Turmeric Chicken and Rice Casserole
Updated Aug 21, 2023
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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 – 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!
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.
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!
- One Pan Chicken and Rice (with Mediterranean flavors)
- Butter Chicken
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken
- Chicken Stir Fry
- Coconut Curry Chicken
- Chicken Fajitas
- Best Baked Chicken Breast (or this herb baked chicken breast)
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!
Turmeric Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Casserole Pans Here's a great set if you need one!
- 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.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until slightly translucent.
- 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.
- Add the water, rice, carrot, and lime juice to the casserole pan, and stir together.
- 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.
- Before serving, fluff the rice with a fork, season the chicken with additional salt and pepper, and sprinkle with cilantro.
- 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.
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