Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole

Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole is a timeless comfort food dish that exudes warmth, heartiness, and the simplicity of home cooking. This casserole combines tender cubes of chicken breast with creamy soups and fluffy white rice, all baked to perfection under a buttery topping. It’s the kind of meal that brings back fond memories and creates new ones around the dinner table. Let’s dive into the preparation of this beloved family recipe, ensuring each step is filled with care and attention to detail for a truly comforting dish.

Ingredients Insight

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into cubes: The protein base of the casserole, providing heartiness and flavor.
  • 2 cups water: Used to cook the rice, making it tender and fluffy.
  • 2 cups instant white rice: Chosen for its quick cooking time, it perfectly absorbs the flavors of the soups and chicken.
  • 1 can each cream of chicken, celery, and mushroom soup: These soups create a rich, creamy sauce that binds all the ingredients together, adding depth and moisture to the casserole.
  • Salt and ground black pepper: Essential seasonings that enhance the natural flavors of the chicken and rice.
  • ½ cup butter, sliced into pats: Adds a rich, buttery finish to the casserole, contributing to its golden, delicious crust.

Preparation Method

  1. Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to a moderate temperature that allows the casserole to bake evenly, melding all the flavors together while achieving a perfectly golden top.
  2. Prepare the Chicken: Cube the chicken breasts into even, bite-sized pieces. This ensures they cook uniformly and are easy to eat once incorporated into the casserole.
  3. Cook the Rice: Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the instant white rice, cover, and remove from heat. Let it stand for about 5 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is fluffy.
  4. Combine the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, blend the cooked rice, cubed chicken, and all three cans of soup. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Mix well to ensure the chicken is evenly distributed and the rice is fully coated in the creamy soup mixture.
  5. Assemble the Casserole: Transfer the mixture into a greased baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Arrange the slices of butter evenly over the top, ensuring the buttery richness is distributed throughout the casserole as it melts.
  6. Bake: Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake uncovered until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the casserole is bubbling around the edges, typically about 30-40 minutes. The top should be lightly golden and crisp.
  7. Rest and Serve: Allow the casserole to stand for a few minutes after removing it from the oven to set. This makes it easier to serve and helps distribute the flavors evenly.


Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole is a heartwarming dish that encapsulates the essence of comfort food. It’s simple yet deeply satisfying, combining tender chicken, creamy soups, and fluffy rice under a buttery crust that’s hard to resist. This casserole is perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or any time you need a touch of home-cooked warmth. Serve it as is, or pair it with a side of steamed vegetables or a crisp salad for a complete meal. Enjoy the process of bringing this cherished recipe to life and the joy it brings to those who savor it.

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