This Chicken and Rice recipe has it all! Tender rotisserie chicken, rice, and broccoli are combined with a creamy, cheesy sauce, then finished with a buttery cracker topping. It’s family-friendly for a weeknight dinner, but perfect for a potluck too.
One of my favorite meal planning hacks is rotisserie chicken. Buy one and you can have easy dinners for days! Start by serving the chicken with a side of broccoli casserole, reserve a few cups for this Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe, then use the leftovers to make homemade chicken noodle soup, Easy Chicken Tetrazzini, or white chicken enchiladas.
Chicken and Rice Recipe
Chicken and Rice Casserole is one of those classic weeknight meals that seem to have endless variations. Different versions use different types of soups and vegetables; some have a crispy cracker topping, while others are sprinkled with paprika.
I might be biased, but I think this is the best Chicken and Rice recipe because it’s easy to make, super creamy, and cheesy, and it gets a boost in the nutrition department thanks to the addition of broccoli. (Even with the broccoli, I promise your kids will devour it!)
For the Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Rotisserie chicken – Or use leftover Instant Pot Whole Chicken.
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Chicken broth – You can use chicken stock, too, just note that you may need to add some additional salt since stock is unseasoned.
- Olive oil
- White long-grain rice
- Frozen broccoli florets
- Condensed cream of chicken soup
- Milk – I like using either whole or reduced-fat milk when cooking.
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheddar cheese
For the casserole topping:
- Ritz crackers – Or a similar buttery cracker, like Town House.
- Melted butter
- Soup – Cream of chicken soup can be replaced with cream of celery or cream of mushroom.
- Veggies – Not a fan of broccoli? Frozen peas, cauliflower, or even a vegetable medley can be used in this recipe.
- Crackers – You can leave out the crackers and butter and use French-fried onions instead.
How to Make Chicken and Rice
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish with butter or cooking spray.
2. Cook the Rice
Add the butter, chicken broth, olive oil, and rice to a large pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer; cook for 7 minutes. Remove from heat. (You can also make Instant Pot Rice.)
3. Add the Broccoli and Sauce Ingredients
Stir the broccoli into the rice, then put the cover back on the pot. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then stir in the rotisserie chicken, soup, milk, sour cream, and a cup of the shredded cheese.
4. Bake the Chicken and Rice Casserole
Pour the chicken and rice mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. Cover and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
5. Add the Topping
Melt the butter and crumble the crackers. Fold the cracker crumbs into the melted butter, then sprinkle them over the top of the casserole.
6. Finish Cooking
Return the casserole to the oven, uncovered, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown. Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Hint: If you have leftovers, I recommend heating them in the oven at 350ºF rather than microwaving them. This keeps the topping crispy!
- Turkey and Rice – If you’ve got leftovers after Thanksgiving, feel free to swap the chicken for cooked turkey.
- Chicken, Rice, and Spinach – Amp up the veggie factor by folding in fresh baby spinach in Step 7 of the recipe.
How do you make chicken and rice?
There are many ways to make chicken and rice, and you’ll find my version below. It combines rotisserie chicken with rice, broccoli, and a creamy, cheesy sauce.
Is plain chicken and rice healthy?
Sure! You’ve got a protein and a carb. Add a vegetable and you have a pretty balanced meal. Of course, plain chicken and rice are a little bit bland, which is why the combo is usually gussied up with a sauce, like in the recipe below.
Is it safe to cook raw chicken and rice together?
In this recipe, we use rotisserie chicken, so this isn’t a concern. Rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut whenever you’re making a chicken casserole!
Will uncooked rice cook in a casserole?
No, the rice needs to be partially cooked for this casserole, as described in the recipe. It will continue to soften while baking in the oven.
Don’t use instant rice for this recipe. You’ll end up with a mushy, unappetizing texture!
If you’re looking for more….try these recipes next!
- Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles
- Easy White Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Ranch Sandwich
- Easy Turkey Tetrazzini
- Frito Pie Casserole
- Potato Soup
- Cornbread Casserole
- Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
- Baked Ziti
Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups white long grain rice uncooked
- 16 oz bag frozen broccoli florets thawed
- 10.5 oz Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese separated
- Casserole Topping
- 1 cup Ritz crackers crushed
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat until melted. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Note: This step is not needed if using a cooked rotisserie chicken.
- Add the chicken broth, olive oil, and rice to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cover tightly and cook for 7 minutes.
- Add the broccoli to the rice and turn off the heat. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes, do not stir.
- Add the cooked chicken, soup, milk, sour cream, and half of the cheddar cheese. Stir only to combine.
- Add to a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Cover and bake for 15 minutes.
- Melt the butter and crumble up the crackers. Combine to form the topping for the casserole.
- Top the casserole with the crumbled cracker topping and bake uncovered for 10 additional minutes.
- Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes prior to serving.