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.

Everything You Need For This 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

4.9 from 78 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Nutrition

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
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196 comments on “Turmeric Chicken and Rice Casserole”

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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!

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

  9. 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

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

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

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

  13. 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

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

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