Exclusively using shelf-stable ingredients, this easy chicken and rice bake is bursting with flavor, with creamy chicken, saffron rice, vegetables, and that ooey-gooey cheesy soup goodness.
The overwhelming response to my Bags To Dishes series continues, so I’m bringing you more recipes like Ma’s chicken and rice bake! These shelf-stable recipes can ensure you never have to wonder what’s for supper again and will help prevent huge bills at fast food drive-throughs, too.
So what does Bags to Dishes mean? It means we use only shelf-stable ingredients and you can pop all of the canned and packaged goods in one bag to use when needed. What I like to do is when I go to buy the ingredients, I make sure to buy enough to make several bag meals at once. When combined with the other bag meal recipes I’ve brought you so far, we are getting close to a whole month’s worth of backup meals already!
So, what shelf-stable ingredients are in this chicken and rice recipe? We’ve got canned chicken, evaporated milk, cheese soup, mixed vegetables, and saffron rice. This recipe is as simple as mixing the ingredients together, placing them in a casserole dish, and baking in the oven. It doesn’t get quicker or easier than that. This is a great weeknight supper to have on standby when you’re in a pinch.
Ma’s chicken and rice bake is so easy to throw together and a meal in one. You can also easily customize it. For example, if you have leftover baked chicken or fresh vegetables you want to use up instead, go ahead. If you want to leave out the chicken altogether, go for it. If you want to make homemade cheese sauce instead, here’s a recipe. Let this main dish work for you and your family, not the other way around!
Are y’all hungry? I sure am. Let’s get cooking!
In your bag, along with a copy of this recipe, you’ll place:
- Can of chicken
- Can of veggies (or dehydrated veggies)
- Can of cheese soup (or homemade cheese sauce)
- Small can of evaporated milk
- Large package of yellow saffron rice
How to Make Chicken and Rice Bake
Cook rice according to package directions.
Once the rice is cooked, drain veggies and chicken and toss those into the same mixing bowl along with evaporated milk, cheese soup, and seasonings.
Stir that up really well.
Place the in an 8×8 casserole dish or whatever you grab first that is oven-proof.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
Just before removing the chicken casserole from the oven, top it with about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese if desired and return it to the oven for 5 minutes.
Be sure you check out my original Bags to Dishes post to learn more about these meals and how you can adapt your family’s favorite recipes to be shelf stable. Also, take a gander at the other Bags to Dishes recipes I’ve shared!
- Store leftover casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheat in the microwave.
- You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating in the microwave.
- Personally, I prefer dehydrated veggies because I like their flavor better than canned ones. But I wanted to show at least a recipe or two with canned since I know a lot of y’all may not have a dehydrator. Another idea is using mixed frozen vegetables, but this takes this from a completely shelf-stable meal to a partially shelf-stable meal, which is fine. If you decide to use frozen get a 10-ounce bag or so and cook them in a bit of boiling water until heated through, then drain and proceed with the recipe as written.
- Now, sometimes I add seasoning like salt, black pepper, and garlic powder, while other times I don’t. It depends on my mood! Keep in mind that the saffron rice is pretty well seasoned as is. If you decide to go rogue and use white rice or brown rice, you’ll want to amp up the seasonings a good bit according to your taste.
- Other seasonings you might like to add according to taste include onion powder, , dried thyme, and some chopped fresh parsley as a garnish.
- Many old-fashioned chicken rice casserole recipes use cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, or cream of mushroom soup instead, but today we’re using cheddar soup for extra flavor. Trust me, you’re gonna want to give it a go. But if you only have one of these soups available, they’ll also work in this recipe.
- As mentioned, if you’re not concerned with this being a shelf-stable meal, go ahead and use any leftover cooked chicken you have on hand, including rotisserie chicken, chicken breast, or even chicken thighs.
Can I make my chicken and rice bake ahead of time?
Yes, prepare the casserole and place the ingredients in the baking dish as instructed. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days before baking. For best results, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before baking in the oven.
Check out these other easy chicken casseroles:
- 1 10-ounce package yellow saffron rice
- 1 10 or 12-ounce can chicken
- 1 10-ounce can cheddar soup
- 1 4-ounce can evaporated milk
- 1 14-ounce can mixed veggies
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese for topping, optional
To assemble the bag meal: place the rice package along with the cans of chicken, milk, soup, and veggies in a large 2-gallon zipper seal bag with a copy of this recipe.
- Cook rice according to package directions. Drain chicken and veggies.1 10-ounce package yellow saffron rice, 1 10 or 12-ounce can chicken, 1 14-ounce can mixed veggies
- Stir all ingredients into the warm cooked rice in a mixing bowl, then spoon it into a greased 8x8 casserole dish.1 10-ounce can cheddar soup, 1 4-ounce can evaporated milk, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Top with cheese, if desired, and bake another 5 minutes more. Serve warm.1 cup shredded cheddar cheese for topping, optional
This post was originally posted in 2014 but I updated the photos and post in 2020.
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