This Smothered Chicken and Rice Casserole has become one of my favorite meals to make. Not only is it delicious, but it is also budget friendly as well.
It all starts with low cost, boneless, skinless, chicken thighs. After browning, the chicken is cooked along with a simple, cream of mushroom soup mixture that is tossed with white rice and broccoli florets.
It is a complete meal that is baked in the oven in a small casserole dish. Serve it with a No Yeast Dinner Roll on the side and you have a true comfort meal ready to eat!
However, the term smothered chicken needs a little definition before we get to this specific recipe. That is because you can find many different recipes for smothered chicken that aren’t even similar to one another.
The term first came from oven roasted or fried chicken pieces that were coated in a thick gravy sauce. Then over the years, any type of thick sauce or creamy coating that was cooked over top of chicken gained the title of ‘smothered’.
Most often you will find smothered chicken recipes that include the chicken being coated in some sort of cream of mushroom sauce. Although, you can also find chicken recipes that are coated in cream of chicken soup or even a ranch and cheese mixture.
Although I like them all, this one is my favorite. There is just something about eating chicken that is coated in a mushroom cream sauce, rice and broccoli that screams comfort food!
Smothered Chicken & Rice Casserole Recipe
*A printable recipe card is located at the bottom of this article which contains the specific measurements, temperatures and cook times. However, continue reading below to learn about more helpful tips about this specific recipe.
- Chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
- Olive oil
- Garlic cloves, minced
- Long-grain white rice, uncooked
- Cream of mushroom soup, low-sodium
- Sliced mushrooms
- Broccoli Florets
- Chicken broth or water
- Salt, to taste
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Garlic Powder
- Optional Ingredient: Cayenne pepper powder or Hot pepper flakes
The first step is to preheat the oven and spray a medium size baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. You can use either an 8 x 8 inch square baking dish or an 11 x 7 inch rectangular to make Smothered Chicken and Rice Casserole.
Set the pan aside while you prepare the sauce. In a large bowl add the uncooked rice, cream of mushroom soup, milk, broth/water, salt/pepper to taste, garlic powder, sliced mushrooms, and broccoli florets to the bowl and stir.
Then pour enough of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared dish so that it covers the bottom. Set the dish aside and leave the remaining cream sauce in the bowl.
Brown The Chicken Thighs
It is now time to brown the chicken things. First, season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides, set aside.
Then in a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, place the chicken thighs in the oil.
Brown for 3-4 minutes, flip and then brown on the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and place directly on top of the mixture in the bottom of the baking dish.
Add the minced garlic to the same skillet that you cooked the chicken thighs and turn the heat source off. Let the garlic heat in the oil/juices of the chicken thighs for 1 minute.
Then transfer the minced garlic to the remaining cream of mushroom mixture in the medium bowl. Stir and pour the mixture over top of the chicken thighs that are in the baking dish. Be sure to tuck any grains of rice in the liquid mixture so that they cook properly.
Cover the smothered chicken and rice with foil and cook for about 50 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reach 165°F and the rice is tender.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Other Possible Recipe Variations
Although this recipe is delicious as written, feel free to make substitutions or changes based on your preferences. Below I have listed the most common substitutions for this Smothered Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe.
1. Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
It is recommended to use a Heart Healthy, or low-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup to lower the sodium content. Remember, you can always add more salt to the dish when you go to serve it, but you can’t take it out during the baking process.
2. Don’t Like Mushrooms?
Not a huge mushroom fan? No problem! Switch out the condensed cream of mushroom soup with condensed cream of chicken or cheese soup.
And of course, omit the sliced mushrooms as well! The Smothered Chicken and Rice Casserole will still be delicious!
3. Need a Dairy-Free Recipe?
If you are sensitive to dairy products, be sure to substitute the milk with a plant based Almond or Soy milk. Just be sure to use plain, unsweetened milk.
In addition, you will need to find a plant based cream of mushroom soup or make Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup with plant based milk and butter products.
4. Use Cooked Rice Instead
Want to make this recipe even faster? You can make this recipe in under 30 minutes by using cooked white or brown rice instead of uncooked long grain white rice.
If you are using cooked rice, place 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice in the bottom of the sprayed baking dish. Then add the browned chicken thighs directly on top of the rice.
Finally, pour the cream of mushroom mixture on top. Cover and bake at the recommended temperature for 20-25 minutes. Then uncover and continue to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the chicken thighs are cooked through.
The chicken thighs need to have an internal temperature of 165°F when an instant read digital thermometer is placed in the thickest section.
Storing and Reheating Instructions
If you have any leftovers, store them in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Then simply reheat the smothered chicken and rice in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on high power.
You can also reheat this dish is an oven that is preheated to 350°F. Place the casserole on the counter and let it come to room temperature. Then place it in the oven and let it heat for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
If you like other chicken and rice recipes, be sure to try my Instant Pot Chicken and Rice recipe. It is another favorite dinner recipe that is made entirely in a pressure cooker.
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- 3-4 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 c long-grain white rice, uncooked
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup, low-sodium
- 1 c sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 c milk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 8 x 8 or 11 x 7 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl add the uncooked rice, cream of mushroom soup, milk, broth/water, salt/pepper to taste, garlic powder, sliced mushrooms, and broccoli florets to the bowl and stir. Pour enough of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared dish so that it covers the bottom. Set aside.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides, set aside.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, place the chicken thighs in the oil. Brown for 3-4 minutes, flip and then brown on the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and place directly on top of the mixture in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Add the minced garlic to the same skillet and turn the heat off. Let the garlic heat in the oil/juices of the chicken thighs for 1 minute. Then transfer the minced garlic to the remaining cream of mushroom mixture in the medium bowl. Stir and pour the mixture over top of the chicken thighs. Be sure that any rice grains are submerged in the soup mixture so that they cook appropriately.
Cover with foil and cook for about 40 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reach 165°F.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
*Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or hot red pepper flakes to add a little spice to the dish.
**Directions for precooked white or brown rice: Place 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice in the bottom of the sprayed baking dish. Place browned chicken thighs on top and then pour the cream of mushroom mixture on top. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Then uncover and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken thighs are cooked through.
Recipe provided by iCookfortwo.com
Nutrition InformationYield 4
Amount Per Serving Calories 400Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 144mgSodium 1048mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 33g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.