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Mamaw’s Chicken & Rice Casserole

Every family has cherished recipes that have been passed down through generations, and Mamaw’s Chicken & Rice Casserole is one such timeless classic. This heartwarming casserole combines tender chicken, creamy rice, and a medley of flavors that create a dish that’s both comforting and satisfying. In this blog post, we’re sharing Mamaw’s beloved recipe, complete with ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and helpful tips to ensure your casserole turns out just as delicious as the one made by generations past.

Ingredients

For Mamaw’s Chicken & Rice Casserole, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  1. Chicken: Mamaw’s casserole typically uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, providing a lean source of protein.
  2. Rice: Long-grain white rice serves as the base of the casserole, absorbing all the wonderful flavors.
  3. Chicken Broth: Chicken broth adds moisture and enhances the savory taste of the casserole.
  4. Cream of Mushroom Soup: This soup provides creaminess and a rich, earthy flavor to the dish.
  5. Onion: Diced onions add a subtle, sweet undertone to the casserole.
  6. Butter: Butter is used for sautéing the onions, infusing the dish with a rich, nutty taste.
  7. Seasonings: You’ll need salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to season the casserole.
  8. Cheddar Cheese: Grated cheddar cheese is sprinkled on top, creating a delightful cheesy crust.

Instructions 

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish to prevent sticking.

Step 2: Sauté the Onions

  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the diced onions and sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.

Step 3: Cook the Chicken

  1. While the onions are sautéing, season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  2. In the same skillet, push the onions to the side and add the seasoned chicken. Cook until it’s browned on both sides and no longer pink in the center.

Step 4: Prepare the Rice

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the uncooked rice, cream of mushroom soup, and chicken broth.
  2. Pour the rice mixture into the greased baking dish, spreading it evenly.

Step 5: Assemble the Casserole

  1. Cut the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Layer the chicken pieces over the rice mixture in the baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top, creating a cheesy layer that will melt to golden perfection.

Step 6: Bake the Casserole

  1. Cover the baking dish with foil and place it in the preheated oven.
  2. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Step 7: Rest and Serve

  1. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and makes for easier serving.
  2. Dish up Mamaw’s Chicken & Rice Casserole, and enjoy the heartwarming taste of a beloved family recipe.

Cook’s Notes 

  • Vegetable Variations: While Mamaw’s recipe uses cream of mushroom soup and onions, you can customize it with your favorite vegetables, such as peas, carrots, or bell peppers.
  • Cheese Options: Feel free to experiment with different cheese types like mozzarella, Swiss, or Monterey Jack for a unique flavor twist.
  • Add Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like thyme or parsley can elevate the dish’s aroma and taste.

Variations 

Gluten-Free Version

To make a gluten-free version of Mamaw’s Chicken & Rice Casserole, replace the regular cream of mushroom soup with a certified gluten-free version, and ensure that all other ingredients, such as seasonings and chicken broth, are gluten-free as well.

Low-Carb Alternative

For a low-carb alternative, you can replace the white rice with cauliflower rice. This version offers the same comforting flavors with fewer carbs.

Mamaw’s Chicken & Rice Casserole is not just a dish; it’s a piece of family history. With its rich flavors and the comforting memories it invokes, this casserole has stood the test of time. Whether you’re preparing it for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, you’re sharing in the tradition of a beloved family recipe. Enjoy the warmth and flavor of Mamaw’s Chicken & Rice Casserole with your loved ones, and savor the connection to generations past through this timeless dish.

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