Turmeric Chicken and Rice Casserole

A chicken and rice casserole – with a healthy, turmeric twist! It’s just what you need for an all-in-one easy dinner that’s full of comforting flavors. Plus, it serves as a great balance of protein, carbs, and sneaky veggies. A win all around.

Turmeric chicken and rice casserole

Turmeric Chicken And Rice Casserole – A Healthy, Weeknight Favorite

There are chicken and rice casseroles, and then there’s this turmeric chicken and rice casserole, which, I think you’ll agree is an elevated version. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner idea that nestles whole chicken breasts into the most vibrant golden rice that’s infused with warm and earthy flavors plus some sneaky grated carrot for a veggie boost.

The whole thing bakes together in the oven, and when it’s done, you simply have to fluff the rice, scoop out a chicken breast and serve it up! It’s easy and super delicious with curry-like flavors. Yes, turmeric can easily be added to a variety of recipes for anti-inflammatory boost!

Ingredients for a turmeric chicken and rice casserole on a table.

What You Need For This Chicken Casserole Recipe

The name of this recipe says it all. But it’s the turmeric spin and little additions that makes this chicken and rice casserole so much better than the classic. In my opinion, it’s the perfect combo of fresh and warming flavors.

  • Onion & Garlic: I like to use sweet yellow onions, but white onions will also work. You’ll also need a generous amount of garlic (of course).
  • Turmeric & Ginger: The ultimate duo that gives this casserole a super healthy, antioxidant boost, and a punch of deliciously warm flavors.
  • Cumin: Cumin is a great spice that pairs well with turmeric and ginger, helping to bring out the curry-like flavors.
  • Coconut Milk: Make sure to grab a can (not carton) of full-fat coconut milk. The canned version helps to add moisture to the chicken and rice as it cooks.
  • Basmati Rice: After a few test runs with different types of rice, I found that basmati rice tastes the best as it stays light and fluffy. But you could also use an alternate long-grain white rice, like jasmine rice. You can read more about the differences in this how to cook rice post.
  • Carrot: Just one large carrot is needed for a sneaky veggie boost.
  • Lime: Opt for fresh lime juice instead of the bottled version!
  • Cilantro: This is used for garnish at the end, and feel free to add more per serving if you love cilantro, like I do! If you don’t love cilantro, you can swap it with parsley.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make This Chicken and Rice Casserole

A full meal that’s made in just one hour? Heck yes! All this casserole really needs is a bit of prep work, some sautéing, and a little baking. Just make sure to use a 9×13-inch baking dish to give enough room for everything to cook evenly. Lightly grease it up and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) to get started.

Cook the spiced onion mixture. Sauté the chopped onions for 3 to 4 minutes (or until translucent) in a separate skillet. Add the garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper, ginger, and cumin, and stir for another 30 seconds. Then pour in the coconut milk and gently stir until the mixture is smooth.

Add everything into the casserole pan. Transfer the creamy onion mix into the casserole pan, along with the water, rice, carrot, and lime juice. Stir it all together until combined, then add the chicken breasts on top. And to give the chicken breasts a bit more flavor, spoon the creamy liquid over them or flip them with tongs.

Bake away. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The rice should be perfectly tender and the chicken juicy and cooked through. If not, let it cook for a few more minutes!

Garnish it up! Fluff up the rice, season the chicken with extra salt and pepper, and sprinkle with lots of fresh cilantro before serving.

A plate of turmeric chicken and rice casserole

Storage & Meal Prep Tips

Casseroles always makes for a great meal prep recipes. You can portion it out for the week, or freeze it to enjoy a month later whenever you’re staring at a blank fridge. So here’s how to properly store it.

  • To store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
  • To freeze: You can freeze a leftover portion by storing in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Chicken And Rice Casserole Recipe Video

More Easy Chicken Dinner Ideas

You can always count on chicken breast for a healthy meal. But avoid rubbery breasts that lack flavor with any of these reader favorite chicken breast recipes!

Just getting into turmeric? This chicken and rice casserole is a great start – plus it’s super delicious for a healthy dinner. If you make it, I’d love to hear what you think in a comment below!

A dish filled a turmeric chicken and rice casserole

Turmeric Chicken and Rice Casserole

4.91 from 100 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
This easy chicken and rice casserole has a delicious and healthy turmeric twist! It's just what you need for an easy dinner idea loaded with flavor.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) full fat coconut milk
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 ¼ cup long grain white rice, rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • roughly chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch casserole pan.
    A greased pan for turmeric chicken and rice casserole
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until slightly translucent.
    A pan of sauteed onions for turmeric chicken and rice casserole
  • Add the garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper, ginger, and cumin, and stir for another 30 seconds. Then add the canned coconut milk and gently stir until there's no longer lumpy coconut milk bits. Transfer the mixture to the casserole pan.
    Stirring coconut mixture in pan for turmeric chicken and rice casserole
  • Add the water, rice, carrot, and lime juice to the casserole pan, and stir together.
    Pan with turmeric chicken and rice casserole ingredients
  • Nestle the chicken breasts on top of the rice mixture (I like to coat both sides of the chicken breast in the liquid for more flavor). Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
    A baking dish with turmeric chicken and rice casserole ingredients.
  • Before serving, fluff the rice with a fork, season the chicken with additional salt and pepper, and sprinkle with cilantro.
    A baking dish of turmeric and chicken and rice casserole

Lisa’s Tips

  • For those who prefer boneless skinless chicken thighs, simply swap them out! Just note thighs might cook a little faster than chicken breasts, depending on how thick they are.
  • If you’re in need of some new baking pans, I love to use these baking pans or these nestled baking pans.


Calories: 593kcal, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 744mg, Potassium: 853mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 2595IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 5mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken and rice, Chicken and Rice Casserole, Turmeric Recipe
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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247 comments on “Turmeric Chicken and Rice Casserole”

  1. This recipe was easy and super tasty. The spice mixture was warming and comforting. I will definitely be making it again.5 stars

  2. I’ve made this twice and both times had issues with the rice cooking all the way through. I used jasmine white rice and basmati white rice the other time, followingrecipe exactly. At 40 minutes the chicken was cooked through but the rice was crunchy. Had to take the chicken out, mix in another 1/4 cup of water and bake an additional 10 minutes. It’s a tasty dish and good for reheating and converting the leftovers into a fried rice dish with eggs.4 stars

  3. Looks great!! How would you prepare this dish with tofu?

  4. I made this last night… It was delish!!! My husband dished 3 times… Thank you for sharing all your stunning recipes!5 stars

  5. I have made this recipe several times. Good flavour also love the fact it is packed with good seasoning for inflammation for my arthritis.5 stars

  6. Can you freeze this recipe before baking it?

  7. Do you think the coconut milk in this recipe could be substituted with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup chicken stock? The recipe looks amazing! Thanks so much

  8. Hi I am planing on making this for dinner tonight. Any suggestions on a salad or other side that goes well with this meal? 

  9. Really tasty! Chicken breast stays juicy, which is a huge plus, and prep work is pretty minimal. 5 stars

  10. Would I be able to swap rice for cauliflower rice ?

  11. This was so nice loads of flavor and very quick to make, I tend to make the sauce up the day before and leave the chicken in this. It gives it time to soaks up the spices and all l have to do the next day is place the rice in casserole dish and add the pour the sauce over the rice and then add the chicken (l put my sauce and chicken in a jug so l can poor the sauce with the carrot’s over the rice so l came give it a good mix before l add the chicken.5 stars

  12. This recipe is in regular rotation at our place. The flavours meld beautifully and this is a great healthier take on a recipe I grew up with.5 stars

  13. I’m a little sad, I don’t know if I somehow did it wrong but my rice is still hard 40min in I did chicken thighs so I checked it earlier than the normal 45-50, but I feel like it should not still be hard this far in to the cook time! :/ it smells great though 🤷🏻‍♀️

  14. I have made many of your recipes and they always turn out great. But this one is a huge hit with everyone. My family and I just love this, so easy, so tasty. Yum! I have made it with shrimp, chicken, sausages – it all works. My extended family also love this recipe and always request that I make this for our various potluck get-togethers. What a home run! Ty.

  15. Since I’m not making this until tomorrow, this morning I marinated the chicken in the spice mix/ lime/ touch of olive oil. The marinade smells wonderful and can’t wait to finish the recipe — I might end up making it tonight. Thank you!

  16. I tried this recipe and I’m loving it. The breast chicken is tender and juicy. Though I didn’t include the rice with it and adjust the cooking time. I ate it with my garlic fried rice. My daughter said it smells delicious when I’m sautéing the ingredients. Definitely I will cook this again. I love how you include different herbs in your recipe. 
    God bless you for sharing health recipes.5 stars

  17. Love this recipe! So delicious and 12 year old approved. We make this at least once a month and have even omitted the chicken a few times to just have the rice as a side dish.  Thank you so much.5 stars

  18. This recipe is amazing! I have made it a few times since discovering it! I meal prep it and freeze it and it’s devine! I even have shared this recipe with others as I sang it’s praises! Thank you my food guru!5 stars

  19. This is great with a side of homemade (or store-bought) naan, and it’s kid-approved, to boot!5 stars

  20. Absolutely delicious! Now one of my favourite meals! Everyone I make this for asks me for the recipe :)5 stars

  21. Such a lovely and fragnant dish! Thanks for sharing! I also added a grated courgette to hide more veggies for the little one! Yummy

  22. Absolutely love this dish and you, for creating such  wonderful recipes!!! Even my husband said it was superb and better than my Chicken Biryani. I had to increase the portion size because lo and behold, I have no square casserole dishes! On my wish list. I did add fresh baby spinach chopped, and I had fresh ginger root on hand so I grated the amount needed. This will definitely be a casserole I will make again!! Can’t wait until December when your book arrives in my mailbox! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and your videos! 5 stars

  23. We loved the flavor of this casserole but the rice didn’t completely cook. Even on the second day I cooked again for 45 minutes and the rice was completely cooked. I used a brown Thai rice.

    Any idea why the rice didn’t soften?

    Thanks5 stars

    • Brown rice typically needs a longer cooking time, and might not cook as well when combined with chicken.

      • Any advice for using brown rice? Should I pre-cook it a bit first? I’m trying this recipe today and I only use brown rice when cooking (I have brown basmati which I was thinking of using). Thanks! Excited to try it!! 

      • Yes, it would need to be pre-cooked as it takes longer than white rice to cook. Enjoy!

  24. Absolutely delicious – this recipe will be added to my usual rotation. I think I’ll add some greens as well. Thanks for posting!5 stars

  25. Very good and easy. Added extra vegetables for serving.5 stars

  26. My family loves this recipe and I love that as a career girl I can make it ahead and rewarm if needed. Soooo delicious! 5 stars

  27. Soooo delicious. Definitely one of the meals my family will be eating often.5 stars

  28. Thanks for continuing to contribute such tasty, healthy and accessible recipes! Look forward to making it again — I’ll trial adding half of a vegetable cube in with it too next time!5 stars

  29. This was EXCELLENT, thank you!! We’ve been following you for a couple of years and have made numerous recipes from you that have all been fantastic, (I really should comment more on them) but my husband could not quit telling me how good this was in between just about every bite. :). Thanks again, can’t wait for the cookbook in December!!5 stars

  30. delicious. I’m trying to figure nutrition for this for each individual serving. Can you help?

  31. Just had the recipe.. absolutely delicious. All the family loved it.  And made enough to freeze, result, thank you 5 stars

  32. I’m making this recipe for a third time within the last couple of months! We prefer it with chicken thighs and I add whatever veggies we have on hand – tonight I’m using diced rainbow carrots, chopped fresh spinach, and chopped fresh mushrooms. I sautee them in the pan before I add the spices and coconut milk. It’s a very versatile, delicious, wholesome, go-to recipe!5 stars

  33. I used thighs instead of chicken breasts. I also used the rice I had on hand. The dish was very tasty and had a little heat to it. I will definitely add this to my dinner rotation 5 stars

  34. Would this work well with fresh tumeric instead of powder? If so, would you recommend using a zester and how much would I need? I know amounts for fresh and powder differ.

    And thanks for all your insight from your health challenges. I’m also struggling to figure some things out and have watched many of your videos recently. It’s giving me hope that making some natural changes will help me too. Looking forward to trying many recipes. Thank you!

  35. My family absolutely loved this dish and it was easy to make.I used basmati rice and mine came out just fine. I did have to cook the chicken a little longer but I added a little chicken broth so as not to dry out the rice. I will be making this again!5 stars

  36. Hey Lisa cooked Turmeric chicken tonight. Big success. It was beautiful & will definitely be making it again & again. What a star you are. Been following you for quite a while now. A big thank you. X5 stars

  37. I made this turmeric chicken using skinless boneless thighs. I didn’t have ground cumin but,I have cumin seeds and used them(whole) instead. I cooked it on the stove top and it turned out great! I think next time I will use fresh ginger.5 stars

  38. Hello!!
    you have no idea how glad I’m to have found your blog!!
    I’m from the middle-east and newlywed living in Tokyo with my husband who has ulcerative colitis. Finding healthy delicious easy recipes is NOT easy. Especially with creating food with unfamiliar ingredients. I will be trying this recipe tonight and many more in the future specifically the turmeric ones!! Im sure it will be sooo good!!5 stars

    • I am so sorry to hear about your husband, but I’m glad Downshiftology recipes are able to help :) Also, congrats on getting married Binalmas!

  39. Would this work in a Dutch oven type pan?
    How would adjust for bone-in chicken thighs?
    Thank you!

  40. Made this tonight. My husband really liked it! I used only 1 large chicken breast for him and a block of tofu for me. The tofu turned out really great! Nice and silky smooth and moist. Great flavour. The only thing I would change is adding some raisins or craisins so it will be like the Afghan rice at our local restaurant.  We have tons of leftovers for lunch tomorrow now too. Another great Downshiftology recipe.  5 stars

  41. Thank you for a great recipe. It’s super nice and complete and helpful4 stars

  42. New recipe to me and it was amazing!5 stars

  43. Recipe sounds wonderful but too many calories for me. I’m wondering if I could use low fat coconut milk or yogurt instead. 

  44. Greetings from Austria/Europa! Thank you for your blog – i love it!!! Wonderful! 
    I tried this recipe with wholegrain-basmati-rice and it was delicious!
    I only had little problems with the „temperatur“: i changed in grad celsius (as we uns in europe) but it was to low i think… it takes a lot of time…
    Which kind or type of oven do you use? Upper/lower heat or convention oven? As i think, the temperatur while using convention is 20 grad celsius lower than using upper/lower heat. 
    Please can you tell me whitch type of oven-function you are useing?
    Thanks a lot & Sorry for my „austrian englisch“🤣! 
    Regina 5 stars

    • Hi Regina – I have a standard conventional oven, but everyone’s oven also heats differently. So if you’re finding that it’s taking much longer, I would increase the temperature a bit.

    • Hi Regina and Lisa!

      First of all, I think the recipe is amazing. It’s in my oven right now and it smells soo good! 
      I do though agree with Regina. 
      Actually, reading your comment about the temperature, I set it for 10 degrees higher, baking solid 60 minutes, and my chicken is still raw in the middle. 
      I cranked it to 375F and added another half hour. 
      I’m not sure why. But I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the end.
      Thank you Lisa! Thank you Regina!
      ❤️5 stars

  45. Another delicious recipe Lisa! My family loved it and I will definitely make this one again. 5 stars