Chicken and Rice Casserole


quick and easy chicken and rice casserole recipe

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


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

quick and easy chicken and rice casserole recipe
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Chicken and Rice Casserole

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: 60+ Family Friendly Easy Casserole Recipes
Keyword: carrots, casserole, chicken, rice
Calories: 1634kcal
Author: Sweet Basil


  • 1 Cup White Rice
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 Cup Carrots sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and chopped or shredded
  • Mild Medium or Sharp Cheddar Cheese 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!


Serving: 1casserole | Calories: 1634kcal | Carbohydrates: 188.9g | Protein: 94.9g | Cholesterol: 246.4mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5.8g
Tried this recipe?Mention @OhSweetBasil or tag #OhSweetBasil!

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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54 comments on “Chicken and Rice Casserole”

  1. 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.

  2. Do I season the chicken? 🙂 Thanks

  3. Pingback: 50 (5 Ingredient) Dinner Recipes -

  4. 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??

    • 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 🙂

  5. 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;)

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

  7. Do you use salt?

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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

  11. 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!

  12. 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?

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

  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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…

  17. 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!!

  18. Could you cook this in the crockpot?

  19. I love yummy, simple casseroles! This sounds fantastic Carrian!

  20. Do you cook rice first?

  21. Do you use regular rice or instant??

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

  23. 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!!!

  24. Do you cover the casserole dish while baking it?

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

  26. Thank you I loved it just added onion and garlic roasted pepper spice delicious yum

  27. 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!

  28. Looks like a wonderful busy day meal!

  29. 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! 🙂

  30. Sounds great and very easy and inexpensive. Thanks 🙂