Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole


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In the world of comfort food, nothing quite hits the spot like a hearty, creamy casserole. It’s the type of meal that brings back memories of family gatherings, Sunday dinners, and the warm, loving hands of a grandmother meticulously preparing her favorite dish. Today, we’re diving into the heart of comfort cuisine with a classic recipe that’s sure to invoke nostalgia and satisfy your cravings: Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole. This dish is not just a meal; it’s a warm hug on a plate, combining tender chicken, creamy soups, and fluffy rice into a mouthwatering delight.

Ingredients: A Simple, Yet Flavorful Mix

Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole calls for straightforward, easily accessible ingredients, ensuring you can whip up this comfort dish without a hassle. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into cubes, offering that essential protein punch and ensuring every bite includes a tender piece of chicken.
  • 2 cups water, to help cook the rice to perfection.
  • 2 cups instant white rice, which serves as the comforting base of the casserole.
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can of cream of celery soup, and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, combining to create a rich, creamy texture and a depth of flavor that’s hard to beat.
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste, for seasoning.
  • ½ cup butter, sliced into pats, adds a touch of richness and helps brown the top to a perfect golden crisp.

Directions: Easy to Follow for a Perfect Casserole Every Time

Making Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole is as simple as it is satisfying. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your casserole turns out just right:

  1. Preparation: Start by gathering all your ingredients, so everything is within reach. This step is crucial for a smooth cooking process.
  2. Preheat and Grease: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). While waiting, grease the sides and bottom of your casserole dish to prevent sticking and ensure easy serving.
  3. Mix: Combine the chicken, water, rice, and all three cans of soup in the prepared casserole dish. This mixture is the heart of your casserole, so ensure it’s well combined. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  4. Top with Butter: Arrange the butter slices evenly over the top. As the casserole bakes, the butter will melt, infusing the dish with a delightful richness and contributing to a beautifully browned top.
  5. Bake: Place your casserole in the preheated oven. Bake until the rice is tender, and the chicken is thoroughly cooked, approximately 1 hour to 75 minutes. This slow baking process allows all the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  6. Cool and Serve: Allow the casserole to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. This resting time helps the ingredients set, making it easier to serve and ensuring every bite is as delicious as it is comforting.

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Serving and Storage Tips for Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole

Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole is a dish that embodies comfort and warmth, perfect for family dinners or special gatherings. To ensure that you get the most out of this delightful meal, both in terms of flavor and practicality, here are some serving and storage tips that will help you enjoy every last bite.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Let It Rest: After removing the casserole from the oven, let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This allows the rice to absorb any remaining liquid fully and makes the casserole easier to serve.
  • Garnish for Extra Flavor: Consider adding a sprinkle of fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, or chives before serving. This not only adds a pop of color but also a fresh flavor contrast to the creamy casserole.
  • Side Dishes: Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole is rich and hearty on its own. Pair it with simple side dishes like a crisp green salad, steamed vegetables, or a light vinaigrette coleslaw to balance the meal.

Storage Tips:

  • Cool Before Refrigerating: Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature before storing it. However, don’t leave it out for more than 2 hours to avoid bacterial growth.
  • Refrigerator Storage: Transfer the cooled casserole into an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. The flavors often meld and deepen over time, making leftovers just as delicious, if not more so.
  • Freezing for Later: This casserole freezes well, making it a great make-ahead meal. To freeze, wrap the casserole tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, then place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag or airtight container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Label your container with the date to keep track of how long it’s been stored.
  • Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy your casserole again, you can reheat it in the oven or microwave. If frozen, it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Cover the casserole with foil to prevent the top from burning and bake at 350 degrees F until heated through. The microwave can be used for quicker reheating of individual portions, but be sure to cover the dish to retain moisture.

Additional Tips:

  • Prevent Sogginess: If the casserole seems too moist after thawing, bake it uncovered for a few extra minutes to help evaporate the excess moisture.
  • Revitalize the Flavor: Feel free to sprinkle a little cheese on top before reheating to add an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  • Safety First: Always check the casserole’s temperature with a food thermometer to ensure it has reached 165 degrees F before consuming, especially when reheating from frozen.

By following these serving and storage tips, you’ll ensure that Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole remains a beloved comfort dish that’s ready to enjoy whether you’re serving it fresh or pulling it from the freezer for a convenient and comforting meal.

A Meal That Feels Like Home

Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole isn’t just food; it’s an experience. It’s about recreating those cherished memories of meals shared with loved ones and introducing new generations to the tastes of the past. Whether you’re gathering around the table for a family dinner, looking for a dish to bring to a potluck, or simply in need of some comfort food, this casserole is sure to please.

Remember, the best recipes are not just followed; they’re felt. Don’t hesitate to add your own twist to Mamaw’s classic casserole, whether it’s a sprinkle of your favorite herbs, a dash of extra spice, or even a different mix of soups to suit your palate. After all, the essence of comfort food lies in making it your own.

So, preheat that oven, gather your ingredients, and prepare to enjoy a dish that’s as full of love and warmth as it is of flavor. Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole is more than just a meal; it’s a legacy of comfort, shared one delicious bite at a time.


1. Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

Yes, you can use brown rice as a healthier alternative to white rice in Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole. However, keep in mind that brown rice has a longer cooking time than white rice. To ensure the rice cooks properly, you might need to adjust the baking time or partially cook the brown rice before adding it to the casserole. Additionally, you may need to add more liquid since brown rice tends to absorb more than white rice.

2. Is it possible to make this casserole with frozen chicken?

Using frozen chicken directly in the casserole is not recommended. Frozen chicken needs to thaw completely before use to ensure even cooking throughout the dish. Cooking chicken from frozen can lead to unevenly cooked parts, with some being overdone while others remain undercooked. It’s best to thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight before cubing and adding it to the casserole.

3. Can I add vegetables to the casserole? If so, which ones work best?

Absolutely! Adding vegetables can introduce more flavors, textures, and nutrients to the casserole. Some great options include sliced mushrooms, diced carrots, peas, green beans, or bell peppers. Add these vegetables in with the chicken and rice before baking. If using vegetables that release a lot of water, such as zucchini, you may want to sauté them briefly before adding to prevent the casserole from becoming too watery.

4. How can I make this casserole vegetarian?

To make a vegetarian version of Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole, substitute the chicken with a plant-based protein like chickpeas, cannellini beans, or a vegetarian chicken substitute. Ensure your cream soups are vegetarian as well; many stores offer plant-based versions of cream soups. Adjust the seasoning as needed, since plant-based proteins may absorb flavors differently than chicken. This substitution allows vegetarians to enjoy the comforting flavors of this classic casserole.

📖 Recipe

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Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole

  • Author: Isabella
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole, a creamy, savory dish that combines tender chicken, fluffy rice, and a rich blend of soups to create a hearty meal. Perfect for family dinners or potlucks, this casserole recipe is easy to follow and guarantees a deliciously satisfying experience.


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


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a casserole dish.
  2. In the dish, mix chicken, water, rice, cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, and cream of mushroom soup. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange butter slices on top.
  4. Bake until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour to 75 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.


Brown rice can be substituted for white rice; adjust cook time accordingly.

Add vegetables like peas or carrots for a nutritious twist.

Ensure chicken is thawed before use for even cooking.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mamaw's Chicken and Rice Casserole, Chicken Casserole Recipe, Creamy Chicken and Rice, Comfort Food, Easy Casserole Recipe, Family Dinner Ideas

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