This southern style chicken and rice casserole is the most savory dish around! With just a few classic ingredients, this casserole will take you only minutes to combine and its ready to pop in the oven. Topped with a buttery and mouthwatering crust, this one is perfect for any get together or potluck!
Well, the southern girl is coming out in me…so get ready for this one! This homemade southern style chicken and rice casserole SCREAMS southern comfort food! And let me tell you…it’s beyond delicious! This recipe came from a lady by the name of Brenda Rowland. Brenda was the preacher’s wife at the small church I attended in Tennessee. Growing up in the south in a Southern Baptist church, we had potlucks all the time. People would bring in the most wonderful homemade recipes! There was always a variety of casseroles and wonderful vegetable dishes. I remember people would bring in cooked green beans that were flavored with onion and bacon that had been slow cooked for hours! Cream corn dishes that had a sweet and buttery taste with a hint of fresh ground pepper were always present at church potlucks! Oh and the bread rolls…homemade yeast rolls that melted in your mouth!
This chicken and rice casserole recipe is special to me because Brenda was my mom’s best friend. Brenda was always so caring toward me and she was just a fantastic lady! Brenda would always bring this dish to our church potlucks and when I was 16 I personally asked her for the recipe and she gave it to me. And I’ve kept is all these years!
Brenda passed away about 15 years ago. She will always hold a special place in my heart and every time I make this chicken and rice casserole recipe, I think of her. I make this recipe a lot….I take it to family and friend get togethers and to company potlucks. Although the name of this recipe really should be something like “Southern Style Chicken Casserole”, I really wanted Brenda to be associated to this one because this one is from her. So that’s why I decided to call it “Brenda Rowland’s Chicken and Rice Casserole”. For 20 years, that’s what I’ve called it and the name just sticks! Anyone who eats this chicken and rice casserole will fall in love with it so make sure to share this one with your friends and family!
This southern style chicken and rice casserole is the most savory dish around! With just a few classic ingredients, this casserole will take you only minutes to combine and its ready to pop in the oven. Topped with buttery and mouthwatering crust, this one is perfect for any get together or potluck!
- 4 Chicken Breasts
- 1/2 onion, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 can water chesnuts, sliced
- 2 bags "Boil in a Bag" Rice (White or Brown Rice - Your Choice)
- 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 can Chicken Broth
- 1 teaspoon sage, ground
- 1/3 cup Cheese Whiz (Buy a 15 ounce jar and only use 1/3 cup in the recipe)
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespon butter
- 2 Sleeves Ritz Crackers, crumbled
Cook the raw chicken breasts in a pot of boiling water until cooked all the way through. When cooking the chicken, you want to make sure you include the fresh quartered onions, garlic, salt and pepper. That will help season the chicken while it cooks.
While the chicken is cooking, bring a separate pot of water to a boil and cook the "Boil in Bag" rice according to box directions. When rice is done cooking, drain and set aside.
Once the chicken is done cooking, drain the water and let the chicken cool. Throw away the onion and garlic that was cooked in the chicken.
When the chicken has cooled, shred the chicken by hand and place in a large mixing bowl.
Combine all ingredients in the recipe, excluding the finely chopped onion, Ritz Crackers and butter, into the big bowl of chicken and stir together.
Place chicken and rice mixture in a 9x13 pyrex dish.
Bake on 350 for an hour, covered with aluminum foil.
When the casserole is done remove from the oven and set aside. Take the finely chopped onion and sauté in butter in a small saucepan.
While the onions are sautéing, crumble up the up Ritz Crackers by hand and place in a separate bowl.
Once the onions and butter are sautéed, pour the onion and butter mixture into the bowl containing the Ritz Crackers and mix well.
Remove the aluminum foil on the casserole and pour the cracker mixture on top of the casserole and broil in the oven on high until crackers are lightly toasted.
Let casserole cool for 15 minutes and then serve.