Chicken Spinach Rice Casserole with tender chicken, creamy rice, spinach, tomatoes, and Parmesan is a fast and easy skillet dinner that cooks in about 30 minutes. Delicious with Caprese Spinach and Arugula Salad and Roasted Green Beans.
You're Going to Love This
- Easy chicken dinner the whole family will love
- Quick 30-minute one-pot meal
- Perfect meal for busy weeknights
- Creamy chicken and rice dish with simple ingredients
See recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full list of ingredients and exact amounts.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts. I like to keep the chicken breasts whole, but you can cut them into 1 inch pieces for even quicker cooking.
Instant long grain white rice. Instant rice, which is just rice that's been precooked and dehydrated, is a great shortcut to get dinner on the table fast. I used white Minute rice.
Fresh garlic. If you prefer to use garlic powder, add it with the rice.
Fresh baby spinach. Don't worry if 3 cups of spinach seems like too much to fit in the pan. It will quickly and significantly wilt down.
Grape tomatoes. You can also use chopped regular tomatoes.
- You may also use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders, or cut the chicken into smaller pieces. Each of these variations will affect the cooking time of the chicken.
- If you choose to try instant brown rice, it may take longer to become tender -- and you may need to add more liquid.
- Change up the seasonings to your tastes -- feel free to add onion powder, Greek seasoning, Creole seasoning, red pepper flakes, or other dried herbs and spices.
- You can use any kind of cream soup here, like cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup or any of the "cream of" canned soups with less sodium.
How to Make Chicken Spinach and Rice Casserole
Step 1: Pound chicken, pat dry, season with salt, black pepper, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Sear in oil in large skillet over medium-high until it releases from pan. Flip, reduce to medium heat, and add butter to pan. Cook until nearly done, turn over in the sauce, and place on a plate.
Step 2: Add garlic to pan and saute 30-60 seconds until light golden brown. Pour in a little broth and scrape up browned bits from bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the broth, Italian seasoning, cream of chicken soup, and rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
Step 3: Add the Parmesan cheese, spinach, tomatoes, and lemon juice to the rice mixture. Stir until spinach is wilted. Add chicken, cover, and cook 5 more minutes until rice is tender and chicken is done to 165 degrees.
Step 4: Serve chicken breasts whole or slice them and place back on rice.
- When pounding chicken, place it between layers of plastic wrap or in a ziptop bag and use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound the thicker side of the chicken to an even thickness.
- To avoid dry chicken, check the temperature with a digital thermometer. The USDA recommended internal temperature for cooked chicken is 165.
- If you don't have a cover for your large skillet, use aluminum foil.
Sure. If you use frozen spinach in this chicken spinach rice casserole, thaw it, wrap it in a kitchen towel, and squeeze out all the moisture before adding it to the rice.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
If the rice has become dry, add a little water or milk before reheating. Reheat in the microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through. Be careful not to overdo it so you don't overcook the chicken.
Instant rice is pre-cooked rice that's been dehydrated so it doesn't need the longer cooking time that regular rice does.
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Skillet Chicken Spinach Rice Casserole
- 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 ½ cups instant white rice, uncooked
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Pound chicken with a meat mallet into an even thickness. Pat chicken dry and season both sides with salt, pepper, paprika, and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning.
- Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Sear chicken 5-7 minutes or until it releases from the pan. Flip, reduce heat to medium, and add butter to pan. Cook chicken 5-7 more minutes until nearly cooked through. Turn chicken over to coat in the buttery sauce and remove from pan.
- If the pan is dry, add 1 tablespoon butter or oil. Add garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until light golden brown. Pour in a little broth and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the broth, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, cream of chicken soup, and rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, spinach, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Stir until spinach is slightly wilted. Nestle the chicken into the rice, cover, and cook for 5 more minutes or until the rice is tender and the chicken is done.
- Pounding chicken allows it to cook evenly on all sides.
- To pound chicken, place it between layers of plastic wrap or in a ziptop bag and use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound the thicker side of the chicken to an even thickness.
- If you don't have a cover for your skillet, use aluminum foil.
- The rice will absorb moisture as it sits. If necessary, stir in a little more broth at the end if it needs it.