Cheesy chicken and rice is a comforting and flavorful dish that combines tender chicken with creamy melted cheese and fluffy rice. This hearty recipe brings together the rich flavors of cheese and the protein-packed goodness of chicken, creating a satisfying meal that’s both easy to make and irresistibly delicious.
Cheesy chicken and rice is a dish that combines chicken, rice, and cheese – similar to our baked chicken rice recipe. The chicken provides protein, and the cheese adds a rich flavor. It’s a satisfying dish suitable for family meals or gatherings. The creaminess of the cheese complements the chicken and rice, enhancing the overall taste.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Leftovers are great. This recipe reheats well so that you can enjoy the flavors the next day.
- Easy to prepare. This dish is simple and quick to make, perfect for busy days or when you’re short on time.
- Family-Friendly. It’s a hit with both kids and adults, making it a great family meal option.
- Versatile. You can easily customize this recipe with your favorite seasonings or additional ingredients to suit your taste.
Cheesy Chicken & Rice Ingredients
The ingredients to make the perfect creamy, cheesy chicken and rice are below:
- Chicken – boneless skinless chicken thighs work best.
- Vegetables – mushrooms, onions, and garlic are a staple in this recipe.
- Dairy – cheese and heavy whipping cream are what make this recipe creamy and cheesy!
- Seasoning – salt, ground paprika, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning will add amazing flavor to your dish!
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations
All of the twists and amazing substitutions you can do to really make this dish your own:
- Different protein: Instead of chicken thighs, you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts, beef, bacon or pork with great results.
- Cheese: Add your favorite blend of cheese; parmesan, Four Cheese, Mexican blend, or Colby jack all work great!
- Rice: We used long-grain white rice in the recipe. However, jasmine rice, quinoa, or brown rice will go amazingly with this recipe, the cooking time will be slightly different!
Don’t want to use rice? Try using orzo instead of rice for a delicious, creamy pasta dish!
How to Make Cheesy Chicken and Rice
Here’s a step-by-step guide to preparing our delicious cheesy chicken and rice dish:
Step 1 – Cook the chicken: Sauté the chicken in a Dutch Oven, and add the seasoning. Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven. Sauté mushrooms and remove from pan.
Step 2 – In the same pan, add butter and butter, and cook until fragrant. Then, pour in broth, water, salt, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil and heat for 15-17 minutes. Then, add back the chicken and mushrooms.
Step 3 – Add in the onions, and herbs then mix to combine.
Step 4 – Finally, turn off the heat, and stir in cheese and heavy whipping cream.
- If you don’t like your rice creamy, simply omit the heavy whipping cream and cheese. It will still be as delicious!
This cheesy chicken and rice recipe goes great with so many sides! Some of our favorites include:
Personalize your dish by adding vegetables like peas, broccoli or spinach for color and nutrients.
If you don’t like mushrooms, you can skip this step! You will still end up with an amazing dish!
An excellent substitute for dried Italian seasoning can be achieved by blending fresh basil, flat-leaf parsley, oregano, thyme, sage, and/or rosemary. However, it’s essential to consider that fresh herbs have a milder flavor compared to dried ones, typically requiring a 3:1 ratio of fresh to dried herbs.
Store & Reheat
- Storage. Let the dish cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. Proceed to store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Reheat. Reheat in 30-second increments until the rice and chicken are warmed through.
- Freeze. Let the dish cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. Then, store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Freezer: Thaw in refrigerator overnight, then heat in the microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through or in a skillet over low heat.
More Chicken Recipes to Try
If you tried this Cheesy Chicken and Rice or any other recipe on my website, please leave a star rating and feedback in the comments below – we appreciate it!
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Recipe
- 1 1/2 lb chicken thighs, boneless skinless
- 3 Tbsp olive or canola oil, divided
- 12 oz mushrooms, quartered
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups uncooked rice, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 32 oz chicken broth (4 cups)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese*
- Combine the ingredients for the chicken seasoning, set aside.
- Cut the chicken thighs into small cubes.
- In a Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp oil. Once hot, add the chicken and saute until cooked. Season with the seasoning and stir to combine. Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven.
- Meanwhile, peel and quarter the mushrooms and finely chop the onion.
- Saute the mushrooms with 1 Tbsp oil. Once the mushrooms are browned, add the onions and cook until the onions are tender. Remove mushrooms and onions from the Dutch oven.
- Add the butter and garlic into the pot. Cook until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add in the rice, water, bay leaves, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and cook until the water evaporates and the rice is fully cooked 15-17 minutes. Add back in the mushrooms, onions, and chicken and mix.
- Turn the heat off and stir in the heavy whipping cream, cheese and herbs.
- Top with additional herbs and enjoy immediately.
- Cheese- you can use parmesan or your favorite blends of cheese (Four Cheese, Mexican or Colby Jack) will work.
- Storage- Store leftovers for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- Lighter dish- If you don’t like creamy rice, omit the cheese and cream.