This hearty and creamy chicken and rice casserole is perfect for warming the soul on a chilly evening. It’s made with simple ingredients such as chicken, mushrooms, celery, cream, and lemon, and pairs with any colorful side dishes you want to offer alongside. This is a versatile recipe that’s just as well received at a dinner party as on a cool fall or winter weeknight evening.
This chicken and rice casserole is really easy to put together and you can easily double or triple the recipe to make extra portions you can freeze for future meals.
Why You’ll Love It
Delicious: If you like cheese, chicken and rice, you’re going to love this tasty and easy chicken and rice casserole. This chicken rice bake offers plenty in the way of flavor.
Simple to prepare: There’s nothing difficult about this casserole with chicken breasts and rice. You can cook the ingredients on the stove, transfer it into a baking dish, and let it finish cooking in the oven while you work on the side dish or side dishes you want to have.
Versatile: You can omit or change any of the ingredients you aren’t keen on, even changing up the main ones, swapping the rice for barley or the chicken for turkey.
Ingredients for Chicken and Rice Casserole
To make this hearty dish, you’ll need chicken breasts, butter, red onion, mushrooms, celery, cream of mushroom soup, cream, lemon juice, rice, chicken broth, slivered almonds, and gruyere cheese.
How to Make Gruyere Rice and Chicken Casserole
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
Cook the chicken: Pan fry the chicken until nearly cooked through, season and set aside.
Make the sauce: Add the onion to the pan you cooked the chicken in and simmer, then add the mushrooms and cook, before adding the celery, soup, and cream, and then the lemon juice, cheese and cooked rice.
Add the chicken back in: Return the chicken to the pan along with the broth and season to taste.
Prepare the casserole for baking: Transfer the chicken mixture into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle with slivered almonds and cook until the sauce is piping hot and bubbling.
The finishing touches: Let the chicken and rice casserole sit for about 10 minutes, grind a little black pepper on top if liked and serve.
Substitutions and Variations
Most of the ingredients, if not all of them, can be tweaked. If you prefer turkey or even pork over rotisserie chicken, that will work, or you might like to use another grain in place of the rice, perhaps bulgur wheat or barley.
As for the cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup would work too, or even cream of chicken soup if you love that chicken flavor!
Swap the gruyere for shredded cheddar cheese if that’s your preference, or the slivered almonds for slivered hazelnuts in this rice casserole chicken recipe.
How to Serve this Rich and Tasty Chicken Casserole
Some garlic bread and a simple green salad would be great alongside this casserole dish, or you might want to consider broccoli or green beans. Smoked asparagus would work too, or you might prefer bacon wrapped green beans.
If you’re making this mushroom gruyere chicken and rice casserole for a dinner party or special occasion, you might want to add 1/4 cup of white wine when you’re cooking the mushrooms, or even a couple tablespoons of vermouth.
How to Store Chicken Rice Casserole Leftovers
Store: Leftovers will keep for four days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Freeze: You can freeze the chicken and rice casserole in portions for up to 3 months.
Reheat: Fresh leftovers can be microwaved, while frozen ones should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator and then microwaved.
Chicken and Rice Casserole with Mushrooms FAQs
The short answer is yes but only as long as you’re using natural rice. Some types of fortified rice do have gluten, while prepared rice pilaf can be made with orzo and that has gluten in too. So, just check the label on the rice packaging to make sure.
Canned mushrooms would work if you’re short of time, so long as you drain the liquid off before adding them to the casserole.
This can happen if you add the lemon juice to the cream mixture if the cream mixture isn’t warm enough. You can stir it vigorously with a wooden spoon to mix it back together again, but it’s better to just make sure the cream is warm before adding in the lemon.
Mushroom, Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe
Mushroom Gruyere Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter ¼ stick
- 5 Cups chicken breasts about 3 chicken breasts, uncooked, cut into bite-size pieces
- Kosher salt
- black pepper fresh ground
- 1 Cup red onion diced
- 2 ¼ Cups button mushrooms 8 ounces, fresh, sliced
- 1 Cup celery about 2 stalks, diced
- 1 Can cream of mushroom soup 10.5 ounces
- ¾ Cup heavy cream
- 2 Teaspoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 Cups gruyere cheese grated
- 2 Cups white rice cooked
- 1 ½ Cups chicken broth
- ½ Cup slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Butter a 9×13-inch casserole dish and set aside
- Add the remaining butter to a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven and add cubed chicken once the butter starts to bubble.
- Fry the chicken until light golden in color and just cooked – about 5 to 8 minutes on medium/high heat (it’s okay if the pieces are still slightly pink as they will cook in the oven). Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl to reserve for later.
- With the remaining juices left in the pot, add the diced onion and let simmer on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are glossy, browned, and soft and have absorbed all the liquid about 8 to 10 minutes
- Add in the celery, mushroom soup (undiluted) and heavy cream and stir until well combined
- Add the lemon juice, grated cheese, rice and stir until well combined
- Add the chicken, the broth and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the chicken to the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with slivered almonds
- Place the casserole dish on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the almonds are golden brown and sauce is bubbling.
- Let sit on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving.
- Optional, add freshly ground black pepper before serving.
- If you’re pressed for time, you can substitute the fresh mushrooms for canned mushrooms (equal amount). Simply drain the liquid from the can before adding it to the onion mixture
- Make sure that when you add lemon juice to the cream mixture that the cream mixture is warm otherwise it will curdle.
- Make it dinner-party-fancy by adding a splash of wine (1/4 cup) when you sauté your mushrooms
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
You’ll love the rich, creamy, and delicious flavors in this easy chicken and rice casserole. Succulent chicken breasts pair up with a creamy, cheesy sauce, mushrooms and celery, and a zing of lemon. This recipe works as both comfort food and a special occasion dish, as it’s easy to jazz up with a splash of white wine and some fresh herbs on top as a garnish.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.