If you’re looking for a hearty and delicious meal that’s perfect for feeding a crowd, look no further than Mamaw’s chicken and rice casserole. This classic Southern dish is a staple in many households, and for good reason: it’s easy to make, budget-friendly, and oh-so-tasty. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this beloved recipe and share some tips for making it at home.
What is Chicken and Rice Casserole?
Chicken and rice casserole is a one-dish meal that typically includes cooked rice, chicken, and a creamy sauce. Other common ingredients may include vegetables like peas or carrots, as well as seasonings like garlic or onion powder. The casserole is baked in the oven until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, resulting in a warm and comforting meal that’s perfect for chilly nights.
Mamaw’s Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe
There are many different ways to make chicken and rice casserole, but Mamaw’s recipe is a tried-and-true favorite. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
- 1-2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
To make the casserole:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Cook the rice according to package directions, using the 2 cups of water.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, soups, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and chicken. Mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbly.
Variations on the Recipe
While Mamaw’s recipe is delicious as written, there are many ways to customize it to your liking. Here are a few ideas:
- Swap out the cream of mushroom soup for cream of celery or cream of broccoli soup.
- Add in some frozen peas or mixed veggies for extra color and nutrition.
- Use brown rice instead of white rice for added fiber and nutrients.
- Top the casserole with shredded cheese, breadcrumbs, or crushed crackers for added crunch.
- Experiment with different seasonings, such as garlic powder, thyme, or paprika.
Tips for Making the Perfect Chicken and Rice Casserole
If you’re new to making chicken and rice casserole, here are a few tips to ensure success:
- Be sure to cook the rice separately before adding it to the casserole. Otherwise, it may not cook evenly and could result in a mushy or undercooked texture.
- If you’re using leftover chicken, be sure to shred it finely so that it distributes evenly throughout the casserole.
- Don’t be afraid to customize the recipe to your liking. Add more or less of certain ingredients, or swap them out altogether to create a dish that’s tailored to your tastes.
- Leftovers of this dish freeze well and can be reheated in the oven or microwave.
Mamaw’s chicken and rice casserole is a classic Southern dish that’s sure to please. Whether you’re feeding a crowd or just looking for a comforting meal, this recipe is a winner. With a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can whip up a delicious casserole that’s sure to become a family favorite. Give it a try today and enjoy the warmth and comfort that only a home-cooked meal can provide!