Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole

Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole
Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole. Photo: Diana Rattray
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1183 Calories
62g Fat
105g Carbs
49g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1183
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 62g 79%
Saturated Fat 32g 160%
Cholesterol 205mg 68%
Sodium 1473mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 105g 38%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 49g
Calcium 566mg 44%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

  2. Heat oven to 350 F.

  3. Grease a shallow 2-quart casserole dish.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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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