Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

This is one of my all-time FAVORITE meals to make. Definitely not a healthy recipe. So where it is pretty bad for the bod, it’s good for the soul. For real. It’s seriously so yummy and kid friendly too. It’s also a good crowd pleasing meal so at your next event, double this recipe and bake it into a big aluminum pan! Pretty much everyone knows how to make a basic chicken and rice casserole, but adding two of the best ingredients in the world (Rotel + ranch seasoning mix) really puts it over the edge 🙌

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I like to use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for this recipe just because it makes it so much easier. And when I say “easier,” I mean it’s really easy because I just get my husband to cut up the rotisserie chicken for me. 🙃 You can use any cooked, shredded chicken breasts for this as long as you get around 2-3 cups of chicken. Utilize those spouses, ladies.
I kid, I kid. Kinda.

I’d also like to say that I’ve tried playing with the recipe when I was short on time and used the boil-in-a-bag white rice. It worked, but the flavor was just a little bit plain in my opinion. It would still work great if you were really short on time because this casserole does take about 1-1.5 hours to completely cook the rice.

So here’s what you’ll need:
Disclaimer – excuse my less than perfect photography skills. I do my best. LOL.

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2-3 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
About 3 cups of shredded cheese, set 1 cup aside
1 cup of uncooked long grain white rice
2 cans of chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken
1 can mild Rotel, partially drained
1 package of ranch seasoning mix

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish.
Dump every single ingredient into a big bowl and mix it until well combined.
Pour into the casserole dish (it’ll look pretty soupy but that’s ok) and then bake for about 1 to 1 ½ hours until the rice is done.
It will probably still be a little soupy on top, so give it a stir right in the casserole dish.
Once that’s done, add the remaining cheese to the top and let that melt in the oven.
Let cool for about 10 minutes so that it firms up a bit.

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And that’s it. That’s literally all. SO easy.
If you’re feeling really Paula Deen-y, you can add a Ritz cracker + butter topping with your cheese on top, but that’s seriously all  there is to it.

I like to serve this with green beans, turnip greens, or salad.

TRY IT. You won’t regret it. I hope you enjoy!

-ASL 🍳

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