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Make this cozy and easy chicken mushroom rice casserole from scratch with simple, wholesome ingredients. The flavorful rice, vegetables, and chicken come together in a creamy sauce with a buttery Ritz cracker topping. Total comfort food!

Overhead shot of a pan of chicken mushroom rice casserole on a turquoise vintage wooden table with side salad and cornbread
Table of Contents
  1. A Good Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make Chicken Mushroom and Rice Casserole
  4. What to Serve with Sunday Chicken and Rice Casserole
  5. Preparation and Storage
  6. Recipe Variations
  7. Tips for the Best Chicken Mushroom Rice Casserole Recipe
  8. Chicken Mushroom Rice Casserole Recipe

It might require a few extra minutes of prep time, but making this chicken mushroom rice casserole from scratch without canned soup yields a cozy, down-home supper that’s worth every bit of effort!

It’s a basic dish that can be tweaked in a variety of ways to suit your family’s taste preferences and schedule. Use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or baked chicken, and just about any variety of rice. The kids will go crazy for the creamy dish that’s finished with a buttery, crunchy Ritz cracker topping!

A Good Substitute for Cream of Mushroom Soup

I’ve got nothing against a creamy casserole that comes together in minutes with help from cans of condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup. That said, sometimes it’s worth spending a few extra minutes in the kitchen to make a dish from scratch — just like Grandma’s!

Here, you’ll sauté mushrooms, onion, and garlic in butter, make a roux (by adding flour), and then add chicken broth, white wine, and heavy cream. This process only takes minutes, and it creates a rich, creamy, flavorful substitute for cream of mushroom soup.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a creamy chicken mushroom rice casserole from scratch. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Butter: to sauté the veggies.
  • Mushrooms: I like sliced “baby bella” mushrooms, but white button mushrooms or any other fresh mushrooms will work.
  • Onion and garlic: for savory flavor.
  • All-purpose flour: combines with the butter to make the roux that thickens the cream sauce.
  • Chicken broth, white wine, and heavy whipping cream: the liquid that combines with the roux to create the creamy sauce that binds the casserole ingredients together.
  • Parmesan cheese: for salty, cheesy flavor. Use a wedge of Parmesan that you grate by hand for the best texture and flavor.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Poultry seasoning: a convenient blend that typically includes thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Chicken: rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut for a quick-prep meal. See my notes below if you’d like to cook your own chicken at home.
  • Rice: any variety of cooked rice will work here. I’ve shown long-grain white rice, but brown rice, basmati rice, or wild rice are all nice options.
  • Frozen peas: add a bright, sweet touch to the dish. If you don’t care for peas, just leave these out, or sub with frozen corn, parboiled broccoli florets, or cut green beans.
  • Fresh parsley: for even more fresh flavor. You can substitute with dried parsley flakes if that’s all that you have on hand.
  • Ritz crackers and melted butter: for the crunchy topping.
Process shot showing how to make chicken mushroom rice casserole

The Best Chicken for a Casserole

You’ll need cooked chicken for this recipe, and a variety of options will work. Pick the most convenient method for you:

  • Boiled and Pulled Chicken: Boil about 2 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs until cooked through (about 15-20 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken and use in the recipe.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: This is a great shortcut! Purchase a large rotisserie chicken (or two small chickens) from the grocery store, shred the meat, and use in the recipe as instructed.
  • Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover grilled or baked chicken from a previous meal, put those extras to good use in this casserole.
  • Canned Chicken: Yep, you can even use canned chicken in this casserole!
Adding chicken and rice to casserole filling

Do I cook the rice before adding it to the casserole?

Yes! This recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked rice. You can boil your own rice on the stovetop, use leftovers from a previous meal, or cook parboiled rice (such as Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice) in the microwave for a shortcut.

If using the microwaveable rice or Minute Rice instant rice, cook the rice according to the package directions before using it in this casserole. Each packet of the Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice contains about 2 cups of cooked rice, so you’ll need 1 pouch for this recipe.

Sprinkling Ritz cracker crumbs on top of a casserole

How to Make Chicken Mushroom and Rice Casserole

This chicken and rice casserole requires a little bit of extra prep (since you’re not using canned cream of mushroom soup), but it’s totally worth the effort! I’ve included the detailed instructions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  1. Saute the vegetables in a large skillet or Dutch oven on the stove top.
  2. Whisk together the cream sauce in the same skillet with the vegetables.
  3. Stir in the chicken, rice, peas, and parsley.
  4. Pour the chicken and rice mixture into a large casserole dish.
  5. Top with buttered Ritz cracker crumbs.
  6. Bake, then serve!
Square overhead image of a made from scratch chicken mushroom rice casserole without condensed soup.

What to Serve with Sunday Chicken and Rice Casserole

This classic, old school chicken and rice casserole goes well with any of your favorite vegetable sides. Here are some easy options to try:

Chicken mushroom rice casserole on a blue and white plate.

Preparation and Storage

  • Make Ahead: This is the ultimate prep-ahead meal to get dinner on the table quickly and easily — even on busy nights. Assemble the casserole, wrap tightly, and store in the fridge for up to 2 days before baking. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes before putting it in the oven.
  • How to Freeze: Freeze the casserole before baking. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, cover with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, allow the dish to come to room temperature on the counter for at least 30 minutes, and then bake according to recipe instructions. The creamy sauce is less likely to “break” when thawed if you give it time to come to room temperature (don’t put the frozen or cold casserole directly in the oven), and if you use heavy cream instead of a lower-fat alternative.
  • Storage: The leftover baked casserole will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat the casserole in a 350°F oven, covered, just until warmed through (about 20-30 minutes). You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes.
Close overhead shot of chicken and rice casserole with mushrooms on a turquoise vintage table

Recipe Variations

  • For an alcohol-free dish, swap out the white wine and use extra chicken broth instead.
  • To serve a smaller family, cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish.
  • Don’t have Ritz crackers? Substitute with crushed potato chips, crushed Corn Flakes cereal mixed with melted butter, or other buttery crackers (like Keebler Club crackers). Buttered panko breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs will work, too!
  • Instead of the peas, add frozen corn, steamed green beans, or steamed broccoli to the casserole.
  • Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese or grated mozzarella cheese on top of the casserole before adding the Ritz cracker topping.
  • Add extra fresh herbs to the filling, such as chives, thyme, basil, or tarragon.
Close overhead image of serving spoon in a pan of chicken mushroom and rice casserole

Tips for the Best Chicken Mushroom Rice Casserole Recipe

  • Use microwaveable rice for a shortcut. If you’re using Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, microwave the rice according to the package directions before adding it to the dish. Each pouch contains about 2 cups of rice, so you’ll need 1 packet for this recipe.
  • For another shortcut, try using pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store, leftover chicken from another meal, or a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • 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 will dry out, the rice will get mushy, and the topping might burn.
  • For a chicken and rice casserole with cream of mushroom soup, try this recipe. For an easy option that uses cream of chicken soup (or cream of celery soup), try this recipe.
Chicken mushroom rice casserole in a vintage enamelware dish on an old wooden table.

More Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipes to Try

Square overhead image of a made from scratch chicken mushroom rice casserole without condensed soup.

Chicken Mushroom Rice Casserole

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 560 kcal
Make this cozy and easy chicken mushroom rice casserole from scratch with simple, wholesome ingredients.

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (such as the meat from a large rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas (about 2 cups), not thawed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes), plus extra for garnish
  • 2 cups coarsely crushed Ritz crackers (I used 1 sleeve, which is equal to 36 crackers)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a large skillet (about 12-14 inches) or in a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic; cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper to taste. Whisk in the flour; cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth, wine, and cream; bring to a gentle boil.
    Process shot showing how to make chicken mushroom rice casserole
  • Reduce the heat to low; stir in the Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, poultry seasoning, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens slightly, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the chicken, rice, peas, and parsley. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish.
    Adding chicken and rice to casserole filling
  • In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
    Sprinkling Ritz cracker crumbs on top of a casserole
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, until the filling is hot and bubbly and the top is golden brown. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
    Overhead shot of a pan of chicken mushroom rice casserole on a turquoise vintage wooden table with side salad and cornbread

Notes

    • For an alcohol-free dish, swap out the white wine and use extra chicken broth instead.
    • To serve a smaller family, cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish.
    • Don’t have Ritz crackers? Substitute with crushed potato chips, crushed Corn Flakes cereal mixed with melted butter, or other buttery crackers (like Keebler Club crackers). Buttered panko breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs will work, too!
    • Instead of the peas, add frozen corn, steamed green beans, or steamed broccoli to the casserole.
    • Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese or grated mozzarella cheese on top of the casserole before adding the Ritz cracker topping.
    • Add extra fresh herbs to the filling, such as chives, thyme, basil, or tarragon.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the casseroleCalories: 560kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 33gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 737mgPotassium: 478mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1093IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 222mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: chicken and rice casserole, chicken mushroom rice casserole
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Southern
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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Comments

  1. Kaitlyn F says:

    5 stars
    Delicious recipe! Do you know if I can freeze the leftovers?

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Kaitlyn! We don’t recommend freezing the casserole after it has been baked, but leftovers will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.