One Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken and Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that both kids and adults love. Learn how to make a healthier and faster version in one pot! Giveaway at the bottom of the post.

Chicken and Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that both kids and adults love. Learn how to make a healthier and faster version in one pot!

I lived in Hiroshima, Japan for two years, studying for my master’s degree right after college. At  that point, I’d never lived outside my parents’ house and had never traveled overseas. Living in and exploring Japan by myself was a big adventure. And of course, a big part of my adventure involved food.

As a poor student, I cooked at home most of the time, using cabbage and carrots, the cheapest ingredients I could find. But once in awhile, when I craved something different, I’d go eat outside. Saijo, a small college town, had fresh air, beautiful rice paddies, and peaceful streets. It did not offer many dining options.

Soon I discovered my comfort food at Joyful – a chain restaurant that offered Japanese and localized Western food at bargain prices, a ten-minute walk from my apartment.

Chicken and Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that both kids and adults love. Learn how to make a healthier and faster version in one pot!

My favorite dish there was chicken doria – a rice-based dish topped with chicken, tomato sauce, and cheese. Chicken doria is quite similar to chicken and rice casserole in the US. But instead of the bechamel cream sauce, Japanese restaurants use tomato sauce or whatever sauce goes with chicken.

Some people have suggested the dish originated in Italy, but according to Japanese Wikipedia, the dish was created in Japan. Just as the hamburger ranked as the top food in Japan (I saw this on Japanese national TV back in 2008, titled the top 10 foods that Japanese people love most), Japanese chefs are very good at adapting foreign foods to local taste buds. And by the way, hamburger doria is totally a thing in Japan, and you can imagine why it would be popular.

Thinking back, it’s quite amazing that I got hooked on chicken doria. It is not a dish that I’d eaten growing up. The reason I enjoyed it so much was probably that the dish combined the most comforting Asian and Western elements. That is, soy sauce marinated chicken, rice, tomato sauce, and cheese. The end results brought me the greatest satisfaction while exploring food in a foreign country.

Chicken and Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that both kids and adults love. Learn how to make a healthier and faster version in one pot!

After moving back to China, chicken doria was still my obsession. I couldn’t find it in any restaurants in Beijing. Cooking it at home was the only option. Like I have mentioned previously, an oven is not standard kitchen equipment in China and most families do not own one. Luckily, my parents had a toaster oven back then. Not the ideal equipment for the purpose, but at least it could melt cheese.

The way I used to cook chicken doria was to make the rice in the rice cooker, cook the pasta sauce, saute the chicken bites in the skillet, assemble everything together, and put it into the toaster oven to melt the cheese. Sounds like quite a bit of work, right?

Now, living in the US, I have the “privilege” of using a standard oven. That has opened the door to so many recipes and cooking methods for me. Now I‘m amazed by the fact that I can even cook rice in the oven without burning the toppings.

Today I want to share my new version of the chicken and rice casserole, inspired by my ultimate comfort food – chicken doria – but adapted for cooking in a standard oven.

Chicken and Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that both kids and adults love. Learn how to make a healthier and faster version in one pot!

How this recipe is different from your standard chicken and rice casserole

  • The chicken is marinated in a soy sauce based liquid to achieve maximum flavor.
  • Everything is cooked in one pan and guarantees minimal clean up.
  • We use a moderate amount of tomato based pasta sauce and cheese to create a balanced dish that satisfies your taste buds and keeps you healthy.
  • Oven temperature and cooking time are adjusted to shorten the baking process to just 35 minutes.
  • You get crispy chicken skin with juicy meat. No chopping required and no dried out chicken!
  • Extra flavorful rice that is cheesy and tender. The chicken tastes great and the rice even better.

Chicken and Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that both kids and adults love. Learn how to make a healthier and faster version in one pot!

I used Ragu Pasta Sauce in this recipe because I believe in its quality. The sauce is made from fresh tomatoes that are simmered with a special blend of herbs to build a bold flavor. The sauce does not contain artificial flavors, artificial colors, or high fructose corn syrup. When you scoop the sauce from the jar, you’ll find it rich and thick. I couldn’t help but snack on it during the cooking!

Chicken and Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that both kids and adults love. Learn how to make a healthier and faster version in one pot!

Ragu Pasta Sauce Giveaway (ended)

I’m happy to announce that I’m giving away 6 jars of Ragu Homestyle Sauce to 2 winners. Ragu Homestyle Sauce is a new product line that was just launched. You can visit the Ragu pasta sauce website to see the different flavors they offer, as well as many other comforting recipes you can cook in your kitchen.

Full Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by yours truly.

Chicken and Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that both kids and adults love. Learn how to make a healthier and faster version in one pot!

4.7 from 14 reviews
One Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The recipe will yield four big servings. If you use boneless chicken, you will get four medium-sized servings with leftovers.
I used a 10-inch skillet in this recipe. If you’re using a 12-inch skillet, you’ll be able to bake more chicken (or chicken with vegetables).
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Fusion
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 (2 pounds total) skin-on bone-in chicken thighs (or 6 skinless boneless thighs)
Marinade
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or tamari for gluten free
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese sake (or rice wine)
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Casserole
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 (250-ml) cup uncooked medium grain or long grain rice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup Ragu Homestyle Traditional Sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded or 1/3 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
  • (Optional) Chopped fresh basil leaves for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place chicken thighs in a 1-gallon ziplock bag and pour in all the ingredients for the marinade. Squeeze out as much air as you can, and seal the bag. Massage the bag so that the chicken is coated evenly with the marinade. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature, or preferably overnight in the fridge.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 F).
  3. Rinse rice a few times with tap water and transfer it to a colander to drain.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet until hot. Remove the chicken from the bag, save the marinade for later, and place chicken in the skillet skin side down. Let cook without moving for 1 minute. Cook until both sides turn golden brown and the extra fat is rendered. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  5. Now if you want your dish to be super delicious and you don’t mind some chicken fat, remove extra fat in the skillet and leave 1 tablespoon of it in the skillet. If you want the dish lighter, remove all the fat and wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel held in a pair of tongs.
  6. If you’ve removed the chicken fat from the skillet or if you’re using skinless chicken, add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  7. Add onion. Cook and stir until tender. Add rice. Cook and stir until the rice turns transparent, 2 to 3 minutes. This process will help the rice cook faster in the oven.
  8. Add the remaining marinade and chicken stock. Stir to mix well. Cook until the liquid comes to a simmer. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the liquid is almost absorbed by the rice.
  9. Pour the pasta sauce onto the rice. Place the chicken on top, skin side up. Cover and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  10. Uncover. Scatter cheese on the rice, trying not to cover the chicken skin. Bake uncovered for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the liquid is fully absorbed.
  11. Remove the skillet from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
  12. Garnish with basil, if using. Serve warm.

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 4 servings generated by this recipe.

One Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole Nutrition Facts

Chicken and Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that both kids and adults love. Learn how to make a healthier and faster version in one pot!

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Born and raised in Beijing, Maggie now calls Texas home. She’s learned to love barbecue, but her heart belongs to the food she grew up with. For her, Omnivore’s Cookbook is all about introducing cooks to real-deal Chinese dishes, which can be as easy as a 30-minute stir-fry or as adventurous as making your own dim sum. Recipes, step-by-step photos and video are the tools she uses to share her knowledge—and her enthusiasm for Chinese food.

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86 thoughts on “One Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole

  1. Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners

    Such a delicious dish, Maggie, and I love that it’s in one pot and you have made it healthy! Everyone needs these kind of dishes to get them through the busy schedule once school starts again and this recipe will be a life saver for so many! Beautiful 🙂 Sharing all over!

    Reply
  2. Jeffrey

    I would use Ragu’s Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic Sauce to make eggplant Parmesan and lasagna roll-ups. The roll-ups are fun because I let the kids make their own, using whatever ingredients they wish. I like mine with ricotta, spinach, meatballs, sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil.

    Reply
  3. sharon

    The HOMESTYLE THICK & HEARTY ROASTED GARLIC SAUCE would be perfect with an Italian sausage and penne casserole, with parmesan and asiago cheeses.

    Reply
  4. Starla

    That looks so delicious and would be perfect for busy nights during my college courses and both of my jobs. I would love to use the HOMESTYLE THICK & HEARTY FOUR CHEESE SAUCE and make a lobster and spinach ravioli topped with parsley and fresh parmesan cheese!

    Reply
  5. Brittany

    I would use the thick and hearty mushroom sauce to make eggplant “lasagna” in which I replace the noodles with thinly sliced eggplant-so yummy!

    I can’t wait to try this chicken recipe for dinner later this week-looks delicious!

    Reply
  6. Amy Gibby

    I would like to use the thick and hearty four cheese sauce. I’d make chicken garlic spaghetti with it 🙂 my kids LOVE anything with cheese.
    *followed both Instagrams 🙂

    Reply
  7. Jennie Durren

    I’ve always wanted to try chicken doria because it’s a dish in the Harvest Moon games! This looks really good.
    Personally I’d like to try the Ragu Thick & Hearty Mushroom sauce. I love mushrooms.

    Reply
  8. Sandy H

    I think all the sauces would be good, but if I had to pick just one it would be the Thick and Hearty Roasted Garlic

    Reply
  9. Bonnie

    I like to use Ragu Thick and Hearty Traditional as the base for all my spaghetti dishes. From there I can add whatever aromatics and vegetables if choose to.

    Reply
  10. Arik Issan

    HOMESTYLE THICK & HEARTY ROASTED GARLIC SAUCE … garlic and more garlic … no meat or cheese for me … great blended with refried beans or mashed chickpeas … yum

    Reply
  11. Mo

    Thick and Hearty Homestyle is the type I like served over steamed summer garden vegetables. Broccoli and green beans are especially good this way.

    Reply
  12. Kristen Joiner

    I would like the Ragu Traditional Sauce and the Ragu Homestyle four cheese sauce. 🙂 Thanks for the chance.

    Reply
  13. [email protected]

    Traditional or garlic !!

    Reply

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