Picture this: it’s a chilly evening, and the thought of going out to eat seems daunting. You wish you had something warm and comforting cooking in the oven. Well, I have just the recipe for you: Grandma’s favorite chicken and rice casserole. Trust me; this dish is pure soul food.
As soon as you start preparing the ingredients, warmth fills your kitchen, and the aroma of cooked onions and paprika transports you straight to Grandma’s kitchen. This dish will fill you up with deliciously tender pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts paired with fluffy rice coated in a creamy sauce that’ll have your taste buds dancing.
This recipe has been passed down through generations, making it an old-fashioned family favorite. It’s warm and filling, but more importantly, it’s easy to make! Even on your busiest days or toughest nights when you think twice about cooking, this recipe is a life-saver.
It’s time to elevate your comfort food game with this classic chicken and rice casserole recipe. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and let’s create something magical together that’ll be reminiscent of Grandma Stouffer’s style chicken.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Listen up, foodies! It’s time to treat your taste buds to a heavenly experience with Grandma’s Favorite Chicken and Rice Recipe. If you’ve been scouring the internet for a soul-warming, comforting and easy chicken rice recipe, then you’ve stumbled upon the right one. Trust me, this recipe will change the way you look at chicken rice casserole forever.
Picture this: tender, juicy boneless skinless chicken breasts resting on a fluffy bed of rice baked in creamy mushroom soup and smothered with cheddar cheese. The aroma of onion and celery mingling with the buttery olive oil and paprika is enough to get your mouth watering. Now imagine digging into that warm, hearty goodness with a spoon and letting the flavors burst in your mouth. Can you taste it yet?
This dish is not just simple and easy-to-make, but it’s also versatile. You can swap chicken breasts with thighs or use slow-cooked shredded chicken instead. You can add veggies like carrots or peas to make it a complete meal or serve it with a simple side salad for a quick lunch option.
But wait! There’s more. This recipe is perfect for meal prep and make-ahead cooking. You can store it in the fridge for up to five days or freeze it for later use. And when it’s time to reheat it, simply pop it in the oven or microwave for a few minutes, and voila! Comfort food at its finest.
In conclusion, whether you’re looking for an old-fashioned favorite elevated or just need a lazy Sunday comfort food fix, Grandma’s Favorite Chicken and Rice Recipe is an excellent choice. The simplicity of ingredients combined with the rich flavors will please even the pickiest eaters in your family. So go ahead, gather around the table, put on some good music, and savor every bite of this soulful dish.
Let’s take a peek at the ingredients that you will need to make this soulful dish. Chicken breast, rice, and paprika are at the heart of this casserole recipe, which is an old fashioned favorite passed down from my dear grandma. You’ll also need some onion diced and milk, as well as butter, olive oil, celery diced, and cooked chicken.
Here are all the items you’ll need for the recipe:
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup uncooked rice, any variety
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 10.5 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 10.5 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup whole milk
- Optional toppings: fresh parsley or chives
The Recipe How-To
Now for the fun part, let’s cook grandma’s favorite chicken and rice recipe! Here are the step-by-step instructions for creating this old-fashioned classic that is sure to become a family favorite.
Before we begin, let’s prepare all of our ingredients. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, dice one onion, three celery stalks and shred 2 chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. If you’re in a time crunch, use cooked shredded chicken thighs or even a pre-cooked grocery store rotisserie chicken (make sure it’s boneless and skinless). Set everything aside.
Cooking the Rice
Next, prepare the rice portion of the recipe by cooking 3 cups of white rice according to the package instructions. You can also use a boxed flavored rice such as Rice-a-Roni in ‘Chicken flavor’ which gives it an extra kick of flavor.
Making the Creamy Sauce
While the rice cooks, we’ll make the creamy sauce that will hold everything together. In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the diced onions and celery and sauté until softened. Next, mix in 1 can of cream of mushroom soup with 1 cup of whole milk. You can also use cream of chicken if that’s what you have on hand.
We are now ready to combine everything into one dish. In a baking dish (preferably a 9×13 inch), add your cooked rice, shredded chicken pieces, and creamy sauce mix in layer by layer starting with rice followed by chicken then sauce covering every corner until we used up completely all ingredients. Sprinkle the top with some paprika for a nice color contrast.
Cover your creation with tin foil and place it in the oven at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top, put back inside uncovering for around five minutes or until golden brown.
Now your hot delicious comfort food is ready to be served straight from Grandma’s kitchen!
Substitutions and Variations
In cooking, improvisation is often necessary when you don’t have certain ingredients or want to switch up a recipe. Luckily, Grandma’s Favorite Chicken and Rice Recipe is flexible enough for substitutions and variations.
Firstly, you can use bone-in chicken breasts or chicken thighs instead of boneless skinless chicken breasts. The bone will add another layer of flavor to the dish while also keeping the meat moist.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian alternative, you can substitute the chicken for mushrooms, tofu or cauliflower rice. For a heartier vegetarian version, add in some sweet potatoes, carrots, chickpeas or black beans for extra protein and fiber.
Another variation is to use different types of rice such as brown rice or wild rice instead of white rice. You can also experiment with other grains like quinoa, barley or farro to make it even more nutritious.
If you don’t have cream of mushroom soup on hand, try using cream of celery or cream of chicken soup instead. For a dairy-free option, coconut milk or cashew cream are possible substitutes that can bring good flavors.
If you really love cheesy dishes, sprinkle some cheddar cheese over the top before baking it. You can also add paprika or other spices to the dish for an extra kick of flavor.
Finally, for those who own a slow cooker or instant pot, this recipe can be adapted to work in either tool–just follow the instructions for your preferred device to get great results with minimal effort.
Overall, there are many ways to improvise and personalize Grandma’s Favorite Chicken and Rice Recipe. The possibilities are endless!
Serving and Pairing
Now that you have made Grandma’s favorite chicken and rice recipe, it is time to think about how to serve and pair it. This comforting casserole is a meal in itself, but you can make it even more satisfying by adding a few simple sides that complement its flavors.
I suggest serving this delicious chicken and rice casserole with steamed veggies, like broccoli or green beans, to add some freshness and crunch to the dish. The savory flavors of the casserole will come alive when paired with a side salad drizzled with your favorite dressing or steamed corn on the cob.
If you want a heartier meal, why not pair it with some freshly baked bread, garlic knots or naan bread? The soft texture of the bread will perfectly contrast with the creamy and cheesy chicken and rice bake.
For those who love bold flavors, I recommend pairing this dish with a glass of rich red wine like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you prefer white wine, a Chardonnay will do the trick. Alternatively, you can also enjoy this savory casserole with your favorite beer or non-alcoholic beverage.
This easy-to-make recipe makes an excellent weeknight dinner that can be served fresh out of the oven or leftovers reheated for lunch the next day for your family. With its blend of flavors one serving is never enough as it’s sure to leave everyone asking for seconds!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Ah, there’s nothing quite like being prepared. When it comes to mealtime, especially for a dish as soul-satisfying as Grandma’s Favorite Chicken and Rice Recipe, being able to plan ahead when life gets busy is a lifesaver. Fortunately, this recipe is perfect for making ahead of time and storing leftovers for later!
To make-ahead, simply prep the casserole according to the instructions up until it’s ready to be baked. Instead of popping it in the oven, cover the casserole tightly with foil or plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. When you’re ready, take it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes before baking as usual.
Storing leftover casserole is also easy-peasy! Just cover any remaining portions tightly with foil or plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat individual portions, microwave on high in 30-second intervals until heated through or reheat in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed to your liking.
And here’s a little secret: this dish tastes even better when reheated! That creamy sauce has had time to mingle with all of those delicious flavors overnight. Yum!
One thing to keep in mind when storing this chicken rice casserole is that rice tends to dry out over time. If you find that your leftover casserole is looking a little dry, add a splash of milk or water before reheating. That’ll bring back some of that fresh-out-of-the-oven magic!
Now that you know how easy it is to make-ahead and store leftovers of this comforting dish, why not whip up a big batch for the week ahead? It’ll be like having a warm hug waiting for you every time you open the fridge!
Tips for Perfect Results
Cooking a meal may be easy, but getting the perfect result is what everyone desires. So, here are a few tips to make sure you nail this Grandma’s Favorite Chicken and Rice Recipe every time.
Firstly, do not overcook the chicken breasts. Overcooking will dry out the chicken and leave it tough to chew. Cook for around 6-7 minutes, flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, use the color-changing indicators or slice one open to ensure there’s no pink inside.
Secondly, make sure you do not add too much liquid to the rice. The rice should be tender but not mushy. Use the right proportion of rice to water or broth. You can also add in 1-2 bouillon cubes or use pre-seasoned rice packs like Rice-a-Roni to enhance the flavor of the rice.
Thirdly, allow your casserole to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. After taking it out of the oven, cover it with aluminum foil and let it sit aside. This allows the flavors to combine and settle down while it cools off slightly.
Fourthly, consider using bone-in chicken pieces instead of boneless chicken breasts. Bone-in chicken provides extra flavor and moisture to your casserole recipe.
Finally, if you want to cut down on cooking time or cook this recipe during warmer months, try making it in a slow cooker or Instant pot. Simply toss all ingredients into either of these appliances and let them work their magic. This recipe is perfect soul food that everyone craves for on a cozy night in.
Following these tips ensures that you get the best results every time, creating a dish that warms your heart and satisfies your taste buds.
The Grandma’s Favorite Chicken and Rice Recipe is a classic casserole that evokes nostalgia and comfort. With a creamy sauce and tender chicken, it’s easy to understand why this dish is a family favorite.
Using simple ingredients like boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rice, onion, and paprika, this recipe can be elevated with substitutions and variations to make it your own. For example, you could switch out the cream of mushroom soup for cream of chicken or try adding diced celery for an extra crunch.
This recipe can easily be made ahead of time and reheated for a quick dinner on busy weeknights. And with its soulful flavors, it’s perfect for potlucks and gatherings with friends and family.
One thing is for sure: once you try Grandma’s Favorite Chicken and Rice Recipe, it will become a staple in your recipe arsenal. So don’t hesitate to give it a try today!
Grandma’s Favorite Chicken and Rice Recipe
- 1 cup rice, white, uncooked
- 4 -6 chicken breasts, skin removed
- 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of celery soup
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place chicken in a covered baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam.
- In a bowl, mix other ingredients well and spoon over chicken.
- Sprinkle with paprika and cover pan with lid.
- Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove cover and serve.
Your Own Notes
You’ll Love These Rice Recipes
Chloe is passionate about creating unique dishes that draw on the flavors of her favorite cultures. She loves experimenting with new ingredients and pushing the boundaries of traditional recipes. Her enthusiasm for cooking is infectious, and she is always eager to share her creations with friends and family.