Meet your new family favorite recipe – my cheesy curry chicken and rice casserole! The flavors are outstanding. The bone broth filled cheesy sauce is super comforting. The loads of veggies magically disappear tucked in with all the hearty chicken and rice. This has been a family favorite for 7+ years and I don’t see that fact changing anytime soon!
Cheesy curry chicken and rice casserole – a family favorite
I want to say this about all of my recipes – that they are all family favorites – but you guys are my people so I have to tell you the truth.
In our family of 6, these kids (and adults!) have preferences. And unfortunately, they don’t always line up perfectly with the meals I plan and make. I have a kid that doesn’t like potatoes, another that isn’t a fan of onions, and sometimes they all just surprise me and don’t like things they loved yesterday. Kids.
But then there are those magical moments as a mom when you make a meal, and there’s silence. Everyone is eating. No one is complaining. Then… It’s. All. Gone.
That’s the magic of my cheesy curry chicken and rice casserole! I’ve been making this exact dish since 2013 when Hunter was just a little guest enjoying his first first. For me to keep making this chicken and rice casserole with no changes, is saying something!
You know the saying “why mess with a good thing?” They were talking about this casserole with that!
What makes this chicken and rice casserole special?
There are thousands upon thousands of chicken and rice casseroles out in the world. What makes this one special? Could it be the cheese sauce? Or the caramelized veggies? Or the loads of hearty chicken? The match of curry spices with creamy cheese sauce? Yes, yes, yes and yes.
I love this cheese sauce because instead of it being overloaded with dairy (we do still get a lot of that goodness from the cheese), we swap out milk/cream and instead use bone broth as the liquid. I am such a fan of this swap because it makes the dish feel less heavy, adds delicious flavor and gives you an extra nutrition boost!
Curious about bone broth? Here are 10 ways bone broth heals + how to make it simply.
Can you prep it in advance?
This is such a great casserole to prep ahead of time! You have a few different options here.
Option 1: Prep the components of the dish in advance. Chop the veggies, dice the cooked chicken, cook the rice in advance and shred the cheese. All of these steps will speed up the time it takes to make the dish.
Option 2: Make the recipe up to the final step. Stop before you complete the final baking. Keep covered in the fridge until you are ready to bake. The casserole may take an extra 10-15 minutes longer in the oven to accommodate for taking the fridge chill off.
Options 3: Make the recipe in its entirety. If you plan to eat later, let it fully cool then place in the fridge covered. When you are ready to eat, scoop out individual servings and warm in either the microwave on high for 30 second increments until the serving is heated. Alternatively you can heat in the oven at 350 degrees until warm.
Can you freeze it?
Yes! I suggest preparing the casserole up to the final step (stopping before you do the final baking). Cool the casserole fully in the fridge, cover, label and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and then place it (uncovered) in the oven for the final bake. It may take an extra 10-15 minutes longer if the casserole is still pretty cold when it goes into the oven.
Ingredients in cheesy curry chicken and rice casserole
- extra virgin olive oil
- cooked chicken breasts
- cooked rice
- garlic granules
- curry powder
- cheddar cheese
- whole wheat or einkorn flour
- chicken bone broth
- sour cream
How to make cheesy chicken and rice casserole
- First preheat your oven.
- Cook the vegetables until soft, then add the chicken, rice and seasoning in and stir together.
- Make your cheese sauce by melting butter, whisking in the flour until thickened. Whisk in the sour cream and cheese to finish your sauce.
- Pour the sauce over the rice mixture and stir together.
- Bake in a casserole dish until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly.
Looking for more chicken recipes? You may like these:
- Healthy ranch chicken
- Coconut curry chicken with udon noodles and broccoli
- Crockpot coconut green curry basil chicken
- Instant Pot teriyaki chicken and veggies
- Buffalo chicken salad
- Curry chicken salad with grapes and celery
Cheesy Curry Chicken and Rice Casserole
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 3 celery stalks finely diced
- 3 carrots peeled and diced small
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cooked chicken breast diced into bite size pieces
- 4 cups cooked rice (brown, white or a mix of both)
- 1.5 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 3/4 tsp sea salt divided
- 3/4 tsp pepper divided
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup einkorn flour (can sub whole wheat flour)
- 1.75 cups chicken bone broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the diced chicken, cooked rice, curry powder, garlic granules, 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
- To prepare the cheese sauce heat a small pot over medium high heat. Add the butter and allow to fully melt. Whisk in the flour, 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the chicken bone broth while continuing to whisk. The liquid should begin to thicken as it gently boils. Stir in the sour cream and 2 cups shredded cheese and whisk until cheese is melted.
- Pour the cheese sauce into the rice mixture and stir fully. Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted through and the casserole is bubbly along the edges.
Do you have a go-to recipe your family loves every time? Drop a comment below and tell me about it! If you try this cheesy curry chicken and rice casserole, do leave a rating + review!
*Originally published in August 2013. Updated February 2020.*