This Cajun Chicken and Rice Bake with Mushrooms is a delicious and flavorful family-friendly meal made with juicy chicken thighs, rice, onion, spices, and perfectly sauteéd mushrooms. Baked in the oven, the result is delicious fluffy rice and juicy chicken thighs with leftovers perfect for the next day’s lunch or dinner!
Chicken and Rice is one of those feel-good easy dinners that remind me of my childhood. Cooked entirely in the oven, this easy and comforting Cajun Chicken and Rice Bake is technically more of a casserole as it is slowly cooked in a casserole dish.
My parents used to make chicken and rice for me and my siblings all the time when I was little. Only, their version had canned cream of mushroom soup, less flavor (sorry, mom), and chicken with the skin left on. It was good. But this is better.
Ingredients in this Cajun Chicken and Rice Bake
- Olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- Sweet paprika
- Cayenne powder
- Chicken thighs
- Cajun seasoning
- Chicken broth
- White rice
The bulk of the ingredients in this chicken and rice bake are seasoning and spices, rice, chicken, and mushrooms. I left the overall ingredient list simple and basic on purpose rather than adding additional vegetables to the mix.
Tips and Tricks on making the best Cajun Chicken and Rice Bake
- This Chicken and Rice Bake makes a lot of chicken and rice. As such, you will need a large casserole dish/ baking dish/ or lasagna pan to bake it all together. The pan you see in the picture is an old enamel pan I purchased years ago.
- If you have time, marinate the chicken in the delicious seasoning mix. If not, don’t sweat it.
- Remove the skin from the chicken. I know, what? Here’s the thing- all that (yes) fantastic fat from the skin drips down and soaks into the rice. In small amounts, this could be awesome and add terrific flavor, but too much fat results in an oily, mushy mess.
- Adjust the heat and spice level to suit your own personal preference. If you love a spicy dinner, I recommend adding more cayenne powder or even some red chili flakes to your chicken and rice. However, if heat isn’t your thing, skip the heat. It will still be delicious, promise.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top just after the chicken and rice has finished baking and sprinkle with fresh herbs. The added fresh elements are a must-have. Trust me.
- Add mushrooms, but cook them separately.
- Unless, of course, you hate mushrooms, then leave them out.
Do you have to sauté the mushrooms separately?
Some of you may be wondering why I didn’t just add the mushrooms directly to the chicken and rice bake. After all, that does seem logical. And, if I’m being honest, there is nothing really wrong with skipping the sauté step and cooking it all together.
Except that, at least for today, I didn’t want to make a Chicken and Mushroom Rice Bake.
In other words, I wanted this oven-baked Cajun chicken and rice casserole to taste like Cajun chicken and rice…with mushrooms.
Mushrooms have a lot of flavors and when cooked with other things (like rice) those other things tend to take on those flavors.
So, I suppose the answer depends entirely on you and how much time you have.
Also, keep in mind that cooking mushrooms in the oven for over an hour will result in more moisture loss from the mushrooms giving a chewier, smaller, less meaty mushroom result.
More chicken recipes,
- Chicken and Butternut Squash
- Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Pasta
- Easy Sheet Pan Thai Chicken
- Chicken Gyro
- Citrus Chicken Marinade Recipe
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe
- 15 Minute Angel Hair Pasta Recipe with Chicken
- Skinny Baked Popcorn Chicken Recipe
If you try cooking this Cajun Chicken and Rice Bake, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Cajun Chicken and Rice Bake
For the Chicken
For the Rice
For the Mushrooms
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 5 cloves garlic - minced
- 16 ounces white mushrooms - quartered
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Fresh chopped chives - to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the olive oil, dried Italian seasoning, fresh rosemary, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
- Add the chicken to the herb and seasoning mixture and combine until each piece of chicken is fully coated with seasoning. Set aside, or cover and allow the chicken to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- Spray a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add the diced onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, cajun seasoning, chicken broth and water to the baking dish. Gently whisk to combine.
- Add the rice to the baking dish and mix in with the broth.
- Arrange the chicken thighs in the baking dish, directly on top of the rice. Cover baking dish with foil and bake, covered, for approximately 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and water has been absorbed.
- Remove the chicken from the baking dish and transfer to a clean plate. Mix the rice and return the chicken to the dish. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- As the rice and chicken rest, prepare the mushrooms.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and stir well to combine. Cook mushrooms until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
- Transfer prepared mushrooms into the baking dish with the rice and mix well to combine. Best served warm. Enjoy.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)