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This easy Chicken and Rice Casserole with Cream of Mushroom Soup and shredded rotisserie chicken is a simple, delicious, and comforting dinner that you can make ahead. The recipe takes advantage of a few shortcuts for quick prep, but adds herbs and vegetables for plenty of fresh flavor. Serve the casserole with a simple green salad, biscuits, or a loaf of crusty bread to round out the meal!

Overhead shot of hands holding a pan of chicken and rice casserole with cream of mushroom soup

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Cream of Mushroom Soup

I’ve shared quite a few different chicken and rice casserole recipes over the years — from dump-and-bake options to made-from-scratch dishes — but this particular dinner is definitely one of my favorites! It wins major points for ease (I always appreciate a kitchen shortcut), but doesn’t sacrifice fresh, homemade taste. While cream of mushroom soup is a simple base, the meal really gets its flavor from sautéed mushrooms, onions and celery, along with herbs like chives, parsley and thyme. You also can’t beat a crunchy, buttery, Ritz cracker and French fried onion topping. This is your grandmother’s old school chicken and rice casseroleelevated!

Ingredients

Here’s a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for the rotisserie chicken and rice casserole with cream of mushroom soup. As always, exact measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the recipe box at the end of this post:

  • Butter: I use salted butter to sauté the veggies.
  • Mushrooms, onion and celery: fresh vegetables bulk up the dish and give the casserole more savory flavor.
  • Chicken: you’ll need cooked, shredded chicken, so pick up a store-bought rotisserie chicken for a shortcut, or cook your own chicken at home.
  • Rice: use cooked white rice, brown rice or wild rice. You can even purchase microwaveable packets of rice to cut down on prep time.
  • Condensed cream of mushroom soup: the flavor base for the casserole filling.
  • Sour cream: helps to create a thick, rich, creamy, and slightly tangy sauce for the casserole filling.
  • Chives, parsley and thyme: use fresh herbs for the best flavor, or substitute with dried herbs when necessary.
  • Ritz crackers, French-fried onions and melted butter: for that salty, buttery, crunchy topping that’s a must-have on any Southern casserole.
Process shot showing how to make chicken and rice casserole with cream of mushroom soup

How to Cook Chicken for a Casserole

While it’s possible to cook a casserole with raw chicken, you’ll need cooked chicken for this recipe, and a variety of options will work. Pick the most convenient method for you:

  • Rotisserie Chicken: This is a great shortcut! Purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, shred the meat, and use in the recipe as instructed. One chicken should yield at least 3 cups of meat.
  • Boiled and Pulled Chicken: Boil about 1½ lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 15 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken. I find that 1½ lbs. of chicken breasts yields about 3 cups of pulled chicken.
  • Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover grilled or baked chicken from a previous meal, put those extras to good use in this casserole.
Spreading ritz cracker crumbs on top of easy chicken and rice casserole

How to Make Chicken and Rice Casserole with Cream of Mushroom Soup

Any good Southern casserole starts with condensed soup and is finished with a buttery, crunchy, Ritz cracker topping…and this recipe certainly delivers! Toss it together at the last minute for a quick weeknight meal, or prep it ahead for your busiest days. This easy, creamy chicken and rice casserole is comfort food at its best!

  1. Sauté mushrooms, onion and celery in butter.
  2. Stir in chicken, rice, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and herbs.
  3. Transfer the filling to a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  4. Stir together the topping and sprinkle over the casserole.
  5. Cover the dish and bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the cover and continue baking until the top is lightly toasted, about 5 more minutes.
  7. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve!
Square shot of a cook holding a pan of chicken casserole with cream of mushroom soup and ritz crackers on top

What to Serve with Chicken Casserole with Cream of Mushroom Soup

This classic, old-fashioned chicken and rice casserole goes well with almost any of your favorite starches and vegetables. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Preparation and Storage

  • This is a great make-ahead dinner. You can assemble the casserole up to 24 hours in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes.
  • You can freeze the casserole before baking. Wrapped tightly, the assembled casserole will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Leftover chicken and rice casserole will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • To reheat the casserole: If reheating an entire casserole, cover the dish loosely with foil and bake in a 350° F oven until warmed through (about 20-30 minutes). Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

How to Bake from Frozen

If you’re baking the casserole directly from the freezer, double the baking time while the dish is covered (about 40-50 minutes covered). Then remove the cover and continue baking the casserole for about 5-7 more minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Use any flavor of condensed soup that you prefer: cream of chicken or cream of celery are both nice substitutes for the cream of mushroom soup.
  • For a lighter option with less sodium, feel free to substitute with the Healthy Request line of condensed soups.
  • Use any type of cooked rice. I typically use long-grain white rice, but brown rice or wild rice are also good options.
  • Mix up the herbs to use your favorites. Try rosemary or sage instead of the parsley, chives or thyme. Garlic would also be a great addition.
  • Don’t have Ritz crackers or French fried onions? Substitute with crushed potato chips, crushed Corn Flakes cereal mixed with melted butter, or other buttery crackers (like Keebler Club crackers).

Tips for the Best Chicken and Rice Casserole with Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Alternatively, you can divide the casserole ingredients between two 8-inch square baking dishes. Bake one now, and freeze the other for a later meal.
  • Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken for an easy, quick-prep solution. The rotisserie chicken also adds a lot of flavor to the dish.
  • Try microwaveable packets of rice for another shortcut, or use leftover rice from a previous meal.
  • Use full-fat sour cream for the best flavor and texture.
  • Bake the casserole just until it’s heated through. All of the ingredients are already cooked, so you just want to warm it in the oven until bubbly. Don’t bake it for too long or it may dry out or get burned on top.
Cook holding a baked dish full of shredded chicken and rice casserole with cream of mushroom soup

More Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipes

Overhead shot of hands holding a pan of chicken and rice casserole with cream of mushroom soup

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Cream of Mushroom Soup

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings 6 – 8 people
Calories 521 kcal
This easy Chicken and Rice Casserole with Cream of Mushroom Soup and shredded rotisserie chicken is a simple, delicious, and comforting dinner that you can make ahead.

Ingredients
  

FOR THE FILLING:

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 3 cups cooked rice (white rice, brown rice or wild rice will all work well)
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, NOT diluted
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (or 1 teaspoon dried chives)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, coarsely crushed (about 31 crackers total)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can French-fried onions, coarsely crushed
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish; set aside.

PREPARE THE FILLING:

  • Melt butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat; add mushrooms, onion and celery; sauté 6-8 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken, rice, soup, sour cream, chives, parsley and thyme. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish.

PREPARE THE TOPPING:

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the crackers and French-fried onions. Add the melted butter and toss to combine. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

BAKE THE CASSEROLE:

  • Cover the casserole and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 5-7 more minutes, until the filling is hot and bubbly and the topping is lightly toasted. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Notes

  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Alternatively, you can divide the casserole ingredients between two 8-inch square baking dishes. Bake one now, and freeze the other for a later meal.
  • Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken for an easy, quick-prep solution. The rotisserie chicken also adds a lot of flavor to the dish.
  • Try microwaveable packets of rice for another shortcut, or use leftover rice from a previous meal.
  • Use full-fat sour cream for the best flavor and texture.
  • Bake the casserole just until it’s heated through. All of the ingredients are already cooked, so you just want to warm it in the oven until bubbly. Don’t bake it for too long or it may dry out or get burned on top.
  • Use any flavor of condensed soup that you prefer: cream of chicken or cream of celery are both nice substitutes for the cream of mushroom soup.
  • For a lighter option with less sodium, feel free to substitute with the Healthy Request variety of condensed soup.
  • Use any type of cooked rice. I typically use long-grain white rice, which is our family’s preference, but brown rice or wild rice are also good options.
  • Mix up the herbs to use your favorites. Try rosemary or sage instead of the parsley, chives or thyme. Garlic would also be a great addition.
  • Don’t have Ritz crackers or French fried onions? Substitute with crushed potato chips, crushed Corn Flakes cereal mixed with melted butter, or other buttery crackers (like Keebler Club crackers).

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the casseroleCalories: 521kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 22gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 714mgPotassium: 389mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 582IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: chicken and rice casserole, chicken and rice casserole with cream of mushroom soup
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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