A delicious creamy casserole made with bacon, oven baked chicken and rice. The perfect family dinner that takes just 10 minutes to prepare (and always gets the tick of approval!).
Why You’re Going To LOVE This Dish
This chicken, bacon and rice casserole has a LOT going for it:
- quick and easy to prepare – it will take you just 10 minutes!
- family-friendly – even the fussiest of kids will LOVE this dish
- restaurant quality – the perfect combo of creamy comfort food with layers of streaky bacon, cajun chicken thighs (that are the ultimate in tenderness) and rice
- no-fuss – place all of the ingredients into the baking dish, cover with foil and slow bake in the oven for 2 hours. A simple set and forget dish!
- freezer-friendly – whether you’re meal prepping or have leftovers, this recipe is perfect for freezing
Old Fashioned Baked Chicken and Rice
A classic southern-style chicken casserole that is the ultimate creamy comfort food. Made just like in the ‘good old days’, this one-dish wonder is a family favourite dinner recipe!
With layers of bacon, creamy rice and cajun spiced chicken, this simple oven baked casserole is always popular.
It’s also great for entertaining friends as you can prepare it in just a few minutes, pop it in the oven and leave it to bake… then serve straight from the oven.
No fuss, no hassle – just delicious food!
Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup Casserole
Wondering what the secret is behind this simple creamy casserole? A tin of cream of chicken condensed soup!
You can buy cream of chicken condensed soup in the tinned soup aisle of the supermarket.
It’s a VERY thick (condensed) soup that has had most of the water removed. Generally water or milk is added to a tin of condensed soup to make a tasty soup, but in this case, it’s used to make our delicious creamy sauce!
I like to use Campbells brand of cream of chicken soup but you can use any brand you like.
You can substitute the cream of chicken condensed soup for other varieties – such as cream of mushroom condensed soup or cream of chicken and corn condensed soup (they both work beautifully in this oven baked chicken and rice dish).
Best Cuts Of Chicken To Use
This casserole is covered and slow baked for 2 hours in the oven until the chicken is so tender that it falls apart!
What cut of chicken should I use?
You can use a range of chicken cuts for this easy casserole.
Boneless chicken thighs – this is my favourite option! I use 4 (large) or 6 (small) chicken thighs with the skin removed.
Bone-in chicken thighs – you can also use skinless chicken thighs with the bone-in if you prefer.
Chicken drumsticks – these are also a great option (with the skin removed).
Note: Chicken wings, chicken tenderloins and chicken breast do NOT work as well in this recipe.
Wings are too small, cook too quickly and don’t soak up the flavour of the sauce.
Chicken tenderloins and chicken breasts are too lean and won’t give you the same fall-apart tender chicken that you’ll get with thighs or drumsticks.
How To Bake Chicken & Rice Casserole
This chicken, canned soup, rice and bacon dish takes just 10 minutes and one dish to prepare! And best of all… there’s no need to pre-cook the rice!
Note: scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom for ingredient quantities and a detailed method.
Layer bacon on the base of a greased oven dish
Sprinkle over uncooked rice
It’s important to use uncooked rice as we want it to slowly cook in the creamy sauce as the casserole bakes.
Place the chicken thighs on top of the rice
Season the chicken generously
See my recipe tips below for seasoning the chicken (especially if young children will be eating the dish).
Create a creamy sauce by mixing the condensed soup, water and herbs together
Mix until combined
Pour the sauce over the top of the chicken
Cover tightly with 2 layers of foil and bake slow and low for 2 hours
To serve the baked chicken and rice, grab a large spoon and scoop all the way down to the bottom of the chicken bake. Scoop up pieces of bacon, layers of creamy rice and the tender cajun spiced chicken. YUM!
This is an absolutely delicious and hearty meal on it’s own or you can serve it with:
- vegetables such as broccoli, beans, carrots, peas, asparagus, spinach or corn
- a side salad
- garlic bread
Store this baked chicken and rice casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. The reheated leftovers are SO good!
This is a great freezer-friendly meal. Store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Allow to defrost in the fridge overnight and then reheat. Alternatively, defrost in the microwave and reheat until heated through.
Recipe Notes & Tips
Bacon – use streaky bacon or side bacon. This type of bacon comes in long strips and has more fat than shortcut bacon. It’s important to use streaky bacon in this chicken casserole as it will flake into small pieces throughout the entire dish when served.
Rice – use uncooked long grain white rice. It’s important to use uncooked rice as we want it to slowly cook with the creamy sauce – this gives it the most INCREDIBLE flavour!
Seasoning – the chicken is seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and cajun seasoning. Use sweet ground paprika (not hot or smoked) which gives a beautiful boost of flavour but without any heat or spice. Cajun seasoning does have a hit of spice so go easy on it if you’re serving this casserole to young kids. Alternatively, add extra if you’d like an extra bit of heat!
Condensed soup – refer to my tips above for using canned condensed soup in this recipe (as well as substitutions).
Cuts of chicken – the best cuts of chicken to use in this casserole are chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) or chicken drumsticks. Avoid using chicken wings, chicken breast or chicken tenderloins.
Let it cook low and slow – this casserole bake is cooked in a low oven (150 degrees celsius fan-forced or 300 degrees fahrenheit) for 2 hours. After this time, the rice will be cooked, the chicken will be so tender and the creamy sauce will have coated everything perfectly.
Cover and seal with two layers of foil – it’s important to completely seal the casserole dish with layers of foil so that the steam cannot escape. By sealing it, the steam will cook the rice while keeping the chicken incredibly moist.
Don’t peek – do NOT be tempted to open the oven or peek through the foil at any stage. Because this casserole cooks low and slow it’s important not to allow any heat to escape.
More Chicken Dinner Recipes
We all know and love a ‘winner, winner, chicken dinner’!
Here’s a few of my favourite (and toddler/kid-approved) chicken dinners:
- Creamy Tuscan Slow Cooker Chicken and Pasta – pop this into a slow cooker (crock pot) in the morning and have a delicious creamy chicken, sun-dried tomato and spinach dish ready at dinner time
- Slow Cooker Roast Chicken & Vegetables – cook an entire chicken and your favourite vegetables in a slow cooker for the ultimate Sunday roast
- Oven Baked Chicken Parma Balls – this simple dish is always a winner with the kids. Serve it with pasta or mashed potato for a midweek favourite.
- One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta – carb lovers unite! This classic pasta is made in just one pot (and tastes amazing)
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Creamy Oven Baked Chicken And Rice With Bacon
- 420 g can cream of chicken condensed soup see notes
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 200 g streaky bacon
- 1 cup white long grain rice rinsed and uncooked
- 4-6 chicken thighs approximately 500g
- salt and pepper to season
- 1/2 tsp ground sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning see notes
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius fan-forced (300 degrees fahrenheit).
- Lightly grease the base of a medium casserole dish (approximately 33 X 23cm or 9 X 13 inch).
- Whisk together the cream of chicken condensed soup, water, garlic powder, oregano and parsley. Set aside.
- Lay the streaky bacon across the base of the casserole dish.
- Sprinkle over the uncooked rice.
- Place the chicken thighs on top of the rice and season with salt, pepper, paprika and cajun seasoning.
- Pour the creamy liquid over the top – do not stir.
- Firmly cover the casserole dish with two layers of foil (sealed tightly).
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 2 hours (without opening the foil at any stage).
- After 2 hours, check that the rice in the centre is cooked (if not, reseal it and continue baking until cooked through).
- Serve by scooping down through the casserole to get the layers of bacon, rice, chicken and creamy sauce.