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Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole

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Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole


What is Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole? Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole is a classic comfort food dish that combines tender chicken, creamy sauce, and perfectly cooked rice. This hearty casserole is a staple in many households, loved for its rich flavor and satisfying texture.

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Why this casserole is a family favorite This dish is not only delicious but also incredibly easy to make, making it a go-to recipe for busy weeknights and family gatherings. The combination of simple ingredients creates a comforting meal that brings back memories of home-cooked dinners and family traditions.

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Brief history and origin The origins of this casserole can be traced back to Southern cuisine, where casseroles became popular due to their convenience and ability to feed large families. Passed down through generations, Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole remains a beloved dish in many American households.

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Health Benefits of Chicken and Rice Casserole

Nutritional profile Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole is a balanced meal that provides protein from the chicken, carbohydrates from the rice, and essential vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and broth.

Health advantages This casserole is not only filling but also nutritious. The chicken provides lean protein, while the rice offers a good source of energy. Adding vegetables can enhance the dish’s nutritional value, making it a wholesome option for family meals.

How to Make Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole

Preparation steps

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Cooking instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, onion, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Spread the uncooked rice evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  3. Place the chicken breasts on top of the rice.
  4. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken and rice, spreading it evenly.
  5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.

Choosing the Right Chicken

Fresh vs. frozen chicken Fresh chicken is preferred for its flavor and texture, but frozen chicken can be used if it’s properly thawed beforehand. Ensure the chicken is fully thawed to cook evenly.

Organic vs. conventional chicken Organic chicken tends to be free of antibiotics and hormones, offering a cleaner option. However, conventional chicken can also be used if organic is not available or within budget.

Preparing the Rice

Types of rice to use Long-grain white rice is traditional for this casserole, but you can use brown rice or wild rice for added nutrition and a different texture.

Cooking the rice There’s no need to pre-cook the rice; it will cook in the oven, absorbing the flavors of the broth and soups.

Creating the Sauce

Combining the ingredients Mix the soups, broth, and seasonings thoroughly to create a smooth, creamy sauce that will meld all the ingredients together during baking.

Tips for a creamy sauce Ensure the mixture is well-blended to avoid lumps. Adding a bit of milk or cream can make the sauce even richer.

Assembling the Casserole

Layering the ingredients Start with a layer of uncooked rice, followed by the chicken, and finally, pour the sauce over everything. This layering ensures the rice absorbs maximum flavor.

Final touches Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the top for a cheesy crust that adds a delightful texture to the casserole.

Baking the Casserole

Temperature and timing Bake the casserole at 350°F (175°C) for about 1 hour. The chicken should be fully cooked, and the rice tender.

How to get a golden crust Remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of baking to allow the cheese to melt and form a golden crust.

Serving Suggestions

Traditional side dishes Serve the casserole with a side of steamed green beans, a fresh garden salad, or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.

Pairing with salads A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette pairs perfectly with the rich and creamy casserole, balancing the flavors.

Variations of Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole

Adding vegetables Incorporate vegetables like peas, carrots, mushrooms, or broccoli to add color, texture, and nutritional value.

Using different proteins Swap chicken with turkey, ham, or even a vegetarian protein like tofu or beans for a different twist on the classic casserole.

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Casserole

Common mistakes to avoid

  • Don’t overcook the casserole, as it can dry out.
  • Ensure the chicken is fully cooked before serving to avoid foodborne illnesses.

Enhancing the flavor Use homemade chicken broth for a richer taste, and don’t be shy with the seasonings. Fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary can elevate the dish.

Cultural Significance of the Casserole

Casseroles in American cuisine Casseroles have long been a part of American cuisine, celebrated for their convenience, versatility, and ability to feed a crowd. They are a popular choice for potlucks, family dinners, and gatherings.

Family traditions and gatherings Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole often evokes memories of family get-togethers, holiday dinners, and the comforting feeling of home-cooked meals shared with loved ones.

Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole in Restaurants

Where to find it While homemade is best, you can find similar chicken and rice casseroles in Southern-style diners and family restaurants.

Popular adaptations in eateries Restaurants may offer variations with gourmet ingredients or unique twists, such as adding truffle oil or exotic spices to the traditional recipe.


Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole is more than just a meal; it’s a cherished tradition that brings comfort and joy to the table. This simple yet flavorful dish is perfect for feeding a crowd or enjoying as a cozy family dinner. With its rich history and endless variations, this casserole remains a timeless favorite in American kitchens.


How do you store leftover casserole? Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until hot.

Can this casserole be frozen? Yes, you can freeze the casserole before or after baking. If freezing before baking, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

What are some common substitutes for rice? Quinoa, couscous, or even small pasta shapes can be used instead of rice for a different texture and flavor.

How can you make the casserole more flavorful? Using homemade chicken broth, fresh herbs, and a mix of cheeses can enhance the flavor. Don’t forget to season generously with salt and pepper.

Is this casserole suitable for special diets? This casserole can be adapted for various diets. Use gluten-free soups and broth for a gluten-free version, or substitute the chicken with plant-based proteins for a vegetarian option.

Yield: 6

Mamaw's Chicken and Rice Casserole

Mamaw's Chicken and Rice Casserole

Mamaw's Chicken and Rice Casserole is a classic comfort food dish that combines tender chicken, creamy sauce, and perfectly cooked rice. This hearty casserole is a staple in many households, loved for its rich flavor and satisfying texture.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour


  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups instant white rice
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of celery soup
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup butter, sliced into pats


Gather all ingredients.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease sides and bottom of a casserole dish.

Stir chicken, water, rice, cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, and cream of mushroom soup together in the prepared casserole dish; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange butter evenly over the top of the chicken mixture.

Bake in preheated oven until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, 1 hour to 75 minutes.

Cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 441
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