Italian Chicken and Rice Casserole

Italian Chicken and Rice Casserole

I wanted to make a chicken casserole the other day, but I wanted one that I’d never made before.  After pondering for a while, I decided to alter Chicken and Cheesy Rice Casserole and give it an Italian spin.  Everyone liked it.  We had leftovers for lunch the next day and I thought it was even better leftover.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Italian Chicken and Rice Casserole

Serves: 6-8 servings

  • 2-3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
  • 1 cup rice, uncooked
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 2 cans (15 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • ½-1 tsp. oregano
  • ½-1 tsp. basil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or crushed
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Put the chicken in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.
  2. Sprinkle the rice, red pepper and parsley over the top.
  3. Spread the cheese evenly over the top.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the broth, chicken soup,, oregano, basil, garlic and pepper.
  5. Pour evenly over the top of the other ingredients.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.
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  1. yum! i make one using alfredo sauce which is a nice different take on a rice casserole. tfs

  2. do you cook the rice first?

  3. Trudy Garvey says:

    I presume the rice is uncooked when you put it in the casserole?

  4. Great recipe! I think I’ll try it using some of the chicken that is currently cooking in my crockpot. Have you even tried freezing this type of casserole? I’m on the lookout for simple, tasty casseroles that can be frozen and eaten after our baby is born.

    • Ashley, I haven’t tried freezing a casserole with rice, but I bet it would work. I recently added a lot of freezer recipes and even a menu and grocery list full of freezer foods. Here’s the link to the Frozen Food category.

  5. guess it’s time to get the bag-o-chicken parts (leg quarters) out of the freezer and ‘crock’ them. I’m out of cooked chicken. Then I could cook this in the toaster oven.
    Thx for the inspi!

  6. That looks quite tasty!!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Just wanted to say this looks yummy and I’m going to make it this next week. I really enjoy your website and appreciate simple but tasty recipes that motivate me to cook more. Too bad my kids don’t always appreciate my efforts. God bless you and thank you.

  8. This is in my oven! I completely messed it up though!! 🙁 I added 1/2 cup extra rice then added more broth to compensate…now 75 mintues later it still looks like soup. Debating on whether to take it out and calm our growling bellies or wait till the rice soaks it all up…
    Your picture makes it loook sooooo good and my house smells equally as good…That’s what I get for not following the recipe – not a first for me LOL 🙂

  9. Oh, this picture makes it look soooooo yummy! Since my hubby is not a chicken fan, I’ve been waiting to try it while he was on duty…..and being the frugal mom that I am, I thought I would make it in 2 9×9 pans rather than a 9×13, so that I could freeze one for another day when its just me and the kids — that kinda messed up the liquid parts — so, I’ll have to practice a little more to get it right!! I also added mushrooms just because I saw them in the fridge while I was getting the bell pepper out! But, it is a wonderful dish and a definite keeper…..thanks so much for your great ideas. I come here often looking for dinner inspiration!

  10. I just made this for dinner 2 nights ago and thought it was great. Living overseas I didn’t have cream of chicken soup or canned broth on hand. I used about 6 cups home made broth, with about 1 cup sour cream stirred in. It was great!! So glad I put it on my menu plan last week!
    Thanks for the great recipe.

  11. Bernice says:

    I just made this in my rice cooker.
    I left the cover open, hit STEAM to cook the (frozen) peppers.
    Added the soup, chicken, rice, spices and 1 1/2 c water with 2 tsp of chicken bouillon.
    Closed lid, set to “WHITE RICE” to cook. It beeped as done much too early, stirred and set to “WHITE RICE” again. When it was done, I topped with cheese and all0wed it to melt on the “WARM” cycle.
    I have an Aroma 10 cup basic rice cooker with White, Brown, and Steam options.

  12. My casserole is in the oven right now!! Can’t wait to try it. I did use fresh basil instead of dried…..only because my garden is brimming with it! Hoping it turns out okay with that. Thank you for posting. Truly enjoying your blog…just recently stumbled upon it.

  13. I can not wait to try this recipe out on the family. It will be a wonderful change from the usual chicken casserole.

  14. I made this tonight and it is so yummy! I substituted diced tomatoes instead of pepper since my family doesn’t like peppers. I also used some leftover rice I had on hand and decreased the time to 30 minutes. Thanks for sharing!

  15. No one here really eats bell pepper at all so I used diced Italian tomatoes instead, and cheddar cheese since that’s what I had on hand. I hope it turns out as good as your picture looks!

  16. This is in my oven as we speak. I used some jarred roasted red pepper, and red pepper flakes instead of black. I sauteed some green onion, onion, garlic and mushrooms, and layered them on top of the chicken and rice before the cheese. Yum! I think this will freeze very well too! Love this recipe, simple, but can dress it up if you wish.

  17. When you say “2 cans” of broth, is that 1 pint or two? I did two and I have this sneaking suspicion that it’s too much. I also didn’t cook the chicken first as it’s in there for an hour.

  18. 30 oz? good to know. I used a box, or one quart (32oz). it came out pretty good. I needed to use a bigger bowl for the broth/soup stuff to mix it up better. after about 90 minutes it turned out pretty good. Even my wife liked it and she has a thing about melted cheese (I know).

  19. Can I make this ahead of time and leave it in the fridge to pop in the oven for dinner?

  20. How did I miss this one? I might try this next week in the slow cooker since I’m avoiding the oven due to the heat.

  21. I was about to make this and realized I didn’t have regular rice. All I had was the minute rice. That wouldn’t work, would it? What if I substituted egg noodles? What do you think?

    • Lara, you could probably do it with minute rice or noodles, but you would cook both first. And you would need less liquid in the casserole. You could probably bake it for less time too.

  22. I used brown rice and it came out undercooked. Would I add more broth next time and cook it for longer? I know brown rice takes longer to cook.

  23. With that kind of cooking time/temp, I’m wondering if I could use uncooked chicken… any thoughts? There’s another casserole I do (bruschetta chicken bake with canned tomatoes, stuffing, cheese) that bakes at 400F for 30 minutes, and I’ve never had the chicken come out undercooked.

  24. So, I’ve been waiting all week to make this just to make sure I had time. Super good, super creamy. I didn’t have parsley or a fresh red bell pepper so I used a little bit of roasted red pepper that I had left, a fresh tomato and about half a zucchini from the garden and some fresh basil. Loved it, had to cook it a little longer but well worth the wait, thanks for such a great recipe!!!!!!!!!

    • Remember it is fresh roasted hatch Chile season! They come in mild, medium and hot and if you aren’t a New Mexico or Arizona resident Whole Foods usually has them. I have a bushel frozen now so I’ll try this recipe with them.

  25. Is there a way to sustitute chicken with any other meat, hubby is allergic to poultry

  26. do i cook the chicken to first before i put it in the pan? i know i do not cook the rice

  27. Chrissie says:

    I made this recipe last night. I did use uncooked, cubed chicken breasts and they were cooked perfectly by the time the rice was done. I also added salt, paprika and onion powder and stirred a few times during the actual baking. It was quite delicious and easy and we will definitely make this again.

  28. Do you bake the casserole covered or uncovered?

  29. Can you use noodles instead of rice?

    • I think you could. You would cook them before adding them and then only bake the casserole for 20-30 minutes. Also, you’d only use about 1/2 cup of broth and you might need 2 cans of cream soup. Kind of a different casserole at that point, but it sounds good!

  30. Any ideas for sides that go well with this dish? I can’t wait to make it!!

  31. I don’t have cream of chicken soup is their a substuite

  32. No cream of chicken like I thought but I did find cream of mushroom which I think will be just as great!!! Will let you know 🙂

  33. The chicken and cheesy rice casserole is a favorite at our house; we altered it a bit by adding some uncooked broccoli florets to the casserole dish along with the chicken; turned out great!

  34. Should it be covered with aluminum foil while in the oven?

  35. This is exactly the type of recipe I want to make tonight- simple and good. I’m going to follow it closely, except I’m using homemade stock made from the chicken I cooked and de-boned yesterday. I’ve made similar recipes, and I always skip one step: I mix all the wet ingredients in the 9×13, then add the dry ingredients. There’s never a noticeable difference in the outcome, other than less cleanup. I’ll let you know how it comes out. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Patricia Labandeira says:

      Sarah, did you try this with uncooked chicken?? Did it work?? I wondering if I would get the chicken the white, egg looking residue (like when I bake chicken) inside the ca

  36. I only had minute rice and threw it in before I realized I probably should have cooked it first! Oops! Anyone done this? Did it turn out ok?

    • If you use minute rice, it won’t need as long to bake. The recipe is for uncooked long grain rice. It should still work with minute, but just won’t take as long.

  37. Katrina Ramsay says:

    I made this and as absolutely loved it!! So easy and delicious

  38. Anonymous says:

    Ok so I have made this twice are you to cook for 1 hour 15min or 2 hours 15 min it is taking at least 2plus to get the rice done

  39. I have made this many times. We love it. I’v never had any problems with the recipe as written.

  40. Anonymous says:

    How could you alter this by using left over rice and chicken?

    • Thats a great thought! I think I would cook the bell pepper and garlic in a little olive oil till soft. Then stir the rice, chicken, bell pepper and other seasonings together with 1 1/2 cups of cheese, 1 can of cream soup and a little bit of broth so that it’s a good consistency. Then pour in a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 till hot.

  41. I just made this and it was great! My only question is, with the long cook time do you think the chicken could go in raw (cubed up small of course) and cook over the course of the hour along with the rice? Would save me a step of cooking the chicken. I didn’t do that this time for safety and the chicken was just a little dryer than I like.
    I also used roasted red sandwich peppers instead of fresh and 2 cups of cheese which I put directly on top instead of under the sauce so it got browned on the edges and was perfect.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  42. Can I use a microwave? If so, what’s the temperature and for how long?

  43. I made this and followed the directions except using a 32 oz container of broth instead of 2 15 oz cans since that’s what I had and it was only 2 oz different.

    I’m not sure what went wrong but the casserole was really watery. More like a baked stew than a typical casserole. I think I’m going to try adding more rice next time and see if that will absorb the extra liquid.

  44. Hi I have this casserole in the oven and it’s almost been cooking for an hour and 20 minutes and the rice is uncooked still and there is tons of broth in the dish still. I rechecked everything to see if i did it correctly and it is. I’m soo confused. I just used regular uncooked long grain rice! Any thoughts?

    • Tanya, I’m sorry that the dish didn’t turn out right. Sometimes, I think it’s the type of rice used. I’ve had similar problems with Walmart brand long grain rice. It also could be that your oven doesn’t cook hot enough.

  45. Would this work to make ahead of time, freeze and then bake?

    • I’m not sure this one would be a good one to freeze before baking, because the rice isn’t cooked first. You could alter the recipe and cook the rice before assembling the casserole. You won’t need to add nearly as much (if any) chicken broth to the rice when assembling though.

  46. Did I miss something? My rice was undercooked, even with cooking in oven for nearly 1.5 hours! My family was STARVING so we ate it anyway. I followed the recipe exactly with only one substitution… i changed out the red pepper for sun-dried tomatoes. I used regular rice. Should I have used instant??

    • Some types of rice seem to take longer in this recipe. I especially had trouble with Walmart brand long-grain. Sorry that it didn’t work for you.

  47. This casserole is ahmazing. So easy to make and it comes out great every time! Mine doesn’t look quite like the picture (maybe I need more cheese on top). But I make this at least a few times in the winter.

  48. Anne Gideon says:

    Could you use brown rice? Would you need more liquid or a longer cook time?


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