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Chicken and Rice Casserole

9 Reviews

quick and easy chicken and rice casserole recipe ohsweetbasil.com

This chicken and rice casserole recipe (or busy day casserole as we always called it) was given to my mom from her mom and I know that this may not look amazing and to some it won’t taste amazing, but let me explain.

Quick and Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole ohsweetbasil.com

I was a super picky eater growing up. I hated pizza if that gives you a clue as to just how picky I was. This was one of my favorites growing up except it was made with cream of mushroom soup and hamburger. I still don’t love hamburger in this dish so I have changed it to cream of chicken soup and chicken. It’s a great way to use up any leftover chicken that you may have from the night before, it’s an excellent way to use leftovers without eating the same meal over and over and over again. We have played with this recipe quite a bit to try to jazz it up, but it just never tastes right. Maybe because it’s a recipe from my childhood or maybe it should just be basic. Who knows. What I do know is that when it’s chilly outside and a busy day this always tastes good to me.

So, if you are busy or if you have any picky eaters in your home this may be a good one to try. I’ll post the original recipe with my changes.

Is Rice Good For You?

Most white rice in the US is enriched with vitamins like folate to improve its nutritional value.

Brown rice is healthier and more nutritious than white rice.

Rice, eaten in moderation, is a good source of vitamins and minerals. 

Can Rice Be Cooked In A Slow Cooker?

Rice can be cooked in a slow cooker.

Add twice as much water as rice, stir and cover.

Cook on high for 2 hours, stirring once about half way through cooking time.

Rice will stay warm for up to 2 hours after turning the slow cooker off.

Are Carrots Good For Your Eyes?

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, or Vitamin A.

Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness.

Lack of vitamin A can also lead to: Cataracts and Macular degeneration.

So, carrots could actually promote eye health.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney

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quick and easy chicken and rice casserole recipe ohsweetbasil.com

Chicken and Rice Casserole

2.23 from 9 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 4
if you are busy or if you have any picky eaters in your home this may be a good one to try.


  • 1 Cup Rice White
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 can soup cream of chicken
  • 1 Cup Carrots sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and chopped or shredded
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese Mild, Medium or Sharp depending on your taste buds


  • Heat Oven to 350
  • Stir the water, rice, meat, soup and carrots together.
  • Place in a 9x9 inch dish and bake for 1 1/2 hours. (I usually stir mine halfway through).
  • Remove from oven and place cheese slices over the top and place back into the oven until melty and bubbly!


cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator, reheat in the microwave
Nutrition Facts
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 486 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 105mg35%
Sodium 735mg32%
Potassium 945mg27%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 5969IU119%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 261mg26%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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mexican chicken and rice casserole on ohsweetbasil.com1

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • I am happy to find quick filling meals that is prepared in one dish ,and that has good tasting ingredient’s that my young boys will eat thirds. Also, I can add or minis the amount of ingredients I want to bake. Like, like, like. Thanks.

    • Reply
    • Thank you for the feedback Jackie! So glad it was a hit for your family!

      • Reply
  • Do I season the chicken? 🙂 Thanks

    • Reply
    • I jut salt and pepper then before I cook them.

      • Reply
  • Oh my goodness, just discovered your site, and you have MAJOR SPONSORS… PROPS TO YOU, but your site is SO USER UNFRIENDLY!!! Just trying to get nut pesto recipe, and the HEALTHY VERSION of your award winning chili is a NIGHTMARE!!! I LOVE your posts and truly want to follow you!! Can you please visit your site as an OUTSIDER??

    • Reply
    • Hi Kelli, Not sure what you mean. We use our site all the time and don’t have any issues getting to recipes. If you have specific things that aren’t working just email us and we always look into everything 🙂

      • Reply
  • So I’ve got this chicken rice casserole in the oven, and we are STARVING!! I failed to look at baking time before embarking on this recipe…but Oh well, I’m sure it will be tasty as all of the others I’ve tried on here;)

    • Reply
    • Ack! I’m so sorry about that. I hate how long it takes but that rice needs time to cook through. Hope you all enjoyed it!

      • Reply
  • I want to double this and cook it in a 9×13 pan. Any suggestions on how long I would need to cook for?

    • Reply
    • It actually cooks for almost the same amount of time. Just check it at the end and add a few extra minutes if needed. 🙂

      • Reply
  • Do you use salt?

    • Reply
    • Not when we use a soup, but if it’s from scratch I’ll season it a bit

      • Reply
  • I learned to cook this in a crockpot using chicken. Just slip a few thawed breasts or thighs in. Mom always added corn, frozen or canned, and a can of sliced black olives, and mild green chiles. This is also outstanding with brown rice. We always make a double batch since the leftovers freeze like a dream.

    • Reply
    • that is an awesome idea!

      • Reply
      • Approximately how long would this cook in a crockpot and at what heat level?

      • Hi David,
        About 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. 🙂

  • can I use left over coked rice and just mix all the ingredients n bake topping with cheese?

    • Reply
    • absolutely! Just cut the baking time down to 20-30 minutes, and steam your veggies ahead since they wont be cooking as long. 🙂

      • Reply
  • Haven’t even read your whole recipe but the ingredients sound like one my mom adapted in the 1970’s. The original had elbow macaroni and curry. Mom changed it to rice with leftover chicken and gravy. One day I wanted the casserole but had no chicken. I substituted with ham and a can of mushroom soup.
    1 cup of uncooked rice
    1 can mushroom soup
    1 soup can of milk
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1 can flakes of ham, break up well
    Mix ingredients in an ungreased casserole and bake for approximately 1 1/4 hours uncovered.
    Another Variation:
    use leftover chicken in place of ham,
    replace the soup with chicken gravy or cream of chicken soup

    • Reply
    • it’s totally a recipe from the 70’s. Can’t wait to try your way!

      • Reply
  • Tried this recipe with a couple of changes/add ins…used chicken broth instead if water, used cream of mushroom soup, chicken, carrots, sliced mushrooms, green chile, a little onion, a little bit garlic powder. Topped with Mexican Blend graded cheese. It came out great!

    • Reply
    • That sounds delicious!

      • Reply
  • I am looking for casseroles that can be made ahead of time and frozen. Do you think this recipe would work well made ahead of time if it was partially cooked first?

    • Reply
    • It actually totally freezes well, but don’tn add the cheese until baking. 🙂

      • Reply
  • Sounds so good! Would it be okay to use canned peas and carrots or canned cut green beans, or would they become too mushy?

    • Reply
    • I’ve done canned and I personally thought the beans were too mushy, but you could still try!

      • Reply
  • I love my veggies, but my other half is super picky and does not. I used corn instead of carrots and chopped up some green beans as well. He didn’t even care! It was so good! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe

    • Reply
    • I’m so glad!! I don’t know why but this casserole is seriously magic when it comes to picky eaters. I guess it’s bland enough to please them but still delicious!

      • Reply
  • Please let us know if this casserole needs to be covered while cooking. I am guessing it does, so the rice absorbs the liquid, or it would come out dry. Then we uncover to add the cheese, maybe? Several of us untrained cooks want to know! Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Surprisingly enough you don’t cover it! You definitely can if you want to and it wouldn’t hurt it at all, but we never have.

      • Reply
  • I just made it and used Ozro instead of rice. We will see how it tastes. This is the first time I have used Ozro…

    • Reply
    • You’ll have to let me know. I’d be a little worried that the pasta will overcook, but maybe it will work out perfect! I can’t wait to hear the results!

      • Reply
  • This recipe looks so yummy and simple! I like the changes you made with the chicken and cream of chicken! I had to comment cause I was a super picky kid too and didn’t like pizza or pasta…I thought I was the only one! Haha! Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Reply
  • Could you cook this in the crockpot?

    • Reply
    • You know, I’m really not sure. I would imagine you could, just on low for like 4 hours, but I’ll have to try it to be sure. Or if you do, please let me know how it goes.

      • Reply
    • Do you try the crock-pot? If so please let us know.
      Thanks =^..^=

      • Reply
  • I love yummy, simple casseroles! This sounds fantastic Carrian!

    • Reply
  • Do you cook rice first?

    • Reply
    • Julie, you don’t. Just add everything together and it will cook in the oven. Which seems odd to say, but you see what I mean. 😉

      • Reply
  • Do you use regular rice or instant??

    • Reply
    • Just regular white rice, long grain. 🙂

      • Reply
  • Fast and simple; that’s what I like! Can’t wait to try it out. It sounds delicious – with chicken or beef.

    • Reply
  • I am so excited I take care of my grandpa and my disabled brother and my husband and they all three are picky eaters so I am excited to try this new recipe to see how they like it!! Thanks to all of you for all of your insights and looking forward to this yummy meal!!!

    • Reply
  • Do you cover the casserole dish while baking it?

    • Reply
  • Bet it would be good with lean ground turkey and monteray jack cheese.

    • Reply
  • Thank you I loved it just added onion and garlic roasted pepper spice delicious yum

    • Reply
    • Totally doing it Shirley’s way next time. Sounds so yummy!

      • Reply
  • do you cover this dish

    • Reply
  • Hi,
    Sounds great! Do you cook the rice first on the stovetop or mix it all together with the water and other ingredients in the casserole dish and just let it cook in the oven? Thank you!

    • Reply
    • you just mix it all together and the rice cooks in the oven. Mmmmm so simple but I just love it.

      • Reply
  • Looks like a wonderful busy day meal!

    • Reply
  • i have made a change to this one too…instead of just using carrots i use peas and carrots. i didn't think i would like it that way but i do. it adds another veggie into the mix that i actually like.

    also…ya know the chicken and rice bake that mom used to do? (chicken breasts baked on top of rice mixed with cream of mush soup) when i have had leftover of that i have mixed it right into the busy day casserole and it is still great and stretches it a bit. i actually really like the combo of the chicken and hamburger together.

    the thing i love most about this recipe though is that it can be made and stuck in the fridge days ahead of time and then cooked when you need it. so when you know you have a busy day coming up you can have it there waiting and it's just as good as if you had made it that day! 🙂

    • Reply
  • Sounds great and very easy and inexpensive. Thanks 🙂

    • Reply

4 Things You Should STOP Doing When Grilling!