superbly. I adore recipes like this where the quantities and cooking time are exact. A real winner and keeper thank you.

View More
Chicken Rice Casserole (chicken and rice bake)Chicken and Rice Casserole