Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice is a family favorite meal voted 4.5 biscuits out of 5 from my picky eater - that's AMAZING! With only 15 minutes of prep and a handful of ingredients, the slow cooker does all the work! This meal packs loads of flavor in one filling dish!
First Published: March 22, 2013... Last Updated: May 5, 2020
👩🏻🍳 Recipe Back Story
When I find something that my picky eater really, really likes, it makes me so happy, because it doesn't happen all that often! So of course I have to share it with you.
I have been making it for years, and every so often even made 1.5 times the recipe to serve at parties or for when we were entertaining extended family.
It has been a hit every time. I have been using this recipe for so many years, it has undergone multiple iterations of rewriting and changing and at this point I am not completely sure where it originated.
Regardless, this creamy, cheesy chicken and rice dish is perfect for a lazy day. The family loves when I make it on a weekend and they get to enjoy the wonderful aroma all day while it cooks!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- chicken - boneless/skinless, white or dark meat, whatever you have on hand is fine!
- wild rice mix - I use Uncle Ben's, but any box mix would work.
- condensed cheddar soup - if you can, keep an extra can or two in the pantry. It really is a good flavor booster!
- butter or buttery spread - margarine or butter will work.
- onions - for convenience, I use frozen, but you can also use fresh white or yellow onions, or even red onions (they are just a little more expensive).
- broccoli florets - no broccoli? You can substitute cauliflower or broccolini.
- Velveeta cheese - love this stuff, especially now! It's shelf stable and a great item to keep in the pantry. Substitute a creamy, mild cheese if you don't have Velveeta.
The steps to makes Cheesy Chicken and Rice are so simple! You're not going to believe how easy this meal is to make.
- Dice the chicken.
- Slice the cheese into small chunks.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add to the slow cooker and cook on low 6-10 hours.
See, isn't that fabulous?!! This is a great meal to have in your pocket. Do the prep the day before and dinner the next day is done in a snap!
Dicing the chicken into bite-sized pieces makes it cook quickly and evenly. It also ensures the chicken won't get dried out.
Can I use frozen chicken?
Yes, you can start with frozen chicken but it will be difficult to cut. It will be easier if you make sure it is thawed at least partially. In fact, raw chicken is easier to cut into pieces if it is slightly frozen or at least really cold!
Can I use leftover rotissiere chicken?
You can absolutely use leftover cooked chicken. That would be a great shortcut. Reduce the cooking time to 3-4 hours. Since the chicken is already cooked, you'll only be cooking the rice.
Can it be cooked in the oven?
Definitely! If you'd like to bake this dish, simply prepare the mixture of ingredients as noted above.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
- Prepare a casserole dish by spraying with non-stick spray, then pour in the chicken and rice mixture.
- Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Does this meal freeze well?
It does freeze well! Just allow it to cool completely. Store in freezer containers up to three months. Reheat by thawing completely first and transferring to a microwave safe dish. Reheat until hot and bubbly.
How can I stretch this meal even further?
Sometimes at the last minute I steam some additional broccoli and then stir it in, just to add some color. The broccoli that cooks in the crock all day really loses a lot of color. And adding more broccoli is never a bad thing!
- Substitute cream of chicken, celery, or mushroom for the cheddar soup.
- Try adding in a can of drained chopped green chiles to add a southwest flair!
- Colby or cheddar cheese is the best substitute for Velveeta.
- Swap cauliflower with broccoli for a different flavor.
- Top with cornflakes for a crunchy topping.
🥗 Suggested Side Dishes
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Recipe
Love this recipe? Awesome! Please give it a 5 star rating below! And if you make this, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. You can find me at DizzyBusyandHungry or #dizzybusyandhungry !
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📋 Recipe Card
Cheesy Chicken and Rice
- 2 pounds chicken (boneless, skinless)
- 12 ounces wild rice mix (I use Uncle Ben's Original Recipe)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 10 ounces condensed cheddar soup (1 can)
- 1/2 cup butter or buttery spread, melted
- 1 cup chopped onion (you can use frozen)
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 pound Velveeta cheese (or substitute 8 ounces shredded colby)
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes.
- Slice the cheese into cubes (if you are using Velveeta).
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Place the mixture in the crock pot, cover, and cook on low 6-10 hours.
- Raw chicken is easiest to dice if it is very cold or even slightly frozen.
- I like to use frozen onion, it's inexpensive and saves a lot of time. But you can use fresh as well.
- A nice shortcut is to buy the broccoli already cut into florets. It's a little more expensive, but for me it is sometimes worth it!
- If you don't want to use Velveeta, substitute a mild creamy cheese such as colby or even a mild cheddar. It won't be quite as creamy as the Velveeta but still very good!
- If you want some nice green broccoli in there, set some florets aside before mixing all the ingredients, then right before serving, steam the extra broccoli and stir it in for an extra pop of color.
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