This Lemon Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe is the perfect easy one pot meal full of citrus and herb essence, flavorful juicy chicken thighs and creamy tender rice! If you love this recipe, you will also love this Spanish Chicken and Rice, Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes, and Baked Garlic Chicken Skillet.
Though today’s recipe isn’t one I grew up eating, it is one I think of fondly. Simple casseroles and one-pot bakes often remind me of my mother and the quick meals she’d pull together at the end of long work shifts.
My mother, like so many of our dear moms, worked harder than anyone I knew. And still, most nights I’d come back from school to a home-cooked meal. It didn’t have to be fancy or expensive. If my momma made it, it was good enough for me.
This Creamy Lemon Chicken and Rice Casserole is dedicated to all the moms (and dads) who juggle it all and somehow still find a way to show out for their families. I don’t know how you do it.
LEMON CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE
On a busy weeknight, I’ve got about 15 minutes to pull together a quick dinner for my family. I constantly need to keep a pantry-friendly, efficient recipe to take my peeps from hungry to happy on deck! And that’s where dishes like today’s come in!
This Creamy Lemon Chicken and Rice Casserole is a minimal effort recipe made with ingredients you most likely already have! So, stop stressing and let’s get cooking instead.
INGREDIENTS FOR A CHICKEN RICE CASSEROLE
I find that simple recipes have the most to offer; they’re quick to make, not over complicated to prepare, and the flavors are often familiar. Recipes like these can save you from overpriced takeout and teach you the most out of what you’ve got!
Here’s what you’ll need to make a chicken rice casserole:
- Chicken Thighs
- All Purpose Flour (however you can easily sub another flour like a rice flour or other gluten free flour)
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Lemon Slices and Zest
- Salt and pepper
- Olive Oil
- Cream of Chicken Soup (this also works well with a Cream of Mushroom soup)
- Chicken Broth
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE
From start to finish, this recipe cooks up in under an hour and only requires about 15 minutes of active preparation. In other words, it’s so easy anyone can do it!
To make Creamy Lemon Chicken and Rice Casserole, you’ll need to first dredge each piece of chicken in your seasoned flour.
The chicken is then lightly sautéed to seal in moisture and brown the skin.
Next, you’ll need to mix up the rice along with the rest of the ingredients (except for the basil) in a large baking dish.
Place the chicken over the top of the rice, sprinkle on a few basil leaves, and, heck, maybe some extra parm too! Bake until creamy, golden-brown, and cooked through. Serve immediately.
- SWAP CHICKEN THIGHS FOR BREASTS. If you’re local market it out of thighs, or you simply prefer chicken breasts, go ahead and make the switch! Continue to follow the recipe as written, just be sure to allot for a longer cooking time since breasts are larger.
- USE BROTH, STOCK, OR WATER. This recipe calls for the use of chicken broth to cook the rice. You can use any kind of broth or stock you’d like. In a pinch, or as a preference, water can be used! For a creamier rice, you can add up to ⅓ cup of extra liquid.
- ADD SPICE. I intended for this recipe to be quite simple; it’s ingredient list is short and the flavors are light and well-balanced. Kick things up a notch by adding a touch of spice to the dish. Paprika, cayenne, red pepper flakes, or a dash of your favorite seasoning should do the trick.
- TRY A DIFFERENT CANNED SOUP. No cream of chicken? No sweat. Cream of mushroom will work just as well. The unsalted varieties will work too but you’ll need to add extra seasoning.
- ADD/SUBTRACT COOKING TIME. The cooking time for this recipe will vary based on oven temperature, the kind of rice used, and the meat. Start checking sooner rather than later and adjust the time as needed.
STORAGE AND REHEATING
Any leftover lemon chicken and rice casserole bake should be slightly cooled, then stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. I like to portion out the remains into individual containers for easier reheating.
To reheat, either transfer the desired portion onto a plate or leave it inside its microwaveable container. Cover with a damp paper towel to retain moisture. Heat on high in 1 minute increments until heated through.
MORE WEEKNIGHT CHICKEN RECIPES
Can’t get enough of this recipe? Try out more of GBC’s delicious everyday chicken dinners!
- AIR FRYER FRIED CHICKEN
- SOUTHERN BAKED CHICKEN
- ORANGE CHICKEN
- BLACKENED CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
- HONEY GARLIC JERK CHICKEN WINGS
Creamy Lemon Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 4 bone in skin on chicken thighs we used 3 large ones here but 4 smaller ones are great as well.
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest separated
- kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 10.2 oz cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3/4 cup long grain white rice
- 2 cloves of garlic grated or minced
- 1 lemon sliced into rounds
- thinly sliced basil for garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 11 x 8 baking dish (or one of similar size).
- In a large shallow bowl, combine flour with the parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, and ½ of the lemon zest. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly with a fork. Dredge each piece of chicken on all sides with flour mixture. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add chicken skin side down, and sear until golden, 6 minutes. Flip and cook until the opposite side is golden, around 6 minutes more. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Stir together the soup, water, rice, garlic, and remaining lemon zest in your prepared baking dish. Place the chicken on the rice mixture and layer lemon slices over the top of each piece. Cover the baking dish.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is done and the rice is tender. To develop a deeper color, uncover the dish for the last 5-10 minutes of baking. Sprinkle on the sliced basil. Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir the rice and season to taste before serving.