Baked Chicken With Rice And Gravy


This Baked Chicken with Rice and Gravy recipe is AMAZING. It’ll make your home smell like a restaurant, but with none of the grease or waitstaff required. And it’s healthy, hearty and easy-to-make. Your family will LOVE it too! One meal that is loved by everyone at our house is Baked Chicken With Rice And Gravy. It’s a classic dish that will give your family or guests a home cooked meal anytime of the day.

Smothered Chicken Thighs in Onion Gravy

Take one bite and fall in love with this Southern classic: Smothered Chicken Thighs in Onion Gravy. Pair this dish with steamed greens, rice or veggie mash for a weeknight dinner.

Smothered and covered chicken and gravy in a skillet.

This recipe for Smothered Chicken Thighs in Onion Gravy breaks the mold, or the skillet as the case may be!

Typically, anything served with gravy falls solidly into the “comfort food” category and has a perception of being super fatty, is often served with something fried, and nearly always unhealthy.

These chicken thighs are sure to shake things up! To lighten up this comfort food classic, I pan-seared skinless chicken thighs that had been lightly coated in flour and cooked with a minimal amount of oil.

This is old-style cooking that is more down-home diner than dinner party, and great for a simple, inexpensive, and fairly healthy weeknight supper. Pair it with steamed green beans or broccoli plus a side of rice or a mixed vegetable mash to make it a complete meal.

All About Braising

Julia Child supposedly once said, “If you understand the technique, you don’t need a recipe.” Now, most of us aren’t going to be Julia Child in the kitchen, but the good news is that we’re going to be tackling one of the easiest techniques to master—braising.

I know, I know, when you think of braising you think short ribs, pot roast or beef stew, but the technique can also be used for cooking dishes that take shorter cooking times, like this one.

Braising harnesses the power of both dry and wet heat, with a high heat sear followed by gentle cooking in a flavorful, aromatic broth that makes its own gravy. The chicken thighs are dusted in seasoned flour, a sauce is made, and the chicken simmers in the sauce in the oven. And that’s a braise!

Smothered and covered chicken and gravy in a skillet.

Swaps and Substitutions

You can also use bone-in chicken breast for this dish, but the quantity and cook time of the chicken will vary slightly. You’ll want to use 4 bone-in breasts and cook them for 15 to 20 minutes.

If you wanted to use boneless skinless breasts or thighs (you could), but I am going to warn you it simply won’t be as good—cooking meat on the bone always tastes better. If you go the boneless skinless route reduce the cook time to 10 to 15 minutes and because of this, the gravy won’t cook as long and may be a little thin.

Here are a few other swaps and subs you can make in this dish:

  • Use Creole seasoning or your favorite seasoning salt in place of onion powder.
  • If you can’t find smoked paprika, using regular paprika works too.
  • If you don’t have fresh thyme, feel free to leave it out.
  • Use a dried bay leaf instead of fresh.

Gravy: The Secret Sauce

The gravy in this dish is made in the same skillet as the chicken with the all-purpose flour acting as the thickening agent. You can also use white whole wheat flour if you have that in your pantry.

To make gluten-free gravy: Chickpea or garbanzo flour (aka “besan” if you are shopping at an Indian market) or fava bean flour are great gluten-free flour alternatives for many savory dishes. It cannot be used cup for cup with baking, but it is an excellent flour to use in smaller amounts.

Both chickpea flour and fava bean flour have a better nutrient profile than refined wheat flour and provides more vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein but fewer calories and carbohydrates. (I am not gluten free but keep this flour in my cupboard and will use it when appropriate to increase the nutritional density of a recipe. I also love the earthy flavor of the bean flours.)

To thicken thin gravy, remove the cooked chicken to a plate and place the skillet with onion gravy on the stovetop over medium heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Bonus: this same cooking method can be used with pork chops, too!

Comfort food classic: smothered chicken and gravy on two white plates with utensils.

How to Keep Leftovers

You’ll want to clean your plate with this recipe, but if you should have leftovers, just transfer them to a sealable container and keep them in your fridge for up to 4 days. When you need to reheat it, transfer it to a skillet and warm through on medium heat.

Smothered Chicken Thighs in Onion Gravy

PREP TIME30 mins

COOK TIME25 mins


SERVINGS4 to 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
  • 8 (3 pounds) bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup homemade chicken stock or reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven:Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Season the flour:In a large shallow dish, combine the flour, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and stir to combine.
    Seasoned flour in a dish to make a Southern smothered chicken recipe.
  3. Heat the oil and prep and season chicken:In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering.
  4. Season and sear the chicken:Pat the chicken thighs dry using a paper towel. Place chicken in the flour-spice mixture to coat on both sides. Shake off the excess flour (and make sure to set the flour aside, you’ll need it to make the gravy).

    Add the coated thighs to the pan without crowding and sear in two batches (if necessary) until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Set chicken aside on a plate.
    Coating chicken in seasoned flour mixture to make an easy smothered chicken and gravy recipe.Pan fried chicken thighs in a skillet to show how to make smothered chicken thighs in onion gravy
  5. Cook the aromatics:Add the onions to the skillet and decrease the heat to medium. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds.
    Aromatics cooked in a skillet to show how to make smothered chicken thighs in onion gravy
  6. Add flour and make gravy:Add the remaining flour-spice mixture into the onions and stir to coat and combine. Add the chicken stock to the onion flour mixture. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and simmer.
    Flour spice mixture and cooked aromatics in a skillet for an easy smothered chicken and gravy recipe.
  7. Add chicken and remaining ingredients into skillet:Add to the skillet the reserved chicken thighs with any accumulated juices, thyme sprigs, and the bay leaf. Nestle the thighs into the onions and turn to coat all sides in the gravy.
    Making Southern smothered chicken recipe in a skillet.
  8. Finish in oven:Transfer the skillet to the oven, uncovered, and cook until the juices of the chicken run clear when pierced with a knife and the temperature reads 165°F when inserted with an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes.If the gravy seems too thick, remove the chicken thighs to a serving plate and add chicken stock a little at a time. (The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon.)
    Making Southern smothered chicken recipe in a skillet.
  9. Adjust seasoning and serve:Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
    Comfort food classic: smothered chicken and gravy on a white plate with utensils.

Oven Baked Chicken and Gravy

An easy to make casserole for busy weeknights! Oven Baked Chicken and Gravy is the ultimate comfort food. Perfect with potatoes or rice.

Over the summer I started a bad habit. Not cooking dinner. We were out and about, in and out at different times every day. I got away from having dinner at a certain time each day and was just happy if I managed some semblance of a meal a few times a week.

I’ve been trying to get back to the basics this season and make dinner a priority. That means having easy meals on hand at all times. This oven baked chicken and gravy is one of those meals that my family loved.

piece of chicken on a platter with broccoli

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • only 6 ingredients
  • use chicken breasts or your other favorite cut of chicken
  • easy gravy
  • creamy parmesan cheese
  • ready in under 45 minutes

What cut of chicken is best for baking?

Most often we have boneless skinless chicken breasts in the freezer ready for quick meals. That’s what we used in this recipe because they cook up quick and easy. There are two other options we’ve tried:

  • chicken tenders
  • boneless skinless chicken thighs

We don’t prefer to use skin-on chicken because it doesn’t crisp up. But you can certainly use it if you don’t mind that.

Ingredients for an Easy Gravy:

This recipe uses pantry items to make a quick and easy gravy:

  • Cream of chicken soup.
  • Chicken gravy mix.
  • Water.
  • Onion.
  • Parmesan cheese.

**Pro Tip: Buy a block of parmesan cheese and shred it right before sprinkling it on the chicken. The cheese will melt in making the gravy perfectly smooth. If you use canned parmesan cheese, it will not melt in easily.**

How to Make Oven Baked Chicken and Gravy

  • Lay chicken flat in a greased 9×13 pan. Lay sliced onions over the chicken.
  • Mix one cup of water with the cream of chicken soup. Pour this over the chicken. Sprinkle the gravy powder over the top. Pour the rest of the water over everything.
  • Top with parmesan cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 10 minutes at 425º Fahrenheit. Then uncover and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Use cream of mushroom or any other cream gravy you’d like! Even cheddar cheese soup would be delicious.
  • If you like onions, use onion soup mix for a twist.
  • Use cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan.
bite of chicken on a fork

What to Serve with Chicken and Gravy

Since this casserole already has chicken and gravy, we simply like to serve it alongside rice (or cauliflower rice for low carb), mashed potatoes or my personal favorite, spaghetti squash.

Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole

a large casserole dish of creamy chicken rice casserole

at a glance

PREP TIME45 minutes

COOK TIME25 minutes

SERVINGS6 – 8 servings

Made with a better-for-you creamy mushroom gravy, brown rice, and pan seared chicken, this casserole is a comfort meal home-run!

a large casserole dish of creamy chicken rice casserole

Why is this Creamy Chicken Casserole with Rice one of the best things on the internet?

This Creamy Chicken Rice Casserole has it ALL: it’s really easy, utilizes better-for-you ingredients (no need for store-bought cream of mushroom soup), and is a complete, satisfying meal. It’s what casserole dreams are made of and I can’t wait for you to try it!

Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious, family-friendly, hearty supper:

  • Brown Rice – to start, you’ll need 1 cup of uncooked brown rice. Note: if you have already-cooked brown rice, that’ll make the process *so* much less time consuming, and in that case, you’ll need about 2 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice.
  • Butter – to get started on the other components of the casserole, you’ll need 4 tablespoons of salted butter.
  • Chicken Breasts – 1-1½  pounds of chicken breast (about 2 large chicken breasts) will act as our main source of protein here. Note: again, already-cooked chicken will take some active time off of this recipe. ANY cooked chicken you have will work great (shredded, cubed, sliced, etc.) — you’ll just need about 2 breasts-worth.
  • Salt – because of all of the flavors present in the rest of the dish, the chicken really just needs to be seasoned with salt. We’ll add salt to the gravy too, so in total, you’ll need 1 ½ teaspoons.
  • Mushrooms – 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms go into the gravy. 
  • Garlic – 2 cloves of minced garlic go a long way in flavoring the dish.
  • Onion – along with the garlic, a ½ of a yellow onion gets minced and thrown in for a huge flavor booster.
  • Flour – 4 tablespoons of flour thickens the broth to really help it become a nice, thick, gravy.
  • Chicken Broth – 4 cups of chicken broth (a whole 32-fluid ounce container of broth) provides the liquid base for the gravy.
  • Heavy Cream  – a ½ cup of heavy cream helps to make the gravy nice and creamy.
  • Black Pepper – a 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper goes into the creamy gravy.
  • Shredded Cheese – a cheese topping is a casserole MUST, am I right? To top this chicken and rice casserole, you’ll need about 6 ounces of a mild cheddar cheese.
  • Crackers – this part is optional, but recommended. Cassy topped her casserole with 1 cup of crushed crackers (ANY cracker will do) to add a really nice, crunchy texture to the finished dish.

How to Make Creamy Chicken Casserole with Rice

The process is really easy and straightforward. It’s made EVEN easier, though, if you’re using brown rice that’s already been cooked

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook the rice – before you do anything else, go ahead and get your brown rice cooking according to package directions. This will take upwards of 35 minutes, so you’ll want to get it going right away. 
  3. Pan sear + slice the chicken – while the rice is cooking, go ahead and cook your chicken breasts! To do this, simply add 1 tablespoon of butter to a large skillet (the same skillet you plan on making the gravy in) over medium-high heat. While the skillet heats, salt the chicken breasts with a ½ teaspoon of salt. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken and pan sear it for 4 minutes on each side, then cover the skillet, turn the heat down to low, and let the chicken continue to cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, slice it into ½-inch pieces.
  4. Start the gravy – in the same pan that your chicken was cooked in (don’t worry about cleaning it out!), add the other 3 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add the mushrooms, garlic, and onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are slightly browned.
  5. Add the flour to the gravy – whisk the flour with a ½ cup of the broth, then pour it into the skillet, along with the rest of the broth, and stir to combine. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture boils and thickens, then stir in the heavy cream, salt, and pepper.
  6. Assemble + bake the casserole – add the brown rice to the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish, then layer the sliced chicken on top of that. Pour the gravy over the chicken, sprinkle the cheese on top, then top with the crushed crackers. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbling. 
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Just for You

Chicken Rice Casserole Frequently Asked Questions

QCan you put raw chicken in a casserole?


While a lot of casseroles actually call for raw chicken, this isn’t one of them. Pan searing the chicken for this casserole builds a lot of flavor, but if you already have cooked (leftover) chicken on hand, you can totally throw that in instead!

Another time-saving option could be breaking up a rotisserie chicken and sprinkling that into this dish for the chicken layer.

QDoes covering a baked chicken and rice casserole make it cook faster?


Some chicken and rice casseroles (like THIS one) call for raw rice and utilize the steam from the cooking process to cook the rice, and for casseroles like that, you’d definitely need to tightly cover the casserole. This creamy chicken and rice casserole, on the other hand, calls for already cooked rice, so there isn’t a reason to keep it covered while it’s in the oven. Covering it would actually just keep the top crumble (the crushed crackers) from crisping.

QWill this casserole thicken in the oven?


Baking your casserole will help to thicken it slightly. It will thicken as it cools, too. Because of the gravy-style of the casserole, it still won’t be a really thick, sliceable casserole. Instead, it’ll be more of a spoonable texture that mostly holds its form.

QHow long does it take to make the creamy rice and chicken casserole?


The brown rice itself takes about 45 minutes to cook (which is why I highly recommend batch cooking your brown rice ahead of time, if possible), but while it’s cooking you’ll be multitasking and preparing the chicken and gravy. All in all, this casserole takes about 45 minutes of active time and 25 minutes of inactive time (so about 1 hour and 10 minutes) to bring together.

QHow do you know when this creamy chicken casserole is done?


Because everything in the casserole is already cooked, you don’t have to worry about double checking for that. Instead, you’ll know that your casserole is done and ready to come out of the oven when the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

QIs this a healthy chicken and rice casserole?


Ultimately, that’s for you to decide! Take a look at the ingredients — do you tolerate everything on the list well? If so, it can be a nourishing choice for you.

QWhat goes with creamy chicken and rice casserole?


Because this casserole has starch, protein, and healthy fats built into it, it really is a complete meal and can be served as-is. If you’re looking for something to complement it with, though, a simple green salad would be an excellent choice.

QHow do you store chicken rice casserole?


You’ve got a few options here! If you still have a lot of casserole left, feel free to cover your dish with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil (lined with parchment paper, if you wish) and store it in the refrigerator that way. If you just have a serving or two left, though, I’d recommend transferring it to a smaller airtight storage container (if you’re in need of a nice set of containers, THIS one is our top choice), and again, storing it in the fridge.

QHow long will this best chicken and rice casserole last?


Your cooked and stored chicken casserole will stay good for 4-5 days in the fridge.

QCan I prep this for the freezer in advance?


You definitely can! The best way to do this is to make the casserole all the way up to the baking step. So, you’ll cook the rice, chicken, and gravy, then assemble your casserole (either in a regular casserole dish or in an aluminum one), leaving off the crackers until just before baking, and store it that way. Then, when you’re ready to enjoy, simply let your casserole thaw in the refrigerator overnight, top it with crackers, and pop it into the oven! 

Time saving hack: to make this process EVEN more efficient, go ahead and crush the crackers during your casserole prep, and store them in the freezer in a Ziplock bag right next to your frozen casserole. 

QIf I’m making this as a freezer meal, is it best to cook it before I freeze it?


You’ll want each of the ingredients (the rice, chicken, and gravy) cooked before freezing it, but you’ll wait to pop the whole thing in the oven to cook together until you’re ready to enjoy! So you’ll follow the full recipe below, but hold off on Step 7 until you’ve pulled it OUT of the freezer and are ready to make it for dinner that day.

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.