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20 Chicken & Rice Casseroles That Are Downright Delicious

It doesn’t get easier than a chicken & rice casserole, and when you have the right recipes, it’s hard to beat the taste too. 

Mom’s casseroles might have been heavy, greasy indulgences (bless her heart), but that doesn’t mean yours have to be.

As you’ll see, you easily transform them into something both delicious and healthy by filling them with veggies, lean meats, and other nutritious goodies.

They’re anything but boring, too.

Sure, you can go with something simple and classic, but this dish can accommodate a huge range of ingredients, flavors, and cooking styles.

It can be extremely diet friendly, too! You won’t have any trouble making these meals fit your macros. 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Baked Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetable Casserole

Serves 4

Get dinner on the table in an hour, yet spend most of the time on the couch unwinding after a long day at work. That’s the best part of a great one-pot meal.

This one includes a lot of rice, which ups the carbs of course. Whenever you have too much in a casserole, you can always reserve some for another meal like quick fried rice.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

671

Calories

45 g

Protein

59 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4 oz. each)

1 1/2 cups brown rice

3 cups chicken stock, boiling hot

2 Tbsp. butter (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 lbs. carrots, sliced

1 bag (12 oz.) frozen peas

Get the Recipe

Cajun Chicken & Rice Casserole

Serves 6

Chicken and rice dinners get a bad rap for being boring, but there are endless ways to spice them up for a whole new meal. This recipe uses paprika, cayenne, and thyme to add Cajun flavors to a basic casserole.

It also has half a slice of bacon per serving, creating richer flavor than you’d get from chicken alone, and yet each portion contains just 5 grams of fat.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

384

Calories

26 g

Protein

58 g

Carbs

5 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups long-grain rice

1 cup frozen peas

1 onion

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

3 slices bacon

2 tsp. oil

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fresh parsley (optional garnish)

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Grilled Chicken & Rice Foil Packs

Serves 4

Casserole on the grill? Whether you’re headed on a camping trip or preparing for the apocalypse, this is a great cooking method to keep in mind.

Everything for one meal is mixed together and cooked in either a piece of foil or an aluminum pie pan. Leave that on a hot grill, or a grate over an open fire, and you’ll have chicken and rice ready a half hour.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

410

Calories

33 g

Protein

47 g

Carbs

5 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4 oz. each), cut into 1/2” chunks

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup converted rice (parboiled rice)

1 cup salsa

2 Tbsp. pickled jalapeno slices, diced

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. ground turmeric

Salt to taste

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 scallions, thinly sliced

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Cheesy Chicken Broccoli & Cauliflower Rice Casserole

Serves 6

How can you make a low-carb chicken and rice casserole? Leave out the rice, and replace it with cauliflower instead. There are a number of ways to make cauliflower have a texture kind of like rice, including grating it by hand.

What’s easiest is to use a food processor or blender, pulsing it until you get small enough pieces. Then you can use cauliflower as a rice substitute in casseroles, side dishes, and soup.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

227

Calories

28 g

Protein

15 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

5 cups cauliflower, roughly chopped

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2” thickness

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3 cups broccoli, roughly chopped

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

3/4 cup skim milk

1 cup (about 4 oz.) shredded reduced-fat cheddar

1 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour

2 wedges Laughing Cow light creamy Swiss cheese

Get the Recipe

Crock Pot Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

Serves 4

Not only does wild rice offer a blend of textures and, but it also has additional health benefits compared to regular white or brown varieties.

Wild rice boasts higher protein and fiber content, plus 30 times more antioxidants than in processed rice. All those nutrients also lend a nutty flavor that tastes great with mushrooms and chicken.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

445

Calories

49 g

Protein

39 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 box (6 oz.) long-grain wild rice mix

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each)

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

1 can (10.75 oz.) cream of chicken soup

1 1/4 cups water

1/4 cup crumbled bacon (about 4 slices)

Get the Recipe

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Chicken & Rice Bake with Goat Cheese

Serves 6

There are two versions of this goat cheese casserole, depending on what method you prefer. This one starts with cooked chicken and brown rice for a faster prep time.

It’s perfect for when you have leftovers to use up. Or, keep shredded chicken, spinach, and cooked brown rice in the freezer to have this easy dinner in your back pocket.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

470

Calories

36 g

Protein

33 g

Carbs

22 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

10 oz. fresh spinach

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup diced onion

1/3 cup white rice flour

2 cups milk

1 cup (about 4 oz.) shredded or shaved Parmesan

1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup packed fresh basil, chopped

4 oz. goat cheese

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Skinny Chicken, Mushroom & Rice Casserole

Serves 8

This dinner is easy to make, yet is an upgrade from a standard chicken casserole. Rather than cracking open a can of soup, this recipe uses real mushrooms for fresh flavor.

But luckily that doesn’t mean you’ll need extra time. Instead of just sautéing onions in the skillet before assembling the casserole, add mushrooms to the pan too, and cook until tender. A half hour after starting, you’ll be ready to dig in.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

402

Calories

23 g

Protein

55 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

5 green onions, sliced

1 package (14 oz.) fresh mushrooms

2 cups boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

1 small container (5.3 oz.) nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup (about 3 oz.) shredded cheddar

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Healthy Chicken & Rice Casserole with Veggies

Serves 8

For a low-fat way to prepare chicken thighs, try this quick vegetable and rice casserole. As the chicken cooks in a pan for about 15 minutes, slice up all the veggies.

They’ll get cooked for just a few minutes to bring out the fresh flavors, and then everything goes into a casserole dish to finish in the oven.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

569

Calories

42 g

Protein

65 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 carrots, chopped

1 small yellow onion, sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

2 cups frozen peas

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. butter

3 cups long-grain brown rice

3 cans (14.5 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth

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Baked Risotto with Lemon Chicken

Serves 4

How can you make risotto without standing at the stove and stirring?

This lemon risotto casserole uses Arborio rice, a special short-grain variety that makes any dish creamy because of the high starch content. That allows it to break down more and absorb a lot of liquid, while still retaining a firmer texture than long-grain rice.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

499

Calories

27 g

Protein

46 g

Carbs

18 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 5 oz. each), excess skin and fat trimmed

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 bunches (about 16) scallions, root trimmed off, dark green tops removed

1 cup Arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

1 small lemon, thinly sliced

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Fresh thyme or rosemary

1/4 cup (about 1 oz.) grated Parmesan, for serving

Get the Recipe

Skinny Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice Casserole

Serves 8

This has all the flavor you want in a comforting broccoli and cheddar casserole, only with a fraction of the fat.

And that’s just because of using skim milk and low-fat sour cream in place of canned soup. For an even leaner casserole, use reduced-fat shredded cheese.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

372

Calories

30 g

Protein

45 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups long-grain brown rice

4 cups chicken broth

1 large head broccoli (about 4 cups florets)

2 green onions, hopped

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

5 tsp. all-purpose flour

2 cups skim milk, divided

1/3 cup light sour cream

2 cups (about 8 oz.) shredded cheddar, divided

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

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Wild Rice Chicken Casserole with Butternut Squash & Cranberries

Serves 6

This hearty casserole makes a great weeknight meal throughout the fall and winter. And this is one that you can prep ahead of time – browning the chicken and veggies – and freeze for later.

Then just defrost by moving it from the freezer to the fridge in the morning, and when it’s almost dinnertime, dump everything into a baking dish to have dinner finishing in the oven in just a half hour.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

399

Calories

25 g

Protein

42 g

Carbs

16 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup wild rice blend

4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 1/4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lbs.), peeled and cut into 1/2” pieces

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (plus more for garnish)

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) grated Parmesan, divided

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Chicken & Brown Rice Casserole with Cauliflower Sauce

Serves 6

This creamy chicken and rice casserole doesn’t rely on canned soup. Instead, half the casserole ingredients get blended together to make a cauliflower sauce for the chicken and rice to bake in.

That makes for a healthy and delicious dinner, especially with crispy bran cereal on top. If you can’t find All-Bran Buds, though, simply substitute whole-wheat panko instead.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

439

Calories

30 g

Protein

60 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

Casserole:

1 1/2 cups brown Jasmine rice

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each)

1 lb. broccoli florets

3 Tbsp. butter, divided

3/4 cup All-Bran Buds cereal

3/4 cup (about 3 oz.) shredded cheddar

 

Cauliflower Sauce:

1 lb. cauliflower florets

1 large onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, sliced

5 cups vegetable broth

3/4 cup milk

1/2 tsp. salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pinch of chili powder

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Alfredo Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

Serves 6

For a different take on baked chicken and rice, make a casserole using brown rice pasta.

It’s made from just one ingredient, brown rice flour, so you’ll get the same nutrition with a different texture. Choose from spiral pasta, spaghetti noodles, elbow macaroni, and more.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

698

Calories

47 g

Protein

41 g

Carbs

40 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups brown rice pasta

2 Tbsp. ghee

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

2 cups broccoli

8 Tbsp. butter

1 cup kefir

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups (about 8 oz.) grated pecorino cheese

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1 cup (about 4 oz.) shredded semisoft goat cheese

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One-Pot Caribbean Jerk Chicken & Rice

Serves 6

Here’s one for the spicy food lovers. To make a low-fat version of this Caribbean jerk chicken, use light coconut milk and chicken breasts instead of thighs.

Either way, you’ll end up with a flavorful chicken and rice dinner that has healthy macros that can be adjusted to fit your personal meal plan.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

788

Calories

37 g

Protein

65 g

Carbs

43 g

Fat

Ingredients

Caribbean Rice:

2 Tbsp. canola oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 1/2 tsp. creole spice

2 small bay leaves

2 cups long-grain rice

1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)

1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk

1 can (15.5 oz.) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp. ground white pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water)

1 tsp. chicken bouillon (optional)

1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional for heat)

1 tsp. paprika (optional)

 

Jerk Chicken Thighs:

3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. jerk seasoning

Get the Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Serves 6

This healthy buffalo chicken definitely qualifies as comfort food with creamy ranch dressing, hot sauce, and melted mozzarella.

Yet it’s cooked with Brussels sprouts and rice in the same pan, so the result is a well-balanced meal that delivers big on flavor and nutritional value. The best part? This dinner takes just six ingredients to make.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

420

Calories

33 g

Protein

45 g

Carbs

13 g

Fat

Ingredients

3/4 cup Greek yogurt ranch dressing (or plain Greek yogurt)

4 cups cooked brown rice

1 1/2 lbs. shaved Brussels sprouts

1/2 bottle (6 oz.) Frank’s red hot buffalo sauce

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

1 1/2 cups (about 6 oz.) part-skim mozzarella

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Cuban Arroz con Pollo

Serves 8

Arroz con pollo, which just means chicken and rice in Spanish, is cooked countless ways across Latin America. This version, essentially a chicken and yellow rice casserole, comes from The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors and History by Ana Sofia Pelaez.

It’s a time-honored family recipe that uses asparagus, peas, and two kinds of alcohol – white wine and pilsner – for flavor you’ll crave.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

703

Calories

30 g

Protein

76 g

Carbs

28 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and sliced into rounds

3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks

1 cup dry white wine

4 cups water

1 bottle (12 oz.) pilsner-style beer, divided

1/2 lb. asparagus, rinsed and trimmed

1 medium yellow onion, grated

1 cup jarred pimientos, drained and sliced

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1/4 cup tomato paste

3 cloves garlic, minced and mashed

1 Tbsp. salt

1 cube chicken bouillon

3/4 tsp. achiote powder

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

3 1/2 cups short-grain rice, rinsed

Get the Recipe

The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History

By Ana Sofia Pelaez
Get the Book Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk

Baked Arroz con Pollo

Serves 8

If you like Mexican rice and chicken casserole, then try this version of arroz con pollo from Ecuador. It has similar ingredients like tomatoes, cumin, and – if you can find it – achiote powder.

The real difference in a South American meal is the optional extras like fried plantains and aji criollo, an Ecuadorian hot sauce made from cilantro and garlic.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

484

Calories

27 g

Protein

49 g

Carbs

19 g

Fat

Ingredients

3 lbs. bone-in chicken, assorted pieces

1 Tbsp. achiote powder (aka annatto powder)

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1/2 Tbsp. ground coriander

10 cloves garlic, crushed

2 Tbsp. oil (or butter)

1 white onion, diced

2 stalks celery, finely diced

4 Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 cup beer (or white wine)

1 1/2 cup chicken broth (or water)

2 cups rice

2 medium carrots, diced

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Get the Recipe

Chicken, Sweet Potato & Rice Casserole

Serves 6

This chicken casserole has two side dishes mixed right in. Even though sweet potatoes and rice are both starchy, each serving of this casserole contains almost as much protein as carbs. That’s because it’s loaded with chicken and topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

543

Calories

43 g

Protein

55 g

Carbs

17 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 cups), peeled and cut into 1/2” pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup long-grain rice

4 cups water

2 cups (about 8 oz.) shredded cheddar

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Get the Recipe

One-Pot Whole Chicken & Rice

Serves 6

For an easy way to feed a family, cook rice while roasting a whole chicken in the same pan. It’s not as simple as putting it all in big pot and walking away, but all the steps require no more than beginner-level cooking skills.

Rub down the chicken with a seasoning blend first, and then sear it. Move it out of the pot to cook the onions and brown the rice, and then you can just combine everything and allow the oven to do the rest.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

680

Calories

41 g

Protein

50 g

Carbs

34 g

Fat

Ingredients

3 1/2 lbs. whole fryer chicken

Garlic salt to taste

4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups jasmine rice

1/2 onion, chopped

1 lemon, halved

4 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Get the Recipe

Chicken & Rice Casserole

Serves 8

When you keep a stash of cooked shredded chicken in your freezer, any number of easy protein dinners are within reach like tacos, pasta, and casserole.

Thanks to that, this healthy dinner comes together in under an hour. Use a canned soup for convenience, or make this cream of chicken soup recipe in advance for quick homemade casseroles with little-to-no prep work.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

361

Calories

31 g

Protein

33 g

Carbs

11 g

Fat

Ingredients

Casserole:

1 Tbsp. butter

1/2 medium onion, diced

4 stalks celery, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each), cooked and shredded

1 recipe homemade cream of chicken soup (below)

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup long-grain white rice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

 

Cream of Chicken Soup:

3 Tbsp. butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup whole milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp. onion powder (optional)

1/4 tsp. garlic powder (optional)

Get the Recipe

OVER 100,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED MY COOKBOOK TO GET THE BODY THEY WANT EATING THE FOODS THEY LOVE. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

What if I told you that just about everything magazines and trainers “teach” you about dieting is wrong?

What if you could build muscle and lose fat eating “naughty” foods every week?

What if you didn’t have to suffer through low-carb dieting to get lean? In fact, what if you could eat all the carbs you wanted?

And what if you didn’t have to gorge yourself just to gain muscle and didn’t have to put on pounds and pounds of ugly fat, either?

In short, what if I told you that proper dieting--whether you want to maximize fat loss or muscle growth--is much simpler and more enjoyable than you’ve been led to believe?

Imagine eating delicious, filling meals every day...never feeling starved or stuffed...having great energy levels and workouts...and watching your body respond exactly as you desire, dropping fat or adding muscle each and every week.

And imagine finally understanding how proper dieting really works, never again falling for the BS, tricks, and gimmicks pushed by “gurus” and other shysters.

Well, I have good news.

All these “fantasies” can be a reality...if you know how to do a handful of “little” things correctly.

You see, when you know how to diet properly--and this doesn’t mean learning to eat boiled chicken and raw broccoli six times per day--getting lean and muscular becomes simple, convenient, and dare I say...enjoyable.

And this book will show you the way.

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like my articles, then you'll love my bestselling books. They'll show you exactly what you need to do to build muscle and lose fat without hating your diet or living in the gym.

If you're a guy, check out Bigger Leaner Stronger, and if you're a girl, Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.

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