Creamy and delicious, this Rice and Chicken Casserole will make a fabulous dinner for the whole family to enjoy. Our easy rice and chicken casserole is loaded with spinach, 3 kinds of cheese, and chicken, and it bakes in 25 minutes. This dinner is very flavorful, and satisfying and will become a family favorite.
Rice and Chicken Casserole (this is a step-by-step tutorial)…
- This rice and chicken casserole was a combination of our two favorite recipes, our Spinach and Kale Bites and Italian Rice Balls with Cheese.
- It makes a delicious casserole for dinner and reheats well the next day.
- Best of all, this casserole is inexpensive and will feed a family of 6 for under 20 dollars.
- Serve it with our cheesy mini biscuits and a green salad for a complete dinner. 🙂
How to make our Rice and Chicken Casserole…
1. First, you should know, that there is no condensed soup, nor any cream cheese in this recipe. Plus, I gave this rice and chicken casserole a little “Italian flare” to it.
2. Second, there is some prep work involved and you will need 3 cups of “cooked rice” and at least 3 chicken breasts.
For this recipe, a few quick notes…
I measured one cup of “uncooked” Jasmine rice and cooked it with 2 cups of water, for about 15 to 20 minutes. It will yield 3 cups of cooked rice.
Therefore, 1 cup of uncooked rice = 3 cups of cooked rice; which is what I used for this recipe.
I also bought 3 chicken breasts from my butcher and had him slice each one in half, so they could be thinner (and I didn’t have to do it).
Ingredients Needed for our Rice and Chicken Casserole:
3 cups of cooked rice
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium-size onion- chopped
3 chicken breasts, sliced in halves
5 cups packed of baby spinach (about 10-ounces)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra
3 Tbsp. grated pecorino cheese
1 + 3/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. of fresh or dried parsley
(*Full recipe card below!)
Easy Steps to Make our Rice and Chicken Casserole…
1. COOK THE RICE: Cook 1 cup of rice according to the directions on the package. Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter, and set it aside.
2. SAUTE THE SPINACH: In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add the chopped onion. Saute the onions until they soften. Add the spinach and stir cook the spinach until it wilts for about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
3. NEXT, MAKE THE MIXTURE: Grab a large mixing bowl, and whisk 2 eggs with the milk. Then add the cooked rice, along with the cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, parsley, wilted spinach mixture, parmesan cheese, pecorino cheese, and cheddar cheese. Stir the entire mixture until well combined. Set it aside.
4. GRILL THE CHICKEN: Using the same skillet, grill the chicken on moderate heat for a few minutes per side. Do not over grill them. Transfer to a plate and cut them in half (making 6 pieces).
Assemble the Casserole…
Now, you are ready to put this casserole together.
1. Transfer the rice and spinach mixture to the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly with a spoon.
2. Place grilled chicken pieces on top.
3. Sprinkle with some grated cheddar cheese and with grated parmesan cheese.
4. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden around the edges.
COOK’S NOTES for Rice and Chicken Casserole:
When baking this casserole, it is important not to overbake, or it will dry it out.
This is a 2 step process to prepare. One is the rice mixture and the other is grilling the chicken.
It’s best to use long-grain rice or sticky rice. Instant rice will not work.
Our reasons to grill the chicken before adding to the casserole…
For healthy, sanitary reasons, we prefer to grill the chicken before adding it to our rice casserole:
To ensure the chicken will get fully cooked while in the oven, and not risk being undercooked.
Plus, it will give the chicken its golden color, rather than looking bland or boiled.
And finally, it makes this rice and chicken casserole bake in less time. A win-win!
Questions and Answers…
1. Can we use Chicken Cutlets?
Yes, you can, but grill only for 1 minute per side, to avoid overcooking them.
2. Can we use Instant Rice?
I don’t recommend using instant rice with this recipe. But if you wish to try it, please come back and leave a comment to tell us the outcome. We’d love to know.
3. Can we use Frozen Spinach?
Although I used fresh baby spinach, you can make this casserole using frozen chopped spinach. Just remember to thaw and squeeze out excess water from it before sauting it with the onion.
4. Make this Casserole Ahead?
Yes, you can prepare the entire casserole, including the grilled chicken in the morning or early afternoon. Cover with foil wrap and keep it chilled in the fridge.
Before you bake, it’s best to take it out of the fridge and leave it on your counter for at least 30 minutes before popping it into the oven. Then bake it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees, for at least 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s popping hot.
Our Rice and Chicken Casserole is a meal your whole family will love!
We bet your whole family will devour this casserole and enjoy every bite. It’s the perfect meal containing carbs, protein, and veggies.
If you’re looking for an ideal dinner, then this rice and chicken casserole is it!
Try it! … and ENJOY!!
If you enjoy Cheesy Casseroles, then try these:
Finally, enjoy a few more Chicken Recipes…
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
- 3 cups of cooked rice
- 2 Tbsp. butter - melted
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium-size onion- chopped
- 3 chicken breasts, sliced in halves
- 5 cups packed with baby spinach (about 10-ounces)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra
- 3 Tbsp. grated pecorino cheese
- 1 + 3/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
- dash of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp. of fresh or dried parsley
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. With cooking spray, lightly spray a 9 x 12-inch ( 2.5 or 3 quarts) casserole dish. Set it aside.
- Cook 1 cup of rice in a small pot according to directions. Then stir in 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Set it aside.
- In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil and add the chopped onion. Saute the onions for about 3 minutes, until it softens. Add the spinach and stir to cook the spinach until it wilts for about 1 to 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat.
- Next, grab a large mixing bowl, and whisk 2 eggs with the milk. Then add the cooked rice, along with the cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, parsley, wilted spinach mixture, parmesan cheese, pecorino cheese, and cheddar cheese. Stir the entire mixture until well combined. Transfer to the prepared baking casserole dish. Spread evenly with the back of a spoon.
- In the same skillet, on high heat, grill the chicken for at least 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, and cut them into halves ( giving you a total of 6 pieces).
- Place the six pieces of chicken over the rice mixture. Sprinkle with some grated parmesan cheese and grated cheddar cheese on top.
- Bake on the center rack for 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese is completely melted and golden around the edges. Remove and serve while it is still hot.
- Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Always remember, that cooking times will vary depending upon the oven you use. It's best to keep an eye on the baking time, around 20 minutes, and to not overbake the casserole or it will dry it out. ENJOY!
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 20.5gCarbohydrates: 22.6gFiber: 1gSugar: 2.3gProtein: 27.9g