Sink your teeth into the most flavorful (and easiest!) chicken casserole recipe made with minute rice, broccoli, carrots, peas, chicken breast, and a yummy creamy cheese sauce.
Casserole season is every season and today we’re sharing our very best chicken casserole recipes! Best part? All of these dishes are both balanced and healthy made with real ingredients.
You know when you have “nothing to eat?” That’s when you make a chicken casserole recipe! Today we’re sharing all of our very best chicken casserole inspo + our best chicken casserole ever that you’re going to absolutely love.
What is Chicken Casserole?
A chicken casserole is when you cook all parts of your chicken meal in a baking dish. Usually, the ingredients you use in your chicken casserole are uncooked for a quick “throw everything into a dish and bake it” kind of meal. Typically a chicken casserole includes 4 parts:
- Grain: pasta or rice
- Chicken: breast or thighs
- Vegetables: all kinds!
- Sauce: cheese sauce, roux, etc.
From midwestern chicken and rice casserole to creative Asian-inspired casseroles like orange chicken casserole, we are huge fans of taking classic chicken dinners and turning them into casseroles.
Like I mentioned above, most chicken casserole dishes that you’ll find on FFF use raw ingredients so you can toss everything into your baking dish and bake it. None of that hour+ prep time!
Take Chicken Tikka Masala for instance. You’re going to serve that with some kind of vegetable and grain, so why not make a Chicken Tikka Masala Casserole?
What kind of dish should I bake my casserole in?
First things first, let’s talk casserole dishes! Our chicken casserole recipes call for ceramic casserole dishes and let me tell you, there is a difference between that and a baking pan. Casserole dishes are like cast iron pans in that they bake things more evenly and faster than a normal metal baking pan.
We much prefer to use a ceramic casserole dish for our chicken casserole recipes for this exact reason. However, no fear if you don’t have one! A baking pan or a dutch oven also works great.
Favorite Ceramic Casserole Dishes
What can I use if I don’t have a casserole dish?
Feel free to use a deep cast-iron skillet or a dutch oven in place of a casserole dish! You can even use a cake pan.
Our chicken and rice recipe uses a dutch oven and it’s delicious and easy peasy.
Can you put chicken in a casserole raw?
You do not need to cook your chicken before putting it into a casserole if you plan to cook your casserole for at least 45 minutes in the oven.
However, if you come across a casserole that bakes less, you can absolutely use a pre-cooked shredded chicken.
How long can you keep chicken casserole in the fridge?
Most chicken casseroles will last 3-5 days in the fridge.
Storage tip: make sure to store your casserole in an airtight container with the lid on.
Can I freeze chicken casserole?
Chicken casserole is a great freezer meal. Let your casserole cool completely and then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing it onto the top of your casserole and removing as much air as possible. Then, cover it with a piece of tin foil doing the same thing.
We suggest baking your chicken casserole in a disposable tin casserole dish. This will free up your other casserole dishes for real-time baking.
What do you eat with chicken casserole?
The great thing about a chicken casserole is that all parts of your meal are usually baked right into the casserole. Typically you get a grain, vegetable, and carb, so there really is no need to serve it with anything else. However here are a few suggestions:
Fav Chicken Casserole Recipe
Before we share all of the very best chicken casserole recipes from FFF, we want to share a very midwestern dinner that is what we like to call — BASIC.
This easy chicken casserole recipe is the epitome of a casserole. It’s got all 4 parts: veggies, rice, chicken breasts, and a cheesy sauce to bind everything together. And, it doesn’t call for cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup, making this better-for-you!
What you need
Our signature chicken casserole is packed with veggies, rice, and chicken breast. Oh, don’t forget the cheese sauce. Here are the star ingredients:
- Minute brown or white rice – feel free to use either variation. This is the product we use.
Can I use a different kind of rice? We only recommend using some time of minute rice. Normal white or brown rice will take a different amount of liquid and take much longer to bake.
- Chicken breast – make sure to use raw chicken breast and to cut them into 1-inch chunks so that they fully cook.
Can I use chicken thighs instead? Feel free to sub chicken thighs for the breast 1:1.
- Green peas
Can I add other/different veggies? Yes! Feel free to add any other veggies. Our recommendations include green beans, celery, cauliflower, and bell pepper.
- Milk: milk is used to make this a delicious creamy sauce.
- Broth: broth is used for more liquid volume. Feel free to use any kind.
- Shredded cheddar cheese: the more cheddar the better! We recommend shredding your own cheese, if possible.
- Spices: garlic powder, salt, and pepper
How to Make a Chicken Casserole
To make things even simpler, I’d like to break the prep of this recipe into 2 parts!
Part 1: Veggies + Chicken
Part 1 is all about prepping your veggies and chicken. This chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole calls for the following ingredients that need to be chopped:
- chicken breast
Once you chop those things, place them on the bottom of your casserole dish along with some green peas and quick-cooking rice.
You’ll notice that everything on this list is raw/uncooked. That means you don’t need ore-cooked chicken which is an absolute dream.
Part 2: Cheese Sauce
Up next it’s time to make your homemade cheese sauce! That’s right, no need to buy cream of mushroom soup. For this, you’ll need shredded cheddar cheese, broth, and milk (any kind).
Heat a small pot over medium/high heat and add your liquid. Once simmering, add cheese and turn the heat down to low/medium. Continuously stir until cheese melts. Finally, pour sauce on top of the veggies in the casserole dish.
Note: you’ll notice that there is no roux involved. We’re keeping it simple with melted cheesy creamy goodness.
All of that should take you around 20 minutes to prepare. From there, all you need to do is bake your casserole in the oven at 375ºF for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and add a generous amount of cheese to the top. Place back in the oven for 15-20 more minutes.
Let it Sit
Once your chicken is fully cooked, it’s time to let your casserole rest. This may sound like a funny thing to do, but I promise it’s important!
By letting your casserole rest on the stove-top for 15 minutes, you’ll let all of the liquid the chicken gave off soak up into the rice and veggies. I promise it’s worth it!
Best Chicken Casserole (+Fav Chicken Casserole Recipes)
- 1.5 cups minute brown rice
- 5 cups chopped broccoli florets 1 full head
- 1/2 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 2 medium carrots finely diced
- 1.5 cups frozen green peas
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1.5 cups 2% milk
- 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese divided (6 oz. and 2 oz.)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1.5 lb.s boneless skinless chicken breast (raw)
- 1 oz. shredded parmesan cheese
- First, preheat oven to 375ºF and spray a large ceramic casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Next, place minute brown rice, broccoli florets, yellow onion, carrots, and green peas on the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Prepare cheese sauce by placing broth and milk into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat.
- Once simmering, turn down low/medium and add in 6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Continuously stir until the cheese melts and your cheese sauce has formed.
- Immediately pour over rice and veggies and mix.
- Next, slice chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes and add that to the casserole dish and mix making sure everything is fully coated in cheese sauce.
- Bake at 375ºF, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Then, add 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese and 1 oz. shredded parmesan cheese to the top of the casserole dish and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Let casserole rest on the stovetop for 15-20 minutes before serving to further thicken.
Tips & Notes
- Chicken: the chicken goes into the casserole raw.
Best Chicken Casserole Recipes
And now, here is the lineup of all of our best chicken casserole recipes from Fit Foodie Finds. Here’s you’ll find flavors from all over the world! Enjoy.
Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
This lighter-fare Chicken Pot Pie Casserole is jam-packed with veggies, lean chicken, and that amazing creamy pop pie flavor!
Most Flavorful Chicken and Rice
The most flavorful chicken and rice recipe on the internet. Our chicken and rice bake is made with juicy chicken thighs and a delightful rice medley so you get extra veggies!
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Say hello to the most delicious chicken parmesan casserole. This pasta casserole has crispy chicken, savory marinara sauce, and lots of CHEESE. It is the perfect family dinner that everyone will love!
Chicken Tikka Masala Casserole
This chicken tikka masala casserole recipe is one of the most delicious and easy chicken casserole recipes around! It has all of the traditional flavors of chicken tikka masala in casserole form. Make this chicken tikka masala casserole for dinner this week!
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
In just 60 minutes you can make this healthy chicken enchilada casserole that’s packed with lean chicken, beans, tons of veggies, and brown rice. Throw everything into a casserole dish uncooked and you’ve got yourself dinner for the entire family.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
All the flavors you love in casserole form! Make this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole for an easy and delicious dinner the whole family will love.
Southwestern Chicken Casserole
This Southwestern Chicken Casserole calls for simple, healthy ingredients and gives the classic chicken casserole a run for its money!
Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Casserole
Our protein and veggie-packed healthy chicken parmesan quinoa casserole is a winner for all. It’s made with homemade parmesan chicken, marinara, mushrooms, and quinoa for an epic, kid-friendly chicken parmesan casserole.
Healthy Orange Chicken Casserole
With just a few simple ingredients and a casserole dish you can have a dinner packed with veggies, protein, and whole grains, in just 60 minutes!
Cauliflower Mac and Chicken Casserole
This recipe makes healthy comfort food a real thing! Make this Cauliflower Mac n’ Chicken Casserole with ancient grain pasta for the most epic meal the entire family will love!
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole
This Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole will change your life! Throw everything in your slow cooker and in only 3 hours dinner is served.
Healthy Chicken Burrito Bowl Casserole
This healthy chicken burrito bowl casserole is made with ground chicken, beans, rice, Mexican spices, and all the topping for a delicious one-pot dinner the entire family will enjoy!
Cashew Chicken Quinoa Bake
Make this Cashew Chicken Quinoa Bake for a high-protein, one-dish meal that the whole family will love! Meal prep at its finest!
Tuscan Chicken Quinoa Bake
This Tuscan Chicken Quinoa Bake is packed with Italian flavors, kid-friendly, and has a whopping 40g protein per serving!
Chicken Cacciatore Casserole
Try this Meal-Prep Chicken Cacciatore Quinoa Bake for dinner this week. It has all of the delicious flavors and ingredients of traditional chicken cacciatore, but with a healthy and quick twist!
Apple Chicken Sausage Quinoa Casserole
This Chicken Apple Sausage Quinoa Casserole is packed with shredded Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. It is the perfect healthy meal for an easy weeknight dinner or is perfect for meal prep for the week! It is high in protein and delicious!
This recipe is really good! We ended up making a roux. I also added a corn starch slurry to the cheese sauce before baking it. It turned out really creamy and flavorful!
Thank you, Lee, for sharing the informative recipe. Chicken casserole recipes have always been my favorite! When I was a kid, my Mom made this for me every weekend with a little twist. I have seen her using ghee clarified butter to finish the dish. I can’t deny that it would surely enhance the dish’s taste. Waiting to read more such interesting recipes on your site.
I followed the directions and was hesitant to make the sauce without first making a roux, but I figured the great reviews meant it would turn out well. I was disappointed. There was just thin cheesy broth in the bottom and the chicken, rice, and veggies were more boiled than baked.
Hi, can I substitute the brown rice for quinoa? If so, do I need to cook the quinoa beforehand?
Do I need to cook the rice beforehand?
Hi Lianne, You don’t cook the minute brown rice beforehand for this casserole 🙂 Hope this helps!
After cooking and letting stand for the appropriate amount of time, the casserole was not done. Maybe because we live a 3700 feet? The end result was rather bland. I would not make it again.
Does anyone know the saturated fat or sodium in this dish?
This was super easy and tasty! I would probably use half the amount of broccoli next time, only because it’s not my favorite veggie.
Followed the recipe for the cheese sauce and it looks curdled. Is this how it’s supposed to look?
Hi, I am just seeing this! This likely happened because your liquid was too hot when you added the cheese. You need to turn it down to low/simmer!
Useful post Thanks for sharing it that’s truly valuable knowledge about a similar topic. Amazing. Have a more successful day. Amazing write-up always finds something interesting.
Why didn’t the cheese melt? The broth & milk were simmering when I added the cheese. It was a gloppy mess.
What do I do if I don’t have minute brown rice, only brown rice . Do I cook it before hand?
Super delicious! I even added in some leftover frozen green beans. I used almond milk because it’s what I had on hand but it was still good
Delicious and easy! Got rave reviews from the whole fam!
This casserole is so light and delicious and doesn’t leave you feeling heavy. I love how the broccoli bursts with flavor, almost as if I’ve roasted it in the air fryer and the carrots and peas bring out a sweetness that ties everything together!
Thank you so much for your review!!
Can I use cooked rice if i dont have minute rice?
Hey Kail! I wouldn’t suggest that only because the liquid ratio would change drastically!
On the basic chicken and rice casserole do I use already cooked chicken and rice OR do I use raw chicken cubes and unprepared rice?
You put everything in the casserole dish raw!
That’s what makes this casserole so easy! Love it!
Your recipe looks good for our needs. Your printer function however doesn’t work, after two tries. I had to create word doc and use that. Something to correct for reader convenience
What’s the sodium content per serving? For some, this info is very important.
oops sorry. just found the definition of a chicken casserole. Ignore my last post. I had no idea that meant the ingredients are raw! but so glad to hear it and know it now thanks!