Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole

Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole
Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole. Photo: Diana Rattray
  • 50 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ratings (10)

This casserole makes a delicious and satisfying everyday meal for busy families.  A purchased rotisserie chicken and microwave rice packets can make this meal even easier to prepare. The easy sauce is a basic cheese sauce made with milk and chicken broth.

Serve the chicken and rice casserole with biscuits and sliced tomatoes for a perfect family dinner.

What You'll Need

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sliced or chopped mushrooms
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 2 ounces chopped pimiento, drained
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cups cooked diced chicken
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, optional
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

How to Make It

Heat oven to 350 F.

Grease a shallow 2-quart casserole dish.

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the green onions and continue cooking, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in flour until blended into the butter and vegetable mixture. Add the chicken broth and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the milk or cream, 1 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper, and drained pimiento.

Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted. Add the rice, chicken, and parsley; stir to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed.

Spoon the chicken and rice mixture into the prepared casserole and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Toss bread crumbs with the melted butter until the crumbs are well drenched with the butter. Sprinkle over the cheese layer.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the bread crumb topping is browned.

Expert Tips

Make and freeze bread crumbs for any time you need them for casseroles, crab cakes or meatballs, or meatloaf. Tear dry day-old bread into pieces and process it in the food processor to make fine crumbs. Put the crumbs in freezer bags and store it in the freezer. If the bread is still quite moist, tear it into pieces and arrange the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 F just until the pieces are dry and crusty.

Variations

Replace the chicken with leftover cooked turkey or ham.

Add thawed frozen peas or peas and carrots to the chicken and rice mixture.

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Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 1183
Total Fat 62 g
Saturated Fat 32 g
Unsaturated Fat 19 g
Cholesterol 205 mg
Sodium 1,473 mg
Carbohydrates 105 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Protein 49 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)