The ultimate comfort dish, this chicken and rice casserole is just like your mom used to make: Tender pieces of chicken mingle with veggies and rice, all tied together with homemade cream of chicken soup and topped with crunchy, crispy cornflakes.
I am going to start a campaign to bring back the casserole. I just don’t see them (or make them) enough! But growing up, I swear we practically lived on casseroles. And, while I might not have appreciated them then, I sure do now! Easy to put together (made even easier if you use pre-cooked and frozen ingredients), quick to cook, and delicious to eat, I am going to be raving all about the casserole this fall.
Especially this one, the OG of casseroles, chicken and rice with veggies, broth, butter, and an easy, homemade cream of chicken soup to tie it all together and of course you can’t skip the corn flakes topping — the best!
Why this Recipe Works
There are so many reasons why this recipe is perfect, here are just a few!
Corn flakes — Yeah, I put that first! It might sound “corny” but this casserole just wouldn’t be the same without some crunchy corn flakes on top. Take my word for it, you won’t want to skip this step.
Cream of chicken soup — Use a can if you must, but making your own really will make all the difference. If you’ve ever made a roux before, you can make this soup!
Veggies — Chop up some carrots, celery, onions, and toss in a bag of frozen peas, easy, peasy (ha ha see what I did there?) Or use all frozen veggies if you like to save even more time.
Leftovers — Play your cards right and you could have some amazing leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner. Simply reheat in the microwave, and add a few more cornflakes if they’ve lost their crunch in the fridge. Perfecto!
Here’s How you Make it
- Turn on your oven and preheat it to 375 and then lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Take out a large skillet and melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the rice, then add 1 cup of chicken broth and the water and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the burner down to a simmer, cover, and cook the rice for 25 minutes, or until it’s fully cooked.
Prepare the veggies
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan.
- Add the celery, carrots, and onions and saute them for about 3-4 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the celery is fork-tender. Take them off the heat.
Make the cream of chicken soup
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
- Stir in the flour, then whisk in the chicken broth and milk.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and bring the soup to a boil, stirring till thickened.
- Take off the heat.
Prepare the corn flake topping
- In another medium-size skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and toss the corn flakes into the melted butter till they’re all coated.
Putting it all together
- Combine the rice, veggies, chicken, peas, and cream of chicken soup and stir it all together till combined. Add it to the prepared baking dish, making sure it’s evenly spread out.
- Sprinkle the buttered corn flakes over the top in an even layer.
- Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or till the corn flakes begin to brown.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and cracked black pepper if you like and serve.
- Since I know you’ll ask, my favorite long grain and wild rice boxed mix is from Zatarain’s, but you can use whatever brand you prefer.
- For the chicken, you can use a shredded rotisserie chicken, or make your own in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. Or, you can purchase already cooked, sliced chicken pieces from Tyson or another brand.
- In a super hurry? Use all frozen veggies (yep, you can find frozen, diced onions too) in this dish. Just cook them in the butter until they are just thawed. Be careful not to over cook, frozen veggies can go from frozen to mush quickly if you’re not careful.
- Want to make this dish ahead of time? Prepare the dish all the way through “putting it together” except hold off on buttering the corn flakes until right before you’re ready to bake the dish, then add the buttered corn flakes right before baking for best results.
- For more ooey, gooey, creamy sauciness in this casserole, add cheese! Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese like cheddar or Monterey jack to make this a cheesy chicken and rice casserole.
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Servings: 6 servings
homemade cream of chicken soup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in rice, then add 1 cup chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.
Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 25 minutes til rice is fully cooked. Meanwhile, prepare the cream of chicken soup, veggies, and corn flake topping.
Prepare the veggies
In a medium sauce pan melt 2 tablespoons butter.
Add celery, carrots, and onions and saute 3-4 minutes til onions are translucent and celery becomes fork-tender. Remove from heat.
Prepare the cream of chicken soup
In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
Stir in flour, then whisk in chicken broth and milk.
Stir in salt, pepper, and garlic powder and bring sauce to a boil, stirring til thickened. Remover from heat.
Prepare the corn flake topping
Bake the casserole
Combine rice, veggies, chicken, peas, and cream of chicken soup and stir well. Spread evenly in prepared dish.
Sprinkle buttered corn flakes evenly over the top.
Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes until corn flakes begin to brown. Garnish with chopped parsley and cracked black pepper if desired and serve.
The chicken: you can use rotisserie chicken, or slow cooker or Instant Pot shredded chicken, or diced chicken. I love using Tyson grilled and chopped chicken pieces for soups like this to reduce prep time.
Make it cheesy: Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese (such as cheddar or Monterey jack) for a deliciously cheesy dish.