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Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole with Bacon
Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We? ?
Things to Love About This Recipe –
- It’s old fashioned comfort food….plain, simple, and yummy.
- This casserole is a solid one for taking to someone who needs a meal.
- You can make it ahead of time and bake it when you need it.
The Ingredients You’ll Need for Making This Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole with Bacon
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into chicken fingers, or use chicken breast tenderloins
- Creole Seasoning
- Jasmine Rice
- Cream of Chicken Soup
- Minced Chipotles or Chipotle Sauce
How to Make This Old-School Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Spread the cooked rice over the bottom of a greased baking dish; top with the chicken fingers, then season them with the Creole seasoning.
- In a bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup, minced chipotles, and the milk until smooth; pour this over the chicken and rice.
- Bake the casserole until hot and bubbly throughout, then top with the cheese and bacon; return the casserole to the oven and bake just until the cheese melts.
Easy Recipe Tips For Chicken and Rice Casserole with Bacon
1. Holy Chipotle!
Minced chipotles are something I love to keep on-hand in my fridge as a condiment (thank you very much, Pioneer Woman!); they add such a spicy/smoky flavor to any recipe and a little goes a long way.
Once you’ve purchased a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, toss them into your food processor and blend until smooth. Store the puréed chipotles in a glass jar in your fridge to use in any dish that calls for adobo sauce, chipotle sauce, or minced chipotles.
2. Switch to Jasmine Rice.
Notice that this Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole features jasmine rice, not long grain rice. I’ve begun using jasmine rice in nearly all of my casserole recipes because I really like the texture!
I’ve had trouble with plain long grain rice – it can get really “gummy and gloppy” sometimes, and it also takes much longer to cook than jasmine or basmati rice.
3. Make Now, Bake Later.
I always try to assemble this rice bake ahead of time so I can bake it later when my family needs a filling weeknight meal, hot from the oven. It’s important to remember that if you’re baking this Creamy Chicken and Rice Bake straight from the fridge, you’ll need to add an extra 15-20 minutes of baking time.
4. An Instant Read Thermometer Isn’t Just for Meat.
How do you know when this Creamy Chicken and Rice Bake is hot and ready to go from the oven?
Use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer and you won’t have to guess! Insert your thermometer into the center of the casserole and watch the dial (or digital screen); when it stops moving after a few seconds, this is the internal temperature of your casserole.
What temperature do you want your baked casseroles to be so that they are safe and hot at the center? 160 – 165 degrees F. Now you don’t have to WONDER if it’s done….you can KNOW.
5. A Recipe is a Guide, Not the Gospel. 🙂
Always remember that a recipe is just a GUIDE….nothing is set in stone.
Because there are always variables when it comes to cooking (temperature of your ingredients, altitude, how hot your oven bakes, etc), remember that cooking/baking times are a basic guideline and tend to vary a bit.
Adjust your recipe as needed, always cooking not just by time, but by temperature, sight, and touch as well.
Other Recipes Your Family Will Enjoy –
- Tex Mex Cowboy Casserole with Ground Beef
- Baked Spaghetti Pie Casserole
- Instant Pot Big Bold Beef Carnitas
- Beefy Sheet Pan Quesadillas
- Tasty Tex Mex Chicken and Cornbread Casserole
- Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole
- Jan’s Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
Printable Directions for Making Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole
Creamy Chicken and Chipotle Rice Bake
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ fingers
- your favorite Cajun/Creole seasoning blend
- 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
- 1 10.75 oz. can Campbell's cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 - 1 tsp. minced chipotles in adobo, or more depending on the level of spicy-ness you prefer
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Lightly spray a large casserole dish (or 9” x 13” pan) with nonstick cooking spray; spread the cooked rice over the bottom of the prepared casserole dish, then top the rice with the chicken fingers; sprinkle the chicken with Cajun seasoning.
- In a medium mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine cream of chicken soup with the chipotles and milk until smooth; slowly pour this mixture over the chicken and rice in the baking dish.
- Bake the casserole, uncovered, on the center oven rack for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the casserole from the oven; sprinkle with shredded cheeses and cooked bacon. Return casserole to the oven and bake for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve at once.
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