Butternut Squash Chicken and Rice Casserole

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Delicious, hearty, creamy casserole with shredded rotisserie chicken, butternut squash, broccoli, and rice.

A plate with chicken, broccoli and rice on it.
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Squash, Chicken, Vegetables and Rice Casserole

Butternut squash, chicken, vegetables, and rice casserole is a hearty and comforting dish that combines a medley of wholesome ingredients to create a delightful one-pan meal. This casserole embodies the essence of comfort food with its warm and inviting flavors, making it a perfect choice for family dinners or gatherings.

At the heart of this casserole is the butternut squash, known for its sweet and nutty flavor. When cubed and roasted, the squash becomes tender, caramelized, and slightly creamy, adding a touch of autumnal sweetness to the dish. This vegetable not only contributes rich flavor but also vibrant color, making the casserole visually appealing.

The inclusion of chicken adds a protein-packed element to the casserole, making it a complete meal. Whether you choose to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, they become tender and succulent as they bake alongside the other ingredients. The chicken absorbs the flavors of the butternut squash, vegetables, and seasonings, creating a harmonious and satisfying combination.

A casserole dish with chicken, broccoli and butternut squash.

How to Make Butternut Squash Chicken and Rice Casserole

To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Olive Oil (2 tablespoons): The olive oil is used for sautéing the onions and garlic. It adds a rich, savory flavor to the casserole and helps cook the other ingredients evenly.
  • Onion (1 medium, diced): Diced onions bring a sweet and aromatic flavor to the casserole. They serve as a flavorful base for the dish.
  • Garlic (4 cloves, minced): Minced garlic adds a pungent and aromatic depth of flavor to the casserole. It complements the other ingredients and enhances the overall taste.
  • Long Grain White Rice (2 cups): White rice serves as the main carbohydrate in the casserole. It provides a soft and fluffy texture and absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients and seasonings.
  • Butternut Squash (2 cups, cut into small cubes): Butternut squash brings a sweet and nutty flavor to the dish. It also provides a vibrant orange color and a creamy texture when cooked.
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup (1 can): The cream of mushroom soup adds creaminess and a rich umami flavor to the casserole. It acts as a binding agent and helps create a creamy sauce.
  • Broccoli (2 cups, chopped): Chopped broccoli adds a fresh and crunchy element to the casserole. It provides a pop of green color and a slight bitterness that balances the dish.
  • Vegetable Stock (3 cups): Vegetable stock serves as the liquid base for the casserole. It infuses the rice and other ingredients with savory flavor and ensures that the casserole is moist and well-cooked.
  • Cooked Rotisserie Chicken (2 cups) – shredded pre-cooked chicken is a great way to add some necessary protein and excellent texture.

After gathering your ingredients, we will use this process:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a large oven-safe skillet or casserole dish, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until they become fragrant and translucent.
  • Stir in the long-grain white rice and cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the rice to slightly toast.
  • Add the butternut squash cubes and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour in the can of cream of mushroom soup and the vegetable stock. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the chopped broccoli and chicken on top of the mixture, distributing it evenly.
  • Cover the skillet or casserole dish with a lid or aluminum foil.
  • Place the covered skillet or dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the rice is tender, and the liquid is absorbed. Check the casserole after about 30 minutes and add a bit more vegetable stock if needed.
  • If desired, you can sprinkle grated cheese on top during the last 10-15 minutes of baking for a cheesy topping.
  • Once the casserole is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven, and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
  • Serve the butternut squash, chicken, and broccoli casserole as a main course. Enjoy!
A casserole dish filled with chicken, broccoli and Butternut squash.

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Butternut Squash Chicken and Rice Casserole

Choose the Right Squash: Select a ripe butternut squash that feels heavy for its size and has a firm, unblemished skin. This ensures the best flavor and texture.

Properly Dice the Squash: To ensure even cooking, dice the butternut squash into uniform-sized pieces. This helps to prevent some pieces from becoming too mushy while others remain undercooked.

Season Well: Don’t be shy with seasonings. Butternut squash can benefit from a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs or spices. Consider using herbs like thyme, sage, or rosemary for a warm, earthy flavor.

Precook the Rice: Par-cook the rice before adding it to the casserole. This ensures that the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the flavors of the casserole.

Use Quality Stock: If you’re using chicken or vegetable stock, choose a high-quality one for richer flavor. Homemade stock is a great option if you have it available.

Don’t Overcook the Chicken: If using raw chicken, cook it just until it’s no longer pink. Overcooked chicken can become dry and tough in the casserole.

Layer Ingredients: Layering ingredients evenly in the casserole dish helps ensure that every bite has a good mix of flavors and textures.

Cover with Foil: Cover the casserole dish with foil during baking to prevent the rice and chicken from drying out.

Test for Doneness: Use a fork to check if the butternut squash is tender. It should easily pierce through the squash when it’s done.

Let It Rest: Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This allows the flavors to meld together and makes it easier to serve.

Garnish: Consider garnishing the finished dish with fresh herbs like parsley or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for added flavor and presentation.

Variations: Feel free to add other ingredients like spinach, kale, or different cheeses to customize the casserole to your taste.

FAQs

Can I use pre-cut butternut squash?

Yes, you can use pre-cut butternut squash to save time. Just make sure the pieces are roughly uniform in size for even cooking.

Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking. When ready to serve, bake it as directed in the recipe, adding a few extra minutes to account for the cold casserole.

Can I freeze leftovers?

Yes, this casserole can be frozen. Allow it to cool completely, then portion it into airtight containers or freezer bags. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

Yes, you can substitute brown rice for white rice. Keep in mind that brown rice typically requires a longer cooking time, so adjust accordingly or partially cook it before adding it to the casserole.

What can I serve with butternut squash chicken and rice casserole?

This casserole pairs well with a simple side salad, steamed vegetables, or a light fruit salad. A crusty bread or dinner rolls would also complement the dish nicely.

Can I use different vegetables in the casserole?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with your favorite vegetables. You can add spinach, kale, peas, or bell peppers for added flavor and nutrition.

Can I use a different protein instead of chicken?

Yes, you can substitute chicken with cooked turkey, ground turkey, sausage, or even tofu for a vegetarian version.

Can I use an alternative for cream of mushroom soup?

While the cream of mushroom soup adds creaminess and flavor, you can omit it or substitute it with a cream-based alternative or even Greek yogurt for a lighter option.

A plate of chicken and rice with a fork on it.

What to Serve With Butternut Squash Chicken and Rice Casserole

Green Salad: A simple green salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette dressing can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the casserole.

Roasted Vegetables: Additional roasted vegetables like carrots, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus can be seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a healthy and flavorful side.

Garlic Bread: Serve some warm garlic bread or garlic knots on the side for a satisfying, carb-loaded accompaniment.

Rice or Quinoa: A bed of cooked rice or quinoa is a great way to soak up the creamy sauce from the casserole and make the meal more filling.

Steamed Broccoli: Steamed broccoli florets with a drizzle of lemon juice and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese can add freshness and a touch of green to your plate.

Cranberry Sauce: A dollop of cranberry sauce or chutney can provide a sweet-tart contrast to the savory casserole.

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that pairs well with many casseroles.

Mixed Fruit Salad: A refreshing fruit salad with a mix of fresh seasonal fruits can provide a sweet and juicy side to balance the flavors.

Bread Rolls: Warm dinner rolls or crusty bread rolls can be used to make sandwiches with the casserole contents for a different dining experience.

Sautéed Spinach: Quick sautéed spinach with garlic and a dash of lemon juice can add a pop of color and nutritional value to the meal.

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A plate with chicken and rice on it.

Butternut Squash Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe

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Cheesy butternut squash chicken casserole with rice.

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A plate of chicken and rice.

Butternut Squash and Chicken Casserole

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Delicious, easy casserole full of creamy chicken and vegetable flavor, with butternut squash, rice, and broccoli.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice, cooked
  • 2 cups raw butternut squash, cut into small cubes
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Optional: Grated cheese for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a large oven-safe skillet or casserole dish, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until they become fragrant and translucent.
  3. Stir in the long-grain white rice and cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the rice to slightly toast.
  4. Add the butternut squash cubes and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour in the can of cream of mushroom soup and the vegetable stock. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in chicken.
  6. Add the chopped broccoli and shredded chicken on top of the mixture, distributing it evenly. Taste the mixture and add more salt as needed.
  7. Cover the skillet or casserole dish with a lid or aluminum foil.
  8. Place the covered skillet or dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the rice is tender, and the liquid is absorbed. Check the casserole after about 30 minutes and add a bit more vegetable stock if needed.
  9. If desired, you can sprinkle grated cheese on top during the last 10-15 minutes of baking for a cheesy topping.
  10. Once the casserole is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven, and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
  11. Serve the butternut squash and broccoli casserole as a side dish or a vegetarian main course. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 522Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 193mgSodium 1425mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 3gSugar 5gProtein 46g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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8 Comments

    1. Cooked rice, I have updated the recipe to reflect that. Thanks for commenting and letting me know it was confusing!

  1. Hi Courtney! This BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CHICKEN CASSEROLE sounds yummy, just wondering where the Chicken comes into play 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. It should say in the recipe card, the 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken are spread over the mixer at the same step as the broccoli. Do you see that in the recipe?

  2. How much chicken do I add? It is confusing with a title that has chicken, but the last line of recipe says this is a vegetarian dish.
    Thank you.

    Nancy

    1. Woops, I added the 2 cups of rotisserie chicken to the recipe card and updated the recipe, thanks for letting me know!

    1. 2 cups of pre-cooked shredded rotisserie chicken, I forgot to add it, I updated the recipe card, thanks for noting it!