Chicken ‘N Rice Casserole: Without the Gluten!
We were never much of a casserole family while I was growing up. My mom was a stay-at-home mom most of my childhood and loved to cook. She’d make full meals and was into clean eating before that was really a thing! So processed foods, canned or boxed meals just weren’t a part of our menus. I HATED boxed macaroni and cheese for most of my childhood and to this day, still do not like elbows macaroni that much. My mom will tell a story about how I went to a friend’s house at around age 6-7 and came back home complaining about the terrible cookies my friend’s mom served us as a snack. They were Oreos. I had never had a pre-packaged cookie before then and thought they were awful!
We did eat this chicken and rice casserole though from time to time. It’s super easy to throw together and the original recipe only has 3 ingredients (I, of course, spruced it up and there are a few additional ingredients in mine!). It’s definitely a great weeknight, throw-in-the-oven, kind of dish.
Here’s something about me that I don’t think I’ve mentioned before. I hate mushrooms. Loathe them entirely. And so, as a kid, I would actually sit there and pick all the little pieces of mushrooms from the can of mushroom soup out of this casserole when my mom would serve it. No joke. My parents would get so frustrated with me! I’m not that bad anymore. Still don’t like them and I will pick any large pieces out of my dishes. But I can tolerate the mushrooms in cream of mushroom soup now.
I’ve not been doing well with rice lately. Not sure why but it makes me really bloated and gassy. I seem to do better with corn when it comes to grains (which is good because I might die without corn chips and salsa!). Rice isn’t Paleo though (neither is corn, by the way) so I made two versions of this, one with rice and the other using cauliflower rice. Mine, with the cauliflower rice, didn’t turn out as well just because cauliflower doesn’t soak up the soup that well. It was just ok. If you can tolerate rice, I suggest you use it though. It’s SO much better with it! I used Pacific Foods Cream of Mushroom Soup for this recipe as it’s gluten free. The traditional Campbell’s canned condensed cream of mushroom is not gluten-free. Walmart makes a gluten free condensed soup though! It comes in cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and tomato. Pacific Foods was one of the sponsors for the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo I attended over the weekend though and graciously gave me containers of their soups to try out! So I didn’t have to go out and buy any. Score!
I ended up making a chicken gravy for the top of this just because it appealed to me. You definitely don’t need to do this. We never had gravy when we were little. The recipe is very moist in and of itself. You could also just pour more mushroom soup over the top if you’d prefer!
- 1 C short-grain white rice (or sub 2 C cauliflower rice)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
- 1 12-oz carton cream of mushroom soup
- 1 c water
- ½ large onion, diced
- 1 T Italian herb seasoning
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley and scallions, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large casserole dish.
- In greased casserole dish, combine rice, soup, water, onions, and salt and pepper together.
- Lay chicken over rice mixture and sprinkle chicken with Italian herbs. Bake for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and rice is soft. Sprinkle with parsley and scallions if desired.
- If subbing cauliflower rice, remove water from recipe. It'll be too runny as cauliflower is high in water already. Also, decrease cook time to 30 minutes.