BBQ Chicken And Rice Casserole | Cheesy Chicken And Rice Bake

Published Date: January 31, 2024
Last Updated: January 31, 2024

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BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole is a deliciously easy family-friendly recipe that is guaranteed to be a hit. With fluffy rice, juicy and flavorful chicken, melty cheese, and a creamy sauce, your family will be begging for every night to be a casserole night.

Overhead image of BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole in a baking dish with a serving on a plate next to it

What Makes This Dish A Family Favorite Comfort Cook?

Quick and Easy. Ready in under an hour, this is a great weeknight dinner option. Use some of my tips, tricks, and variations below to make it even faster!

Easily Customizable. Swap out sauces, add in veggies, or adjust the variety of starches you use to make this the perfect comfort cook for your family.

Feeds a Crowd. Like a majority of the recipes you’ll find in my little corner of the internet, this easy meal is made to feed a large family or used for meal prep. You can easily adjust the ingredients to fit a smaller crowd.

Budget-friendly Ingredients. In an attempt to keep up with inflation at the grocery store, this recipe uses ingredients that are easy to fit into a modest food budget.

Does Rice Need Cooked Before Adding It To A Casserole?

Not all casseroles require you to cook the rice beforehand, but for this specific recipe, you will want to prepare the rice ahead of time. This is a good excuse to use leftover rice from another recipe you made earlier in the week!

To incorporate the creamy ingredients into the rice layer of this casserole, it will need to be cooked before you layer and bake everything to a bubbly golden brown.

Let’s Talk Ingredients

Make sure you have these ingredients in your kitchen before you get started with this yummy BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole:

Ingredients needed to make BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole
  • Chicken Breasts. Chicken breasts are the main source of protein in this dish. They are cooked to be a juicy and savory pairing with creamy rice.
  • Long Grain White Rice. A fluffy and flavor-neutral starch that takes on the flavors of the other tasty ingredients in the casserole.
  • Shredded Colby Jack Cheese. Creates the bubbly cheese layer on top when finished in the oven.
  • Cream Of Chicken Soup. Makes the rice creamy and helps it hold its shape when serving.
  • Sour Cream. Works with the cream of chicken soup to prevent the rice from drying out in the oven.
  • Chicken Broth. Is used to add a flavorful bite to the rice while it is cooking.
  • BBQ Sauce. Use your favorite brand of BBQ sauce. We prefer to use Sweet Baby Ray’s for this dish because it is perfectly sweet without being overpowering.
  • Olive Oil. Used to saute the chicken breasts before layering them into the casserole.
  • Seasonings. Use salt, pepper, and garlic powder to season the chicken breasts before searing.

How To Make BBQ Chicken And Rice Casserole

Rice cooking in a black pot

Cook the rice to perfection. Rinse the rice well and then cook it according to the package instructions using chicken broth in place of the water.

Chicken breasts cooking in a skillet

Season and sear the chicken. Butterfly the chicken tenders so they are approximately 1/2″ thick. Season them generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and sear them over medium-low heat in olive oil until they reach an internal temperature of 165F. This should take approximately 3-4 minutes on each side. Chop it into bite-sized pieces.

A baking dish with cooked rice, cream of chicken soup, and sour cream

Make the rice creamy. Place the cooked rice in your 9×13 casserole dish. Mix in the cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Mix carefully so that you don’t break all of the grains of rice.

BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole assembled and ready to bake

Assemble the casserole. Carefully press the creamy rice mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer a small amount of barbecue sauce on top of it. Add the diced chicken on top of the BBQ sauce. Sprinkle the shredded cheese and finish the casserole off with another generous drizzle of BBQ sauce.

BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole on a white plate

Bake until bubbly. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Serve and enjoy! Slice the casserole into 6-8 servings, plate, and enjoy!

Tips And Tricks

Combine the ingredients carefully. Slowly incorporate the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and cooked rice. Stirring the rice too vigorously can cause it to release extra starches and make the consistency of the casserole gummy.

Use a meat thermometer. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken before slicing and layering it in the casserole. The time spent in the oven is simply to melt the cheese and create a bubbly casserole, not to actually cook the chicken.

Don’t be shy with the sauce. The sauce is the star of the show, so don’t be shy when you’re layering it on. No one likes a bland or dry casserole.

Variations

Swap out the starch. Not a fan of rice or need something that cooks a little faster? Try placing cooked pasta, potatoes, or quinoa in the bottom of the casserole before layering on the other ingredients.

Pick your favorite protein. Use whatever protein you have in your fridge for an easy “clean out” night between grocery store visits. Place any diced and cooked protein in the casserole in stead of chicken and bake until bubbly.

Switch up the sauce. Sure, barbecue sauce is delicious, but there are so many other tasty sauces to choose from. Consider hot sauce, honey mustard, or even sauce from my Firecracker Chicken recipe instead.

Add in some veggies. Casseroles are the perfect canvas to sneak extra veggies into your next meal. Before baking, layer in some of your favorite quick-cooking veggies. Consider carrots, peas, broccoli, or cauliflower. Even a layer of spinach would make a lovely addition.

What To Serve With BBQ Chicken And Rice Casserole

Not sure what to serve with this casserole to create the perfect well-rounded meal? Try some of these tasty sides:

  • Roasted Vegetables. Roast some of your favorite vegetables to serve alongside the casserole to bring some additional nutrition to your plate.
  • Dinner Rolls. Use a light and fluffy dinner roll to soak up the extra sauce from your plate when you finish your last bite.
  • Side Salad. Cut the richness of the BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole with a crisp, refreshing salad.
Overhead image of BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole in a white baking dish

How Long Does It Last?

Want to make this ahead of time for meal prep or double the recipe for leftovers later in the week? This Creamy BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole can last 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can You Reheat Chicken And Rice Casserole?

Of course, you can reheat this dish! I love to make meals that can work as meal prep or can be reheated later when we can’t all sit down for a meal together.

If you’re in a time crunch, you can pop the leftovers in the microwave for a minute or two until it is heated through. If you want to use the oven to reheat your casserole, pop it in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.

More Easy Chicken Dishes

If you love this BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe, share it on social media so your friends can check it out too! Don’t forget to bookmark or Pin it to keep it on your dinner rotation.

Overhead image of BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole in a baking dish with a serving on a plate next to it

BBQ Chicken And Rice Casserole | Cheesy Chicken And Rice Bake

BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole is a deliciously easy family-friendly recipe that is guaranteed to be a hit. With fluffy rice, juicy and flavorful chicken, melty cheese, and a creamy sauce, your family will be begging for every night to be a casserole night.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 1 cup Colby Jack Cheese
  • 10 ounces Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

Instructions
 

  • Cook the rice to perfection. Rinse the rice well and then cook it according to the package instructions using chicken broth in place of the water.
  • Season and sear the chicken. Butterfly the chicken tenders so they are approximately 1/2" thick. Season them generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and sear them over medium-low heat in olive oil until they reach an internal temperature of 165F. This should take approximately 3-4 minutes on each side. Chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Make the rice creamy. Place the cooked rice in your 9×13 casserole dish. Mix in the cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Mix carefully so that you don't break all of the grains of rice.
  • Assemble the casserole. Carefully press the creamy rice mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer a small amount of barbecue sauce on top of it. Add the diced chicken on top of the BBQ sauce. Sprinkle the shredded cheese and finish the casserole off with another generous drizzle of BBQ sauce.
  • Bake until bubbly. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • Serve and enjoy! Slice the casserole into 6-8 servings, plate, and enjoy!
Keyword BBQ Chicken and Rice Casserole, BBQ Chicken Casserole, Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole
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Hi! I'm Ashley.

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I'm married to my high school sweetheart and we have three amazing sons.

I love carbs, cheese, and all things spicy and deep fried. There's nothing that makes me happier than a full kitchen table and a family with a full belly!


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