This chicken and rice casserole must be older than I am because my entire family makes this recipe. It’s so easy to make with leftovers, just be sure and stock some sliced or chopped water chestnuts.
We typically always have slivered or sliced almonds in the freezer (they stay so fresh this way). So, I had leftover rice and some rotisserie chicken, so I’m sharing this awesome inexpensive recipe. Call this a true comfort food since it is delicious to eat and easy to make. Just like so many of my other recipes, I love making dinner from scratch. How To Cook Rice
Kitchen Items You May Need
- A Good Knife
- Chopping Board or Silicone Cutting Boards
- Large Bowl
- Baking Dish (9 by 13-inch)
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Onions: Onions are a must-have ingredient for most casseroles, adding a sweet and savory flavor that complements the chicken and vegetables. Chopped onions add texture and flavor to the dish.
- Celery: Celery adds a fresh and bright flavor to the casserole, as well as a nice crunch. Chopped celery gives the dish a natural and wholesome texture.
- Sliced Water Chestnuts: Sliced water chestnuts are a unique and delicious addition to this casserole, adding a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. They also provide a nice texture to the dish.
- White Rice (cooked): A staple ingredient in many casseroles, providing a neutral base for the other flavors. Some cooks prefer long-grain rice for casseroles.
- Cooked Chicken: My favorite cooked chicken is rotisserie chicken (cooked and ready to chop). I generally buy the pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at Costco. I think they use chicken breasts, but they may include chicken thighs. Either way, the chicken has always been tender in all my recipes calling for chicken.
- Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise binds the ingredients together. Some cooks will use a creamy sauce too.
- Sliced Almonds: They add the finishing crunch topping to any baked dish.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a little touch of tartness to the casserole.
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Preheat the oven to (350°F) = (176°C) degrees. Gather all of your ingredients.
Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, chop the onion into bite-sized pieces, and chop the celery into bite-sized pieces. This makes cooking things fully easier so you know they are done. If you’ve stored your chicken in the freezer, be sure to thaw the meat so the cooking time allows for the casserole to come out hot and fully cooked.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, except the almonds. Stir the chicken and rice mixture until blended well. Set the almonds aside.
Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. I usually use a cooking spray since it’s so easy. Scoop or pour the ingredients into the casserole dish or pan. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through. Add the almonds to the top of the casserole during the last 5-10 minutes of baking.
Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe
- 2 cups cooked chicken cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 1 chopped fresh onion
- 1 cup fresh celery chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 can water chestnuts drained, sliced or chopped (approximately 8 ounces)
- 1 cup mayonnaise or miracle whip
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup almonds (slivered)
Preheat the oven to (350°F) = (176°C) degrees.
Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Chop the onion into bite-sized pieces.
Chop the celery into bite-sized pieces.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, except the almonds. Stir the mixture until blended well. Set the almonds aside.
Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Scoop the ingredients into the baking dish.
Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through. Add the almonds to the top of the casserole during the last 5-10 minutes of baking.
What are some other ingredients I can add to change the flavor or texture of the casserole?
Some family members like to add different soups to the mixture to help expand or stretch the recipe. They have tried cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, and even cream of celery soup since celery is a key ingredient.
Along that same line of thinking, they’ll add some sliced mushrooms to their cream of mushroom soup. Each of these will change the flavor as the tastes of the new ingredients come through.
To get more creative, consider some broccoli to increase the vegetable content of the casserole. You can add butter and/or cheddar cheese to make it more creamy too. Instead of the sliced almonds, consider topping off the casserole with some crushed Ritz crackers.
Another creative approach would be to replace the rice with some cubed potatoes, but then you’d have to call it chicken and potato casserole. (lol)
Add spice flavor with some salt, pepper, or garlic powder, all of which are common favorites.
How do I store the leftovers?
I like to have an airtight container with a secure lid for storage of my leftovers because it will keep the casserole from drying out. Be sure to put your container in the fridge when dinner is done to help maintain freshness.
When it’s time to serve the casserole again, just put it in the microwave and cook it until hot enough to enjoy.
Can I freeze the leftovers?
I wouldn’t recommend it because it has mayonnaise in it. The texture would not be the same. I would cut the recipe in half, instead.
What can I serve with this recipe?
- Spinach Salad
- Tossed Salad
- Fruit Salad
- Fresh Fruit
- Fresh Vegetables
Please let me know if you try making this easy chicken and rice casserole. I’m trying to share as many inexpensive recipes as possible. The price of groceries is so expensive, that we have no choice but to cut back wherever we can. If you get discouraged going to the grocery store, you’re not alone. I’ll not cave to some of the higher prices I see of certain foods. I have to stop buying them. It’s a fact, and I’m not alone.