My Italian grandma taught me this recipe, and it’s been the talk of the town whenever I serve it!

Italian Chicken Rice Casserole

Oh, the comfort of a hearty casserole — it just feels like home, doesn’t it? There’s something about that blend of tender meat, aromatic spices, and fluffy rice that brings everyone to the table with an appetite and a smile. Italian Chicken Rice Casserole, a cozy fusion between traditional Italian flavors and a good ol’ casserole, is one of those scrumptious dishes that wraps you up like a warm hug. People might want to make this because it’s a one-pan wonder, making cleanup a breeze, while offering the wholesome goodness that you want to serve your family.
To round out your meal, consider serving this casserole with a crisp green salad drizzled with Italian dressing, some steamed green beans, or even a light tomato-cucumber salad. Add a crusty loaf of garlic bread, and you’ve got a satisfying dinner that’s sure to please everyone at your table.

Ingredients:

  • – 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • – 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • – 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • – 1 small onion, diced
  • – 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • – 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • – 6 to 8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • – 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • – 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • – 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • – 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • – Fresh parsley for garnish

Directions:

  • 1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. With love in your heart and a smile on your face, get ready to prepare a meal that’ll nourish both body and soul.
  • 2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, and bell pepper until they’re soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • 3. Stir in the rice and let it toast slightly for 2 minutes, then pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
  • 4. Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Nestle the chicken into the rice mixture in the skillet.
  • 5. Pour the undrained canned tomatoes over the chicken and rice. The juice from the tomatoes will mingle with the other ingredients, making everything oh-so-flavorful.
  • 6. Cover the skillet with foil or a lid and bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
  • 7. Remove the casserole from the oven, sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese on top, and bake for an additional 5 minutes uncovered, until the cheese is melty and slightly golden.
  • 8. Let the casserole rest for about 5 minutes, then garnish with freshly chopped parsley before serving. This lets all those delicious flavors to really come together.

Variations & Tips:

  • – If you have picky eaters who aren’t fond of tomatoes or peppers, consider using just a simple mix of broth, rice, and chicken, topped with cheese. Sometimes simplicity wins the day!
  • – For a different kind of cheese crust, mix mozzarella with some parmesan or asiago for an extra Italian kick.
  • – To sneak in more veggies, stir in some spinach or diced zucchini when you add the tomatoes. It’s a great way to get the little ones to eat more greens.
  • – And remember, leftovers are a gift! This casserole reheats beautifully for lunch the next day, so don’t be shy about doubling the recipe to ensure you’ve got extra for those busy weeknight dinners.