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
- 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
- 1/2-1 tsp. oregano
- 1/2-1 tsp. basil
- 1 garlic clove minced or crushed
- black pepper to taste
- Put the chicken in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.
- Sprinkle the rice, red pepper and parsley over the top.
- Spread the cheese evenly over the top.
- In a small bowl, combine the broth, chicken soup,, oregano, basil, garlic and pepper.
- Pour evenly over the top of the other ingredients.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.
yum! i make one using alfredo sauce which is a nice different take on a rice casserole. tfs
Bridget Kagabines says
Can you share recipe
do you cook the rice first?
The recipe says rice uncooked
Trudy Garvey says
I presume the rice is uncooked when you put it in the casserole?
Trudy, yes it is uncooked. I’ll edit the recipe to show that.
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.
Katherine Damico says
What do you serve with this dish?
Tiffany King says
Here are some ideas: salad, roasted brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, rolls… Hope that helps 🙂
Can you use brown rice for this recipe also?
Tiffany King says
The brown rice will take a lot longer to cook. I think this one works better with white rice for that reason.
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!
Alison @ Hospitality Haven says
That looks quite tasty!!
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.
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 🙂
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!
Do you cover the casserole dish
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.
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.
Bernice, now I really want a rice cooker. I didn’t know you could do things like a casserole in one. Cool!
When cooking this in oven do you cover it???
Beth Moore says
Paula – this one cooks uncovered to help the top get nicely browned. It can’t hurt to check your casserole throughout the cooking time though, as each oven is just a little different!
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.
Kristi, fresh basil will be fantastic!
I can not wait to try this recipe out on the family. It will be a wonderful change from the usual chicken casserole.
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!
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!
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.
Chris, your version sounds fantastic!
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.
Dave, it’s 2 15oz cans. So about 30 oz of broth.
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).
Dave, I’m glad it turned out.
Next time I’ll add some salt and maybe some lemon juice/zest. Otherwise, it’s a great weeknight meal and for my pregnant friends.
SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen says
Can I make this ahead of time and leave it in the fridge to pop in the oven for dinner?
I think that would work. I don’t see why not. If you try it, let me know how it goes.
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.
Did you make this in the slow cooker? How long did you cook it for? Did you use raw or cooked chicken?
Allison, I’ve never made this in the slow cooker. It does use cooked chicken.
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.
If I used minute rice, how much broth do you suggest I use? Also, how long in the oven with the minute rice?
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.
Kelly, yes more liquid and longer cooking time for brown rice.
How much extra liquid do you suggest?
This is just a guess, but maybe 1/2 cup more? Or if it seemed really dry, maybe close to a cup more? I don’t do casseroles with brown rice very often, so I’m just not sure. Sorry to not have a better answer.
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.
Krissy M. says
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.
Is there a way to sustitute chicken with any other meat, hubby is allergic to poultry
Yes, I think this would be really good with Italian sausage.
L. Allen says
that does sound good, thanks
do i cook the chicken to first before i put it in the pan? i know i do not cook the rice
Blythe, yes the chicken needs to be cooked. You can also use rotisserie chicken if you like.
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.
Do you bake the casserole covered or uncovered?
Bake it uncovered.
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!
Any ideas for sides that go well with this dish? I can’t wait to make it!!
Any type of salad, a green veggie, sliced tomatoes etc.
I don’t have cream of chicken soup is their a substuite
You can use another type of cream of soup.
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 🙂
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!
Should it be covered with aluminum foil while in the oven?
Bake uncovered. If you think it’s getting too dry part way through cooking, you might want to cover it then.
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
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.
Katrina Ramsay says
I made this and as absolutely loved it!! So easy and delicious
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
It shouldn’t take that long for the rice to get done. What type of rice are you using? Are you sure that your oven temp is accurate?
I have made this many times. We love it. I’v never had any problems with the recipe as written.
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.
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!
I haven’t tried it with raw chicken. I think it would work, but I’m not sure. If you try it, let me know how it goes.
Can I use a microwave? If so, what’s the temperature and for how long?
I don’t think a microwave would work well for this recipe.
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.
The type of rice seems to really effect this one. Sorry it turned out too brothy for you.
J made this tonight for dinner and followed the recipe except for adding green onions. If helps to make the dish and cover it and let it sit for a few hours before baking. This allows the rice to soak up the liquid and it is done in 1 hour and 15 min!
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.
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.
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.
MARSHALL HUNTER says
do you use 4 cups of broth
The recipe calls for 30 oz. of broth, so just shy of 4 cups is perfect!
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.
Anne Gideon says
Could you use brown rice? Would you need more liquid or a longer cook time?
Yes, but you will need a longer cook time.
Tamara Rene Burbank says
Yes I made this recipe and it was very good but I changed it when I made it again using pasata instead of the soups added a load of fresh basil and oregano and it was wonderful. I’ve been looking at the posts about this receipe and am laughing at how people are messing it up t adding to much of certain thing’s lol it’s a very simple and straight forward I don’t understand how they are having such issues lol but Ty for this receipe and will be trying more of them.
MARSHALL HUNTER says
It seams 4 cups of broth would be too much for 1 cup of rice?
It does seem like a lot if you’re just cooking rice, but since the rice goes in uncooked, it works with the rest of the ingredients 🙂
wild woman says
I saw this and wanted to try it so tonight I will try it and see how it turns out it looks very good I’m getting ready to make it now for supper thanks for sharing the recipe
Kathy Jester says
I saw this recipe and wanted to try it I’m going to make it right now for supper tonight it looks really delicious
Would this work with Quinoa instead of rice?
I’m not sure how that would turn out since the preparation and consistency are different
Carol L Wick says
Planning on making this receipe this week. Just wondered if the rice to be used is long grain, or just the instant rice (uncooked)? Looks delicious!
Tiffany King says
This recipe uses long grain rice.
Vickie Huddleston says
I made this recipe exactly as written today. My husband loved it. Thanks for sharing.
Sherree F Wood says
I put a little spinach in with thecred peppers. Didnt have broth, so used cream soup and water. We’ll see
Question for Tiffany – I plan to make this next week – the chicken broth qty I understand – 2 @ 16 oz – but am unsure about the Cream of Chicken soup – it says 1 can – I have got a can that says about 22 oz. OK to use? Or shall I reduce the Broth somewhat? Thanks.
I just copied this recipe..Going to try it out..It looks yummy….Thank you for the recipe..
If it’s in the oven for 60+ minutes: why does the chicken need to be cooked?
Christina CM says
This was AMAZING!!!! I wish I could post a picture! I did exactly except didn’t have shredded Italian cheese so I just shredded 1 1/4 cup of mozzarella and sprinkled with grated Parmesan
I also left in oven about 10-15 minutes longer so top got brown! AWESOME THANKS SO Much!!!
Tiffany King says
So glad you liked it!