This easy Chicken Thighs and Rice Casserole recipe is super delicious, easy to come together, and a family favorite! Made with chicken thighs, seasoned rice, and bacon-infused deliciousness, it’s all done with a bit of prep time then the oven does the rest!
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Baked chicken thighs casserole – one of my favorite family-friendly meals to make throughout the week. My kids love it so it’s a no-brainier because I know I won’t hear any complaints!
It’s made with juicy pieces of tender chicken and flavorful rice infused with the flavor of smoky bacon. It’s loaded with delicious flavors and textures!
I love casseroles simply because they’re always a classic comfort food that I make from scratch so it’s an easy way to make a healthy homemade meal that fills our belly and our hearts.
With easy prep and everything baked together in the oven, this complete meal couldn’t be easier to make! It just needs a simple side salad or quick veggies to round it out and dinner is served!
Ingredients Needed for Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Bacon: The first thing we do is sauté the bacon not only to add delicious bacon bits to the casserole but we also use the bacon fat to cook the aromatics giving everything that bacon-infused flavor!
- Butter: We add butter to the remaining bacon grease for even more flavor. I mean, butter and bacon and onions? Is there anything better?!
- Onion & garlic: The aromatics that give the rice casserole a big flavor.
- Chicken: I use chicken skinless and boneless chicken thighs because I find the dark meat much more flavorful and juicy. Cooking the thighs and the chicken together might mean drier chicken if you were to use a leaner cut like breasts.
- Rice: Uncooked long-grain rice like basmati or jasmine rice. Make sure to rinse it well before adding it.
- Chicken broth: I have a great homemade chicken broth recipe I usually have on hand, especially during the cooler months when I make a ton of soups and stews. You can also use a store-bought broth if you have it.
- Spices: I use meat seasoning or poultry seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper to season the chicken.
How to Make Chicken and Rice Casserole
Step 1: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the chopped bacon to sauté for about 5 minutes until golden in color. No need to make them super crispy, otherwise they’ll burn as they continue baking.
Step 2: Drain the bacon grease, leaving about 1 Tablespoon inside the skillet. Add a Tablespoon of butter to the grease. You can also drain all the bacon grease and just use butter if you prefer. Add the chopped onion and sauté the onion with the bacon until it is soft, stirring a few times.
Step 3: Next, add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring a few times.
Step 4: Transfer the cooked bacon, onions, and garlic to a greased casserole dish and add in the rice. Set that aside for a minute.
Step 5: Mix all the spices in a small bowl. Rub half of the mixture on all sides of the chicken thighs and add the rest of the seasoning to the rice in the casserole dish.
Step 6: Pour the chicken broth into the casserole dish and stir everything to combine. Season with salt to taste.
Step 7: Place the chicken on top of the rice and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 45 minutes covered, then uncover for another 15-20 minutes until the liquid evaporates.
Step 8: Remove the casserole dish from the oven and enjoy! I like to serve mine with a sprinkling of fresh parsley for a pop of color.
- If you are going to use chicken breasts, to even out the time make sure to use thick chicken breasts. That way they won’t overcook by the time the rice is finished cooking.
- You can even use bone-in chicken thighs if you’d like.
- Keep any leftovers stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Make it a few hours ahead of time and assemble it completely then bake when you’re ready!
What to Serve with Chicken and Rice Casserole
A casserole is often a complete meal all in one! Complete with protein and carbs, all you need is a side of veggies and dinner is done!
I like to serve it with a simple tossed salad, cabbage salad, or Greek salad. Sometimes I’ll use up some more bacon and make green beans with bacon as a side!
How long to bake chicken and rice casserole?
This recipe is written with boneless chicken thighs in mind and yields perfect results when baked for 45 minutes covered and another 15-20 minutes uncovered.
Keep in mind that cooked chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, no matter what!
If using a different cut of meat, you’ll want to account for the time and check on it a couple of times throughout.
Can you bake raw chicken and rice together?
Yes! That’s the neat thing about a casserole that is pretty much all done in the oven. The chicken is cooked by the time the rice is cooked, and it has so much more flavor that way!
Is this casserole freezer-friendly?
Technically yes, but I don’t recommend it. Once it is thawed the texture will be a little different.
However, if you have a ton leftover, by all means wrap it tightly and keep it frozen for up to 1 month.
More Easy Chicken and Rice Recipes:
Juicy Chicken Thighs Spanish Rice Recipe
30-minute Bang Bang Chicken Recipe in Air Fryer
Easy Fried Rice Recipe with Eggs and Green Onion
Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers
Super Juicy Oven Baked Chicken Wings
Oven Baked Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Easy Chicken Thighs and Rice Recipe
- 5 strips bacon chopped into tiny pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil, plus more for brushing chicken
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 5 chicken thighs skinless & boneless
- 1 1/2 cups long grain rice uncooked, rinsed
- 4 cups homemade chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Meat Seasoning or use your favorite poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F and grease 9 by 13" casserole dish. Using a skillet, add 5 chopped bacon strips and saute until golden color about 5 minutes.
- Next remove bacon grease leaving about 1 tablespoon inside the skillet add 1 tablespoon butter (Or remove all of the bacon grease and add 2 tablespoon of butter!) and 1 chopped onion. Saute onion with bacon until onion is soft about 9 minutes, stirring few times. Now, add 3 finely chopped garlic cloves and saute for 1 minutes, stirring few times.
- Place 1 1/2 cup of rice and saute onion with bacon into a casserole dish.
- Using small dish, mix all spices together. Rub 1/2 of the spice mixture onto both sides of the chicken thighs and the rest of the spice mixture add it to the casserole to flavor the rice. Pour in 4 cups of homemade chicken broth. Stir the rice and broth try it, and add more salt if needed.
- Place chicken on top the rice, cover the casserole and bake for 45 minutes. After uncover, then bake for 15-20 more minutes, or until water evaporates.
- Sprinkle with freshly chopped greens like parsley and enjoy!
Q. Do YOU like this Chicken Rice Casserole Recipe?
Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
Thank YOU for YOUR Comment, Share & Recipe Review!
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This came out great. My toddler who just had chicken and rice(not nearly as good as this recipe) for dinner the night before ate this up good. Will be making again!
Thank you Michael! I am so happy your toddler liked this recipe! 😀
Absolutely delicious! I have now found my go to recipe for chicken and rice. My family and I tore it up! Thank you for sharing this wonderful and easy recipe. Tee
Thank you Tanja! I am so happy you like this chicken and rice casserole! 😀
I made the chicken thighs and rice last night. I loved the flavor but not the consistency of the rice. It was long grain and the liquid was right but to me the river was mushy. I like my rice light and fluffy. But like I said the chicken flavor was good
Thank you Edwina for your recipe review!
You never said whether you pre cooked the rice or never mentioned anywhere anything about the rice being uncooked or cooked please clarify
Hi Rebecca! I used uncooked rice, thank you for noticing it, I will update the recipe.
This recipe was delicious! Love the flavor of the rice. In fact made scrambled eggs with the leftover rice for breakfast the other day. Delicious!
Thank you, Karen for a wonderful recipe review!
Super good and kid approved! Will make this again!
Thank you Aubry! So happy to hear that your kiddos approved it! Best kind of feedback!
Toddler approved!!! My family would use a tad bit less paprika next time bc it over powered the rest a little bit more, but if you love paprika it’s good!! Even with this exact recipe my whole family finished the dish!
Thank you Marissa! I am so happy your toddler and family approved it!
I tried it! It came out really good. the only things I changed were cooking everything in my braising pan, adding frozen mixed vegetables the onions, and seasoning the veggies with the same seasoning I used on the chicken. I used bone in/skin on chicken thighs the cooked at 375 for the time directed. Perfection! Everyone had seconds.
Thank you Megan, for your awesome recipe review!
Thinking about adding spinach to this..how should I do that?!
SOunds like a great idea, I would add it to the casserole with sauteed onion, broth and rice, then add chicken on top and bake it.
This was a big hit at my dinner table. The rice was so flavorful. I’m going to be adding some broccoli or Brussels sprouts next time.
Thank you for your awesome recipe review, so happy it was a hit at your dinner table!
Everyone enjoyed the dish. Will surely make it over and over again. Thank you.
Thank you so much Maria, for an amazing recipe review!
Can you use minute rice or does it have to be long grain and do you cook it ahead of time and use uncooked rice. Thanks!
I used washed uncooked long grain rice, if you use minute rice you will need to adjust the cooking time. Hope this helps!
Can brown rice be substituted? Will it affect cook time?
I dont see why not, you will have to adjust the time, I dont cook with brown rice so not sure how long it tastes to cook.
I made this and it was delicious!!! Yummy!!!
Thank you, David!