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Easy Chicken Thighs and Rice Casserole Recipe (Video)

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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Easy Chicken Thighs and Rice Casserole Recipe

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.

Crispy Bacon inside the skillet.

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.

Saute onion with bacon and garlic.

Step 3: Next, add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring a few times.

Saute onion with bacon inside the casserole dish with rice.

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.

Half of the spice inside the casserole dish with rice.

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.

Easy Chicken Rice Casserole Recipe

Step 6: Pour the chicken broth into the casserole dish and stir everything to combine. Season with salt to taste.

Chicken thighs and rice recipe

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.

Easy Chicken Thighs and Rice Casserole Recipe

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.

Recipe Tips

  • 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!

FAQs

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.

Easy Chicken Thighs and Rice Casserole Recipe

Easy Chicken Thighs and Rice Recipe

Love Keil
Easy Chicken Thighs and Rice Casserole Recipe – super delicious Rice Casserole Recipe with Baked Chicken Thighs & garlic and bacon infused flavor. 
4.93 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Coarse
Cuisine American
Servings 5 servings
Calories 574 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 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 jasmine rice uncooked, rinsed
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth

Spices

Instructions
 

  • 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.
    chicken casserole
  • 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.
    Saute onion with bacon and garlic.
  • Place 1 1/2 cup of rice and saute onion with bacon into a casserole dish.
    Saute onion with bacon inside the casserole dish with rice.
  • 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.
    Easy Chicken Rice Casserole Recipe
  • 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.
    Chicken thighs and rice recipe
  • Sprinkle with freshly chopped greens like parsley and enjoy!
    chicken rice casserole

Video

Notes

Here is another chicken and rice recipe idea – Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole.
Hi! All content & images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 574kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 26gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 255mgPotassium: 388mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 364IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Q. Do YOU like this Chicken Rice Casserole Recipe?

Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!

Easy Chicken Thighs and Rice Casserole Recipe

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55 Comments

  1. Laurie Shamone

    5 stars
    I made this recipe with arborio rice. It was decadent! Just rinse and drain the rice before adding to the recipe. It came out so creamy. I also used Badia Poultry Seasoning Southern Blend for the meat seasoning. 4 teaspoons worked perfectly!

  2. 5 stars
    I love this recipe .very easy to prepare. Made mine on a Dutch oven browned bone in skin on chicken thighs changed of the spices just a bit used paprika and Cajun two step seasoning at a great flavor. All in all will definitely be making this recipe again 👍🏼

  3. 5 stars
    This was a hearty and fulfilling meal for our family of 5 – we really loved how flavorful the rice was. To address some of the other comments, I made this with long grain brown rice and it took nearly double the amount of time to cook. I will be making it again but will parcook the rice so that the chicken doesn’t dry out. It might be worth specifying in the ingredients section that the recipe as written is for white rice since both types are considered long grain. Nevertheless, this recipe is going into our regular rotation! Thank you!

  4. I thought about adding the seasonings normally used for poultry separately in order to control the amounts of thyme and sage instead of the 1 1/2 tablespoons of poultry seasoning and I wish I had. That amount of poultry seasoning overpowered the entire dish, and I put all of the rice in the garbage disposal. It would’ve been better to use 1 1/2 tablespoons of smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning instead of the other way around. Also, less liquid would’ve worked better and allowed the skin to get crispy. Otherwise, it would’ve been great.

  5. 5 stars
    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!

  6. 5 stars
    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

  7. 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

  8. You never said whether you pre cooked the rice or never mentioned anywhere anything about the rice being uncooked or cooked please clarify

  9. 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!

  10. Wondering what kind of meat seasoning do you use? Is there a specific brand or type you prefer with this dish?

  11. 5 stars
    Super good and kid approved! Will make this again!

  12. I would love to make this! Is it freezer friendly?

  13. 5 stars
    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!

  14. Can you make this ahead?

  15. This is Delicious! That said I made a few mistakes that I’d like to pass along. I used a steak seasoning for the chicken (and rice). This blend had a lot of salt! Then I added salt and now it’s too much. Be careful not to add any extra salt as the rice mixture has bacon in it and is most likely salty enough. Also, I added half of the chicken seasoning to the rice mixture and with the bacon it’s just too salty.
    Going forward and adjusting the salt this recipe is easy, delicious and company worthy!

  16. What would be the cook time if I use minute rice?

  17. 5 stars
    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.

  18. Thinking about adding spinach to this..how should I do that?!

  19. 5 stars
    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.

  20. 5 stars
    Everyone enjoyed the dish. Will surely make it over and over again. Thank you.

  21. 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!

  22. Can brown rice be substituted? Will it affect cook time?

  23. I made this and it was delicious!!! Yummy!!!

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