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Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole

Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole recipe

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Experience the ultimate comfort food with this Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole. Combining tender chicken, creamy soup, and savory cheese, this dish is perfect for a hearty family meal or a cozy dinner. Simple to prepare and bursting with flavor, it’s sure to become a staple in your recipe collection.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (10.5 oz) cans cream of celery soup
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 cups white rice, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare the Casserole Dish:
    • Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or a light layer of butter.
  3. Mix Ingredients:
    • In a large bowl, combine the chicken broth, cream of celery soup, and melted butter. Stir until well mixed.
    • Add the cubed chicken, uncooked white rice, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme to the bowl. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Transfer to Baking Dish:
    • Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly.
  5. Bake:
    • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Add Cheese:
    • Remove the foil and sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.
    • Return the dish to the oven and bake, uncovered, for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Serve:
    • Let the casserole sit for a few minutes before serving to allow it to set slightly. Serve warm and enjoy!

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Rice Options: You can substitute white rice with brown rice for a nuttier flavor and added nutrients. Note that brown rice may require a longer cooking time.
  • Vegetable Additions: Add frozen or fresh vegetables such as peas, carrots, or broccoli for extra nutrition and color.
  • Cheese Choices: Feel free to experiment with different cheeses such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or a blend of cheeses for a varied flavor profile.
  • Herb Variations: Substitute dried thyme with rosemary, oregano, or Italian seasoning for a different herby note.
  • Spicy Twist: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce for a bit of heat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use pre-cooked chicken for this recipe? A: Yes, you can use pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken. Simply reduce the cooking time to prevent the chicken from becoming dry.

Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until warmed through.

Q: Can I freeze this casserole? A: Yes, this casserole can be frozen. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Q: Can I make this casserole ahead of time? A: Absolutely! You can prepare the casserole, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. Add a few extra minutes to the baking time if baking from cold.

Q: What can I use instead of cream of celery soup? A: You can substitute with cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup for a different flavor profile.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

For those following a keto or low-carb diet, here are some adjustments to make this dish suitable:

  • Keto Version:
    • Replace the white rice with riced cauliflower to reduce the carbohydrate content.
    • Use a low-carb thickener like xanthan gum if needed to achieve the desired creamy consistency.
  • Low-Carb Version:
    • Substitute the white rice with quinoa or a low-carb grain alternative.
    • Ensure that the cream of celery soup is a low-carb version, or make a homemade version using heavy cream and celery.

This Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole is a delightful blend of flavors and textures, making it a perfect choice for a comforting meal. Its versatility allows you to customize it to suit your tastes and dietary needs, ensuring it becomes a family favorite. Enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness with each bite and relish the simplicity of preparation. Happy cooking!

Indulge in the warm, hearty flavors of this Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole. Perfect for a cozy family dinner or an easy meal prep option, this recipe promises satisfaction and delight. Whether you stick to the classic version or try out the variations, it’s a dish that will have everyone asking for seconds. Enjoy!

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healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

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