Hearty Chicken And Rice Casserole Recipe

There's nothing quite like a good old casserole. It's a one-pot meal, the ultimate comfort food, and often an extremely nostalgic dish. Whether you grew up eating green bean casserole at Thanksgiving or a weekly tater tot hot dish, a casserole can really make memories flood back. After all, how can you even hear the word without conjuring up images of a large, hearty, and warm meal?

While many classic casserole recipes lean on processed foods such as canned cream of mushroom soup, this hearty chicken and rice casserole recipe from food photographer and recipe developer Catherine Brookes uses only whole, unprocessed foods and most importantly, it is absolutely delicious.

"This dish is nutritious, filling and super tasty," Brookes says. "One that the whole family will love!" You need minimal prep time, a little over an hour, and easily sourced ingredients to make a casserole that your family or dinner party guests will love. Let's get started!

Gather your ingredients for hearty chicken and rice casserole

For this recipe, you'll need olive oil, diced boneless skinless chicken thighs, and a diced onion. You'll also need two cloves of crushed garlic, mushrooms, rice, chicken stock, and grated cheddar cheese. To season your casserole, you'll need Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. You'll also need some white wine. Don't worry about picking the wrong wine — according to Brookes, any white wine will do.

Last but certainly not least, you'll need some crème fraîche. "I think the crème fraîche adds something special as it brings a delicious creaminess to the rice," Brookes says.

Cook the chicken, carrots, onion, and garlic

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken thighs until they are cooked through, or about 6 to 8 minutes. Once you've cooked the diced chicken, remove it from the pan and set it aside in a bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and cook the diced carrot and onion over medium heat for around 5 minutes. After 5 minutes are up, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. While the garlic is cooking, make sure to constantly stir the contents of the pan.

Finish the stovetop cooking

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Add the mushrooms and Italian herbs to the frying pan. Continue cooking the mushrooms, carrots, onion, garlic, and Italian herbs for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. After 2 to 3 minutes, pour the white wine into the pan and let it simmer for an additional 3 minutes. Then pour the crème fraîche into the pan and stir it through the vegetables and white wine.

Bake the casserole

At this point, you've done all that you can on the stovetop and it's time to get your casserole into the oven. Transfer the vegetable mixture from the pan into a large, oven-safe dish. Add the rice, chicken stock, and chicken to baking dish and stir everything together. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole. Bake your chicken and rice casserole for another 15 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.

Serve and store the casserole

Once your chicken and rice casserole is finished baking, it's ready to serve! If you'd like to add a little something to your casserole, serve it topped with chopped fresh parsley. This casserole should last 1 day in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. "It's a great cozy winter dinner, or perhaps for serving if you have guests," says Brookes.

Hearty Chicken And Rice Casserole Recipe
4.9 from 19 ratings
This hearty chicken and rice casserole will warm you right up, and it may make you feel a little nostalgic, too.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
1.28
hours
Servings
6
servings
chicken and rice casserole on plates
Total time: 1.37 hours
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 22 ounces skinless boneless chicken thighs, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, peeled and diced
  • ½ teaspoon Italian herbs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • ⅓ cup crème fraîche
  • 1 ½ cups rice
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Optional Ingredients
  • fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
Directions
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken on a medium-high heat until cooked through, or about 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside in a bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook the onion and carrot over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  5. Add the mushrooms and Italian herbs to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Pour in the wine and let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
  7. Stir the crème fraîche through the contents of the pan.
  8. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large, oven-safe dish. Add the rice, chicken stock, and chicken to the oven dish and stir everything together.
  9. Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil from the casserole dish. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole and bake, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.
  11. Optionally top the casserole off with fresh chopped parsley.
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