Monterey Chicken & Rice Casserole

Monterey Chicken & Rice Casserole – my whole family went crazy over this easy chicken casserole!! Even our super picky eaters! Chicken, rice, sour cream, cream of chicken, spinach, Monterey Jack Cheese, and french fried onions. Makes a great freezer meal! This is the most requested dinner at our house. #casserole #chickendinner #freezer #chicken #spinach

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Easy Weeknight Chicken Casserole

Stop what you are doing and add this yummy Monterey Chicken & Rice Casserole to your menu. SO good! Chicken, rice, spinach, cheese, and french fried onions. YUM! The hardest part about making this recipe is having the self-control to not eat all those yummy french fried onions before making the casserole! You know what I’m talking about! Those things are so addictive. They are perfect in this casserole!

chicken & rice in baking dish

How to Make Chicken & Rice Casserole with Spinach

This casserole is very easy to make. You are basically just mixing everything together and popping the casserole in the oven. Start with cooking some rice. While the rice is cooking, chop some cooked chicken and drain some frozen spinach. Once the rice is done, mix together the cooked rice, chopped chicken, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, drained spinach, Monterey Jack cheese, and french fried onions. Spread into a baking dish, top with more fried onions and bake.

  • I used rotisserie chicken for the cooked chopped chicken in this casserole.
  • For a gluten-free casserole, use gluten-free cream of chicken soup and omit the fried onions or swap them for crushed pork rinds.
  • Can chicken & rice casserole be made in advance? Yes! You can make this casserole ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time if baking the casserole straight from the refrigerator.
  • Can chicken & rice casserole be frozen? Yes! You can make this casserole ahead of time and freeze the casserole unbaked for a quick meal later. To bake after freezing, thaw completely and bake as directed below.
  • This makes a lot of food. You can easily half the recipe or split the casserole between two pans. Bake one and freeze one for later.
  • I used Monterey Jack cheese in this casserole. Feel free to substitute any cheese you prefer – Pepper Jack, provolone, white cheddar would all be good.
  • I used cooked white rice in this casserole. You can substitute any rice you prefer – brown rice, jasmine, basmati will all work fine. Just make sure to add it to the casserole cooked.
  • Feel free to add onions, mushrooms, or artichokes to the casserole mixture.
scooping chicken & rice from casserole dish

What to Serve with Chicken & Rice Casserole

This casserole is a favorite at our house. I don’t really care for spinach, but I gobbled this up! The flavor of the spinach is hidden by all the cheese and yummy fried onions. You don’t need a lot of sides to go with this casserole. We usually serve this with a salad or green beans and some rolls. Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this yummy casserole:

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scooping chicken & rice from casserole dish

Monterey Chicken & Rice Casserole

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Monterey Chicken & Rice Casserole – my whole family went crazy over this easy chicken casserole!! Even our super picky eaters! Chicken, rice, sour cream, cream of chicken, spinach, Monterey Jack Cheese, and french fried onions. Makes a great freezer meal! This is the most requested dinner in our house. #casserole #chickendinner #chickencasserole

Ingredients:

  • cups cooked rice
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 (16-oz) container sour cream
  • 2 (10.75-oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10-oz) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 (6-oz) can French's French Fried Onions, divided

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, cooked chicken, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, drained spinach, 1 cup cheese, garlic and 1/2 can of French's French Fried Onions.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese and onions on top of rice mixture.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 50 minutes.

Notes:

I used a whole rotisserie chicken for the cooked chopped chicken in this casserole.
For a gluten-free casserole, use gluten-free cream of chicken soup and omit the fried onions or swap them for crushed pork rinds.
You can make this casserole ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time if baking the casserole straight from the refrigerator.
You can make this casserole ahead of time and freeze the casserole unbaked for a quick meal later. To bake after freezing, thaw completely and bake as directed below.
This makes a lot of food. You can easily half the recipe or split the casserole between two pans. Bake one and freeze one for later.
I used Monterey Jack cheese in this casserole. Feel free to substitute any cheese you prefer – Pepper Jack, provolone, white cheddar would all be good.
Generally, 1 cup of uncooked rice will equal 3 cups after cooking. You will need about 2½ cups of uncooked long-grain rice for this recipe.
I used cooked white rice in this casserole. You can substitute any rice you prefer – brown rice, jasmine, basmati will all work fine. Just make sure to add it to the casserole cooked.
Feel free to add onions, mushrooms, or artichokes to the casserole mixture.

Steph

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Comments

  1. Sounds delious. Will make this week & rate. Thinking a little spice. May later add drained rotel, chilies or cayanne. Any suggestions? Can’t wait 2 bake😊 Adding artichoke sounds interesting!

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