This gluten-free Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole is a classic comfort food! Super easy and perfect for those picky eaters!
I firmly believe in the power of food. I believe food has the ability to change your mood, nourish both mind and body, lift your spirits, evoke memories, and soothe your soul.
We even display our emotions through food. For example, when I make mashed potatoes it is almost always because I am homesick. I miss my Mom, so I make her mashed potatoes. It makes me feel better. Or like the way Mr. Maebell cannot taste chocolate pie without thinking of his Grandmother. Food isn’t just the components of a meal, it is part of our story.
I am sharing Cheesy Chicken and Rice with you today. Yes, this is comfort food, it is great and simple, but this dish means so much more to me than that. Nearly five years ago, Mr. Maebell and I had just moved into our current home. We were two broke college kids that never had much except a dinner table that was always full.
At that point in time, our meals were almost always a protein, rice, and a vegetable. Remember, Mr. Maebell was diagnosed with Celiac disease over 7 years ago, so after trying a lot of gluten-free alternatives that were awful we just stuck with the basics.
One night I made this, kind of on a whim, just trying something new. I shredded the chicken, cooked the rice, made a homemade cream of chicken soup, threw in some sour cream and cheese and hoped for the best. That sweet man took one bite and the smile on his face just grew wider and wider. I will never forget that. Something so very simple, just a meal, a basic gluten-free casserole that nearly everyone else in this world would take for granted but for him, we had struck gold.
That is the power of food.
So, tonight as you rush home to make dinner for your loved ones just remember it isn’t just dinner. It might be the meal your kids crave when they are homesick or it could be the meal they feed to their kids someday. It could be the meal that becomes part of their story.
Ingredients in Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
To make this easy chicken and rice casserole from scratch, you’ll need the following:
- Cooked, shredded chicken
- Uncooked rice
- Chicken broth
- Sour cream
- Spices (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper)
- Flour or Bisquick
- Shredded cheddar cheese
How to Make Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake
- Add rice and broth to a saucepan and cook until done.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, rice, spices, and sour cream. set aside.
- In the same small saucepan you used for the rice, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Add in the flour or Bisquick and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in additional broth, then let simmer until thickened.
- When thickened, pour the cream of soup into the mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients.
- Stir in 1/2 cup cheese, then turn into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with more cheese before baking.
Can I Prep Cheesy Chicken Casserole in Advance?
Yes! Prepare the chicken and rice casserole as the recipe instructs, but refrigerate instead of baking. I also recommend waiting to sprinkle the cheese on top until you’re ready to bake.
Can I Add Veggies to This Gluten-Free Casserole?
Yes! I’ve made this cheesy chicken and rice bake with a frozen bag of mixed veggies as well as a broccoli cheese version, and both were excellent. I think this is a super versatile recipe that will work for just about any veggie/cheese combo you want to try!
Tips for Making Cheesy Rice Casserole
- I use my small crockpot to cook my chicken. I just put it on low before work and they are done when I get home. Alternatively, you can bake it at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes covered. When chicken is cooked, shred and set aside.
- If you have a stand mixer, shred your chicken with the paddle attachment. It makes life so much easier!
- As always, I made this chicken and rice casserole from scratch using gluten-free ingredients. I use Glutino Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flour or Gluten Free Bisquick in place of regular flour.
More Gluten-Free Casserole Recipes:
- Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Rice
- Loaded Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower Casserole
- Taco Zoodle Casserole
- One-Pan Cabbage Casserole
- Tuna Zoodle Casserole
- 1 pound cooked chicken breast, shredded (3-4 cups)*
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour or Bisquick (I use gluten free Bisquick)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a small saucepan bring two cups of chicken broth to a boil, pour in rice, simmer on low until all liquid is absorbed.
- In a large mixing bowl combine shredded chicken, rice, spices and sour cream together, set aside.
- In the same small saucepan you used for the rice, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
- When it is completely melted and bubbling, add 2 tablespoons of flour, stir mixture and let it simmer for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
- Slowly pour last cup of chicken broth into the flour mixture, stirring as you go.
- Let your cream of soup simmer for a couple minutes until the mixture thickens. This usually takes me 3-5 minutes.
- When mixture is thick pour it into the mixing bowl with the rest of your ingredients.
- Add in 1/2 cup cheese, stir well and pour into greased baking dish.
- Top with remaining cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes.
*I use my small crockpot to cook my chicken. I just put it on low before work and they are done when I get home. Alternatively, you can bake it at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes covered. When chicken is cooked, shred and set aside.